Estancia Huechahue is a working cattle ranch and farm in Patagonia, that has been owned by the Wood family for four generations. The present owner, Jane Wood Williams is your host and the estancia has been open to guests since 1990.
As a guest you are invited to participate in whichever activities interest you from working cattle on horseback with the gauchos to river fishing and bird watching to hiking. The emphasis is very much on being in the open air. Equestrianism is the speciality of Estancia Huechahue with rides of varying duration's up to several days available and a stable of over 50 steeds to choose from, so that beginners and experienced riders can be catered for. Non riders are not forgotten and can enjoy a mix of activities including local walks, river rafting, observing condors and watching gauchos at work on the ranch.
Accommodation is comfy and homely. There are just ten rooms, four of which are in the main house and the others arranged in two chalets a short distance away. All have an en-suite bathroom and Wi-Fi internet access. Each of the chalets has a shared lounge.
Meal times are convivial affairs as you enjoy home produce at its best. Practically all the ingredients are from the estancia including meat, dairy produce, vegetables and fruit, and bread is baked daily. There is a selection of Argentinian wines to accompany the food.
Open: Estancia Huechahue is open all year.
Location: The hotel is in the Lake District, 70kms east of San Martin de Los Andes. The nearest airport is Chapelco 50kms away, with the larger Bariloche airport 200kms (a two hour drive) away. The estancia has an estate 6,000 hectares and is a working cattle ranch.
Rooms: There are 10 guest rooms. A mix of twins and doubles. Four rooms are on the first floor of the main house and the remainder are in two chalets in the grounds. All rooms are en-suite and have wifi. Each of the chalets has a communal siting room.
Activities: Horse riding is one of the main activities, with a large stable of horses meaning riders of all abilities can find a suitable match. Rides range from a few hours to several days, the latter being the speciality of the estancia. Experienced riders are welcome to take part in working cattle. River fishing (catch and release) is available from November to May. Bird watching is popular with around 200 species present and there are plenty of hiking trails to follow, independently or with a guide. Half day rafting trips on the Chimehuin River can be arranged, as can shopping trips to the local town of Junin de los Andes (30kms away) and to San Martin de los Andes and Lanin National Park. There is an 18 hole gold course about a 45 minute drive from the hotel.
Facilities: These include a bar, restaurant and a barbecue area (details below). There is a heated outdoor jacuzzi, a sauna and a cold plunge pool. Massages can be arranged on request. The hotel provides a laundry service.
Dining: Meals are served in the dining room in the main house and outdoors in the quincho, the barbecue room near the fire pit where asados are created. Almost all ingredients come from the estancia. There is a wine menu.
Children: Children over the age of 12 years are welcome.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is free wifi internet access.
Estancia Huechahue, by necessity, operates sustainably. They use water from natural springs, generate their own electricity with a water-driven turbine and use firewood for heating. They take care of the environment they rely on for their livelihoods by only walking and riding along routes selected for their soil stability. Fishing is on a catch and release basis and bird watching is non-intrusive.