Riding to the Hidden Glaciers
Los Glaciares National Park (4 days / 3 nts)
Day 1: El Calafate - Nibepo Aike Ranch
Afternoon arrival at the Estancia Nibepo Aike, taking the regular transfer from El Calafate. Nibepo Aike retains the essence of the old Patagonian estancias. It is actually within Los Glaciares National Park on The shores of the Southern Arm of Lago Argentino. Nowadays a small flock is kept, being its chief production the breeding of Hereford cattle, of which it has developed a prestigious breeding herd. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to enjoy the estancia. Overnight.
(Included meals: dinner)
Day 2: Nibepo Aike Ranch - Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril
Morning ride to start climbing up the mountain range Cordon de los Cristales, which lies behind the Hostelry. The higher we go, the more clearly the lakes stand out, Brazo Rico and Sur, Lago Roca and Cerro Frías, as if it was a real model. Once we reach the clearing, the track plunges into the Patagonian Andean woods. We pass between lenga trees and guindos [Magellan beeches], riding along old tracks where the great sheep drives used to pass. On coming out of the dense woodland the way opens out into the Valley of the Río Cachorro. Notros [Chilean firebush] and calafate bushes are unusually tall here. We start descending towards the lower land until we come to the riverbed. Surprising views of the Frías glacier appear at the bottom and the granite needle called “el Dedo del Cesar” [Caesar’s Thumb]. Riding between rocks and pasturelands and avoiding the marshlands, we reach the corrals of the Río Cachorro outpost where the rangers might be working with the livestock. After a picnic lunch we continue on horseback to Laguna 3 de Abril (3 de Abril Lagoon), a habitat of flamingos and black-necked swans, kaiken [upland goose] and steamer ducks, as well as of numerous salmonidae. Passing the lake, we come to the outpost, and after unsaddling, there will be time to enjoy the surroundings and the cosiness of the refuge. The outpost has a room with 3 bunk beds and a room that serves as dining room and kitchen here there are another two benches that turn into beds. Dinner and overnight at the Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril.
(Included meals: breakfast, box lunch, dinner)
Day 3: Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril
We leave after breakfast, riding south to the Balcony of the Glaciers. The track runs parallel to the Southern Arm of Lago Argentino. A little before arriving at the head of the lake, we leave the horses grazing to go up on foot to a viewing point even higher up. From there we will have a panoramic view of the Southern Arm, Laguna Corazón, the Lago Frías, with glimpses of the Hidden Glaciers Gorra, Frías, Grande and Dickson in the distance. We walk to the beach at the head of the Southern Arm. From there we cross a large pasture, a pristine area. The footpath starts to run alongside the lower Frías River. Here we will find traces of the area’s livestock rearing past, a hanging bridge over 100 years old, destroyed by the great flooding of Lago Argentino in 1937. The way passes through dense woodland getting as far as discovering Corazón Lagoon, with crystal clear waters where the deep blue contrasts with the green reflection of the woods. The water is so crystal clear that it is possible to watch the trout swimming between the rocks. We pause for lunch. In the afternoon we return to where the horses were left in order to ride back to the Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril, where the night will be spent. Dinner.
(Included meals: breakfast, box lunch, dinner)
Day 4: Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril - Nibepo Aike Ranch - El Calafate
The return is begun riding along the shore of the lake until we reach the main buildings of the estancia, about 18km (11.25 miles) from the refuge. We will arrive in time for lunch with a typical Patagonian lamb roasted at the stake over charcoal embers, which will be ready just as the riders arrive. After lunch, regular transfer service back to El Calafate.
(Included meals: breakfast, lunch)
Includes: 3 Nights lodging (1 at the inn and 2 nights at the Shelter Laguna Azul), Full Board: 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners with soft drinks during the meals, English/ Spanish speakng guide
Not included: International and domestic Air Fare, airport taxes, meals/ services not mentioned, gratuities and personal expenses.
-Prices per person in USDollars. Minimum 2 travelers
-The services are subject to the availability & rates at the moment of the reservation
From Calafate to Nibepo, departure at 4.30PM arrival in Nibepo 6.15PM
From Nibepo to Calafate, departure at 2.15PM arrival in Calafate at 3.30PM
-Rates do not apply on Easter, Christmas, New Year ´s Eve and Carnival weeks.