Dating back to the early 20th century, this estancia has a rich history in exploration, realised today on multiple included expeditions
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Activity adventure | Natural world | Relaxation
Estancia Cristina’s location is about as remote as it gets, struck out far west near the Chilean border. And, much of the natural beauty that greeted its pioneering founders still remains. Its 22,000-hectare estate is surrounded by creeping glaciers, snow-crusted peaks and giant lakes and is dotted with some 12,000 sheep, 30 cows and 50 horses. It also shares this part of the world with the famed Los Glaciares National Park, established to preserve the area’s Andean-Patagonic forests and glacial masses. And, one of its most important – the Upsala Glacier – is just around the corner from the estancia. Its 4km wide tongue-ends and 60km length pours into a tributary of Argentina’s largest lake – Lago Argentino.
Founded in 1914, a collection of 20 comfortable rooms is spread across five lodges. Each with soaring views out over this idyllic slice of Patagonia, framed by the Norte, Pfifter and Moyano mountains and their hanging glaciers. Rooms are modern, spacious and comfortable with large beds and bay windows – complete with sitting areas – that make the most of the picturesque views. You’ll also find typically Argentine coloured fabrics on the beds along with plush cushions on the window seats. Rooms are available in single, double and triple arrangements, each with an en suite bathroom.
Thanks to its far-flung location, you’ll find that the restaurant uses only regional produce to create its gastronomic offerings. Of course Patagonian lamb is a particular highlight while homemade bread and fresh vegetables offer the ideal accompaniments. As much of life at Estancia Cristina revolves around exploring its pristine national park location, lunch boxes are provided for excursions. More gourmet hampers than school packed lunches, expect grilled beef sandwiches, homemade buttered figazza flatbreads, a selection of cheeses, corn pies and freshly baked focaccia. End the evening with a cheese and grape board, best combined with a fine Argentine vintage. Meals and non-alcoholic beverages are included.
On a range of activities, follow in the footsteps of husband and wife team Joseph Percival Masters and Jessie Elisabeth Waring, who, in 1902, set out with a handful of cattle and a salvaged boat to start what has become Estancia Cristina. And, included in the nightly price are humbling sailing trips up to the 60m high front of Upsala Glacier, 4WD tours of the area, horseback rides along the valley and hikes to its waterfalls and hanging glaciers. And, for keen anglers, there are plenty of included opportunities to fish up salmon and rainbow trout.
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