Estancia Cristina#9 in Best Things To Do in Argentine Patagonia
Founded in the early 1900s by English pioneer and cattle farmer Joseph Percival Masters, Estancia Cristina offers both impressive views and excursions. Sitting next to Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia, this lakeside historic home serves as an ideal platform for exploring the immense 35-mile-long Upsala Glacier, the largest glacier in all of South America. If you would prefer a more relaxing adventure, you can embark on a fishing expedition from the Caterina River to the tranquil Lake Anita.
Recent visitors highlight Estancia Cristina's particularly amiable staff. One TripAdvisor user raves, "Amazing trip to this Estancia last month […] could not have been more impressed with the views from our room, the activities, and the genuine pleasant nature of the staff."
Estancia Cristina offers several expeditions departing from El Calafate. Excursions last between five and eight hours, and rates run from about $330 ARS (about $75 USD) to $525 ARS (approximately $120 USD). For further details, consult Estancia Cristina's website. You can reach Estancia Cristina via a four-hour panoramic boat ride from El Calafate.
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#1 Argentine Lake District
Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region's major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you'll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting. During July and August, you'll find idyllic skiing conditions, and, in January, you'll relish prime hiking and river rafting weather. We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.
From Bariloche, it's easy to travel to Cerro Catedral's luxurious ski retreat. It's also worth checking out Villa La Angostura (a lakeside village 50 miles north of Bariloche) and San Martín de los Andes (a scenic town 112 miles north of Bariloche). Both feature local craft markets and panoramic views.
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