Estancia Getaway

Northern Patagonia Argentina: (IT-ARRT04)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/argentina_estancia_huechahue.aspx

Introduction
Northern Patagonia Argentina
This working estancia is a 15,000-acre ranch supporting 900-head of cattle and is located in the beautiful Andean foothills just 45 miles from San Martin de los Andes.
The landscape here is made up of shrub covered hills, craggy rock outcrops, and wide-open water-meadows with the snow peaked Lanin Volcano (13,000 ft.) and the stunning Andes mountains as a backdrop.

You can choose to ride out and explore from the Estancia everyday.
The horseback riding on the estancia property provides glorious views of the vast Argentinean grasslands. You will ride over barren rolling hills and along the narrow and rocky gorges of Andean streams to the tops of the hillside where the mighty Andes rise up, whilst eagles and condors fly beside you. You can gallop across the water-meadows sending the Ibis and Plover screeching and visit the burial caves of the Mapuche Indians. You can ford the river and ride up through the neighboring Indian reservation, stopping to share a drink of mate along the way. Guests can always help the gauchos rounding up and working  the cattle. Often there are short cattle drives moving some of the herd to new pastures. You can also help rounding up the horses. The riding is forward going at all paced (when not moving cattle) - if you like a good long canter or gallop ... this is the place for you! Amongst the wildlife to be seen are red deer, wild boar, rhea, guanaco, armadillos, black-necked swans, ibis, plovers, burrowing parrots, eagles, vultures, and the Andean condor. The area is renowned for its trout fishing.

You can also incorporate a 3-night pack trip in your estancia ride. You'll wander deeper in the Argentinian wilderness with no all of your essentials loaded on the pack horses. Few experiences will compare to being surrounded in the pristine nature! With so much to offer, what are you waiting for!

Accomodation



Accommodations
This is a stationary ride so all nights are spent in the same location.

Description
The lodge has 10 double or twin-bedded guest rooms all with bathrooms en-suite. Four are on the first floor of the lodge and the others are in two chalets, a short stroll across the lawn. Each chalet includes a communal sitting room area. All of the rooms come with en-suite bathroom and Wi-Fi access. The estancia also features common areas including a lounge with a fireplace and a patio with splendid views of the surrounding mountains.

All of the rooms have WiFi. Laundry is available for $10US per load.



Room Occupancy
Single rooms are available at no additional cost.


Meals
All meals are included in the trip from lunch on Day 1 (depending on your arrival time) to breakfast on the last day.

Whilst staying at the estancia, meals are usually served in the dining room of the main house. Alternatively we make use of the ‘quincho’, our barbecue room, with an open fire pit perfect for ‘asados’ and celebrations. With our large orchards, fruit is in abundance and all the preserves, bottle fruit, even the apple juice are homemade! There is a large vegetable garden and bread is freshly baked on a daily basis!
Lunch and dinner are large meals in Argentina. Ham and bacon from our pigs are cured in the smoke-house, eggs come from the chicken run; milk and homemade yogurt from the dairy cow and of course our own beef, venison and wild boar.

Argentine wines are finally achieving international recognition and we like to serve wines from the province. The beers and spirits are good too - we always have a siesta!

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions with prior notice.


This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Fitness level
This is a wild and rugged ride across one of the world's largest mountain chains dividing two countries.
It is a fairly challenging ride and therefore it is essential that all riders are physically fit.
 
Tack
The saddles used are "montura de monte" which are similar to old English army saddles with a sheepskin on top. Following traditional gaucho methods, you will find only the stirrups have buckles on our saddles. The saddles are sinched using leather hide, a custom not forgotten from the days when gauchos, like the American cowboy, would ride into the wilderness unable to replace a broken buckle.

Pace
Moderate with trots and good canters, slower riding on the Chilean side due to the terrain. Some long days in the saddle.

Horses
The estancia is home to about 50 horses and with 15,000 acres, as much as is possible they live as 'wild' horses. Our riding horses are criollo crosses, part anglo-normando, of about 15.5 hh. They are bred and trained on the Estancia and are sure- footed and well behaved. As much as possible we like to have them out enjoying the freedom of the water meadows which makes for an exciting ride rounding them up!
We ask arriving guests to provide us with an insight into their riding experience and history so we can try and get a feel for the type of horse would be a good match.
We have an eclectic selection of horses allowing us to cater to all riding abilities and confidence levels. They are neck-reined and the riding is similar to Western style.

Fishing
Non riders have excellent opportunities for fishing in rivers and lakes. All the fishing on the estancia is included, however, if guests want the services of a professional guide or wish to fish some of the other nearby local rivers there are substantial extra charges.

Working Cattle on Horseback
When working cattle we start early in the mornings and days can be long, every animal must be found, every canyon and hilltop scouted, behind bushes or down creeks - but there is tremendous satisfaction when the job is done. The time of year determines what needs to be done but it can include round-ups, vaccinating, separating, branding, moving cattle and horses to new pastures. Herding horses at speed is magic! There are opportunities for lassoing enthusiasts and everyone is welcome to get involved with gaucho life.

Itinerary

Our riding programs on the estancia very much depend on our guests, on how much riding experience you have, how long you wish to ride each day, and the time of year you visit. The condors are best in September, October, November, March, and April; lunches on the river with swimming are best in January and February. At all times of year there are lots of opportunities for working with cattle on horseback. We like to ride as fast as we can!

You can stay the length of time which suits with a minimum 3 night stay. As long as you arrive before 6:00 pm we will ensure that you get on a horse and out riding that evening before dinner.

These are sample itineraries only and are subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.


Sample Itinerary with pack trip - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
On arrival there will be a late lunch followed by an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses and tack and the way we ride.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 2: Ride around the Estancia
Option 1: Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows, sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you.
Option 2: A full day’s ride to our Indian neighbor up river. Riding up over the top, a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar and “peludos” - the baby armadillo. Lunch on the river, a great place to swim. Returning to Huechahue riding down the river with lots of birdlife.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 3: Herding cows/horses
Option 1: Today, we work cattle with the gauchos. We have the chance to separate the cows on horseback or try your hand with a lasso. We enjoy lunch out in the camp before a siesta in the shade.
Option 2: A morning's ride to see our stallion with the mares and new foals, and a chance to herd horses. After a late lunch there will be an evening ride to the cliffs where the condors and eagles roost.  While we have a cocktail and the sun goes down, the condors return, they soar above and below us before settling for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 4: Ride to the Indian burial caves
The Indian burial caves were formed when the glaciers carved the valley, opening an entrance to the lava flow tunnels formed during previous eras of volcanic activity. The Tehuelche Indians laid out their dead, surrounded by their weapons and always somewhere where they could see their enemies coming. They decorated the walls with designs. The remains have disappeared, but the petroglyphs and the view are still there.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Days 5, 6, 7: Ride into the National Park
An hour-long road transfer to Lago Huechulaufquen where Marcos will be waiting for you with his horses. The exact itinerary will depend on the time of year and weather / snow conditions. You will ride through the spectacular scenery of the southern Andes with its snow-capped volcanoes, crystal clear lakes and pristine forests of Southern Beech and Monkey Puzzle trees. Nights are spent camping in carefully chosen, picturesque campsites by a lakeshore or at a stream's edge. These are rides into the wilderness. Everything is carried on packhorses and the camp is simple. The terrain itself generally dictates a slow pace. At the end, return transport will be waiting to bring you back to Estancia.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping on night 5 & 6 / Estancia on night 7


Day 8: Departure day
Up early for a farewell ride before departure.             
Meals included: Breakfast

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Sample Itinerary without pack trip - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival 
You will be met by your host at the Chapelco airport, in San Martin de los Andes, and driven to the Estancia (approx. 40 min.). After lunch, there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses and tack and the way we ride.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 2: Ride around the Estancia
A full day ride with an "asado" lunch. Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 3: Day ride with the gauchos
You will spend the day with the gauchos rounding up cattle into the corrals. Lunch with the gauchos is strips of beef ribs threaded onto a stick and cooked over the open fire. You cut off the chunk and eat it sandwich style. Meat, bread and mate - the gaucho diet. After a siesta in the shade, you will get the chance to separate the cows on horseback or try your hand with a lasso.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 4: Ride to the Indian burial caves
Today, we ride to the Indian burial caves. The caves were formed when the glaciers carved the valley, opening an entrance to the lava flow tunnels formed during previous eras of volcanic activity. The Tehuelche Indians laid out their dead, surrounded by their weapons and always somewhere where they could see their enemies coming. They decorated the walls with designs. The remains have disappeared, but the petroglyphs and the view are still there.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 5: Herding horses
A morning's ride to see our stallion with the mares and new foals, and a chance to herd horses. After a late lunch there will be an evening ride to the cliffs where the condors and eagles nest. While we have a cocktail and the sun goes down, the condors return. They soar above and below us before settling for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 6: Ride to an Indian reservation
A day's ride through the neighboring Indian reservation. Riding up over the top, a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar, and 'peludos'- the baby armadillo. Lunch on the river, a great place to swim. Returning to the estancia riding down the river with lots of birdlife.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 7: Ride to town
A day's ride over the ridge and into town for a look at the shops. We race along the top of the ridge with huge views on either side. Lunch is a picnic at the neighbor’s, watched over by the Lanin Volcano. Later we cross the River Chimehuin and on into Junín de los Andes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Estancia


Day 8: Departure day
Up early for a farewell ride on the Estancia before transferring to the airport.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Non Riding Activities

We have an open air solar heated Jacuzzi and a wood burning sauna for relaxing after a day full of activity. We also have a cold plunge pool and can organize a masseuse.

Bird watching
We are uniquely situated within easy striking distance of a number of different ecological areas: the high Patagonian steppe, grasslands, wetlands and various forests (cypress, southern beech and the endemic araucaria, more commonly known in English as the monkey puzzle tree). Each of these offers a different range of bird species.
Approximately 200 species have been registered in the area, and quite a few of these can be seen on the estancia itself. There is a rocky outcrop close by where condors can regularly be seen circling at dusk and waiting each morning for the thermals to build up. Only a few minutes away is the well-known Collón Curá valley, where a number of raptor species and many water fowl (including flamingoes) can easily be seen.
We can usually arrange for local birdwatchers to accompany guests on walks or visits to other nearby birding sites.

Rafting
We can organize half day rafting expeditions on the Chimehuin river. This is gentle fun rafting with spectacular views of the Lanín Volcano.

Hiking & Wildlife watching
There are many opportunities for walking and trekking on the estancia with short walks to the tops of the hills for great views of Lanin volcano and Chapelco (the ski resort at San Martin) for instance. You can also walk to the top (or the bottom) of the Condor cliff where the condors roost.
You can either follow our marked trails or we can provide a guide. There are guanaco, red deer, wild boar, armadillos and sometimes rhea to be seen and many birds including eagles and condors, burrowing parrots, black necked swans, and the Patagonian Kingfisher.

Fishing
The estancia is located at the heart of some of the finest fly fishing in South America and the world. Incredible rivers such as the Chimehuin, Alumine, Malleo, Quilquihue and Collon Cura are all easily fished whilst enjoying our warm welcome and comfortable accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Prolific hatches of great yellow mayflies, caddis and willow worms provide exciting fishing. The trout also feed on pancora crabs and minnows.

The estancia has 8 km of river frontage on the lower part of the Alumine and the upper part of the Collon Cura, a few minutes’ drive from the main building.
- The Collon Cura is famous for outrageous numbers of brown and rainbow trout, averaging 2.5 lbs and reaching up to 15 pounds. The Collon Cura offers fantastic float fishing opportunities, with rapids and pools.
- The Alumine is known for its “hot” rainbow trout that will fight you all the way back to the float. Floating access to the Rio Alumine is a one and a half hour drive from our lodge. In the early season you can sign up for an overnight camping trip with the next day’s float taking you back to the lodge.
- The Rio Chimehuin is also easily accessible. This is the great river that gave northern Patagonia its reputation as one of the great fly fishing destinations of the world. Both browns and rainbows are available and its clear waters allow for multiple fishing techniques. Its nearby tributary, Rio Quilquihue offers dry fly opportunities. With our guides you can either float the Chimehuin and fish from drift boats or wade on stretches of river with private access.
- The Malleo is a spectacular medium-sized river, perfect for wading and within less than an hours drive from the estancia. Our guides say it needs no introduction as an outstanding dry fly destination.

Guests are free to go to the river on their own if they would rather not have a guide. They can either take a picnic lunch or return for lunch and a quick break before returning to the river for the evening hatch.
We can also provide first class bilingual guides with expert local knowledge of the rivers, the flora and fauna and history of the area (extra cost). The guides come with fully equipped drift boats and all other necessary equipment.
You can choose to float and fish from drift boats or wade on stretches of river with private access.

The fishing season runs from 1st November through to the end of May.


Other activities nearby
For those who love golf there is a spectacular and challenging 18 hole (72 par) Jack Nicklaus course some 45 minutes drive away.
We can organize shopping trips to Junín de los Andes and to the nearby Mapuche reserves, with the chance of seeing rawhide tack being made and wool being woven on the simplest of looms.
We can also organize trips to San Martín de los Andes and the National Park to see the lakes, Lanin volcano and Monkey puzzle trees.


Rates and Dates for Estancia Getaway

Rates include:

All accommodation, food, beverages (including wine, beer and spirits) and activities including riding, rafting, trekking, trips to Junín de los Andes, San Martin de los Andes and the National Park and the use of the sauna and jacuzzi. Access to the fishing on the Estancia is included in this price, but fishing permit is not.

Packages and Options



Minimum Deposit: ~$50.00 per person

Rates Note:

A minimum of 3 night is possible.
50% deposit is required.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

A minimum of 3 night is possible.
50% deposit is required.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Daily rate $465
2019 Fishing guide (does not include permits or equipment), daily $500
2019 Transfer from Bariloche via the 7 lakes road (up to 4 pax), per vehicle, one way $140
2019 Transfer from/ to Bariloche via faster route, per vehicle, one way $230
2019 Transfer from Llao Llao or Pehuma Hue via the 7 lakes road (2+ pax), per vehicle, one way $300
2019 Transfer from/to Chapelco, per vehicle, one way $70
2019 Fishing permit, per day ~
- to be paid locally
$35
2019 Single rooms available at no additional charge $0

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 01/01 - 03/31 8d / 7n 8 days ranch, AP 2 /12 Reserve
A 2019 09/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 days ranch, AP 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: Arrival can be any day of the week on availability.
Pack trip available from December to February.

Rates do not include:

Travel or medical insurance and gratuities. Sleeping bag for pack trip.
Fishing permit: around USD25 per day
Fishing guide: US$500 per day. A guide can take 1 or 2 fishermen. This can include floating and / or wading and includes fishing at the estanica or on other local rivers.

Other Info
Meeting: San Martinde los Andes - Chaleco
Airport: Chapelco (CPC) San Martin or Bariloche (BRC)
Transfer: Chapelco - San Martin de los Andes/Bariloche

Climate:
                                    San Carlos de Bariloche area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

75

75

70

60

52

47

46

49

54

61

66

71

Average Low Temperature (°F)

46

45

41

36

34

32

30

31

33

36

40

44

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

24

21

16

11

8

8

9

12

16

19

22

Average Low Temperature (°C)

8

7

5

2

1

0

-1

-1

0

2

4

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

3

2

4

6

10

11

12

11

6

6

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons


Summer
In summer, days are warm and sunny and nights are cool. During the day temperature may vary from 9ºC to 27ºC, which means you can fully enjoy outdoor activities, including beach activities on the shores of the lakes. Scarce winds mainly from the SW and few rainy days. Due to its latitude, daylight extends up to 10 p.m.

Fall
During fall, days are mild-cool and nights are cold. During the day, temperatures may vary between 4ºC and 13ºC. This is the rainiest season and in general, with gentle rains during the night.

Winter
Winter sees cold days with snowfalls in the surrounding mountains, which do not affect traffic in the town. During the day, temperatures range between 1ºC and 10ºC.
 
Spring
Days are still cool and nights cold in springtime. Days become longer and longer and temperatures rise gradually during the day, reaching marks between 7ºC and 20ºC by the end of the season.

The rainy season is from March to December and the dry season is during the summer. It rains around 1500 mm per year. The rains fall mainly on the cordillera. Precipitation may be rain in fall and spring and snow in winter, depending on the altitude.

As we are at 700m and higher, it always cools down at night. It rarely rains - however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate rain gear. It is possible to experience all four season in one single day, so the best way to always dress is in layers. We suggest guests come prepared for all eventualities and as a word of warning, the sun is very strong here and we recommend wearing factor 50 sun cream and having a hat. Dress is always casual.

Please be aware that on the treks we climb to an even higher altitude, so the temperatures will continue to drop, especially at night!

What To Bring:
In the summer months the weather is generally hot and dry during the day with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. C... It rarely rains - however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate raingear. It is strongly recommended that you should bring your own riding helmet although we can lend if necessary.

The best way to dress is in layers - a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly), and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain.
Trousers should be comfortable for riding - jodhpurs, jeans, etc.
Footwear that is SAFE for riding, we can provide half-chaps.
Swimwear.
Protection against the sun, which is very strong. Sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).
Dress is always casual. There is a laundry service at Huechahue.

Whilst on the pack trips we provide tents.
Each guest is provided with a set of saddle bags for their personal possessions - change of clothes, toiletries, camera etc. Jackets and pullovers can be tied to the back of the saddle.

Detailed list:
- Good 4 season sleeping bag.
- A complete change of clothes.
- A light pair of shoes, eg. plimsolls - for when you want to take your boots off.
- A set of thermal underwear - a light way of carrying extra warmth, hopefully unnecessary.
- Rain gear – jacket and trousers.
- A small flashlight.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR

Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Riding boots (short) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pajamas

Bag for dirty clothes

Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes

Swimsuit

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for an emergency)

Sewing kit

Torch/ Flashlight

Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and extra film or batteries

Belt pack

Address book and pen (for postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun protection lotion and lip balm