Estancia Ranquilco is located in the remote and scenic Patagonia, Argentina. The 100,000 acre ranch reaches clear to the Chilean border of Patagonia's northernmost province - Neuquén. The nearest small towns are El Cholar and El Huecu, and the nearest city is Zapala.
In a nutshell, to get to Ranquilco one must first travel to the Neuquén province, drive to the ranch outpost, then mount horses for the beautiful ride into the lodge. See below for detailed travel options.
Buenos Aires to Neuquén by Plane + 5 Hour Drive to Ranch Outpost
Many of our guests choose to fly from Buenos Aires (BA) to the provincial capital Neuquén. The flight is an easy hour and a half, and there are several each day from the domestic airport in BA - Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP). See despegar.com for flight options, and be sure to choose a flight that arrives to Neuquén by 10am at the latest. We will arrange for our driver to pick you up at the airport to drive the remaining five hours to the ranch outpost, Buta Mallin (write [email protected] for up-to-date pricing on this ride). There, our guides will be waiting to greet you with a picnic lunch and pack your luggage onto our pack mules. When ready, mount your horse for a beautiful three hour ride into the ranch lodge, arriving in time for evening beverages on the patio followed by a delicious welcoming dinner.
Buenos Aires to Zapala by Bus + 3 Hour Drive to Ranch Outpost
Another common way to go is by way of an overnight bus from Buenos Aires to Zapala - the closest large town to the ranch. The bus takes about 18 hours, and though long, the busses are relatively comfortable and the trip provides a nice opportunity to catch up on sleep. We recommend the bus company Via Bariloche. Tickets can be booked on their website. The departure point is Retiro Terminal (leaving at 4pm), and the arrival point is Zapala Terminal (arriving at 9am). We will arrange for our driver to pick you up at the Zapala bus station to drive the remaining three hours to the ranch outpost, Buta Mallin (write [email protected] for up-to-date pricing on this ride). There, our guides will be waiting to greet you with a picnic lunch and pack your luggage onto our pack mules. When ready, mount your horse for a beautiful three hour ride into the ranch lodge, arriving in time for evening beverages on the patio followed by a delicious welcoming dinner.
Travel via San Martin de los Andes, Argentina:
From Buenos Aires, there are daily flights or overnight busses to the delightful lakeside town of San Martin de los Andes, in Patagonia's Lake District. From there, catch a four hour bus to Zapala where our driver will meet you for the remaining three hour drive to the ranch. Or, if you'd prefer, we can arrange for our driver to pick you up in San Martin de los Andes.
San Martin makes a great base for exploring the famous Lake District. We can connect you with housing and a great guide if you'd like - just let us know!
Travel via Temuco, Chile:
From Chile's capital city, Santiago, fly, bus or train down to the town of Temuco in Chile's Patagonia. From Temuco, take an incredible bus ride over the Andes, passing through many transitions in climate and vegetation as you climb up and over the continental divide and drop into Argentina. Disembark in the little town of Las Lajas, Argentina, where our driver will pick you up and drive you the remaining two hours to the ranch outpost.
Travel via Puerto Montt, Chile & Bariloche, Argentina:
If you have the time and would like to experience more of Patagonia, consider traveling from Santiago to the port city, Puerto Montt, in Chile's Southern Patagonia. Flights or busses are available to reach Puerto Montt. Board a boat in Puerto Montt and cross into Argentina's Patagonia by way of several lakes, eventually disembarking and taking a bus to Bariloche. We can arrange for our driver to pick you up in Bariloche for the six hour drive to the ranch outpost.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need help working out your travel plans: [email protected]
"After almost two full days of travel, riding up to the ranch was like something out of a dream. There was a sun shower behind the main house as we crossed the river - the setting sun reflecting off of the rain drops to make it appear as though the air itself was shimmering with liquid gold sparkles. We were then greeted with warm smiles and cold beer as the sun went down… all that within the first few moments of arriving at the ranch. The subsequent days were equally incredible, and I will say it is something you must experience for yourself." - Victoria, 2017 TripAdvisor Review