A Day in the Countryside at Nibepo Aike allows you to immerse in the life and activities of the Patagonian ranch houses. This experience is recommended for those travelers who do not have the possibility of staying at the lodge for two or more nights.


Adventure starts from El Calafate where we take the gravel road Nr. 15, also known as ‘Camino de las Estancias’ (Walk of the Ranch Houses). This is a trip with the ‘Cerro Frías’ [mountain] as the leading protagonist, where it is frequent to come across foxes, hares and to even see condors. It is interesting to observe how, after crossing the Rico River, the landscape of steppe changes abruptly into an Andean landscape.

After traveling along this remarkable road and entering into the Los Glaciares National Park we contact the Roca Lake in its more eastern point and we reached the ranch house where we find the southern arm of Lago Argentino [Argentinian Lake]. The host guide welcomes us and takes us to the Quincho [rustic dining room], where we are welcomed with a hot beverage (tea, coffee or ‘mate’) and home-made pastries. There is no better welcome in a region where the cold seems to find its residence.


We start the walk to visit Nibepo Aike’s facilities, an Estancia that in the past used to breed sheep and nowadays has become the most prestigious cattle ranch of Hereford, a type of cattle characteristic of these latitudes and that maintains a sheep shed.

There are several options on how to enjoy the day therefore we split in different groups according to our preferences, for example we chose a horse ride. From the horse stable, we get on the horses and we leave so as to explore the surrounding area, a ‘baqueano’ [local guide] comes with us. Baqueanos are expert people who know native places very well, where they generally live or develop themselves.


Another group decided to make a walk surrounded by the impressive views of the Southern arm of Lago Argentino where you can observe several rock outcrops eroded by glaciers and changes in the lake levels. Earth crust folding is clearly observed differentiated among them by the variety of sediments that originated them. Along the walk it is also possible to observe the woodland of lengas and ñires, inhabited by caranchos [vultures], cachañas [small parrots], hares, woodpeckers, eagles and an abundant variety of flora and fauna characteristic of this region.

After hiking and riding the groups meet at the door of the shearing shed. From the shearing process up to the preparation of the wool bundle -the way how the wool is stored and transported- was explained in a relaxed and interesting demonstration. It struck our attention that they continue using a manual pair of scissors, as it used to be in the past in every estancia up to the appearance of a mechanical handle with a cutting comb -which is the system that is currently used. This demonstration allowed us to experience a trip to the past.


Afterwards we enjoyed of ‘horse-reining’ by horsemen. According to the daily rural activities you may perform some farm work in the barnyard close to the main house. If you like the countryside life and want to extend the experience, it is possible, among the daily activities, to participate in the morning of cow milking and sheep herding in the afternoon, concluding in this way with a typical working day in the Estancia. These activities are not always performed since they depend on the weather conditions and activities developed in the Estancia.

Finally, the barbecue cook who is waiting for us with a spit roasted lamb is eagerly applauded, while our mouth waters, local stories and anecdotes from the first settlers come up.

When again at El Calafate, after having experienced the typical life of a Patagonian Estancia this gives us a wide perspective and a greater sense to the immense Patagonian landscapes characterized by their infiniteness and remoteness.


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