This trip invite you to visit three of the most authentic estancias of southern Patagonia : Helsingfors and Alta Vista in Argentina, Cerro Guido in Chile.
DAY 1 : BUENOS AIRES
Description: one of our drivers will greet you at Ezeiza airport (Pistarini) and take you to your hotel to settle in. You’ll then receive a detailed briefing around a map with one of our Operation Representatives. You’ll spend the afternoon with your porteño guide in Buenos Aires. The Vitrum Boutique Hotel is located in the neighborhood of Palermo. Different historical interest sites on foot: Plaza de Mayo, Puerto Madero… In the old city port, numerous restaurants and lofts are gathered around mirrors of water and a pleasant pedestrian walkway, surrounded by red brick docks which were refurbished at the beginning of the 90s. It is also interesting to visit the National Immigration Museum. It used to be a hotel which, between 1911 and 1920, temporarily housed the newly arrived immigrants when they came off the transatlantic ships. Lunch: not included (many options in downtown). Dinner: not included (many options in Puerto Madero) Accommodation: Vitrum Boutique Hotel.
DAY 2 : BUENOS AIRES / EL CALAFATE / ESTANCIA HELSINGFORS
Description: you will be driven from the hotel to the airport where you will catch a 3 hour flight and meet your guide in El Calafate. Staff from the Estancia Helsingfors will be waiting at the airport to take you to the estancia, located on the shores of Lake Viedma, in Los Glaciares National Park in the province of Santa Cruz. This luxurious property is completely off the beaten track, away from the typical tourist trails, and has its own lake and glacier: the Viedma, one of the two major glaciers (80 km long, 575 square km) among the 200 that make up the Patagonia Ice Fields. The estancia faces one of the most beautiful granite pillars of Patagonia: Fitz Roy. It has only 8 rooms and a restaurant with a gourmet menu which varies from meal to meal. Note: there is no TV or cellphone signal. The estancia does have telephone and Wi-fi Internet. Distances: 160 km between the airport and the estancia, half of it on dirt roads. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia Helsingfors.
DAY 3 : ESTANCIA HELSINGFORS
Description: a full day of optional activities. Note: all the excursions are included in the price. Choose between: Option 1: sailing on Lake Viedma (4 to 5 hours). After navigating just 40 minutes from the estancia, you’ll find yourself under the tongue of the Viedma Glacier, originated in the continental ice field. From the zodiac you’ll see the detachment of the ice which then gives birth to icebergs. You’ll disembark on solid ground and head towards the glacier, enjoying the blues and indigos of the eternal ice. You will live a unique experience entering the caves on the border of the glacier itself. Option 2: Trekking (5 hours 30 min) or horseback riding (4 hours 30 min) to the Blue Lake. On foot or by horse, your will head away from Lake Viedma and Mt Fitz Roy and go into a typical Patagonia Andean forest. After a long ascent, you’ll find a landscape framed by snowy peaks and an icy river that flows into the waters of the Blue Lake. An ideal site for bird and local wildlife watching. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia Helsingfors.
DAY 4 : ESTANCIA HELSINGFORS
Description: you go out for a day ofsailing and trekking to Del Morro Lake (6 to 7 hours): after sailing along one of the branches of Lake Viedma – which penetrates the Andean Range – you will be able to access Del Morro Lake, a crystal-clear mirror of water which reflects the emerald green of the surrounding forests. A landscape filled with peace and quiet. An ideal place to enjoy trout fishing (the estancia will provide basic equipment). Lunch, dinner and accomodation : Estancia Helsingfors.
DAY 5 : ESTANCIA HELSINGFORS / GLACIER PERITO MORENO / LA ANITA
Description: trekking (4 hours) to the Estancia Los Hermanos. Heading east, you’ll cross Alfredo River and, stopping at a steep rocky formation, you’ll enjoy an impressive view over Lake Viedma. 45 minutes later, you will arrive at the Estancia Los Hermanos, where you’ll be able to visit the sheep clipping barn, meet gauchos and get to know the vegetable garden that produces the delicacies served at Helsingfors. You will be immersed in an authentic, fully-functioning Patagonian estancia, away from everything and everyone. On the afternoon, you go back to El Calafate from where you join the second estancia of your trip : La Anita. Distance : 180 km from Helsingfors to Calafate and 33 km from Calafate to La Anita. Lunch : pic-nic from estancia Helsingfors. Diner and night : Hostería Alta Vista, Estancia La Anita.
DAY 6 : ESTANCIA LA ANITA
Description: your first day in the estancia La Anita let you discover the biggest cattle farm of the region, with 22.000 sheeps over 74.000 hectare. This estancia benefits as well of the gastronomical services of the hostería Alta Vista, where you can taste specialities like cordero al palo. With only 7 rooms and an authentic Patagonian style, it offers a great experience at the end of the world. Lunch : pic-nic from estancia or lunch at Alta Vista. Dinner and accomodation : Hostería Alta Vista, Estancia La Anita.
DAY 7 : ESTANCIA LA ANITA
Description: Estancia LaAnita has an exceptional geographic location, due to its proximity to the Andes, the Lago Argentino and the Perito Moreno Glacier. This part of Patagonia offers stunning landscapes, from infinite steppe to glacial lakes and gleaming white glaciers. The horse rides are numerous. With your host, you can start with a tour of the property and the barns ready for sheep shearing, before you escape to discover the wilderness around. Continuing towards the heights of the estancia, you discover a spectacular view over the valley of La Anita, Lake Argentino, the Centinela Valley and on the horizon, the Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy mountains. Lunch : pic-nic from the estancia or lunch at Alta Vista. Dinner and accomodation : Hostería Alta Vista, Estancia La Anita.
DAY 8 : ESTANCIA LA ANITA / GLACIER PERITO MORENO
Description: you go discover the famous Perito Moreno Glacier . We suggest you to gradually discover the glacier hiking a trail along the Tempanos canal before going for the traditional route bridges. Since the Bajo las Sombras port, you can make a boat trip of one hour that takes you under the south wall of the glacier. Back at La Anita, after lunch we recommend you to continue your adventure on horse riding. Your host tells you the history of the estancia, built in 1930, and his ancestors, these pioneers who settled in these areas a very long time ago, fleeing poverty in Europe to build a future. Be sure to browse the property and interact with the gauchos, who will tell you their daily lives. These meetings are without any doubt the real wealth of the stay. Distance : 48 km from La Anita to passerelles. Lunch : pic-nic from estancia or lunch at Alta Vista. Dinner and accomodation : Hostería Alta Vista, Estancia La Anita.
DAY 9 : ESTANCIA LA ANITA / CERRO CASTILLO - CHILI / ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO
Description: after breakfast, you will travel to Chile through Esperanza, at the heart of the Santa Cruz province, and through the border post at Mt. Castillo. You change cars at the border and new chilean driver and guide takes you to the Estancia Cerro Guido. This estancia whose main activity is the raising of cattle and sheep is located along the mythical Torres del Paine Park . It is in this imposing landscape that you immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Chilean Patagonia. The ranch consists of about twenty buildings: the administration building, the houses of the gauchos, the bakery, the kitchen, the public school, the shearing shed , the ironworks shop, dairy farm, the stables and sheep pens, the quincho… for barbecues and the mansion where guests can stay. The Estancia Las Chinas, located 35km away has 4 guest bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and all the comforts of a luxurious home. Guests can choose from a range of farming or horse riding excursions around the estancia. Distance : 368 km from La Anita to the lodge Cerro Guido. Lunch : libre (possibilité à Esperanza ou à Cerro Castillo). Dinner and accomodation : Estancia Cerro Guido (dinner not included).
DAY 10 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO / PARC TORRES DEL PAINE
Description: your driver-guide will pick you up and you’ll begin an excursion to Torres del Paine Park, which you will access through the Amarga Lake area. You will begin with the Towers, progressively discovering the Horns and the Frenchman’s Glacier. We also suggest visiting Lake Grey, which you will reach at noon to have a 45-min (2.2 km) walk to the far end of the peninsula. On the way back, on the north end of Lake Pehoé, you will walk for 10 min to reach «Salto Grande», a huge waterfall framed by the Horns and its surprising skin-colored rocky pillar. Distances: 32 km from Cerro Guido to the Park entrance. Sixty km to Grey Lodge. Lunch: Lake Grey Lodge restaurant. Dinner and accommodation: Estancia Cerro Guido (dinner not included).
DAY 11 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO
Description: you will have a free day to enjoy the activities the lodge has to offer. Horseback rides facing Torres del Paine (2 to 5 hours) or get involved in typical estancia activities: from November 1st -10th, sheep clipping (12,000 head of cattle); from November 20th to December 10th, branding and tail clipping of 30,000 lambs and 35,000 sheep; from December 1st-24th, sheep clipping (35,000); from January 2nd-4th, branding and trail herding of 500 calves and 700 cows, from January 15th-20th, sheep trail herding. Lunch: not included (a picnic may be ordered the night before at the estancia). Accomodation: Estancia Cerro Guido (dinner not included).
DAY 12 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO / EL CALAFATE / BUENOS AIRES
Description: after a final breakfast in Chile, you will head back to El Calafate through the Mt Castillo border post. Your Chilean driver-guide will accompany you to El Calafate airport. A driver will be waiting in Buenos Aires to take you to your hotel. Distances: 364 km. / 4 hours 30 min to El Calafate airport, passing through the Mt Castillo border post. Lunch and dinner: not included. Accommodation: Design Ce Hotel.
DAY 13 : BUENOS AIRES
Description: your porteño guide will pick you up to tour San Telmo on foot. Old houses, cobbled streets, tango… San Telmo is a place of charm and character. It is currently highly appreciated by intellectuals and artists, who refurbish old buildings to set up their studios. Tango lovers will find here the city’s highest concentration of shows. At the southern end of the neighborhood, heading towards La Boca, stands Lezama Park, home to endless games of dominoes, the National Historic Museum and the beautiful blue domes of the Orthodox Russian Church, finished in 1904 and financed by the Czar himself. You may spend the afternoon touring La Boca, characterized by its small multicolored houses, built with materials recovered from ships and source of inspiration for poets and painters. Lunch: not included. Dinner show option: at the Esquina Carlos Gardel or Complejo Tango, VIP table (see below). If you’ve chosen this option, your driver will pick you up at 7.45 to drive you to Esquina Carlos Gardel. After the performance, you’ll be driven to the hotel or any other place you might like to visit. Accommodation: Design Ce Hotel.
DAY 14 : BUENOS AIRES / VOL
Description: before you depart for the airport, you may devote the day to discovering Buenos Aires, or simply going shopping. The leather-goods and gaucho articles shops offer quite original products. The city tour goes through 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world with its 65 meter (213 feet) obelisk and Avenida de Mayo, which is well known for its buildings of Galician architectural influence. At Plaza de Mayo you will discover the Casa Rosada, the president’s HQ. You will then visit La Boca neighborhood, with its colorful houses made with materials recovered from ships, inspiration for painters and poets. You then discover San Telmo, home to antique shops and traditional tango bars. Recoleta is a traditional residential neighborhood, where walking is a true pleasure due to its numerous parks and squares. To end the tour, you’ll visit Puerto Madero, the old city port which has recently been completely refurbished. Option:flight over Buenos Aires in a private helicopter. Get an unforgettable panoramic view of Buenos Aires from 200 m in the air, 30-to-45-min tour, covering around 100km. Lunch: not included. Dinner and night: on the plane.