It is our pleasure to announce the re-opening of one of our favourite Patagonian estancias after a beautiful refurbishment. Estancia La Maipu’s location is its pièce de résistance, overlooking a mesmerising electric-blue lake, Lago San Martin, on the Argentine side of the Patagonian Andes…
Location, Location: Wild and soulful, Estancia La Maipu sits on the shores of Lake San Martin. A 3-hour drive from the nearest road, the main house sits amidst towering peaks beside a vast turquoise deep-water glacial lake.
Guanacos roam the 45,000-hectare estancia, along with horses, sheep and the occasional puma.
Take Me There! To get to Estancia La Maipu requires a 3-hour flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, the gateway to southern Patagonia, followed by a 4-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 breathtaking.
Home From Home: The estancia itself is cosy, homespun and comfortable. Guests will feel well looked after, but shouldn’t expect spa treatments and 24-hour room service. The offering is hearty, authentic and for the adventurous-minded.
The main house features six private rooms: one suite, two triples and three doubles, all with en-suite bathrooms. The house has central heating, open fireplaces and wifi (although we recommend disconnecting for a true sense of rural Patagonian life).
Just Right For…?: 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 4-6.
Outdoor Cooking Classes: 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.
Estancia Adventures: 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.
History: The small onsite Patagonian Pioneer’s Museum is worth a visit for an insight into the region’s history.
Into The Wilderness: 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.
Birdlife: From condors to woodpeckers to eagles, the birdlife on Estancia La Maipu is spectacular. Pack the binoculars!
The Last Word: We recommend 2-4 nights at Estancia La Maipu, combined with a visit to the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier. For even more offbeat adventure, take a private expedition ship along the Patagonian fjords.