Farm Stay, Farm Work
Puerto Natales, Patagonia
Flexible start and end dates between October and April
Feeling the dramatic wind of Patagonia in your hair, drinking water straight from the spring, observing wild animals, hugging ancient trees, accompanying condors in their flight - that is Patagonia. It is a place to dream, for explorers and adventurers.
The Farm Stay program takes place on an idyllic estancia from the times of European immigrants in the extreme south of Chile. The estancia is located in the middle of Patagonia about 30 kilometers from the tourist town of Puerto Natales. The Estancia is close to a large lagoon embedded in a mountain landscape.
The owners of the estancia are cattle breeders and direct descendants of Croatian and Scottish settlers who came to Patagonia at the end of the 19th century in search of new perspectives. This is how knowledge was passed on from generation to generation.
The estancia has been tourist-oriented since 2009. On the farm, guests will find wonderful accommodation options in a unique piece of earth. In addition to the cozy guest house, there is also a campsite for tourists who really love adventure. In addition to cattle breeding, the estancia specializes in outdoor activities such as horse riding and trekking tours through the breathtaking nature of Patagonia.
The heart of the farm are the horses. The permanent staff consists of around 60 horses, which are cared for and looked after by a handful of employees. The horse breeds (Chilean Criollos and Arabian horses) of the estancia are particularly suitable for distance riding and they are used to the harsh Patagonian climate. In addition to the horses, cattle and sheep also belong to the estancia. Please note that the cattle during summer is not at the Estancia but on pastureland farer away.
Sustainable animal husbandry is practiced on the thousands of hectares of land. The estancia has been awarded the Gassland Regeneration and Sustainable Standard certificate. The aim is to preserve the native flora and fauna and not to destroy local ecosystems.
The participants in the Farm Stay program work hands-on where help it needed. The care of the horses is just as much a part of their responsibilities as the maintenance of the estancia and the attention of the guests. The exact work schedule will be determined on site. It depends, among other things, on the number of tourists, the weather, personal strengths, and abilities. In remote areas, such as the location of the estancia, work is generally carried out in blocks of 11 working days and 4 days off. On the days off, the participants leave the estancia and usually stay in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales to rest and to go on excursions in the beautiful surroundings on their own.
The employees of the estancia, as well as the participants in the farm stay program, wear work clothes provided by the estancia.
It should be noted that treating animals well is just as important as being loyal and friendly towards colleagues and superiors.
The areas of responsibility include:
- Accompanying the tourists on horseback excursions (after a training period)
- Cleaning and maintaining the riding equipment
- Caring for the horses and other animals
- Keeping the grounds of the estancia clean
- Keeping the pastures and stables clean
- Assistance in the maintenance of green areas, common rooms, camping sites and sanitary facilities
- Chopping and stacking firewood
- Cooking and cleaning in shifts
- Help with kitchen work
- Other activities that arise in the operation of the estancia and with the tourists
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
Farm Stay participants live in a shared room in the staff house on the estancia. Shared bathrooms and a common room are available. Full board is included in the program and is provided by the estancia. Meals are taken either in the main building or in the staff house.
The estancia supplies itself with sustainable resources. A conscious and eco-friendly use of water and electricity is requested. The water comes directly from a waterfall that feeds the lagoon. Hydraulic energy is also obtained from the waterfall. Fallen trees are used as firewood, which supplies the houses with heat.
The estancia also keeps “happy” chickens, which provide the kitchen with fresh eggs. Vegetables come from their own small vegetable garden.
Due to the isolated location, the internet connection and cell phone reception at the estancia are poor. The breathtaking landscapes and beautiful nature undoubtedly make up for the seclusion.
The pristine landscapes, dense untouched forests, the glaciers, turquoise shimmering lakes and rivers, the breathtaking mountains, the mist-shrouded fjords, the endless sky, the exciting wildlife (pumas, skunks, foxes, wild cats, guanacos, armadillos, woodpeckers, kestrels, eagles, condors, cachañas parrots, etc.), ... Patagonia is simply a fascinating place and offers its visitors truly unforgettable impressions.
The estancia is about 30 kilometers from the town of Puerto Natales, with its 18,000 inhabitants. Puerto Natales is the starting point for many outdoor activities and excursions in the surrounding areas.
From wildlife viewing, boat trips to glaciers, kayaking, biking, horseback riding, hiking and climbing, pretty much everything is included.
The highlight is definitely the Torres del Paine National Park. It is world famous for its bizarre rock formations, beautiful hiking trails, glaciers and lakes.
But Puerto Natales can do even more. In addition to cozy accommodation options, there is also a large selection of good restaurants and diverse shops available to visitors. Interesting museums and historical monuments are also waiting to be visited.
Spanish at communication level. For optimal preparation for your farm work in Chile, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office in Santiago de Chile you will be supported by an on-site volunteer coordinator.
Costs & Services
Our Farm Stay at an Estancia in Patagonia includes:
- Shared room
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Advice from our experienced staff
- On-going support via WhatsApp, phone or mail
- Elaboration of your application profile in Spanish
- Your Farm Stay placement
- Pre-departure information
- Packing list
- Country handbook
- Intercultural guide
- On-site volunteer coordinator
- 24/7 emergency number
- Advice on travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.