Another couple, my wife and I went to Pampa Linda for a week of horse back riding, hiking and looking at nature. This place is fabulous. It is off the beaten path. Do not expect to be able to go into town to check things out. But, if you want to ride great sure footed, quite and dependable horses through spectacular scenery this place is a must.
Estancia Pampa Linda is a small ranch that can accommodate 36 guests. It is several hours outside if Bariloche. There is nothing else really around the ranch.
We were the only guests in the hotel for two of the nights we were there. On two other nights there were 3 and 4 other people in the hotel. We had the run of the place and it was great. The rooms were comfortable and clean. Our package was all inclusive, so we dined in the dining room every morning and evening. The food was always plentiful and delicious. I was hooked on Carmen’s empanadas. I had to start dinner with these delicious things every night. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. English was not commonly spoken by the staff. We all speak Spanish so it was not a problem. One of our crew grew up in Columbia so she was our interpreter for the really difficult translations. There were also several staff members that did speak English and were always ready to help out.
We rode horses six days and saw the most gorgeous country. We packed our lunches on the horses, stopping to eat at the most picturesque spots imaginable. One day we sat on a hill while Andean condors rode the thermal drafts six feet over our heads.
The Estancia sits in a valley carved by a glacier. It looks like Yosemite. At the end is the 12,000 foot high Mt. Tronador, with all of its ice and glaciers. It looks a bit like the Matterhorn. Imagine Yosemite Valley with the Matterhorn at one end and no other tourists. That is what we saw.
We had rain one day, which was not a problem as we brought rain slickers to ride in. The staff said we were very lucky with the weather. It is usually wetter. This has to be expected seeing how green everything was. We had two riding guides go out with us every ride. One spoke English. We never had to ride with another group. Just the four of us and our guides, moving at our own pace. We cut one ride short one day because we were all tired. It was nice to be able to do this and not feel like you were impinging on some stranger’s vacation.
If you do this trip, be sure to take a side trip to Otto Meiling Refuge if the weather permits. It is a back packer hostel on Mt. Tronador. The food was great in the Refuge. We are in our 40's. We did not get to backpack across Europe as 20 some things. This was our one chance to experience it. For one night it was great. We bought some nice Australians a couple of beers and heard their story of backpacking around the world for 10 months. Good on them. One night was perfect for us.
We loved this place.