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Los Glaciares Wilderness Estancia

Cruise past icebergs on Lake Argentino as you sail to the remote Estancia Cristina. Base yourself at this comfortable ranch while exploring the wilderness on foot, horseback or by 4x4. Hike to Cerro Carnero, ride to Laguna de la Pesca, or take a road trip to Glacier Upsala, or choose from other excursions. Start and finish your trip in the lakeside town of El Calafate.

Are you hoping to travel before March 2023?

Patagonia's a big trip and we know how crucial it is to get it right. As you’re considering travelling in the next couple of months, we want to be upfront with you…

Finding available accommodation is proving almost impossible in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. While not uncommon, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation this year.

Alongside this, Swoop are also currently focused on ensuring that all of the logistics are in place for our booked travellers who are due to head south shortly.

Swoop has therefore decided to no longer accept any new bookings departing before the beginning of March 2023.

As alternative options, here’s what we suggest:

Option A:

Push your trip back and choose to travel instead in early 2023. April onwards has more accommodation options still available. The Patagonian autumnal colours are stunning and trails less crowded.

Option B:

Defer your Patagonia adventure by 12 months, benefitting by getting exactly the trip you want without compromise, and lock in plans now while there’s still good availability.

If you are able to be flexible on your travel dates, the next step would then be for us to arrange a time to talk through the options.

  • I want to travel before March 2023

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  • I’m flexible and could travel later

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Thank you for your enquiry

Trip type

Property Based

Trip length

5 Days

From

$2,540

Location

Los Glaciares

Los Glaciares Wilderness Estancia - 5 - $2,540

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Arrive in El Calafate 

Day 2: Boat cruise to Estancia Cristina

Day 3: Choice of activities; Estancia Cristina

Day 4: Choice of activities; Boat to El Calafate

Day 5: Transfer to El Calafate Airport or bus station

Start from El Calafate and end at El Calafate

Landmarks visited on Los Glaciares Wilderness Estancia

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in El Calafate

Arrive into El Calafate Airport (FTE) you will be met by our driver and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure in this picturesque lakeside town. El Calafate has a friendly frontier ambience with some good souvenir shops and many bars and cafés located on the main San Martín Avenue. Most travellers will enjoy a stroll along the waterfront to observe birds such as black-necked swans and flamingos. The Laguna Nimez reserve is well worth a visit – you'll see many species of birds nesting in this protected area where local volunteers help to run this modest conservation charity. They'll be more than happy to talk to you about the wildlife of the region. The Glaciarium museum is a must-see sight; the exhibitions visually describe the geological history of Patagonia where the world's third largest ice cube sits, after Antarctica and Greenland.

Please see our El Calafate hotel guide for accommodation suggestions.

Accommodation: Hotel, El Calafate


Day 2: Boat cruise to Estancia Cristina

There will be an early start today as you are picked up from your hotel at 7.30am to travel to Puerto Bandera to meet our boat. The boat cruise will take us onto the beautiful Lake Argentino – Argentina's largest lake and the third largest in South America. Along the way we'll navigate past icebergs and admire the expansive views. We'll sail up to Glacier Upsala which is fed by the mighty South Patagonian Ice Cap. The height of the glacier's front wall is an intimidating 60m. 

We'll then arrive at Estancia Cristina, an exclusive lodge made up of 20 comfortable rooms. Feel free to enjoy a drink, warm up by the fire and get to know your fellow guests. We'll then enjoy a gourmet dinner made from regional ingredients, accompanied by fine Argentinian wines.

Length of cruise: 1.5hrs

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Estancia Cristina


Day 3: Choice of activities; Estancia Cristina

You can choose from a variety of activities.

Option 1: Horse back ride to Laguna de la Pesca – This ride will take you through the valley to the north, admiring the local fauna and flora along the way. Wade through streams and rivers and relax by the lake.

Difficulty: Mild

Option 2: Hike Cerro Carnero – This walk will take you towards the summit of the nearby Cerro Carnero (650m). Hike through forests and across open sheep grazing land and enjoy spectacular views from the top.

Difficulty: Medium

Option 3: 4x4 Experience – Tour through this remote landscape along an old mountain road. Climb 550m and enjoy the views of Glacier Upsala, the Ice Cap and the Andes mountain range.

Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Estancia Cristina


Day 4: Choice of activities; Boat to El Calafate

Today you can join a different excursion, or try a different walking route to that which you enjoyed on Day 3. Make the most of your last day at this beautiful estancia. You might like to relax in this wild, isolated and extremely beautiful spot. Many short walks and photo opportunities are available at the estancia and many guests enjoy observing the gauchos going about their daily chores at the stables, or reading a book with a fantastic backdrop, or simply connecting with the peace and nature of this magical place.

At 5:30pm our boat will be ready to cruise back to Puerto Bandera near El Calafate from where a vehicle will take you 30mins back to town, dropping you at your hotel. Enjoy your final night back in civilisation, in what once seemed like a tiny town to you just 4 days ago, but now feels like a roaring metropolis after having spent a few days in the Patagonian wilderness.

Length of cruise: 1.5hrs

Meals: Breakfast; box lunch

Accommodation: Hotel, El Calafate


Day 5: Transfer to El Calafate Airport or bus station

After breakfast at your hotel, there will be a private transfer to El Calafate Airport or bus station for you to continue your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The price of USD $2,540 per person is based on two people sharing.

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Please get in touch for information on departures.

Additional Notes

Additional night – It is possible to stay an extra night at Estancia Cristina to make this a 6 day trip. Prices are from USD $730 per person. Please get in touch for more details.

Includes

  • Meals: 4 breakfasts; 3 box lunches; 2 dinners
  • Accommodation: 2 nights hotel in El Calafate; 2 nights at Estancia Cristina 
  • Boat trip on Lake Argentino
  • Activities as detailed in itinerary
  • English and Spanish-speaking guide
  • Entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park
  • Transfer to/from Puerto Bandera

Excludes

  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?