Estancia San José. Lamb, horseback ride and much more …

This outing is a perfect sample of what visitors are looking for: eating lamb like kings, riding on horseback with the family and enjoying an educational farm for children. Where? Minutes away from Puerto Madryn.

Once we settled in the City of Puerto Madryn, we resolved to fulfill one of the dreams that had taken us there.
We asked around for the best place to eat the typical Patagonian lamb and everybody led us to the same spot: Estancia San José.

After making a telephone call and finding information about the local schedule, we made a reservation for the entire family. We had already enjoyed the typical sea lion and whale-watching tours that captivate all visitors to Madryn.

We got up really early and half-way through the morning, we set out towards estancia San José, located at the 1,383th kilometer marker on National Route 3, just 20 kilometers north of the City of Puerto Madryn.

  • Family ride

    Family ride

  • Typical Parrilla Country

    Typical Parrilla Country

  • Great horses manicured

    Great horses manicured

  • Educational farm

    Educational farm

  • Creole traditional barbecue grill in a warm atmosphere

    Creole traditional barbecue grill in a warm atmosphere

  • An unforgettable experience

    An unforgettable experience

The access to the estancia is very well marked by a giant sign and six flags. The gate lies next to the sign and the path led us to the shell.

It was there that we saw the typical Patagonian estancia, resembling the constructions portrayed in the old episodes of the memorable “Little House in the Prairie”. Its owners, Walter and Mario, gave us a warm welcome and told us the story of this legendary venue dating back from 1922.

Patagonian estancia, resembling the constructions portrayed in the old episodes of the memorable “Little House in the Prairie”. We were welcomed by its owners, Walter and Mario, who gave us an account of the history of this legendary venue dating back from 1922.

As we toured around the shell, we made out species like foxes, Patagonian hares, choiques, elegant crested tinamous and, to our children’s surprise, the guanacos called Quimey and Camila, who are already part of the staff and wander loose around the venue, came to greet us in very friendly way.

This “staff” is made up by a wide array of animals that are part of the Educational Farm. This has become one of the most coveted and highly recommended outings for children. Sheep, goat, horses, cows, ducks, turkeys, geese and many other animals contribute sound, color and joy to this place as they let both children and adults to stroke them.

The estancia venue occupies five thousand hectares and its main activity has always been sheep husbandry. However, today Walter and Mario have opened its gates to tourists visiting the city.

The circuit is extremely amusing and as midday approaches, so does the roasted lamb.

The steak house called La Vaca Atada is located inside the property. In addition to tasting delicious Patagonian lamb and a complete wine list, customers may enjoy an excellent live Argentinian folklore show.

The lamb was delicious and the service was impeccable. At around 2.30pm, amidst gatos and chacareras and the singing of the payador, the sheep shearer appeared and showed us his skills live on stage. Impressive!

Stunned by the true charm of this natural site that preserves its entire estancia, we resolved to listen to Mario’s advice and set out on horseback across the native woods made up by piquillín, jarilla and molle, among other local bushes. The trails led us back to the estancia shell showing us Patagonian hares and choiques.

Walter told us that visitors may also rent bikes but we wanted to end the day drinking some mate under a tamarisk tree.

We started our way back to the City of Puerto Madryn at around 6pm. As we traveled along the rubble road that led to National Route 3, lying two and a half kilometers away, we promised to return to this magical site to breathe the Patagonian rural air again.

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Gentileza Estancia San José

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