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Estancia "Cerro La Buitrera"
Tour: Condor observation at “Cerro de la Buitrera”

We leave Bariloche early (between 06:00 and 08:00h, depending on the time of the year).  The trip lasts 45 minutes; half the distance is covered on a paved road and the rest on a gravel road, passing through the picturesque Ñirihuau Valley before we arrive at the main house of Estancia “El Desafío”. After a welcome mate, a traditional tea, we will walk around the main buildings then proceed up to the base of the 100 metre walls, formed from volcanic ash and small stones, and sculpted by the wind and rain. These characteristics make this one of the finest and largest roosting spots in the area for the Andean condor. Nearby, there is a cabin that offers protection from the ever-present wind, where we can enjoy breakfast, lunch or tea. Very often the condors spend the night on these cliffs and we should be able to see them when they leave for the steppe in search of food or when they return, flying over the strange rocky formations before finally alighting to bring their day to a close.

Following this activity we will walk through a remnant forest of ancient high deciduous beech trees where we may catch a glimpse of other birds such as the Magellanic woodpecker, austral parakeet, white-throated treerunner, thorn-tailed rayadito, Chilean flicker and other birds such as the aplomado falcon and American kestrel.
We offer two options:

Half-day tour:
Lasting approximately 5 hours, this tour can be done either in the morning or the afternoon.

Included: Transport from the hotel, coffee or tea, entrance fee for the estancia and a bilingual guide with binoculars and spotting scope.

Full day tour:  from 08:00h to 07:00h

Included: Transport from the hotel, coffee or tea, traditional asado lunch, entrance fee for the estancia and bilingual guide with binoculars and spotting scope. These trips are subject to weather conditions since some of the roads are closed after heavy rainfall. This type of weather generally occurs in autumn and winter (May to end of August).

Walter Palavecino & Mariano Diez Peña

Birding Patagonia • Birdwatcing in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction of photographs is forbidden without permission from the authors.
Photographs on the website: Mariano Diez Peña