Tag Archives: estancia

PATAGONIAN RANCH EXPERIENCE IN EL CALAFATE

Experience the rural life of an authentic Patagonian estancia in the lands of the Perito Moreno Glacier.


Far from mass tourism and 55 km from El Calafate, we find the historic ranch Estancia Nibepo Aike. Initially called La Jerónima, Nibepo Aike covers an area of ​​more than 12,000 hectares, delimited by the South Arm of Lake Argentino and the border with Chile, framed by the Andes Mountains. Dedicated to bovine and sheep production as livestock activities, it is an ideal place to immerse yourself in rural life.

Nowadays you may spend the day visiting the ranch, to experience the life of an authentic estancia located in one of the most impressive settings in Argentina.

Every morning and afternoon, it is possible to enjoy the traditional countryside day. Upon arrival, the host guide will receive and take you to the quincho for a hot drink (tea, coffee or mate) and homemade pastry.

Then, we will set forth on an easy walk to tour the facilities of the farm, which was formerly dedicated to sheep production only, and which today has been transformed into the most prestigious Hereford cabin of these latitudes that also maintains a sheep herd.

The hike will take us to excellent views of the South Arm of Lake Argentino, discovering various rocky outcrops eroded by glacial action and changes in lake levels. Through trails, we will discover a forest of lenga and ñir trees, where caranchos, cachañas, hares, woodpeckers, eagles and an abundant variety of native flora and fauna live.

We will arrive at the shearing shed and current historical museum of the stay. Here we will learn about this peculiar rural work, from the shearing of the animal to the assembly of the bundle of wool; the way in which the wool is stowed and transported.

Next, a “reins test” of riders will be carried out or, depending on the rural activities of the day, farm work will be done in the pens near the main house. In the morning, visitors can also participate in the milking and sheep grazing, concluding with a typical day of work in the ranch.

On the way back, the guide will reveal the history of the place, telling anecdotes and stories of the first settlers. Crossing through the orchard where most of the vegetables in the ranch come from, we will arrive to the quincho, where they will wait for us with an exquisite barbecue, ready to delight us with a delicious Patagonian lamb while enjoying the imposing view of the Cordillera.

For those who choose the extended countryside day option, after lunch or before dinner and rural activities, will take a three hour guided horseback ride on different paths that will allow you to learn more about the corners of Nibepo Aike.

And for those who do not have enough time for a full day experience, you may visit the estancia only for lunch or dinner at the quincho. Taste the homemade delicacies, a barbecue of Patagonian lamb, beef steaks and sausages, with various salads, homemade dessert and one drink per person. This culinary experience is ideal before or after the Perito Moreno Glacier excursion, if you rented a car. It is important to clarify that this option does not include other rural activities.

Another brief but more adventurous option to not miss this incredible Patagonian ranch is to only take a guided three-hour horseback ride, touring the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales hill. With its 1282 meters, despite not being the highest in the area, its privileged view allows you to appreciate Lake Argentino, the Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine, from a single point.

Returning to El Calafate, having experienced the life of a typical Patagonian estancia will give you a new perspective, finding more meaning in the immense Patagonian landscapes characterized by the infinite and the remote.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Countryside Day, morning or afternoon: Traditional option to visit the ranch. 

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 15:30 / PM Pick up 16.30 – Drop off 23.30. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Horseback ride. Bilingual guide for the horseback ride.

Extended Countryside Day: a 3 hours horseback ride is added to the traditional Countryside day.

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 19:30 – Horseback ride after Countryside day and lunch /  PM Pick up 13.30 – Drop off 23.30 – Horseback ride before Countryside day and dinner. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. Horseback riding of approximately 3 hours duration. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Bilingual guide for the ride

Patagonian barbecue: Lunch or dinner at the quincho

  • Schedules: Lunch at 12 pm. Dinner at 8 pm. 
  • Includes: Lunch/Dinner at the quincho: Roast Lamb with various salads and homemade dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during the meal. Ask for alternative menu. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips.

Horseback ride: 3 hours to explore the corners of Nibepo Aike in more depth, crossing the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales. 

  • Schedules: From 3 to 6 pm. Please check in 30 minutes in advance. 
  • Includes: Horseback riding with guide authorized by National Parks. 
  • Not included: Transfers. Bilingual guide.

PENGUINS UP CLOSE & PERSONAL

This full day excursion provides wildlife sightings and an authentic experience of the Atlantic Patagonia from the eyes of the pioneers who populated the area in the last century.


Only 70 km from Puerto Madryn and along Patagonian steppe, we reach the southern end of the mouth of the Golfo Nuevo where we find the Punta Ninfas lighthouse, a valuable reference for navigators entering the gulf. From the cliff we can see the breeding grounds of elephants and sea lions on the surrounding beaches.

We continue on our way to El Pedral, an authentic Patagonian farmhouse built at the beginning of the 20th century. The materials and furniture were brought from Europe by boat and landed on the shores of the estancia itself. The house was inaugurated in 1923 and still keeps the aesthetics and style of those times. 

Minutes away, there’s a Magellanic penguin colony established on the shores of El Pedral. There were 13 couples in 2008 and today there are more than 5000 penguins. We’re lucky to take a guided walk between their nests and learn a bit more about these curious animals while standing really close to them.

El Pedral takes care of a beach control and cleaning scheme, collaborating with the GPS Foundation (Global Penguin Society), which monitors the Magellanic penguin colony of Punta Ninfas.

After the walk, we taste a typical barbecue with a variety of salads, dessert and coffee. Lunch includes drinks and house wine.

In the afternoon -if the weather is right- we can enjoy the pool or the small football field, as well as walk around the property or have a tea accompanied by a typical Welsh cake before leaving the estancia. The way back to Puerto Madryn provides the right time for a nap.

This full day excursion is an excellent option for those who want to avoid long journeys to visit a colony of Magellanic penguins; an ideal family experience!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day regular excursion. Departs from meeting point in Puerto Madryn at 8:30 am and returns at 5:00 pm.
  • Departs every day from September 15th to April 15th.
  • Includes: Visit to the Punta Ninfas Lighthouse and sea elephants and lions observation. Guided walk to the Magellanic penguin colony at El Pedral reserve. A Patagonian lunch in the quincho of the old part of the estancia (wines included). Tea and coffee service with Welsh cake. Transfers to and from Puerto Madryn.
  • Free of charge for children up to 4 years old. 

 

DISCONNECTED HOLIDAYS IN PATAGONIA

A ranch in the middle of nowhere in Patagonia will make you reflect on your lifestyle and disconnect from the routine.


La Maipú is an iconic 45.000 hectare ranch in the Lake San Martin area, completely off-the-grid. The nearest airport is El Calafate, and then you need to drive for 4 hs through the mythic route 40 to get there.

Besides the breathtaking views, this ranch is famous for its history. The Lively brothers were the first owners and also the first settlers of the area. Mr. Joseph Lively arrived in 1902, thanks to Francisco ”Perito” Moreno who conceded them the land right before the territorial dispute between Argentina and Chile. The current owners of La Maipú kept Joseph’s cabin as a museum that takes you back in time to the old -and even wilder- Patagonia, where just natives and a few adventurous foreigners lived.

Long time friends Facu Yacuzzi and Facu Maroñas are behind the creation of La Maipú project. It was born due to the passion for nature, outdoors life and the love for food and wine. Then, along came Santi Donati and the three of them are involved in this partnership since. They focus on offering a young and relaxed service with world class quality standards and wish to make the most of the travel industry providing authentic experiences that leave a lesson. With conservation on their minds, they want to show their guests a more simple way of life towards a balanced future, believing that the energy of these special natural and wild spots can help us drive change.

That is why La Maipú doesn’t provide typical holidays (by the way, there’s only 3 hours a day of electricity and only 20 minutes of satellite wi-fi per day per person), but a whole experience including activities to learn while you relax and stay active.

The main house can accommodate up to 16 people on its three triple and three double cozy rooms, all with private bathroom and heating. The stay includes full board and a glass of wine.

Facu Maroñas takes care of the kitchen and its supplies, such as cattle and the organic garden. The in house chef creates his own signature dishes, always using the freshest local ingredients available to represent a mix of traditional Argentine and international food.

For those born trekking wanderers who love to get lost and explore untouched wilderness, there are more than eight trails of all sorts that will fit everyone. The ranch’s favorite is La Condorera, which takes approximately 8 hours both ways to reach the peak of this beautiful mountain where Andean Condors nest.

Besides hiking, at La Maipú there are more than 40 bird species to discover, watch and listen. You may also grab a mountain bike to explore the ranch’s grounds on your own and spend the day outdoors enjoying the amazing landscape.

Even lying down on earth at night to watch the countless stars, listening to the sound of the Patagonian silence will make you feel so small on this huge universe. We bring you this new experience to make you eager to learn how to contribute and change your life for the better good. Are you in?    


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • We suggest a minimum of 3 nights.
  • Rates are per pax per day.
  • Basic program includes:
    – Accommodation
    – Full board (breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snacks, dinner with up to 2 house wine glasses.
    – Satellite WiFi.
    – Activities: a guide will design the excursions that best suit your preferences and interests (horseback riding not included).

 

Gaucho Culture & Lifestyle in Areco

Get to know the Argentinean countryside traditions: gauchos, asado and estancia culture.


Lucky for the porteños, the vast plains of the Pampas, gaucho culture and tradition are alive and so close by. Only an hour drive from Buenos Aires city we arrive in San Antonio de Areco town, far away from everything and surrounded by wild countryside landscape, home to the Tradition Festival in November.

San Antonio de Areco church

Founded in 1730, San Antonio de Areco has been home for centuries to the traditions and rituals inspired by the gauchos, but the town really started to embrace its fame after 1926, following the publication of the famous novel Don Segundo Sombra by the local writer Ricardo Güiraldes, which follows the meeting between a gaucho and an orphan in the Blanqueada, a typical pulperia (bar) in the town.

Wandering through the colonial streets of Areco, time seems to have stopped. Over the centuries, the town has preserved its heritage and identity, becoming one of the most visited historic places in the province of Buenos Aires.

We invite you to a full day of gaucho lifestyle, tradition, asado, craftwork and estancia culture. A day trip from Buenos Aires to Areco to see the real national heritage; an opportunity to learn about one of the emblems of the Argentine identity and the rural life.    

Early in the morning, we leave from your hotel and exit Buenos Aires towards the Route 8 to reach our final destination. Soon after leaving the city landscape behind we start seeing the Pampas scenery.

An hour or so later, we arrive in San Antonio de Areco where we meet our guide, who will guide us through the charming streets of the historical center and show us the local church and the famous pulperías.

A visit to the Silversmith Draghi Museum, the First workshop and museum of Draghi’s silverware, where we may observe the process of making a genuine piece of silverwork; and also to the Ricardo Güiraldes Museum where gaucho life is celebrated and preserved with a collection of traditional gaucho gear: mates, handicraft decorated knives, ponchos, and all manner of elaborate saddlery and bridlery.

After the tour around Areco and its surroundings, at noon we arrive at an exclusive and historical estancia where we will be greeted with empanadas and a delicious Argentine asado. We will walk around the estancia with the guide, hearing stories about this historic working ranch.

At the estancia we will meet gauchos and participate in different rural activities such as horseback riding and carriage rides. Also we will enjoy a traditional folkloric music dancing performance and an impressive gaucho skills demonstration.

In the afternoon, after a full day in touch with the countryside and the gaucho culture, we get back on the bus and to Buenos Aires.

When visiting our city, we recommend getting to know a bit of our country history and traditions. This is the perfect experience to do so!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates year round upon reservation.
  • Full day tour from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Personalized tour for 2-4 people or private bigger groups.

Includes:

  • Door-to-door transfers to and from Buenos Aires hotel.
  • Bilingual local guide.
  • Guided visit to the historical town, museums and handicrafts.
  • Reception with empanadas, drinks and asado for lunch.
  • Horseback riding or carriage at the Estancia.
  • Demonstration of gaucho skills and traditional folkloric music performance.
  • Open swimming pool in the summer.