While this remote set up is not on Peninsula Valdes itself, the protected Patagonian Atlantic coast to the south has equally stunning scenery and if peace and quiet is what you're after, Bahia Bustamante is just the ticket.
With just four estancias in the local area, this ranch may be isolated but it's cheerful and comfortable. There are six sea view houses, each with two double bedrooms, en suite bathrooms, lounge area and outdoor patio and benefitting from full board and with activities included. If you're looking for more independence, the five 'steppe view' houses have a double room, en suite bathroom, full kitchen and patio with barbeque, and are just 600ft from the sea. And if it all gets too much the additional services are available.
The tiny town's old Store House is the main base here, home to a communal living room, museum, craft store with handicrafts and books, club room with games, and the restaurant. The cuisine is regional, leaning heavily on locally farmed lamb, mutton and seafood, with fresh fruit and veg from the garden and even marine algae from the local beaches,
Despite the remoteness of the estancia, there is plenty to do in the area. The resident sea lions, penguins and marine birdlife in the Malaspina cove and Versace Archipelago can be visited on a private boat trip aboard Atrevida, or guests can explore the peninsula on foot, or by mountain bike or kayak. Riding horses and hands-on help with sheep farming at the local estancias can also be arranged, or guests can relax on the white sand beaches, visit the local lighthouse and petrified forest, or learn about the local seaweed farming industry.
Why We Love It
Guests will see plenty of weird and wonderful species because the local area is a designated Marine National Park
Estancia Rincon Chico
In the protected wilderness of Peninsula Valdes, Estancia Rincon Chico is a working merino sheep ranch dedicated to preserving the rangeland environment and the precious flora and fauna that inhabit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The isolation and tranquillity of Rincon Chico lends itself to unsurpassed star gazing opportunities and a lark song wake-up call.
With just eight rooms, the Estancia's guesthouse is welcoming, homely and designed to resemble an old English home. Run by Augustin and Maria who are relations of the original Olazabal and Endara pioneering families, the arrangements are flexible - bedrooms can be made up as singles, doubles, kings or triples and all are en suite.
All meals are included at this isolated lodge - buffet-style breakfasts and fixed menu lunches and dinners are served in the communal dining room.
The real attraction of the Estancia is its location near to ten miles of rugged coastline. Guided tours, horseback riding, trekking, mountain biking and bird-watching are all possible, as are the opportunity to spot sealions and elephant seals, penguins, Patagonian grey fox, hairy armadillo and pampas cats, to name a few. Whale and dolphin watching boat trips offer close encounters with orcas, southern right whales, dusky and bottlenose dolphins, as well as a host of brackwater birds. Snorkelling and diving trips also allow guests to discover the underwater delights of the peninsula. Back on the ranch, traditional sheep shearing and branding is an experience is available for anyone wanting a taste of true farming.
Why We Love It
The guesthouse is built to mimic the style of a nearby building that was brought, lock and stock from England by boat in 1897.