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Wild and soulful, Estancia La Maipu sits on the shores of Lake San Martin, in southern Argentina. A three-hour drive from the nearest road, the main house sits amidst towering peaks beside a vast turquoise deep-water glacial lake.
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Estancia La Maipu is ideal for a large family or group of friends to take on an exclusive basis, offering privacy and flexibility. The experience works well for couples, but is best for small, active groups of four – six.
Trek to Cerro de la Condorera to spot the impressive Andean Condor with its 10-foot wingspan, ride high through petrified forests to the Chilean border, cast a line for trout (though the wind here is strong!), returning to a feast of fire-cooked lamb and Malbec.
Camping expeditions can be arranged on request, as can longer horse riding adventures to neighbouring estancias and deep into the Cordillera de los Andes. Spend a few days horse riding or mountain biking to the far reaches of the estancia, dining around an open fire and sleeping under the stars.
Estancia La Maipu’s chef cooks up delicious, warming meals to greet guests back from bracing explorations out in the Patagonian wilderness. He often cooks outdoors on an open-fire, slow-roasting large spits of meat. The chef loves sharing his skills and teaching guests the art of the traditional Argentine asado. Guests are treated to spectacular al fresco feasts with stunning lakeside views and sundowners on the mountain.
Getting to Estancia La Maipu requires a three-hour flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, the gateway to southern Patagonia, followed by a four-hour drive towards Argentina’s rugged border with Chile. This is truly one of the great Patagonian outposts steeped in local lore and history. The road trip scenery into the estancia is breath-taking.
The weather in this part of the world can be unpredictable all year round, and it’s sensible to expect four seasons in one day. The summer months of December, January, and February are the best time to travel.