Touring around Estancia Cristina

Cross a lake while observing ice floes adrift, go hiking to a majestic glacier and learn about the history of a Patagonian estancia: everything at one single spot.

Navigating Lake Argentino and reaching one of the most important estancias in Argentinian Patagonia is a very attractive tour for visitors, especially if they come across giant ice floes adrift, icebergs and glacier pieces on the way.

The luxurious catamaran left from Punta Bandera very early in the morning. Dozens of tourists were delighted to see everything around both in the cabin and on deck.

The location of estancia Cristina offers the best access to the Upsala Glacier and the continental ice fields, which turns it into a paradise unique in the world. Visitors may decide on the one or two-day programs or a stay at this wonderful venue.

No sooner had we landed than a fleet of 4WD vehicles was already waiting to take us around the area, according to the tour each of us had hired. In our case, we had chosen Upsala Discovery, which would lead us to a viewpoint of the Upsala Glacier and then cover the historical aspect at the estancia museum before having lunch at the main dining-room.

  • Viewpoint to the Upsala glacier

    Viewpoint to the Upsala glacier

  • Navigating the Argentine Lake

    Navigating the Argentine Lake

  • I disembark in the estancia

    I disembark in the estancia

  • Upsala Mountain

    Upsala Mountain

  • Cabins and restaurant

    Cabins and restaurant

  • Excursion to Upsala mountain

    Excursion to Upsala mountain

  • Return to the hull of the estancia

    Return to the hull of the estancia

Until a while ago, the watercraft on which we were traveling could reach the main wall of the Upsala, but a great calving of these ice formations gave shape to an ice barrier that prevents the catamaran from taking this route. Therefore, today hiking is the best way to enjoy the feeling of being in front of this great wall of ice that is called Upsala.

The view from the vantage point is spectacular. We hiked all the way up there and stood right in front of the ancient ice. Its colors range from white to light blue, going through all the blue hues possible. Breathtaking, indeed.

The tour continued up to the estancia. We went around the venue and learned about its history and its old dwellers. Of course we also heard why it has been given that name.

As the sun set, we went back to the catamaran in order to return to Puerto Bandera. Undoubtedly, this is a highly recommendable tour, as it perfectly combines navigation, nature, history and culture in a place almost lost as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Jorge González

DifficultyDifficulty: Intermediate

DurationDuration: The excursion takes all day, and there exists the possibility of staying at the estancia overnight.

Opening hoursOpening hours: The boat leaves at 8:30 am.

How to get hereHow to get here: To get to estancia Cristina, it is necessary to get on board the catamaran leaving from Puerto Bandera.

Bear in mindBear in mind: The program includes access to Los Glaciares National Park, navigation from Paraje de la Cruz at Puerto Punta Bandera up to the western face of the glacier and the estancia. Activities may be chosen by visitors, according to the excursions they hire.

Location

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