Horseback riding in Northern Patagonia, Argentina

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- Estancia Getaway - San Martin
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Estancia Getaway - San Martin


Itinerary for Estancia Getaway - San Martin



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.
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Estancia Getaway - San Martin
Tour Code: IT-ARRT04
8 days / 7 nights ~$3,250.00
Dates : Sept to April

Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation


Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 01/01 - 03/31 8d / 7n 8 days ranch stay, AP 2 /12 Reserve
B 2020 01/01 - 03/31 8d / 7n 8 days ranch + pack trip, AP 2 /12 Reserve
C 2020 10/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 days ranch stay, AP (Oct 2... 2 /12 Reserve
Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Hunting Week
Tack: Chilean-type saddle with a sheepskin o...
Horses: Criollo crosses, bred on the Estancia....
Pace: Very flexible to rider's needs from 2 ...

Airport: Chapelco (CPC) San Martin or Bariloche (BRC)
Location on Google Map
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Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
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