Estancia Nibepo Aike
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
The Estancia Nibepo Aike is located 56 km from El Calafate and still preserves the essence of the old Patagonian estancias.
Initially called La Jerónima, Nibepo Aike covers an area of more than 12,000 ha, delimited by the South Arm of Lake Argentino and the border with Chile, framed by the Andes Mountains. Dedicated to bovine production as the main livestock activity and sheep as a secondary one, it constitutes an ideal place to enjoy an immersion in the life of an authentic Patagonian ranch.
Departure from El Calafate to take the provincial gravel road No. 15, also known as “Camino de las Estancias”. During the journey it is common to come across condors, foxes and hares, with Cerro Frías as the protagonist. After crossing the Río Rico, the steppe landscape changes abruptly, becoming a mountain landscape.
Arrival at the ranch after touring the shore of Lake Roca and having entered Los Glaciares National Park. The host guide will welcome you to the Estancia and will accompany you to the Quincho, a very spacious and welcoming wooden and brick building, where you will be invited with a hot drink (tea, coffee or mate) accompanied by homemade pastries. A good break to enjoy a magnificent view of the Andes Mountains. Then a walk is undertaken to visit the facilities of a typical Patagonian ranch that was formerly dedicated to sheep production and that today has been transformed into the most prestigious Hereford cabin in these latitudes and also maintains a sheepfold.
In the stables, whoever has opted for the horseback ride (additional cost), will mount and go out to explore the surroundings accompanied by a baqueano guide. Meanwhile the rest of the group will go on a walk during which they will have excellent views of the South Arm of Lake Argentino, discovering various rocky outcrops eroded by glacial action and changes in lake levels; there you can clearly see the folds of the earth’s crust differentiated from each other by the variety of sediments that gave rise to it. These formations follow each other until reaching a point where the rocks form a natural amphitheater, giving rise to very quiet beaches of curious shapes. Through trails we will discover a forest of lengas and ñires, where caranchos, cachañas, hares, woodpeckers, eagles and an abundant variety of native flora and fauna live. The tour may vary depending on weather conditions.
Walk or horseback ride 45 m / 1 h. Level: easy.
After the chosen activity, the group is at the door of the shearing shed and current historical museum of the ranch. An opportunity to know a shed with all its components and understand the work of the shearing groups. The process from the shearing of the animal to the assembly of the wool bundle, the way in which the wool is stored and transported, will be explained. As a system, manual scissors will be used as was done in the past in all rooms until the appearance of the mechanical handle with cutting comb, a much faster and more practical system.
Then a “reins test” of riders will be carried out or, depending on the rural activities of the day, farm work will be done in the corrals near the helmet. Among the daily activities, visitors will also be able to participate in the morning milking and herding of sheep, thus concluding with a typical day of work at the Estancia. Some of these activities may be subject to modification due to weather conditions.
After the activities, we return to the barbecue area where a lamb is being roasted on the stake. Along the way, stories and anecdotes of the place and the first settlers are remembered. Upon arrival, the Asador will have the barbecue ready for diners to enjoy a delicious Patagonian lamb while enjoying the imposing view of the Cordillera. On good weather days, the barbecue can be done and served at tables set out outside. Meanwhile, life in the ranch continues and it is common to see gauchos riding horses herding cattle and / or sheep and getting lost in the horizon.
Back in El Calafate, having experienced the life of a typical Patagonian ranch will give us a new perspective, finding more meaning in the immense Patagonian landscapes characterized by the infinite and the remote.
Shared transfers IN / OUT at predetermined times. Shared service
• Reception with tea / coffee / mate & fried cakes / homemade puddings.
• Walk around the old town. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle farm.
• Brief historical review of the Perito Moreno Glacier breaking and its consequences in the area.
• Milk in the morning, feeding a lamb or calf from a bottle and herding sheep.
(Milking will be subject to the calving season of the animals)
Shearing demonstration and reins test.
• Lunch or Dinner: Lamb Roast with salads and dessert.
• Drinks without alcohol and free house wine.
• Bilingual English / Spanish guide during Field Day activities (service excepted for horseback riding)
- Drinks outside of what is stipulated.
- Private transfers outside of predetermined times.
- Bilingual horseback riding guide.
Horse-Riding: Minimum age is 10 years old.