ESTANCIA CRISTINA CLASSIC
Having set sail from Punta Bandera harbor at 9AM, we will glide over the waters of Lake Argentino’s Northern Arm to reach the furthest possible point of navigation in the Upsala Channel, where we can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier’s immense front. Then, having disembarked at the shores close to Estancia Cristina, an expert guide will welcome visitors and take them on an exciting trek through the surrounding valley. The hike unfolds along an ecotone area, a beautiful, semi-arid place carpeted in native shrubs and grasses. Next, the walk gradually ascends to an elevated lookout point that bestows sweeping views of the valley beyond, over Lake Argentino and Lake Pearson across to the towering Andes Mountains. From here, continue on a path sloping gently uphill, surrounded by ñire trees, until you reach the highlight of this trek: Los Perros River Waterfall, whose viewpoints not only bestow jaw-dropping vistas, but are also a fantastic spot for observing flowers and plant life especially orchids. Later on, having returned from the trek, we will visit the Costumbrista Museum, housed in the estancia’s old shearing shed where guests can learn all about the history of the Masters family: their lives, adventures and how they became pioneers in Patagonia. Finally, a guided tour will take lucky visitors around Estancia Cristina’s estate–up to the Caterina River, the waterwheel, chapel and rest of the lodge.
Every land has its own secrets but not everyone is chosen to know them: a lighthouse in a lonely cape, a mysterious sunken ship for 40 years and a distinguished antique “estancia” are some of the icons that reveal the unknown stories of Tierra del Fuego. Very early in the morning departure from Ushuaia following National Route 3 and crossing The Andes through the Garibaldi Pass. We stop by the little town of Tolhuin, heart of the island, to visit La Unión Bakery. This is a traditional meeting point for both, locals and visitors, and it is part of the charm of this village. By midday we come to the Provincial Route “A”, where we took a gravel road heading toward the Atlantic Ocean and the San Pablo Cape. At this point, we hiked up to an isolated mountain with an abandoned lighthouse at the end. Climbing to the top of this beacon we will appreciate “Desdemona”, an abandoned ship for almost 40 years ago which invites us to sail through time. It happened on a cold winter morning in1983 when this enormous craft ran aground on the shores of the Argentine Sea. After exploring this mysterious giant, we visit Estancia Rolito. This lovely ranch, that keeps the spirit of a family business based on sheep farming tradition, is the first ranch to open its gates to rural tourism.
The journey leaves from Salta, but really begins once arrived to Purmamarca Village where time will be enough to observe the Seven Colored Hill, the Church and the Craft Market on the square, and a small walk along its narrow streets. We continue towards the town of Tilcara where we visit the Pucará (ancient ruins), the Archaeological Museum, and Huacalera, and then we cross the Capricorn Tropic, from where the colors of La Pollera del Coya Hill can be seen and really good pictures taken because of the daylight. We visit Uquía and its church, where the paintings of the Arcabuceros Angels (important vestige in the zone of the Cuzqueña School) are kept. Arrival to Humahuaca will be at noon, this town has an important Church and the Independence Monument (the Indian) of the sculptor Soto Avendaño. After lunch (not included) we’ll observe, from the route, La Paleta del Pintor (Paintor's palette) framing the town of Maimara. Return to Salta.