Why We Like This Estancia
- Huechahue offers the quintessential Patagonian estancia experience - an opportunity to sample the true taste of gaucho life on a working cattle ranch
- The setting is wonderfully remote, with plenty of interesting rides straight from the door, a host of nearby rivers to fish and ever-changing landscapes to roam
- The atmosphere is convivial; guests can enjoy the well-stocked bar, true home cooking and outside areas in which to relax and enjoy the Andean views.
As well as horse riding and fishing, Huechahue offers bird-watching, hiking, rafting, swimming and exploration of the Native Indian past.
Everyone is catered to, from the enthusiastic novice to the seasoned rider. With such a variety of landscape (and 15,000 acres to roam), every ride is different: gallop the steppe, let your horse guide you over rocky riverside slopes or wind your way up to a condor’s nest. A typical day involves two half-day rides, with lunch at the estancia, or a longer ride with a picnic stop. Horses are criollo crosses, bred on the ranch and ridden with a neck-rein. You’ll be matched to a horse that suits your experience and confidence level.
Huechahue is perfect for fly-fishing, with the Chimenhuin, Alumine, Malleo, Quilquihue and Collon Cura rivers nearby. You can float and fish from drift boats or wade out, with an English-speaking guide (approx. US$360 per day for 2 anglers) or on your own, in search of brown and rainbow trout. The estancia has 8km of fishing on private land and there are plenty of opportunities just a short drive away, too.
After a long day of activity, relax in the solar-heated jacuzzi or wood burning sauna. If you’re feeling brave, try the natural plunge pool!
About Estancia Huechahue
Set in northern Argentinian Patagonia, at the foothills of the Andes mountains and close to the Chilean border, Huechahue feels remarkably remote. You can fly from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, which is 200 kms away, from where we can arrange a transfer to the estancia. San Martin de los Andes is 70 kms away and Junin de los Andes is 30 kms.
The estancia is virtually self-sufficient, so it’s no surprise that much of the food is home-produced: ham and bacon from their pigs is cured in the smokehouse, eggs come from the chicken run and the have their own beef, lamb, venison and wild boar. Meals are varied and delicious and set around the large dining table, and can be tailored - with notice - to suit dietary requirements. There’s also a quincho (a special building) for asados (traditional BBQs). The local wine flows!
Four generations of the Wood family have lived and worked at Estancia Huechahue, which is now run by Jane Wood Williams. It is still as self-sufficient today as it was 50 years ago when the first generation arrived to start farming cattle.
Surrounded by hills, trees and steppe, Estancia Huechahue is blissful. It would be hard to pick my favourite ride, but I often look back on our afternoon spent winding our way up to a condor's nest, before we perched on a cliff edged and watched the huge birds inquisitively soar past us.
Luke Errington Founder, Swoop Patagonia
Rooms and Pricing
Adventures at Huechahue cost around US$400 per person, per day. This price includes full-board dining, all daily excursions (with the exception of fishing guides) and return transfers to / from Chapelco airport.
Huechahue has just 10 guest rooms available: 4 double bedrooms in the main house, and 6 in two nearby chalets. All rooms are en-suite, and can be arranged as either double or twin rooms. Three rooms are on the first floor of the lodge, the other 5 are in 2 chalets across the lawn. Each chalet includes a communal sitting room area. All rooms have wi-fi.
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