Why We Like This Hotel
- This estancia is one of the more exclusive and comfortable of the Valdes Peninsula estancias
- Located on the south east corner of the peninsula, one of the richest marine platforms on earth, the area is home to a huge diversity of wildlife
- Part of some important conservation projects in the area
- Your visit will be supporting the conservation work they do
During your stay, you'll have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the area on any of the below excursions, which can be guided or self-guided, arranged with the ranch co-ordinator on arrival.
Expert wildlife guides will take you in search of birds, sea lions, elephant seals (who breed and have calves here), orcas, southern right whales, penguins and dolphin (all sighted from the 15km of coastline on site), and many land mammals as well.
Walking & Mountain Biking
Most of the above wildlife, as well as diverse flora and stunning views can be enjoyed on foot, by walking along beaches, across the steppe, and along cliffs and off the beaten path trails.
If you fancy something a little more active, you can also explore some of the trails by mountain bike!
Fossils & Astronomy
Centuries of erosion have left important geological traces rich in marine fossils, such as shells, oysters, bivalves, sea urchins and many more species. This sediment is proof of the different stages of how our Valdés Península was formed. You can look out for them on your hikes!
Expert guides can take you to perfect spots for interpretation of the stars and planets above, that can often be seen very clearly in this remote location.
If you're looking for the perfect combination of remote wilderness, comfort, history and wildlife then Rincon Chico is for you!
About this hotel
The estancia is located in the south east corner of the Valdes Peninsula, 70km from Puerto Piramides, 170km from Puerto Madryn and 230km from Trelew.
In addition to the 8 bedrooms, the hotel has a living room full of books, photos and publications of scientists who work at the ranch, as well as a DVD player on which you can watch documentaries made on the property by National Geographic and the BBC for example.
The restaurant offers a combination of family recipes and typical Patagonian dishes, created with organic ingredients. It is furnished with antiques from the families who lived there.
Electricity is powered by wind mills and solar panels, offering 12 volts during the day. In the evenings a diesel generator is used, providing 220 volts, as well as satellite wifi. There are built in outlets for N.America and Europe.
The property itself belongs to a fifth generation of settler families, who have lived on the peninsula for over 120 years. In 2001 they opened their gates to guests to allow them to experience living in this remote and stunning location.
The first ancestor to arrive was Don Félix Olazábal, French Basque, who traveled on horseback from the Province of Buenos Aires to the Valdés Península in 1897 herding 800 Australian Merino sheep. Natural caves in the cliffs of what is now the town of Puerto Pirámides were their first home. Eventually large lots of land for sheep farming were purchased, and now more than a century after their arrival his heirs continue their legacy.
In 1899 the current owners' great grandmother, Doña Francisca Endara, also French Basque, began raising Australian Merino sheep in the northern area of the Península Valdés as well, acquiring thousands of acres and founded several ranches. Her farms have become an oasis in the middle of the Patagonian desert.
Conservation, farming and sustainability
For wildlife and science the Estancia Rincón Chico is one of the most iconic properties of Valdés, for this reason we manage the place through our foundation, Conservación Península Valdés (CPV), a non-profit organisation specialised in steppe and wildlife conservation projects.
Responsible ecotourism and sheep farming go hand in hand at the Estancia Rincón Chico. In the farm house and its surrounding area, events such as sheep shearing and branding will show you the true life of the Patagonian farmer and his history. The sustainability of our operations has a fundamental importance and is based on our commitment to the environment.
We have developed a working policy focused on minimising environmental impact in both the home and the explorations. Based on this principle, we are committed to responsible environmental management to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, promoting the efficient use of water and energy, the optimal management of waste generated, and focusing on environmental conservation.
I recommend visiting between September and November for the most diverse wildlife viewing opportunities: Southern Right Whales, Orcas, Sea Lions and Elephant Seals!
Chloe O'Keeffe Wildlife & Cruise Specialist
The hotel has 8 rooms, all with private bathrooms. They can be set up as singles, twins or doubles depending on your preference.
Stays are full board at a minimum of 2 nights. There is also the option of a cottage.
Each room comes with a private bathroom with bathtub in each, and can be assembled as needed to accommodate individual parties.
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Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.
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