You are here Home Fishing Argentina - Estancia Huechahue

Argentina - Estancia Huechahue

Argentina, South America
Item image


    Estancia Huechahue summary

    Estancia Huechahue covers fifteen thousand square acres in the foothills of the Andes and lies a thousand miles south of Buenos Aires, forty-five miles east of San Martine de los Andes and one hundred and twenty miles northeast from Bariloche. Huechahue is privately owned and managed by Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentinean family.

    Activities at Huechahue revolve around horses, and include exploring the vast and remote landscape, as well as helping the gauchos in their daily work with the property’s 350 head of Hereford cattle.  Guests can remain based at Huechahue and ride daily from the estancia, or assist with taking cattle out to their summer pastures in November, or with bringing them back to the estancia in March – a long trek with the nights spent under canvas. During November and April we have daily rides based on the Estancia.  The Condors are particularly spectacular during these months and there are more interesting, varied and fun horse and cattle work to be done than in the summer. Whilst our programs depend very much on our guests – how much riding experience they have, how long they wish to ride each day and the time of year they visit. The condors are best in September, October, November, March and April; lunches on the river with swimming are best in January in February. There is also superb fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout on the Alumine River. Guests can either choose to take a guide or fish on the river on their own. Many guests mix fishing and riding, while others go to experience a working estancia and neither fish nor ride but enjoy long walks, birdwatching, and gentle rafting round the Chimehuin river.

    Guests could also experience the five day ‘Estancia to Estancia’ ride, which departs and returns to Estancia Huechahu. It is an ideal way to experience great riding, hospitality and the chance to understand the history of the region and the people who settled it.

    Estancia Huechahue also offers an exciting trans Andean ride into Chile for up to 12 riders, with accommodation in tents transported by four wheel drive vehicles, or by packhorses for the remotest stretch of the ride. This challenging ride is only suitable for experienced riders able to spend long hours in the saddle.


    Wild and Exotic Estancia Huechahue sample itinerary and fact sheet

    During November and April we have daily rides based on the Estancia.  The Condors are particularly spectacular during these months and there are more interesting, varied and fun horse and cattle work to be done than in the summer. Whilst our programs depend very much on our guests – how much riding experience they have, how long they wish to ride each day and the time of year they visit. The condors are best in September, October, November, March and April; lunches on the river with swimming are best in January in February. Below is a sample of a weeks’ riding with us, and although the duration of your stay is your choice, we recommend a minimum of three nights.

    Day 1: We will meet you at Chapelco airport, San Martin de los Andes and drive you to Estancia Huechahue (approx. 30 mins). After lunch there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses and tack and the way we ride.

    Day 2: A full days ride on Estancia Huechahue 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.

    Day 3: A day spent working cattle with the gauchos.  Lunch with the gauchos is strips of beef ribs threaded onto a stick and cooked over the open fire. A siesta in the shade and a chance to separate the cows on horseback or try your hand with a lasso.

    Day 4: A full days ride on Estancia Huechahue to visit 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.

    Day 5:  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.

    Day 6: A days ride through the neighbouring Indian reservation. Our saddle rugs and saddle bags are woven by some of the Indian women and the skins from the cows we butcher are worked into rawhide and then bridles and halters by the men. We will pass by to see what progress is being made and to share a “mate” on our way through.

    Day 7: A full days ride to a different part of the Estancia. There are 15,000 acres in all so there is still plenty left to explore. Lunch will be on the river. On the way home a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar and “peludos” – the baby armadillo.

    Day 8: A farewell ride on Huechahue before transferring to the airport

    Prices on application include all accommodation, food, beverages (including wine, beer and spirits), transport and activities from meeting guests at Chapelco Airport, San Martin de los Andes to return to the airport at the end of the stay. Bariloche transfers can be arranged, and are included in the price for stays of five nights or more, or groups of four or more, or please ask for the current rates

    All the fishing on the Estancia is included, however, if guests want the services of a professional guide or wish to fish some of the other local rivers there are extra charges.

    Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which will be enclosed with your booking form.

    Fact sheet

    Estancia Huechahue covers fifteen thousand square acres in the foothills of the Andes- sometimes known as the Patagonian steppes – and lies a thousand miles south of Buenos Aires, forty-five miles east of San Martine de los Andes and one hundred and twenty miles northeast from Bariloche. Huechahue is a privately owned and managed by Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentinean family. Activities at Huechahue revolve around horses, and include exploring the vast and exciting landscape, as well as helping the gauchos in their daily work with the property’s 350 head of Hereford cattle. The centrepiece of a stay at Huechahue normally involves a camping expedition with packhorses into the dramatic scenery of Lanin National Park. These trips are from 3 – 5 days duration, during which time you are unlike to see another soul except for your companions on the ride. Another popular activity at Huechahue is to assist with taking cattle out to their summer pastures in November, or with bringing them back to the estancia in March, a long trek with the nights spent under canvas. There is also superb fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout on the Alumine River.

    Accommodation: At the Estancia this is very comfortable, and comprises three guesthouses, with a total of 8 twin / double bedded rooms with private bathrooms. Guests sleep in two-man tents on camping expeditions, and good quality down sleeping bags are provided. Camp staff arrange all preparation of tents and meals, and also look after the horses. Whilst on pack trips, you stay in two-man tents and good quality down sleeping bags are provided. The camp staff arranges all the setting up of camp, cooking and care of the horses.

    Activities: These include horse-riding, bird watching, fishing, river activities (rafting and swimming), walking, tennis (there is a court near the house) and hunting. The estancia lies on the Alumine River, with healthy populations of wild brown and rainbow trout up to about 5lbs in weight. The season extends from November until April. Rods between 8 ft. and 9 ft. 6ins for 5 to 8 lines with sinking, wet or floating tip are recommended, as are chest waders. Flies suitable for fishing in Montana work well, such as woolly worm, woolly bugger, hare’s ear, and a selection of nymphs. If you wish to catch supper on the pack trips it is best to take a smuggler type rod, as it is difficult to transport long rods through dense forests without damaging them. There are some rods available for guests to borrow. The fishing is free for guests at Huechahue, but qualified and experienced guides can be organised for an extra charge.  No supplemental stocking of hatchery fish is done. One to three pound trout are common and there are reasonable numbers of three to five pounders.

    There is mostly wet, but some dry fly fishing. The fishing is on a catch and release basis. The season runs from mid-November to mid-April. The Estancia is a working cattle ranch, very different from its origins as an Indian battleground – which is the meaning of the Indian word Huechahue. But there is still plenty of evidence of the Indian past to explore on horseback or on foot. As well as enjoying the wealth of visitor activities, guests are always welcome to join in with the everyday ranching if they wish; many guests find the self-sufficiency of the estancia fascinating.

    Children: We will accept children on the estancia, but they must be competent riders.  There are no discounts for children.

    Clothing list: Best way to dress is in layers; a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly), and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain. Trousers should be comfortable for riding such as jodhpurs, jeans with chaps etc. Please bring a bathing costume or swimming trunks and footwear that is safe for riding. There are some half-chaps available to borrow, and warm and waterproof ponchos are also provided to all guests. Dress is always casual. There is a free same day laundry service at Huechahue. (Although we ask that you take laundry charges elsewhere into account when you come to tip the staff).

    Drinks: All alcohol is included in the price, and we take plentiful supplies of wine on the camping expeditions.

    How to get there: There are daily flights to Buenos Aires from London Gatwick with Aerolineas Argentinas, and from there regular flights to Chapelco airport at San Martine de Los Andes which has five flights a week from Buenos Aires (daily flights Dec. to March). Transfer (1/2 hour) to and from Chapelco is included in the daily rate. Alternatively guests can fly to Bariloche, however collection from that airport does incur an extra charge, and the drive is at least two and a half hours long.

    Inclusions / exclusions from the rates: The rate includes all accommodation, food, beverages (including wine, beer and spirits) and activities. Transport to and from San Martin de los Andes is included. All the fishing on the Estancia is included, however if guests want the services of a professional guide or wish to fish some of the other local rivers there are substantial extra charges. The rate does not include travel or medical insurance (guests should ensure that they have adequate insurance), or gratuities (about 7 to 10% is suggested as a fair rate).

    Insurance: Whilst we carry public liability insurance and take all possible care we strongly advise you to have full medical and holiday insurance. Wild & Exotic can arrange this if instructed.

    Length of rides: 4 – 6 hours in the saddle.

    Meals: Full breakfasts comprising fruit, porridge, bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes and fresh bread are served every morning at the estancia. On pack trips staff prepare meals over the campfire, and we normally break for long and delicious lunches. A feature of rides from the estancia is the traditional barbeque lunches we serve, whole sheep or ribs of succulent beef roasted asado style in front of a fire. Dinner at the estancia is three courses of fresh ingredients, all the food and produce is home grown.

    Medical and safety: A medical kit is on hand at the estancia, and also accompanies all pack trip journeys. Guests must protect themselves against the sun, which can be very strong. Sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).

    Pack trips: These trips are organised inside the boundaries of Lanin National Park in the heart of the Andes and are between three and five days long. A minimum of four riders are needed for a pack-trip to run. You are required to have at least one day’s riding on the estancia before leaving on a trek to ensure that you are happy with your horse, comfortable in your saddle and that the planned trek is one that you will enjoy.

    You ride through dense beech forests and bamboo thickets. From the tops of the ridges there are breath-taking views, in the valleys there are tumbling streams and undiscovered lakes. You ride through forests of the only indigenous Monkey Puzzle trees of the world and across lunar landscapes of black volcanic ash, a legacy of the recent volcanic activity in the area. The snow-capped volcano “Lanin” dominates the entire area. Nights are spent under canvas in a remote and inaccessible landscape – the only way in and out is on foot, or by horseback, and all the supplies needed for the duration of the trip are carried by the packhorses that accompany the ride, including food, tents, and sleeping bags. Days are spent riding and exploring the sublime landscape.  Guests are provided with saddlebags for their personal possessions, which should include a change of clothing, bathing costume, wash bag (we provide small towels) and a small torch, toiletries, camera etc. Jackets and pullovers can be tied to the back of the saddle.

    Riding ability: Riding programmes are suitable for all standards of rider, from expert to novice. For those that wish, there is plenty of opportunity for challenging riding.  You may choose to ride out every day from the Estancia or to co-ordinate your stay with one of the planned pack-trip departures into the fantastic Lanin National Park or to combine both in your stay.

    Riding out from the Estancia, you can ride through barren rolling hills and along the narrow rocky gorges of the Andean streams. You can ride to the tops of the hills where the mighty Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Watch condors and eagles as they float high above you. Gallop across water meadows or visit the Indian burial caves where Indian drawings can still be seen on the walls.

    Or try your hand at working cattle with the gauchos. The amount and type of work with the cattle will depend on the season – in November and December there are the spring round ups and you may help the gauchos move the cattle to their summer grazing and again in April, help bring them home for the winter. You might also ride through the neighbouring Indian reservation, most of the tack is made on the reservations from rawhide produced on the Estancia so there is usually some negotiating to be done.

    The riding program is tailored to the needs and abilities of those visiting the Estancia and is suitable for the expert horseman as well as the novice – providing you are reasonably fit and enjoy the outdoor life. There is scope for faster, more challenging riding when based at the Estancia.

    Season: The season for riding on the Estancia runs from early October to the end of April. However, groups of a minimum of 4 are also welcome at the Estancia during the months of August to October.

    Single supplement: Provided guests are prepared to share a tent on pack treks, there is no single supplement to apply. Otherwise there is a single person supplement of 25%.

    Size of the rides: Maximum of 12 guests. Most rides are led by your host and guide, Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentine family.

    Terrain: The riding at Huechahue is through endless rolling hills – a wide open landscape dissected by steep canyons and river valleys. On pack trips the rides passes through dense beech forests, bamboo thickets, stands of wild monkey puzzle trees and across open grassy plains. At some stage the ride traverses an extraordinary lunar landscapes of black volcanic ash, with stunning views to the snow capped peak of Lanin volcano in the distance. On these rides it may be necessary to tackle steep gradients, ford fast flowing mountain rivers, and cross areas of wet ground.

    Type of horses and tack: The horses are criollo crosses, part anglo-normando, about 15.2 hh. They are bred and trained on the estancia, are sure-footed and well schooled, especially responsive to neck reining and Western style riding tactics. The saddles used are “montura de monte”, which are similar to old English Army saddles with a sheepskin cover.

    Types of ride: Guests can choose from several options whist staying at Huechahue. You can ride out every day from the estancia, and also coincide your visit with one of the planned pack journeys into the beautiful Lanin National Park. When riding from the estancia guests are encouraged to assist the gauchos with their cattle work.

    Visas: UK citizens do not require a visa for entry into Argentina.

    Weather:  As we are in the southern hemisphere our summers fall during northern hemisphere winters. In the summer months the weather is generally hot and dry during the day, with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m, and on treks considerably higher, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. Celsius. It rarely rains, however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate rain gear just in case.

    Weight limit: Maximum weight is 200 lbs for a novice rider and 210 lbs for an advanced rider.

    Wildlife: The Estancia supports a healthy population of red deer, wild boar, rhea, guanaco, and armadillos. There is also a huge variety of birdlife, including back-necked swans, buff-chested ibis, plovers, eagles, vultures, burrowing parrots and magnificent Andean condors, which roost on the sheer cliff face thirty minutes ride form the estancia, and are often seen floating high up amongst the thermals. There is stalking for both red deer and wild boar in March and April, by prior arrangement through Wild and Exotic.

    .


    Wild and Exotic Estancia to Estancia ride from Huechahue sample itinerary and fact sheet

    Summary
    Junin and San Martin de los Andes were difficult to get to even by Patagonian standards – to the west were the high Andes and to the east a large desert.  The first European arrived in 1883, peace was made with the Indians in 1903 and the first settlers arrived in the early 1900’s.  They were well-educated, well traveled and worldly in their outlook – pioneers and adventurers who came from Europe looking for space to create new homes and enterprises for their families. We visit 3 estancias where today some of their children, grand children and great grand children live protected by the trees their ancestor planted. All are living, working estancias, the herds of sheep have been replaced with herds of Hereford cattle and now they are all beginning to take guests on their family estates; which are a tribute to the success of those pioneers who came to create homes for their families. Despite these gentle words – remember that in many ways this is still the Last Frontier – the riding is fast, the distances long, the rivers are large, the views are vast and days can be as adventurous as they were in the early 1900’s – but at the end of the day a hot bath will be waiting and the accommodation will be really comfortable.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: We will meet you at Chapelco airport, San Martin de los Andes and drive you to Estancia Huechahue (approx. 30 mins) the home of the Woods. After lunch there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses and tack and the way we ride. Night at Huechahue.

    Day 2: A full days ride on Estancia Huechahue 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. Night at Huechahue.

    Day 3: After breakfast we set out for Estancia Cerro de los Pinos, the house is 20 km away, but the riding is fast. We cross the ridge on the Mendana Estancia in front of Lanin Volcano before dropping down and crossing the Chimehuin River. The settlement is close to the river – enclosed by pines – the French Laminats planted more trees than even the Woods! Night at Cerro de los Pinos.

    Day 4: Time to leave Cerro de los Pinos and ride on to Estancia Collon Co, the home of the Fachts who came from Germany in 1900. Another 20 km ride across to the Quilquihue river and racing up the valleys to the settlement on the Collon Co stream to get there in time for dinner.

    Day 5: A day exploring Estancia Collon Co – a vast area of water meadows and rolling hills running right up to the Andes mountains. Their gauchos will be keen to show us their Hereford cattle. Night at Estancia Collon Co.

    Day 6: It’s too far to return to Huechahue in a day, so we will head for the town of Junin de los Andes and the Rio Dorado lodge. A long morning arriving in time for a late lunch thus giving the chance for exploring the town (which does not take long!) before dinner at “Fat Buamscha’s” . The Buamschas came to Junin at the same time as those pioneers came to their estancias, since then it has been a meeting place for fishermen, hunters and locals. It is known throughout the Argentine for it’s trout, “poached” venison and beef. Where did it come from? Cerro de los Pinos. Collon Co or Huechahue?

    Day 7: Our last day’s riding as we make our way back to Huechahue, this time we cross the River Chimehuin just outside Junin de los Andes and climb back up Mendana ridge, before racing along the ridge, huge views on either side. Possibly the longest day of all but the horses will be keen to get home. Night at Huechahue.

    Day 8: A farewell ride on Huechahue before transferring to the airport.

    Notes:

    The price of this 8 day / 7 night program in 2015 is from  £2625 per person.

    The price includes all accommodation and meals and transfers to and from the airport at San Martin de los Andes.

    It does not include flights, telephone calls, gratuities or massages and saunas at Cerro de los Pinos.

    There is a 25% single supplement. For anyone prepared to share there is no single supplement.

    Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which will be enclosed with your booking form.

    Estancia to Estancia ride fact sheet.

    Estancia Huechahue covers fifteen thousand square acres in the foothills of the Andes- sometimes known as the Patagonian steppes – and lies a thousand miles south of Buenos Aires, forty-five miles east of San Martine de los Andes and one hundred and twenty miles northeast from Bariloche. Huechahue is a privately owned and managed by Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentinean family. Activities at Huechahue revolve around horses, and include exploring the vast and exciting landscape, as well as helping the gauchos in their daily work with the property’s 350 head of Hereford cattle. The centrepiece of a stay at Huechahue normally involves a camping expedition with packhorses into the dramatic scenery of Lanin National Park. These trips are from 3 – 5 days duration, during which time you are unlike to see another soul except for your companions on the ride. Another popular activity at Huechahue is to assist with taking cattle out to their summer pastures in November, or with bringing them back to the estancia in March, a long trek with the nights spent under canvas. There is also superb fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout on the Alumine River.

    Accommodation: At the Estancia this is very comfortable, and comprises three guesthouses, with a total of 8 twin / double bedded rooms with private bathrooms. Guests sleep in two-man tents on camping expeditions, and good quality down sleeping bags are provided. Camp staff arrange all preparation of tents and meals, and also look after the horses. Whilst on pack trips, you stay in two-man tents and good quality down sleeping bags are provided. The camp staff arranges all the setting up of camp, cooking and care of the horses.

    Activities: These include horse-riding, bird watching, fishing, river activities (rafting and swimming), walking, tennis (there is a court near the house) and hunting. The estancia lies on the Alumine River, with healthy populations of wild brown and rainbow trout up to about 5lbs in weight. The season extends from November until April. Rods between 8 ft. and 9 ft. 6ins for 5 to 8 lines with sinking, wet or floating tip are recommended, as are chest waders. Flies suitable for fishing in Montana work well, such as woolly worm, woolly bugger, hare’s ear, and a selection of nymphs. If you wish to catch supper on the pack trips it is best to take a smuggler type rod, as it is difficult to transport long rods through dense forests without damaging them. There are some rods available for guests to borrow. The fishing is free for guests at Huechahue, but qualified and experienced guides can be organised for an extra charge.  No supplemental stocking of hatchery fish is done. One to three pound trout are common and there are reasonable numbers of three to five pounders.

    There is mostly wet, but some dry fly fishing. The fishing is on a catch and release basis. The season runs from mid-November to mid-April. The Estancia is a working cattle ranch, very different from its origins as an Indian battleground – which is the meaning of the Indian word Huechahue. But there is still plenty of evidence of the Indian past to explore on horseback or on foot. As well as enjoying the wealth of visitor activities, guests are always welcome to join in with the everyday ranching if they wish; many guests find the self-sufficiency of the estancia fascinating.

    Children: We will accept children on the estancia, but they must be competent riders.  There are no discounts for children.

    Clothing list: Best way to dress is in layers; a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly), and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain. Trousers should be comfortable for riding such as jodhpurs, jeans with chaps etc. Please bring a bathing costume or swimming trunks and footwear that is safe for riding. There are some half-chaps available to borrow, and warm and waterproof ponchos are also provided to all guests. Dress is always casual. There is a free same day laundry service at Huechahue. (Although we ask that you take laundry charges elsewhere into account when you come to tip the staff).

    Drinks: All alcohol is included in the price, and we take plentiful supplies of wine on the camping expeditions.

    How to get there: There are daily flights to Buenos Aires from London Gatwick with Aerolineas Argentinas, and from there regular flights to Chapelco airport at San Martine de Los Andes which has five flights a week from Buenos Aires (daily flights Dec. to March). Transfer (1/2 hour) to and from Chapelco is included in the daily rate. Alternatively guests can fly to Bariloche, however collection from that airport does incur an extra charge, and the drive is at least two and a half hours long.

    Inclusions / exclusions from the rates: The rate includes all accommodation, food, beverages (including wine, beer and spirits) and activities. Transport to and from San Martin de los Andes is included. All the fishing on the Estancia is included, however if guests want the services of a professional guide or wish to fish some of the other local rivers there are substantial extra charges. The rate does not include travel or medical insurance (guests should ensure that they have adequate insurance), or gratuities (about 7 to 10% is suggested as a fair rate).

    Insurance: Whilst we carry public liability insurance and take all possible care we strongly advise you to have full medical and holiday insurance. Wild & Exotic can arrange this if instructed.

    Length of rides: 4 – 6 hours in the saddle.

    Meals: Full breakfasts comprising fruit, porridge, bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes and fresh bread are served every morning at the estancia. On pack trips staff prepare meals over the campfire, and we normally break for long and delicious lunches. A feature of rides from the estancia is the traditional barbeque lunches we serve, whole sheep or ribs of succulent beef roasted asado style in front of a fire. Dinner at the estancia is three courses of fresh ingredients, all the food and produce is home grown.

    Medical and safety: A medical kit is on hand at the estancia, and also accompanies all pack trip journeys. Guests must protect themselves against the sun, which can be very strong. Sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).

    Pack trips: These trips are organised inside the boundaries of Lanin National Park in the heart of the Andes and are between three and five days long. A minimum of four riders are needed for a pack-trip to run. You are required to have at least one day’s riding on the estancia before leaving on a trek to ensure that you are happy with your horse, comfortable in your saddle and that the planned trek is one that you will enjoy.

    You ride through dense beech forests and bamboo thickets. From the tops of the ridges there are breath-taking views, in the valleys there are tumbling streams and undiscovered lakes. You ride through forests of the only indigenous Monkey Puzzle trees of the world and across lunar landscapes of black volcanic ash, a legacy of the recent volcanic activity in the area. The snow-capped volcano “Lanin” dominates the entire area. Nights are spent under canvas in a remote and inaccessible landscape – the only way in and out is on foot, or by horseback, and all the supplies needed for the duration of the trip are carried by the packhorses that accompany the ride, including food, tents, and sleeping bags. Days are spent riding and exploring the sublime landscape.  Guests are provided with saddlebags for their personal possessions, which should include a change of clothing, bathing costume, wash bag (we provide small towels) and a small torch, toiletries, camera etc. Jackets and pullovers can be tied to the back of the saddle.

    Riding ability: Riding programmes are suitable for all standards of rider, from expert to novice. For those that wish, there is plenty of opportunity for challenging riding.  You may choose to ride out every day from the Estancia or to co-ordinate your stay with one of the planned pack-trip departures into the fantastic Lanin National Park or to combine both in your stay.

    Riding out from the Estancia, you can ride through barren rolling hills and along the narrow rocky gorges of the Andean streams. You can ride to the tops of the hills where the mighty Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Watch condors and eagles as they float high above you. Gallop across water meadows or visit the Indian burial caves where Indian drawings can still be seen on the walls.

    Or try your hand at working cattle with the gauchos. The amount and type of work with the cattle will depend on the season – in November and December there are the spring round ups and you may help the gauchos move the cattle to their summer grazing and again in April, help bring them home for the winter. You might also ride through the neighbouring Indian reservation, most of the tack is made on the reservations from rawhide produced on the Estancia so there is usually some negotiating to be done.

    The riding program is tailored to the needs and abilities of those visiting the Estancia and is suitable for the expert horseman as well as the novice – providing you are reasonably fit and enjoy the outdoor life. There is scope for faster, more challenging riding when based at the Estancia.

    Season: The season for riding on the Estancia runs from early October to the end of April. However, groups of a minimum of 4 are also welcome at the Estancia during the months of August to October.

    Single supplement: Provided guests are prepared to share a tent on pack treks, there is no single supplement to apply. Otherwise there is a single person supplement of 25%.

    Size of the rides: Maximum of 12 guests. Most rides are led by your host and guide, Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentine family.

    Terrain: The riding at Huechahue is through endless rolling hills – a wide open landscape dissected by steep canyons and river valleys. On pack trips the rides passes through dense beech forests, bamboo thickets, stands of wild monkey puzzle trees and across open grassy plains. At some stage the ride traverses an extraordinary lunar landscapes of black volcanic ash, with stunning views to the snow capped peak of Lanin volcano in the distance. On these rides it may be necessary to tackle steep gradients, ford fast flowing mountain rivers, and cross areas of wet ground.

    Type of horses and tack: The horses are criollo crosses, part anglo-normando, about 15.2 hh. They are bred and trained on the estancia, are sure-footed and well schooled, especially responsive to neck reining and Western style riding tactics. The saddles used are “montura de monte”, which are similar to old English Army saddles with a sheepskin cover.

    Types of ride: Guests can choose from several options whist staying at Huechahue. You can ride out every day from the estancia, and also coincide your visit with one of the planned pack journeys into the beautiful Lanin National Park. When riding from the estancia guests are encouraged to assist the gauchos with their cattle work.

    Visas: UK citizens do not require a visa for entry into Argentina.

    Weather:  As we are in the southern hemisphere our summers fall during northern hemisphere winters. In the summer months the weather is generally hot and dry during the day, with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m, and on treks considerably higher, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. Celsius. It rarely rains, however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate rain gear just in case.

    Weight limit: Maximum weight is 200 lbs for a novice rider and 210 lbs for an advanced rider.

    Wildlife: The Estancia supports a healthy population of red deer, wild boar, rhea, guanaco, and armadillos. There is also a huge variety of birdlife, including back-necked swans, buff-chested ibis, plovers, eagles, vultures, burrowing parrots and magnificent Andean condors, which roost on the sheer cliff face thirty minutes ride form the estancia, and are often seen floating high up amongst the thermals. There is stalking for both red deer and wild boar in March and April, by prior arrangement through Wild and Exotic.


    Argentina to Chile ride sample itinerary

    This is an exciting trans Andean ride into Chile which starts at Estancia Huechahue in Argentina .

    Estancia Huechahue covers fifteen thousand square acres in the foothills of the Andes and lies a thousand miles south of Buenos Aires, forty-five miles east of San Martine de los Andes and one hundred and twenty miles northeast from Bariloche.

    Huechahue is a privately owned and managed by Jane Williams, who is British and married into an Argentinean family. Activities at Huechahue revolve around horses, and include exploring the vast and remote landscape, as well as helping the gauchos in their daily work with the property’s 350 head of Hereford cattle.  also offers an exciting on set departure dates, with accommodation in tents transported by four wheel drive vehicles, or by packhorses for the remotest stretch of the ride.

    This challenging ride is only suitable for experienced riders able to spend long hours in the saddle and runs on several set departures each year.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: You will be met at Chapelco airport, San Martin de los Andes and driven to Estancia Huechahue (approx. 30 mins.). After a late lunch there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses, the tack and the way we ride.

    Day 2: A full day’s ride on Estancia Huechahue 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.

    Day 3 to Day 6: Set out from Huechahue for Chile. The next 8 days will be spent crossing from the wide open spaces of Argentine Patagonia over the Andes to the thickly forested steep slopes of Chilean Patagonia.  From Huechahue you will ride for 4 days up into the Andes through the Andean Steppes, you will ford rivers, pass through Indian reservations, ride over ridges from where you think you can see the Atlantic and through magnificent rocky gorges, you will gallop across water meadows and race along sandy tracks. Nights will be spent camping beside rivers under the spectacular stars of the Southern hemisphere.

    Day 7: At lunchtime, at the base of Lanin Volcano in a forest of Monkey puzzle trees you will reach the Argentine / Chilean border, where our Chilean partners will be waiting for you. After immigration and customs formalities you will wave goodbye to Argentina and the horse that has carried you to here and you will start down the western slopes of the Andes on your Chilean mount.

    Day 8: Continue riding down through the magnificent Southern beech forests, with spectacular views of lakes and volcanoes. The western slopes of the Andes are much steeper, the terrain very different. Reaching the final campsite at picturesque Puente Barras, where Loth and Pamela’s families have been farming for generations.

    Day 9: There will be time for a final bathe before transferring back to Huechahue by road (about 3 hours).  After a late lunch there will be a ride on the estancia. By now you will have heard of many places and you will be able to choose what you would like to see most.

    Day 10: A farewell ride on Huechahue before transferring to the airport.

    Notes:

    The cost includes all accommodation, food and beverages and transport between Huechahue and San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco airport) and depends on the date of travel.

    The cost does not include international flights, medical insurance (guests should ensure that they have adequate insurance), or gratuities (about 7 to 10% is suggested as a fair rate), visas (if applicable) or items of a personal nature.

    There is a single supplement charge of 20% of the itinerary cost for those not willing to share accommodation.

    What you need to bring: In Argentina the weather is generally hot and dry during the day with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m and higher, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. C, it can be colder. It rarely rains – however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate raingear. In Chile we ride through beautiful rainforest consequently you must be prepared for rain.

    The best way to dress is in layers – a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly), and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain.
    Trousers should be comfortable for riding – jodhpurs, jeans etc
    Footwear that is SAFE for riding.
    Swimwear.
    Protection against the sun, which is very strong. Sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (that stays on your head!) – also good if it happens to rain.

    Whilst on the pack trip across the Andes we provide sleeping bags, thermorests and tents.

    There is one night when you will not be met by vehicle at the camp site. For this night all camping gear including sleeping bags, tents and food are carried on pack horses. There will be no thermorests this night but you will use your saddle and sheepskin as the gauchos do. Each guest is provided with a set of saddle bags for their personal possessions – change of clothes, toiletries, camera etc. Jackets and pullovers can be tied to the back of the saddle.

    On all the other nights there will be a vehicle, however space in the vehicle is limited to one hand luggage size bag per person which we provide. In this bag you will need:

    A change of clothes.
    A light pair of shoes, eg. plimsolls – for when you want to take your boots off.
    A set of thermal underwear – a light way of carrying extra warmth, hopefully unnecessary.
    Rain gear – jacket and trousers. Please note that whilst the Argentine side is semi-desert, the Chilean side is rain-forest.
    Swimwear.
    Wash bag.
    Towel
    A small torch.

    The rest of your luggage will be transferred to Puente Basas to await your arrival, you will meet up with this on the border and have a chance to rearrange things.

    If you are returning to Huechahue you may leave luggage at Huechahue.

    Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is enclosed with your booking form.

    Argentina General Information and Map

    Capital: Buenos Aires

    Getting there: There are regular flights from most major European cities direct to Buenos Aires. British Airways flies from London Heathrow with a touch down in Sao Paulo (Brazil) en route. Flying time from London is approximately 15 hours.

    Time: GMT minus 4 hours.

    Try not to miss: Buenos Aires! In all probability you will arrive in Argentina via this most glamorous and cosmopolitan of all south American cities, often described as the Paris of South America. We recommend at least at a two days and nights based either in the hip Palermo part of the city, or the elegant and refined barrio of Recoleta. We use hotels in both districts and can organise anything from private tours of the city to theatre tickets and tango lessons.

    From Buenos Aires fly down to Patagonia, land of legendary beauty and inaccessibility that is home to vast estancias and some of the best riding and fishing opportunities in the world. Begin in the north by staying at one of our hand picked estancias scattered about the Patagonian steppe surrounding Lanin National Park, before heading south to explore the Argentine Lake District and the alpine town of Bariloche. Move further south still to Calafate, where the Perito Moreno glacier – one of only 3 in the world that is actually advancing each year – awaits in Los Glaciares National Park, as does the extraordinary estancia Christina at the western end of Lago Argentina. Across the border in Chile lies the rugged and beautiful Torres del Paine National Park, instantly recognisable from the iconic peaks of her famous towers.

    Visit the beautiful provinces of Salta, JuJuy and Catamarca in the North West for spectacular high Andes scenery, rich colonial architecture and the southern end of the Inca trail. Explore the fascinating settlements of Cachi and Purmamarca, stay in luxury at estancia Colomé, the oldest bodega (vineyard) in Argentina, visit the dazzling white salt flats of the Salinas Grandes, and be driven along a dried up river bed to experience the charms of isolated Iruya in JuJuy province. Ask us about our high altitude trek with llamas from the eastern jungles across the Andes Mountains to Tilcara. Mendoza lies halfway between the northwest and Buenos Aires, a province celebrated for her vineyards and stylish bodegas, and perhaps a hike to the base of mighty Aconcagua mountain. For something completely different visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls close to the border with Brazil and Paraguay, which are surrounded by tropical rainforest alive with colourful birdlife.

    You could also visit Dos Lunas, a boutique farm house that boasts a unique style, located in the heart of the Ongamira valley in the province of Córdoba. Surrounded by an extraordinary 2,300 hectare (5,689 acre) natural environment, Dos Lunas offers an amazing mix of nature and comfort that makes guests feel like home from the moment they arrive. The tours around the valley, coordinated by expert guides and providing the best equipment, are the highlight of Dos Lunas and make it a premium destination. You can explore the valley from horseback together with our expert staff through a variety of paths featuring different levels of difficulty and length. Trekking on foot is also an option to visit the area and actively enjoy its beauty through specially selected paths. Dos Lunas is an excellent destination to combine a riding and shooting holiday.

    Visas: No visa is required for visits of up to 90 days for UK citizens.

    Why Argentina: Because we cannot think of another country anywhere in the world that boasts such a diverse range of landscapes, from glaciers in the south to steamy jungle in the north east and arid desert in the north west, with a huge variety in between, ensuring there is never a bad month to visit some part of this remarkable country. Come also to experience Argentina’s indefinable spirit and style, her fine wines and celebrated cuts of tender meat – all three fuse together at a weekend asado or barbeque.

    argentina_tn285x1000-71361


    “Jane williams and her estancia a revelation – what a lady. We were made very welcome by her and all of her staff. Fantastic riding in the foothills of the Andes showing us many special places. We also spent a full day working with cattle moving a herd of cows and calves that we sorted 5-6 miles up and down the mountains. Seeing the gauchoes at work was an experience. The fishing guide you booked was great, Toby and I spent a full day floating down the river we caught about 20 trout up to 2lbs. The final afternoon we white water rafted which Jane organised at no extra charge great fun transfer back to BA no problem. A wonderful trip which gave us everything we wanted and more.”
    Tom and Helen Bell, Estancia Huechahue, Argentina, January 2013


    ESTANCIA HUECHAHUE

      Price and availability on request

      Check Availability

      Personal details
      (*) Required
      Your reservation has been successfully sent
      Please fill out all required personal details