Does your South America travel plan include the experience of staying at a hacienda or estancia? Our team explains why Argentina and Chile tours are incomplete without a stay in these charming accommodations.
Today’s discerning traveler looks forward to enjoying a more defined luxurious statement, where historic mansions are converted into top class boutique hotels, both comprehensive and local, rather than staying in international hotel chains.
South America’s Chile and Argentina exemplify interesting accommodation that are charming, culturally significant and historically real, melding a strong sense of place, luxury, comfort, service and food. If you are planning Argentina and Chile tours, you must check these out!
Haciendas and estancias are simply enormous farms, plantations, ranches or colonial estates, owned by wealthy families who faced a setback during the industrial revolution. Today, they are converted into beautiful accommodation, authentically reflecting deep history and perfected by dreamy landscapes.
An integral part of South American history, estancias and haciendas reflect their European roots with English and French styles, often luxuriously furnished and retaining their elegant colonial air. The owner of an estancia or hacienda is called the estanciero or hacendado.
A hacienda or estancia stay lets you experience traditional South American life, and participate in gaucho (cowboy) activities – driving cattle, sheep shearing, animal branding, and the occasional traditional guitar music and folklore.
We have handpicked our top 10 – a mix of different style haciendas, estancias and higher-end experience hotels, some of which are quite luxurious. Irrelevant of their standard, they all offer warmth, charm and a taste of local life.
La Bamba de Areco
This is one of Argentina’s oldest yet luxuriously traditional estancias, combining comfort with elegant colonial flair.
Originally built around 1830 just outside San Antonio de Areco in the heart of the Pampas, this estancia was refurbished as a boutique hotel.
House of Jasmines
This charming and intimate boutique hotel with a lovely little spa, lies just outside the colonial city of Salta.
This historic estancia at the foot of the Andes has white adobe walls covered in jasmine, a tiled roof and colonnaded terraces affording amazing mountain views. Created by the Fenestraz family, it effuses a romantic atmosphere combined with elements of northern traditions and the best boutique hotel comforts.
Bahia Bustamante is set on a seafront sheep breeding farm, featuring rooms with private terraces affording sea/garden views.
This unique hotel in the former Bahia Bustamante town, was founded in the 1950s to harvest and process seaweed. Marvel penguins, guanacos, sea lions, birds and more.
Argentina and Chile tours are incomplete without a visit to Patagonia. Estancia Nibepo Aike is a traditional Patagonian estancia on a sheep breeding farm, offering rural accommodation with panoramic mountain views.
Participate in gaucho chores, enjoy traditional asados (barbecues) with cordero patagonica (Patagonian Lamb).
Located inside Los Glaciares National Park, this remote estancia is the ultimate in Patagonian adventure, featuring cosy rooms with scenic mountain views.
Hike through the fossil valley or view the Upsala Glacier. The rooms are former homes of estancia workers.
This stunning multi-windowed remote getaway on Chiloé Island, is built onto a culture-rich landscape deep within the Archipelago of Chiloé.
This incredibly inviting hotel has its own vessel, Williche.
Explora Patagonia, located in the Torres del Paine National Park by the shore of Pehoé Lake, affords stunning views of the Towers of Paine and Horns of Paine Mountains.
It has its own catamaran, as well as a stable and its own horses.
An intimate boutique hotel with outstanding rustic-luxe, a stay here feels like holidaying in outer space!
Located in San Pedro de Atacama’s lunar-like terrain, it has local styles with adobe cabanas and private pool patio amid an historic setting, offering unusual ‘bespoke’ experiences.
La Casona at Matetic
This is an historic 100-year-old colonial estancia on the Matetic estate with chic dècor, featuring rooms with garden views, parquet floors and elegant furniture.
Explore the hotels’ own vineyard and organic winery, offering tuition in wine-growing and tasting.
The latest to debut in Chile’s Lake District is Hacienda Vira Vira, located in beautiful Pucón Valley.
This luxurious traditional hacienda is decorated with Chilean rugs, wood clad rooms and cosy furnishings. Feel inspired by the stunning nature on the Liucura River banks, a conical volcano mountain and the hotel lagoon. What’s more, the Swiss owners have a cheese producing farm onsite.
Each South American country has its own uniqueness, and living on a hacienda or estancia may just be the highlight of your trip!