Several of the region’s largest and most important estancias are in the vicinity of Río Grande. Founded by the Menéndez dynasty’s Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego, Estancia María Behety, 17 kilometers west via gravel RC-c, is home to the world’s largest shearing shed.
Also Sociedad Explotadora property, Estancia José Menéndez, 25 kilometers southwest of town via RN 3 and RC-b, is one of the island’s most historic ranches. RC-b continues west to an obscure border post (open Nov.–Mar. only) at Radman, where few visitors of any kind cross the line to Lago Blanco on the Chilean side.
For potential overnighters, though, the Sea View Guest House at the Simon and Carolina Goodall family’s Estancia Viamonte (tel. 02964/43-0861, www.estanciaviamonte.com, US$145 pp with half board, US$175 pp with full board, including wine and soft drinks) is the only place on the island that can offer the opportunity to sleep in Lucas Bridges’s bedroom. Directly on RN 3, about 42 kilometers southeast of Río Grande, it fronts on a bird-rich beach; the house itself can sleep up to six people with two shared baths, plus living and dining rooms. There are extensive gardens and chances for fishing, riding, and farm activities.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition