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Estancia Cristina

Estancia Cristina is the main house of a historic Patagonian ranch, set in an amazing natural environment, surrounded by glaciers, the Andes and the Argentino Lake. Nature, adventure and history lovers  could participate of Full Day Programs at Estancia Cristina and those who wish to, may stay at the Lodge (check Special Programs).

Due to its location, passengers should navigate through the Argentino Lake to access to the Ranch. It departs from Punta Bandera Port, sailing through the Northern Canal to approach to Upsala glacier’s front, according to weather conditions; later on,  Cristina Canal is taken until disembarking  in the Ranch. Once there, participants will be grouped according to the pre-selected activities.

High Season

Departures: Daily

Schedule

Pick up begins at 7:00hs.

Boarding time at Estancia Cristina pier (APN) is at 8:15hs.
Arrival time to Estancia Cristina is at 11:30hs .
The route back to the Port begins at 17:30hs, arriving at “Punta Bandera”  at 19:30hs approx.

Importanttransfer from El Calafate to the Port takes around one hour.

NOTE: The schedule reported is estimative and it could be modified for  a better activity development.

Full Day

Low to High

The ship Francisco de Viedma  has a holding capacity of 100 passengers  only 80 seats are available for Full Day tours.

The ship Massimo has a holding capacity of 76  passengers.

There are 6 ATVs especially adapted for this activity (2 Ford 4000 with a holding capacity of 21 people each, 2 Ford 100 with a holding capacity  of 12 people each and 2 Dodge RAM with a holding capacity  of 14 people each),  that access to Upsala Viewpoint.

IMPORTANTE: Estancia Cristina’s head guide assigns the vehicles at random a day prior to the tour.

The QUINCHO, restaurant where lunch is offered, has a holding capacity of 90 people.

Lunch is NOT INCLUDED in the tour rate.

Estancia Cristina offers  an optional lunch servicethat may be included when booking the tour.

The  menu includes:

Starter: 2 empanadas (baked pies): 1  made with meat (creole type) and 1 “humita” (sweet corn).

Main course: lamb stew with roasted vegetables or Pasta with mushroom and dry tomatoes pesto.

Dessert: cream caramel with cream and dulce de leche.

Drinks: 1 soft drink or 1 glass of wine + Coffee or tea

NOTE: Participants may bring their own lunch box or book the lunch box option offered by Estancia Cristina (only available for those doing the trekking option). It includes: 2 multi-cereal bread sandwiches (chicken, smoked pork loin, tybo cheese, sweet onions, fresh leaves and herb dressing), cookie with seeds and salty dry fruits, 01 brownie, 01 apple, 01 cereal bar, 750cc water bottle.

Cristina Classic is the option that involves less physical effort, designed for those who likesmooth walks and want to get involved in the first owners’ history.  Once on firm ground, participants assist to a guided tour  in the Museum (ancient shearing room) which holds interesting pioneers and ice adventurers’ stories, the Chapel, a guided hike to Caterina River and a look at the Ranch´s main house.

Level of Difficulty : Low

Cristina Discovery is the most attractive and versatile  option, suitable for those who enjoy Off Road adrenaline. After almost three hours  navigating, ATVs (*) are waiting for the participants to begin ascending a mountain road touring 9.5 km, until reaching the Continental Ice shelter. After a 20-minute walk over glacial erosion ground, the group gets to a privileged viewpoint in front of the eastern Upsala Glacier front, Guillermo Lake, the southern Patagonian Ice field and the Andes.

The circuit lasts about 3 hours, reaching 550m.a.s.l.

At the ranch base, the tour continues with a guided visit to the Museum of the Estancia (ancient shearing  room), Caterina River and the Chapel . Participants will have time for lunch between one activity and the following one.

 (*) All Terrain Vehicles

Level of Difficulty:  Intermediate

After participants disembark, ATVs begin the ascent through a mountain road, touring 9.5 km until reaching the Continental Ices shelter. After a 20-minute walk over glacial erosion ground, the group gets to a privileged viewpoint in front of the eastern Upsala Glacier front, Guillermo Lake, the southern Patagonian Ice field and the Andes.


From this point, a downhill trek begins, hiking through the Canyon of Fossils, a valley of unique features  inside the National Park,  field of marine fossils.

The  complete circuit lasts about 5 hours and a half, reaching 550m.a.s.l, targeted to  those in good physical conditions.

Level of Difficulty High

IMPORTANT: This activity is not suitable for children under  12 years. Participants will have lunch during the tour and they will go on-board at 17:30hs, as soon as they return to the Ranch.

NOTE: If Estancia Cristina’s activity coordinator determines that any participant lacks the physical abilities required or the proper clothing, he will not be allowed to perform the activity, not claims nor refunds being accepted by the company.