Tamara and Jose are farmers descending from Croatian and Scottish settlers; the grandparents of Tamara came from Scotland to work for the Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego at the end of the 18th century; and José Antonio’s grandparents arrived after the First World War under despair and poverty in search of a new chance in life. Both pioneer families, starting over in a completely new world, worked the land and livestock with one single purpose: “to build a new life”. Old family traditions and the efforts of life from the early beginnings in Patagonia is being passed on; today Tamara and José Antonio, the second generation, and their son Bossy with his family have maintained and dedicated their lives to the countryside. They live intensely and value family life associated with nature, knowledge, and love of the land. From generation to generation, the efforts of their ancestors have passed on, and then Estancia Laguna Sofía appeared as one of those opportunities that only occur once in a lifetime: the estancia was acquired in 2007 for raising cattle (the original name is maintained from the former owner). Given its near-by location to the city of Puerto Natales along with the natural beauty of its surroundings, the family thought to make this little piece of Patagonia known through several-days horseback rides and thus Pingo Salvaje arose in 2009. Over time it has specialized and adapted by developing equestrian activities for all types of riders.
Estancia Laguna Sofía with 6,000 hectares is part of a productive entity. Through generations the family has tried various grazing management systems none of which have satisfied their goals of conservation of the ecosystem or of the animals. Once they heard about Allan Savory (1935, one of the greatest environmentalists of all time) and went to a lecture, then, with the guidance of an expert, they began to apply the Holistic Planned system on their 22,000 hectares distributed in 6 units. Properly managed livestock is the key to restoring grassland soils; the soil holds a greater amount of atmospheric carbon; avoiding degradation and desertification of the ecosystems; restoring the health of the land by using livestock as our main tool. Today the soil is clean: not fertilized, not cultivated nor plowed; no herbicides, fungicides or insecticides are used. These are the simple reasons our land maintains the native flora and fauna that coexist harmoniously with our animals and Pingo Salvaje horses, and this is the reason our land is fenced; it needs to be subdivided for a proper planning. Estancia Laguna Sofía is GRASS 018-18 certified (Grassland Regeneration and Sustainable Standard) and we are currently meeting Global Goals.
Is a family project that makes it possible to reach equilibrium between the livestock and the wildlife; without affecting the environment it reduces the cattle death rate and avoids the extermination of predators.
Pingo Salvaje is situated on route 9 North that connects Puerto Natales with Cerro Castillo and Laguna Sofia. From kilometer 26 (leaving from Puerto Natales) you access a gravel road and continue for 6 kilometers until reaching the estancia, a total of 32 kilometers. It is worth noticing that we are only 20 minutes away from the hospital and fire brigade in case of emergency.
We live a simple life and are provided by nature: the water we drink comes from a waterfall that feeds Laguna Sofía; we obtain hydraulic energy from that same waterfall; we recycle the wood from fallen trees and turns it into firewood that gives us heat; we raise happy chickens that provide us with eggs; we grow our vegetables in our small orchard; and we fill our lungs with the cleanest air in the world. Internet connectivity is poor; we are surrounded by mountains, birds, flowers, trees, caves, etc. and in the center are set a beautiful paleolago, the Laguna Sofia.
The Creole horse is original; it was brought by the Spanish conquerors. It has a lot of resistance and is a very popular breed in Chilean Patagonia as is the Arabian horse. Our horses are well tamed; they are mature animals and have a mild temperament. We take special care towards them; they are dewormed, vaccinated against equine influenza, their shoes are changed and their hoofs are checked every 20 days. For two years they have been in a dental treatment that clearly has led to an even more docile behavior. We love our horses! And they are the topic of conversation at every table. We talk about their behavior, their mischiefs, their anger, etc. We live and share with them every day!!