Think stunning scenery, four-wheel-drive adventuring, horse riding, and a traditional asado (barbecue) in a rustic log cabin perched on the stony apron of Lake Escondido. It all gives you an insight into the fascinating world of the Fagnano area surrounding the end-of-the-world city of Ushuaia, Argentina. Taking you into the heart of the Andes Mountains, this day tour by Baqueanos Tours is more like having a day out with a group of friends.
You will be personally collected from your hotel accommodation in Ushuaia in a four-wheel drive with plenty of chatter and smiles surrounding you to begin the day. You will head out of Ushuaia on the main Highway No 3. There's only one main highway in and out of this town, the only Argentinian town on the Chilean side of the Andes Mountains.
The stretch of roadway becomes snuggled between flat open areas of snow-covered sphagnum swamps marred by the thin rickety limbs of blackened tree stumps and soaring jagged mountains. The road swerves and bends on precarious angles giving panoramic views of the majestic Andes.
The windswept land takes on different faces depending on the season. When I was there, it was meant to be the beginning of summer, but the weather was intent on doing its own thing – the land was smothered in snow, the wind bracing and the morning sky a mass of ominous grey.
Standing high on viewpoints buffeted by winds was an exhilarating experience. The landmark Garibaldi Pass gives sweeping vistas over the wild terrain. Descending into the Lake Escondido area, the cars travel over old logging roads. A traditional log cabin with horse stables amidst a thick forest of evergreen beech is the site of morning tea. It's also the take-off point if you are going on a horse-riding jaunt.
The horses behave more like pet dogs as they follow you around or snuggle their heads into your shoulders, hoping for a bite of your delicious morning pastry treat. The cabin is like stepping back in time, with old beaver traps and family photographs hanging from walls.
After getting up close and personal with the horses, more four-wheel driving fun is had. You will drive through the wilds crossing gullies of water, navigating long stretches of mud, and checking out beaver dams as you go.
Lake Fergnano – 60 miles long and the biggest lake in Argentina – is the perfect setting for an asado lunch surrounded by nature. The cabin is the picture of a pioneering past. Old trees reach for the sky, blackish oystercatchers dive in for a feed, and the Patagonian grey fox slinks around. Wine is shared with a starter of sumptuous Argentinean cheeses and charcuterie followed by slabs of the best and tenderest meat you will wrap your lips around.
The hosts of the tour are the family members of pioneering ancestors from the 1950s and know the region intimately. There's no lack of free-flowing information, whether it's in response to queries on land formations or about the beavers wreaking havoc amidst the forests. Passionate horse lovers, into outdoor pursuits of all kinds and super friendly, their hospitality has no bounds.
If you wish to create your own tour of this magical landscape, whether it be horseriding or fishing for three days or more, Baqueanos Tours are happy to look after you to ensure you have a memorable personal experience. You can even ask for the famous recipe for the chimichurri slathered on your charred meat.