Having set sail from Punta Bandera harbor at 9AM, we will glide over the waters of Lake Argentino’s Northern Arm to reach the furthest possible point of navigation in the Upsala Channel, where we can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier’s front. Then, having disembarked at the shores close to Estancia Cristina, an expert guide will welcome visitors and take them on an amazing ride. Expect a delightful mix of mountain views, time spent by the lake and birdwatching opportunities on this gentle horseback ride to Cristina Valley, making for an easy but rewarding excursion.
After leaving the Estancia behind, we ride in a northerly direction, heading deeper into nature, cross the Caterina River and pass The Noria: a replica of the original water-powered wheel that was built here in 1945, poplar trees and the house itself. This is a good spot to appreciate the specific type of flora that’s typical of the Patagonian steppe. Make your way on horseback along pathways covered with loose stone and moss, leading you eventually to an elevated lookout point that bestows sweeping views of the valley. With luck on our side, we may be able to glimpse various species of bird such as the Common and Royal Goose, Black Necked Swan, Coscoroba Swan and Spectacled Duck, among many others. Take your time to absorb this picturesque setting.
Near Pearson Lake, we will have time for lunch (Lunch can be booked in advance or you can take your own lunch box from Calafate). Then, when you are finally ready to head home, go back along the same route towards the starting point, the perfect time to take it all in. Later on, we will visit the Costumbrista Museum, where we can learn all about the history of the Masters family: their lives, adventures and how they became pioneers in Patagonia. At 5pm we will head toward the shore, take the boat and return to El Calafate.
NOTE: The exact logistics of activities involved in this excursion shall be defined by Estancia Cristina.