Estancia Cristina

Estancia Cristina is a unique wilderness lodge offering true Patagonian hospitality and exclusive access to the awe inspiring natural wonder of the Upsala Glacier.  The Estancia is located on the Northwest shore of Lago Argentino, in an untouched corner of Los Glaciares National Park. It can only be reached by boat in 3 hours from Punta Bandera, which is a 50 minute transfer from El Calafate. The return boat trip takes 2 hours. It’s possible to stay at Estancia Cristina in the lovely 20 room lodge or to visit for the day. 

The 20 comfortable rooms - distributed amongst 5 cabins – are complimented by delicious Patagonian cuisine, a small museum and a variety of unforgettable explorations on foot, 4x4, by horse or mountain bike. Lodge rates include full-board with non-alcoholic drinks, activities, transfers, local taxes and the entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park. Salmon and trout fishing is also available on request but not included.

For those with less time there is a choice of 3 day trips, though we highly recommend that visitors plan a stay at the lodge to enjoy the many excursions. These include a 4x4 trip up to the look-out point for stunning views over Upsala glacier, followed by a 14 km trek down through the spectacular Fossil Canyon.

Why stay overnight at Estancia Cristina? Only guests staying at the lodge can:

  • take full advantage of the long summer days, starting their excursions from 8am.
  • use the beautiful “Octagon”, with its cosy main restaurant, bar and lounge
  • go riding, fishing and choose from a wide selection of treks and hikes, with smaller group sizes
  • enjoy priority seating on the boat transfers, as well as being first to disembark.

NEW: From season 2018/19, guests overnighting at Estancia Cristina will have the option of using the same boat as those booking a full-day excursion, or a new additional transfer in each direction, exclusively for overnight guests.

See our special document with more details.

Founded in 1914 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife Jessie Elisabeth Waring from England, this beautiful place still retains its essence, aiming to keep the history of this amazing family and their story alive.

El Puma Lodge in Chalten is owned by the same operator.

**Latest News**

Aug 2019

Estancia Cristina, confirmed new timing for sailings:

Guest boat – Francesco

- Pick up in El Calafate: from 10:00am (1 hour ealier than previous timings)

-          Embarkment: 10:45

-          Departure 11:00 (1 hour ealier)

-          Arrival to Estancia  14:00/14:30 (30 minutes earlier)

-          Departure from Estancia 15:00 (same time)

-          Arrival to Punta Banderas: 17:00  (same time)


Day trippers boat – Chinook

-          Pick up in El Calafate: from 07:30 (30 mins later)

-          Embarkment: 08:45

-          Departure 09:00 (30 mins later)

-          Arrival to Estancia  11:30 (same time)

-          Departure from Estancia 17:30 (same time)

-          Arrival to Punta Banderas: 18:45 (45 mins before)


Guests of the Estancia can chose to take either the boat for overnight guests or day trippers boat, but the former is smaller and exclusively for the use of those staying overnight at the Estancia.


New horse riding Full Day Itineraries now available for day-trippers to the Estancia. These will not interfere nor coincide with the horseriding excursions for the guests of the Estancia. Please ask your DMC for more details on prices of the day trips from El Calafate.



January 2018

Estancia Cristina has purchased a new catamaran for its operations on Lago Argentino next season 2018/2019. The custom-made boat with a capacity for 200 people in total, with 2 decks, will be faster than those currently in operation. This new boat will be used mainly for day trippers, while one of the boats currently in operation will be used exclusively for guests at Ea. Cristina’s lodge. We don’t yet have the exact departure times, but overnight guests will now be able to arrive at and leave the Estancia on the same day as their flight.

Los Glaciares National Park announced last October that it would carry out geological studies in the Upsala channel. Since then, tourist boats cannot travel beyond Onelli peninsula, some 20kms away from Upsala glacier. No time limit has been set but it appears to be a long term project.  Estancia Cristina, which is located within the National Park, is now the only place from which one can see Upsala glacier, for visitors booking either its fill day Discovery or Trekking trips or those staying overnight.