Experience the wide-open hospitality of a traditional Argentina Estancia. Estancia Huechahue (pronounced 'way-cha-way') is a working cattle ranch in Argentina Patagonia.
Four generations of the Wood family have worked on these 15,000 acres of Patagonian Steppe to produce a self-sufficient oasis and thriving cattle operation.
Patagonia is beautiful, rugged and wild. Life is always an adventure, whether you are out on the hills on horseback or on the river with fly rod in hand. Huechahue maintains traditional values and customs whilst welcoming visitors into a unique world where horses and cattle still roam free and food is home grown.
On Huechahue we have great horses, masses of space and lots to do on horseback.
You can ride through barren rolling hills and along the narrow rocky gorges of the Andean streams; to the tops of the hills where the mighty Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Gallop across water meadows, visit the Indian burial caves, help the gauchos work the cattle and have a game of polocrosse.
Huechahue is not a dude ranch, it is the real thing! When working cattle we start early in the mornings and days can be long, every animal must be found, every canyon and hilltop scouted, behind bushes or down creeks, but there is tremendous satisfaction when the job is done.
The time of year determines what needs to be done but it can include round-ups, vaccinating, separating, branding, moving cattle and horses to new pastures. Herding horses at speed is magic!
Huechahue is home to about 50 horses and with 15,000 acres they live as 'wild' horses as much as is possible. Our prize-winning Criollo stallion, a beautiful 'lobuno' colour can be seen taking care of his mares and foals. Our riding horses are Criollo crosses, part Anglo-Norman, of about 15.5 hh. They are bred and trained on the estancia and are sure-footed and generally well-behaved. As much as possible we like to have them out enjoying the freedom of the water meadows which makes for an exciting ride rounding them up!
We have an eclectic selection of horses allowing us to cater to all riding abilities and confidence levels. They are neck-reined and the riding is similar to Western style. The saddles used are 'montura de monte' which are similar to old English army saddles with a sheepskin on top.
Following traditional gaucho methods, you will find only the stirrups have buckles on our saddles. The saddles are cinched using rawhide, a custom not forgotten from the days when gauchos, like the American cowboy, would ride into the wilderness unable to replace a broken buckle. Our gauchos continue to practice this and you will see them fully equipped with their lassos, gaucho knives and boleadoras.
Lanin National Park
A riding holiday at Huechahue can include a camping pack trip into the heart of the high Andes and the dramatic scenery of Lanin National Park. It's a ride into the wilderness. From the tops of the ridges there are breath-taking views.
Huechahue is located at the heart of some of the finest fly fishing in South America and the world. Incredible rivers such as the Chimehuin, Alumine, Malleo, Quilquihue and Collon Cura are all easily fished whilst enjoying our warm welcome and comfortable accommodation in beautiful surroundings.
Prolific hatches of great yellow mayflies, caddis and willow worms provide exciting fishing. The trout also feed on pancora crabs and minnows. Guests can choose to float and fish from drift boats or wade on stretches of river with private access. The fishing season runs from 1st November through to the end of May.
We pride ourselves on our home produced food. A combination of classic Argentina country cooking and gourmet recipes experimenting with the best of the moment from our vegetable garden. The estancia is virtually self-sufficient. Ham and bacon from our pigs are cured in the smoke-house, eggs come from the chicken run; milk and homemade yogurt and cheeses from the dairy cow and our goats and of course we have our own beef, lamb, venison and wild boar.
With our large orchards, fruit is in abundance and all the preserves, bottle fruit, even the apple juice are home produced. There is a large vegetable garden and bread is freshly baked on a daily basis. Argentina wines have finally achieved international recognition and we like to serve wines from the province. The beers and spirits are good too.