Estancia El Condor
Lago San Martin, Argentina
At a Glance
You don't get much more authentic than this
A long journey to get there but you will be rewarded by the spellbinding Patagonian scenery
Totally off the beaten track. Explore the wilderness on foot or on horse back
Experience authentic Argentinean hospitality
Enjoy delicious home cooked food
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
November to April brings the best weather, downpours are rare, and there’s usually enough sun to get fabulous photographs of the ice, with bright sunshine most days. In March and April, Autumn colours are spectacular, as the lenga on upper slopes of the mountains turns scarlet. The majority of the region is closed for winter June to September, when weather makes the area very inhospitable. Bear in mind, though, that weather in Patagonia is completely unpredictable, since the winds coming over the Andes, are constantly changing. 4x4 vehicles are recommended for the transfers.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Estancia El Condor or take a look at our itineraries to Southern Patagonia
Estancia El Condor is a historic property with a spectacular setting on Lago San Martín in Argentina's Patagonia region. El Condor has access to condor nesting sites and is surrounded by some of the most hauntingly beautiful scenery in the Andes.
Estancia El Condor has one of the most spellbinding locations in South America, on a sheltered arm of Lake San Martín, around a 5-hour drive from El Calafate. Getting here is a real highlight as you cross increasingly arid steppe past remote estancias, guanacos and shimmering jade-coloured lakes deep into the southern Andes.
El Condor is a truly authentic small estancia that gives guests a feeling of old Patagonia. The estancia keeps its own horses and a few sheep, and the extensive lands run all the way to the Chilean border.
Rooms are very simple but comfortable and the food is quite delicious. You will be treated as one of the family, with meals served by the open fire in the dining room. A small library with books on the culture and natural history of the region is kept.
Majestic mountains, lakes, ponds, native forest and canyons provide the ideal backdrop for some superlative walking and riding, including a memorable hike to a condor nesting site. This is a paradise for photographers, and a slice of Patagonia at its wildest.
The main house at El Condor has three twin rooms, two double rooms and one quadruple room, each with a private bathroom. The rooms are furnished in a simple yet cosy style.
Children are welcomed at Estancia El Condor, but ideally need to be older to fully enjoy the activities on offer. There are no specific facilities available for children.
Facilities at the estancia include a library where can relax over a good book and a dining room serving authentic Patagonian cuisine. Electricity is from a generator, which is turned on around breakfast and in the evening. During the estancia it is warmed by the fireplaces.
There is excellent horse riding and trekking from Estancia El Condor, taking you through breathtaking scenery, with picturesque cascades, rivers, beautiful beech forests and turquoise lagoons. There are rides and treks suitable for all levels. Guests can also enjoy trout and salmon fishing in the rivers and bays. Hiking, riding and sport fishing are offered as one day activities or as longer excursions of up to 4 days.
Mark Beken (Staff)
This is one of my favourite places in the world, so maybe I am a little biased! Estancia El Condor in many ways is not a typical Scott Dunn property, but if you don't mind the simplicity of the accommodation - it is clean and comfortable however - you are in for a real treat. The journey there is one of the highlights and will give you an incredible sense of just how wild and remote this part of Patagonia is. The estancia itself is an authentic historic farm in a spellbinding location on the shores of Lago San Martin, and the welcome you will receive will make you glow. Nico and Ellen run the place and are utterly charming, and the home-cooked food is superb. While on a walk to a condor-nesting site, Nico and I found wild morel mushrooms growing, which we gathered and had prepared for us that evening for dinner. It's a place to get away from the world, experience scenery the equal of anything on the continent by foot or on horseback, and in the evening sit around the fire and hear tall tales of the first Patagonian settlers. This is the real deal, and Bruce Chatwin would have felt very much at home.
Location & directions
Lago San Martin, Argentina
Estancia El Condor is located amid rivers and native beech forests on the banks of Lake San Martín in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz.
How to get there
3-hour 30-minute flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate followed by a 4-hour transfer on sealed and dirt roads to Estancia El Condor.