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Estancia Cristina

Estancia Cristina is still as remote and wild a place today as it was for the Masters family, English immigrants who founded the Patagonia Estancia back in 1914 and lived there until 1997 when the last remaining family member passed away. Only accessible via a 3-hour boat trip from El Calafate, it sits smack in the middle of 3,000 square miles of rugged Patagonian wilderness that encompasses present day “Los Glaciares National Park”, Argentina’s largest.

Spread among 5 charming houses, Estancia Cristina offers 20 individual guest rooms, each with dramatic views towards Cerro Norte, draped in hanging glaciers. Days are filled with guided hikes and 4x4 excursions to explore the Upsala Glacier, canyons full of prehistoric fossils, the dramatic viewpoint atop Cerro Carnero or the roaring Cascada del los Perros. Gauchos look after a stable of around 40 horses which are a joy to ride up and down the Caterina River valley, where fisherman can take their chance at the gigantic Chinook that spawn here yearly. An incredible museum on the Estancia showcases the rich history of Estancia Cristina and the story of the Masters’ family love affair with the valley, a must experience for any visitor to bring a special appreciation for the remoteness of this location. In the evening, guests gather in the “Octogano” or common building, to sip Malbecs by the fire and pour over maps of tomorrow’s adventures before devouring Argentine steaks grilled to perfection and fresh vegetables from the gardens. Only open from October to April, days at Estancia Cristina seem never-ending, in a good way, with close to 17 hours of daylight at this extreme Southern latitude. Tucking into a cozy bed at 11:30pm, listening to the fierce Patagonian wind rage outside, and watching lenticular clouds over the peaks turn red at sunset is an unforgettable Patagonia experience.


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