Estancias in Argentina are known to be the most traditional places to experience nature, wildlife and gaucho experiences. However, not all offer the same amenities nor activities. The modern realities of continuous urbanization and social isolation due to ever-present technology create the need to lay back, unplug, and get in touch with nature. A visit to one of Argentina’s tranquil estancias provides you with the chance to rediscover these sensitivities.
El Pedral is an old house, built in 1923, and is part of a unique scenery composed of a stone beach, high cliffs and natural wildlife. It offers you the opportunity to walk under the sunset, read in tranquility at the house while enjoying a blazing fire, and gather for a familiar homemade dinner in this magical setting.
The house itself is a museum and its beauty is the result of both its history and design. El Pedral not only provides accomodation but also supports various different kinds of activities. For instance, a visit to the Punta Ninfas Lighthouse is one of the most popular outings. In the southern-most point of the Golfo Nuevo (New Gulf), the Punta Ninfas lighthouse rises above the vast landscape, displaying amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and the gulf. This is an ideal destination for photography enthusiasts to visit, especially during the evening for mind-blowing sundown pictures, as well as after dark for exotic moonlight views.
Only fifteen minutes away from the house, the beaches that lie beneath the cliffs are the natural habitat for elephant seals. In the middle of September, the males arrive to mark their territory and form their harem. These animals allow onlookers come pretty close, however not upsetting them by approaching slowly and squatting is the key to make them feel safe rather than invaded.
Penguins are also Spring visitors to this region, and El Pedral offers a walk alongside their nests on the beach to better understand them and to admire their colony up-close. These penguins from Magallanes show some particular characteristics. For starters, they are two-toned, meaning black and white only, unlike some other varieties of penguin with colorful details. On their chest and neck, they have two stripes in the shape of an inverted horseshoe, and their black back allows them to camouflage. They stay in the South until March, when they swim to Brazil for their seasonal migration.
These previously mentioned activities, with the added combination of a plentiful lunch, become a full-day excursion to explore the area and enjoy the natural settings, and can also include transfers in and out from Puerto Madryn for an additional cost. Without any additional cost, there are other activities available in the estancia, such as their pool, bikes, self-guided paths, a football field and some spots for birdwatching.
El Pedral gives their visitors the rare chance to unplug; there is no mobile reception, only the sound of silence and nature to provoke relaxation and tranquility. Additional food and activities at the house can only be paid in cash, so keep that in mind when visiting.
Written by Cecilia Carmona