LA BANDADA RANCH IN THE PAMPAS, BUENOS AIRES

A working estancia close to the city, perfect for a relaxing stay or a countryside day, living the essence of the spirit of the Pampas.


La Bandada, formerly known as Candelaria del Monte, is a 250 acres fully working farm just one hour and a half from Buenos Aires. Its current name means The Flock, and as it implies, this is an exceptional place for birdwatching. Such is that the lodging rooms bear names of birds that are frequently seen on the ranch.

The house was built in the 70’s and until today keeps the typical colonial style of XIXth century, painted in reddish colors. A paved patio introduces the road to the main entrance of the house, and once inside, a long and wide windowed corridor takes you to the rooms and a very spacious living and dining room at the end, with fireplaces and furnished with detail and care. Big windows overview the park and the swimming pool. One of the most notorious architectural details is the roof made of bricks.

La Bandada offers a countryside day with barbecue, and also 1 to 4 night stays, with full or half board and activities. There are only seven guest rooms, all very comfy and colonial, with a variety of layouts. There are three private suites and two apartments with two bedrooms and a bathroom each. The total occupancy can be up to 14 people, making it a great place to book and enjoy privately.

The house is surrounded by a 24 acres park, full of a variety of very old trees, including centenarian platanus, oak trees, acacias, pines, Chilean myrtles, laurels and casuarinas. It is very pleasant to go for a walk around, visit the orchard, the henhouse, the corrals with goats, horses and other farm animals. 

There’s also a self-guided birdwatching circuit. You just have to take the binoculars and the Bird’s Guide, and follow a checklist of the most common birds in the area that will help you to look for and identify hummingbirds, cardinals, horneros, herons, storks, sparrows, tropical screech oils, southern screamers, coscoroba swans, black necked swans, woodpeckers, fork tailed flycatchers, and a variety of over 15 ducks, such as cinnamon teal, yellow billed pintail, white-faced whistling duck and southern wigeon.

Besides taking advantage of the swimming pool (in summer season) and riding a bike, among other activities, it is possible to book a two hour polo lesson to experience one of the most famous sports in Argentina. You will learn how to play and get a taste of what playing polo is like, in the unique scenery of the Pampas.

Horses are a very important part of life of the farms and here you can ride along a path full of centennials trees until reaching the endless grasslands of the pampas. There are very well trained and easygoing horses, so you can enjoy a ride whether you have any previous experience or not. 

If you are interested in local music, a «guitarreada» is the best way to experience how argentines enjoy a traditional barbecue evening by the fire. Folk music like chamame, zambas, gatos and escondidos are performed by a group of musicians that play the guitar, drums, accordion and violin. This is an experience that operates on demand only.

No countryside experience is complete without the specific gastronomic service. Mariana Dacruz is the inhouse chef, and with vast experience in Patagonia and abroad, this 30 year-old chef is the kitchen’s soul at the estancia. All the dishes she creates include seasonal vegetables from the orchard, which can actually be collected by yourself. Also, the best pieces of meat are chosen to be part of the typical asados.

If you would like to discover the behind the scenes of the kitchen, it’s possible to book a cooking class with Mariana, where she will teach you about traditional Argentine cooking methods, ingredients and seasonal tastes. You can choose from a variety of recipes, such as empanadas, fried pastries and fritters. What you cook, will be served in your next meal.

La Bandada offers a full countryside experience. Visiting or staying here will bring you a sense of tranquility, peace and serenity. You will feel that time runs slower and that the rest of the world seems further and further away. The sound of the pampas with its fauna, windmills, breeze…the smell of the grass and of humid soil of the rain to come…little by little, immerse yourself into the Argentina country spirit!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities, 1 hour horseback riding, bikes at disposal, swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Half Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities and swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Lunch. Horseback and bike rides. Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Countryside Day (from 11 am to 4 pm): Includes: Welcome reception with empanadas and wine. Lunch: barbecue with chorizo, two meat cuts, grilled vegetables and salads, traditional dessert and coffee. Non-alcoholic beverages. Afternoon tea with creole pastries. Guided horseback ride or hike, and other country activities. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Additional experiences. Lodging or other meals. Use of facilities, horseback and bike rides, swimming pool.
  • Additional experiences with extra cost (available for stays and countryside day): Polo lesson. Guided birdwatching circuit. Visit to San Miguel del Monte town. Massage service. Live folk music (guitarreada). Folk dance live show. 

OFF THE BEATEN PATHS AT LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK

A unique trekking experience on real off the beaten paths to have the glacial landscape all to yourself!


We know that El Calafate and its main attractions during the peak season can be collapsed with people, complicating the access and transit of visitors. That’s why we found this exclusive trekking tour in remote places of Los Glaciares National Park. Ideal to combine with the stay at the Nibepo Aike Patagonian ranch and to offer an original activity to customers who enjoy off the beaten path experiences.

We travel the route, we sail on two different boats, we walk through Patagonian forests and glacial valleys, to reach the end of the journey in front of an incredible lake covered with icebergs, overlooking the Dickson, Cubo and Grande glaciers; all this in a virtually desolate natural environment, where we will rarely meet someone.

In groups of no more than 15 people, the excursion includes the transfer from the hotels starting at 8:00 am. After 60 km, we arrive at Los Pioneros boarding, in the southern part of the Los Glaciares National Park.

We sail for an hour and disembark at the end of the South Arm where we begin the first 2-kilometer trek to Lake Frias, which we navigate in Zodiac boats. When disembarking on the opposite bank, the second trekking of 4.5 kilometers begins, going through a forest with centuries-old lenga trees, and then through an old glacier valley. We walk until we reach the Superior Lake Frias, which is covered with icebergs. From here we can see the Dickson, Cubo and Grande glaciers.

To complete the adventure, we rest for a while and have the box lunch on this beach with amazing views and then return on the same path and navigations to Nibepo Aike port. Return to the city of El Calafate, or to the Nibepo Aike ranch to complement the glacier experience.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Includes: Spanish/English bilingual trekking guide. Roundtrip transfers, box lunch and entrance fee to the National Park.
  • Not included: Tips or any other extra costs.
  • Operation: From October 1st to April 30th.
  • Duration: Full day – from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Trekking paths are on irregular terrain.
  • Max. 15 people + guide.

 

BIKE ADVENTURE IN THE IGUAZÚ NATIONAL PARK

If you want a refreshed experience to complement the traditional excursion to the Argentinean Iguazú Falls, you should bike through the jungle!


Located in the north of the Province of Misiones, the Iguazú National Park occupies a total area of ​​55,000 hectares. It is one of the first National Parks created in the country, with the objective to preserve the magnificent Iguazú Falls and the lush subtropical jungle that surrounds it.

The Yaguareté (jaguar) Trail is within the Iguazú National Park and this is the perfect adventure to go deep into the rainforest. You will ride a mountain bike along a red soil wild path across the jungle, having fun, observing and learning about the local flora and fauna. 

Early in the morning, we meet our biking guide at the Guard Station on the National Route 101. The earlier we ride not only the weather is “cooler” but there are more chances of seeing wild animals such as small mammals, birds and butterflies. 

The guide provides the bikes and the rest of the equipment and we set off riding on the 101 for about 2 kilometers. Then, we turn left to take the Yaguareté Trail. The pedaling is smooth and stable, at a suitable pace for all cyclists on this red soil trail with narrow paths that crosses the jungle.

The aromas of the jungle, its sounds, its freshness, its life…everything is a great complement to this adventure in search of full contact with nature.

Along the way, we make some interpretation stops to recognize wildlife. After 3 kilometers more, we reach the Iguazú River shore, where after checking up the group’s status we decide whether to go on riding or not.

Once we’re done with the pedaling, we return to the guard station where we leave the bikes and say goodbye to our guide.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Estimated duration: 2 to 3 hours.
  • Distance: 6 to 12 km of pedaling, flexible distance and subject to current and previous weather conditions, terrain conditions and cyclists’ fitness.
  • Difficulty: medium/high.
  • Starts VERY early in the morning: 5:30 to 6:30 am during the summer, and 8:00 am in winter. It can also be arranged in the afternoon.
  • Includes: Mountain bike; helmet; gloves; Water; 1 or 2 English speaking guides according to group size; Cyclist insurance; breakfast or snack depending if it’s AM or PM.
  • Not included: Transportation to starting place at route 101.
  • Recommendations: DO NOT wear white footwear, nor white clothes: dirt cannot be easily washed. The excursion can be combined with the visit of the Argentine side of the falls. Please, notify in advance if pax have food restrictions. The tour goes through areas of a wide variety of insects (mosquitoes, spiders, etc.), if travelers suffer from any allergies they must take their own medications to avoid consequences. Please, send on forehand the passenger list with the personal information to prepare insurance. On the spot guests will have to sign a disclaimer.

 

KING CRAB ROUTE EXCURSION IN 4X4 IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO

Visit the end of the world in Argentina! Delight yourself with a sea lunch and sail the Beagle Canal like a Fueguian sailor, while watching the sea lions and penguins.


In the morning, a 4×4 vehicle picks us up at the hotel and we leave Ushuaia crossing valleys, rivers and mountains until we reach the “Ruta de la Centolla” – King Crab Route. This rural tourism corridor was born just in 2017 and leads to Puerto Almanza, literally the last inhabited corner of Argentina located 70 kilometers from Ushuaia. A few families live here and wish to make known the work of the fishermen in the area, dedicated to the fishing of king crabs, spider crabs, trout and mussels.

The King Crab Route takes us to a refuge in the forest; a cabin surrounded by 500-year-old lenga trees and with a spectacular view to the Cornú Hill and Glacier. Here we learn about the ways and lifestyle of the local community, tasting homemade marmalades and pastries accompanied by our typical mate, coffee and tea.

After this first cultural encounter, we leave the cabin behind to go to Victoria Lagoon, in which Patagonian trout abound and from where we can see Andean condor nests. We continue our way into the Harberton Ranch lands. The route follows the Lasifashaj river, offering access to its waters with very picturesque landscapes, and takes us to the Beagle Canal to a point on Navarino Island from where you can see Gable Island and Puerto Williams in Chile.

During the excursion there are many chances to see some small animals such as foxes and muskrats, as well as different types of birds such as witch herons, ruddy-headed gooses, buff-necked ibis, white herons, kingfishers and woodpeckers.

Finally we arrive in Puerto Almanza, where we find the southernmost fishing port in Argentina. Here we embark on another adventure: we board a small boat in search of an impressive colony of sea lions, then continue sailing to the Martillo Island where we will have a close encounter with Magellanic penguins in their natural habitat.

After experiencing nature in all its splendor, we return to the port for a full lunch with fresh spider crab and fish from the Canal, cooked by local fishermen. We will enjoy a pleasant talk and delight in this exquisite seafood while admiring the waters of the Beagle Canal.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates every day.
  • Duration: Full day – 8 hours.
  • Pick up time: 8:30 am
  • Min. 2 pax.
  • Includes: Spanish/English bilingual guide. Roundtrip transfers In 4×4 vehicle. Three-step sea lunch (entry: natural spider crab, main course: tray with a variety of fish from the Canal, dessert, coffee, non-alcoholic beverages).
  • Not included: Tips or other personal extra costs.
  • We recommend wearing waterproof clothing, coat and shoes.
  • Optional with extra cost: Trekking to Lasifashaj Waterfall after the navigation.