Estancia Cristina: Our most recommended tours and activities

El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

1. El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

Located on the northwest coast of Lago Argentino (Argentino Lake), the historic sheep ranch of Estancia Cristina was founded in 1914 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife, and on this full-day tour from El Calafate you will explore the estancia to discover how it maintains the history of the family. First, you will sail among the icebergs and mountains of Lago Argentino to Upsala Glacier, the 2nd largest within Los Glaciares National Park. Departing from Punta Bandera by modern and comfortable boat, enjoy the most stunning up-close views of the blue ice. Upon arrival at the Estancia you will learn how the sheer perseverance of the Masters family made the inhospitable place a small paradise that they could call home. Visit the Estancia’s museum, and the old shed where the sheep were sheered. Next, take a short walk to see the estancia’s chapel and country house. From here, you will embark on a 2.5-hour hike to the surprising waterfall of Cascada de los Perros, surrounded by native ñires shrubs. Enjoy panoramic views of the Caterina River valley, and Patagonian wilderness, back across to Estancia Cristina.

From El Calafate: Estancia Horseback Riding and Boat Tour

2. From El Calafate: Estancia Horseback Riding and Boat Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate and be transfered to Puerto Punta Bandera port. Set sail from the dock at 9:00 AM and glide over the waters of Lake Argentino to reach the furthest possible point of navigation in the Canal upsala. From here enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Laciar Upsala. Then, having disembarked at the shores of Estancia Cristina, be welcomed by an expert guide. Enjoy a horseback ride through the Cristina Valley which allows you to experience a delightful mix of mountain views, time by the lake, and multiple birdwatching opportunities. After leaving the Estancia behind, ride in a northerly direction, heading deeper into nature, crossing the Caterina River. Note the many species of plants and flowers that are native to the Patagonian steppe. Make your way on horseback along pathways covered with loose stone and moss, leading you eventually to an elevated lookout point that bestows sweeping views of the valley. With luck try to spot various species of bird such as the Common and Royal Goose, Black Necked Swan, Coscoroba Swan, and the Spectacled Duck, among many others. Near Lago Pearson, we will have time for lunch. Then, when you are finally ready to head home, go back along the same route towards the starting point, the perfect time to take it all in. Later on, we will visit the Costumbrista Museum, where we can learn all about the history of the Masters family: their lives, adventures and how they became pioneers in Patagonia. At 5 pm we will head toward the shore, take the boat and return to El Calafate. Due to the diversity of horses available in Estancia, it is extremely important to choose and assign the right horse and guarantee the development of the activity, also for this reason the weight limit is 95 kilos.

From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

3. From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

On this excursion from El Calafate you’ll spend a day in awe of the spectacular natural wonders of Los Glaciares National Park. Begin with a sail from the Punta Bandera port on board a modern and comfortable boat. You’ll be surrounded by icebergs as you sail on Argentino Lake and marvel at the stunning views. Continue the sail through the North Arm and the Cristina Channel, finally disembarking at Estancia Cristina. When you arrive at the Estancia you’ll enjoy a history tour, and a visit to the museum and old shearing shed. Head out on a guided walk up to the Caterina River, where you’ll see the chapel and the old house of the Estancia. From here you’ll ascend by 4x4 vehicle to the 9.5-kilometer continental ice shelter, which is an area of significant geological interest. From the shelter you’ll take a 20-minute walk to the Upsala viewpoint, along terrain that has been eroded by the glacier. From the viewpoint you’ll enjoy stunning views of the glacier, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, and the Andes Mountain Range.

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Estancia Cristina

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What people are saying about Estancia Cristina

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 18 reviews

Not worth the money - not even close. Lunch is awful (frozen industrial grade tiramisu for desert) - very unfortunate as local produces are not featured. Just do Todos Glaciares booking in the private lounge Capitan's Club) and you will have a much better experience and food (awesome) for a whole lot less cost.