Estancia Huechahue is a family-run 15000-acre ranch, located in the foothills of the Argentinean Andes, 45 miles east of San Martin de Los Andes. With your host Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentine family, enjoy the best of Argentine hospitality and experience life on a working farm in Northern Patagonia.
Huechahue accommodates guests in eight cosy en suite bedrooms, although you can camp out on longer rides. Itineraries are tailored to each group’s individual interests and experience and may focus on one activity or a combination. The riding takes you into the breathtaking Patagonian wilderness, through streams running along narrow gorges and across vast expanses of water meadow. Visit ancient Indian burial caves with their fascinating primitive drawings and watch condors soaring on the thermals, armadillo scuttling between the rocks and guanaco and red deer grazing on the plains.
Ride out daily from the estancia, coordinate with one of the pack trip departures into the Lanin National Park or combine the two. Jane also organises long treks (11 - 12 days fixed departures) crossing the Andes into Chile, for experienced riders only. The gauchos who accompany the rides prepare succulent asados, a traditional Argentinean barbecue. Riders may also work the cattle with the gauchos. Other activities include trout fishing, swimming, tennis, exploring the history of the Mapuche Indians, rafting, bird watching and hiking.
Accommodation at Huechahue comprises 3 wooden cabins with 8 simple yet homely ensuite bedrooms, with charming wood furnishings. Each cabin has a cosy communal sitting area with wood fire and a veranda with views to the orchards.
Estancia Huechahue generally only takes children over the age of 16 although will sometimes take younger children if part of a family group. There are no formal facilities for children.
The main lodge at Huechahue has a cosy lounge area with large leather sofas and log fires, perfect for relaxing after a day out in the fresh air. Meals are taken at a communal dining area and feature delicious home made and home grown products from the estancia, including eggs straight from the chicken run, preserves made with fruits from the orchard and mouthwatering home reared beef. Outside in the grounds there is also a sauna, plunge pool, hot tub and tennis court.
There is a big emphasis on riding at Huechahue, with vast areas of spectacular scenery to be discovered from the saddle. You don't need to be an experienced rider though as the estancia caters for all levels of ability and confidence, right from beginners upwards. For something different other activities on offer include rafting, walking, bird watching and hunting. There is also excellent fishing as the estancia is set on the River Alumine which is home to brown trout and river trout.
When to travel
The Lake District is beautiful in spring (October) and autumn (March) and fresher in these months than during the height of summer. Between October and April is the best time to visit, although skiing is good from July to September. Winter is usually pretty mild.
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Location and directions
Near Junin de los Andes, Argentina
Huechahue is located in northern Patagonia in the foot hills of the Andes, 70km east of San Martin de los Andes and 30km east of Junin de los Andes.
How to get there
13-hour 40-minute flight to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, from there you can fly to either, San Carlos de Bariloche or Chapelco Airport. Estancia Huechahue is 40-minutes by road from Chapelco or 2-hours from Bariloche Airport.