Two unique places to stay in southern Chile that are worth exploring is a bed & breakfast guest house called Estancia Pingo Salvaje and a ranch called Agroturismo Estancia Mercedes. Estancia Pingo Salvaje is located 30 km from Puerto Natales city centre in Chile’s Patagonia. There is a garden and Torres del Paine National Park is only a 1.5-hour drive away.
With large windows overlooking the mountains, the rooms albeit may be basic but you are surrounded by pure nature on all sides.You’re not signing up for luxury here – it’s no Remota Resort or EcoLodge but it’s not trying to be either. Think of it as a quaint guest house in the middle of nature with basic but clean accommodations and shared bathroom facilities. A continental breakfast is served daily. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.
What’s more special about staying here is the horseback riding tours from the guest house into some of the most stunning scenery around. They do a full day tour where you pass condor perches, panoramic views, cattle drives and landscapes. For a full day tour, you ride towards The Gaucho Hut in Vega Senoret.
Along the way, you go around the Laguna Sofia, bordering the Sierra Senoret, with great views of the mountains that are part of the Andes Mountain Range. Once at Vega Senoret, you take in views of the Paine Massif and Hill Ventana. You also pass through a beech forest, waterfalls, rivers and rock formations. Another horseback ride (shorter) takes you to some caves where archaeologists have found remains of prehistorical animals and a human burial site that is about 3,900 years old.
Estancia Laguna Sofia, Ruta 9
09.623.603.71 & [email protected]
Estancia Mercedes is located 35 km from the city of Puerto Natales 185 km from Torres del Paine National Park, 10 km Alacalufes National Reserve and 40 km from Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.
The farm is natural and rustic at its best, started by the Iglesias Alvarez family, whose history began as long ago as 1908, when 25 hectares was purchased. This property was transformed into the first house built in Puerto Natales, which today forms part of the historic tourist circuit Natales commune. They offer the opportunity to live like a true Patagonia rancher and the way of living in the pristine nature that southern Chile offers. You can learn how to live like a rancher, working with dogs and horses and acquiring the basic skills of handling wild cattle.
They also offer excursions from their ranch to Cavalcade, which includes waterfalls, horseback riding, watching condors, trekking to Cerro Mirador and more. There are also natural vegetables on the farm — lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, chili peppers, cabbage and herbs and they make ceviche from smoked salmon that they make on-site.
56.9.94404881 & [email protected]
Photo credits: www.allwaysok. com and Laguna Sofia from www. trekearth. com. Estancia Mercedes from their site.