Experience gaucho style hospitality at the El Silencio Ranch

Experience gaucho style hospitality at the El Silencio Ranch
Palena - Queulat Area

When you cross the bridge over the Risopatrón River and visit the El Silencio Ranch, you will be surrounded by the life work of a true gaucho, Don Santos Altamirano: his hand built rustic Fogón, his music and stories, his delicious Asados and smoked meats and his latest creation, the El Silencio trail, a beautiful hike that winds between ancient forests and the Risopatrón River.

  • Data sheet

    Activity Type: Trekking and rural life. 

    Start: The Silencio Ranch. 

    End: The Silencio Ranch.

    Distance: You will find the entrance to this farm 25 km north Puyuhuapi, on the left side of the Carretera Austral, and must enter the narrow gravel entrance and cross over the bridge, so as to approach this great Quincho, called a Fogón. 

    Duration: 1 – 2 days.

    Seasonality: Year round.

    Special Considerations: The telephone signal is not very good in the ranch and many times don Tito and his wife, Señora Maglene are working at their many chores, somewhere on their farm. You can try your luck and show up without prior notice or you can contact their daughter Marioli who works in the Casa Mayorga Grocery Store in Puyuhuapi and she will help you to communicate.

    Reservations: Recommended.

    Servicios: There is only cell signal in a few places in the El Silencio Ranch, so to coordinate your visit, send a text message to Señora Maglene’ cell phone (09) 98321365 or visit her daughter Marioli in the Casa Mayorga Grocery Store in Puyuhuapi.

It is an ambitious challenge to fully understand the culture and ecosystems of the Region of Aysén. The landscapes change drastically from the seas to the pampas, the climate is a mixture of everything (often at the same time), and there are so many quirky traditions and customs! Thankfully, there are some special places that allow you to experience the essence of the nature, culture and history of the Region; the fogón, which is similar to a quincho, or an indoor barbecue house, at the El Silencio Ranch is one of these amazing places. It has been built by hand, using native woods and materials and is filled with relics and decor that reflect the gaucho style. The person responsible for this amazing atmosphere is the charismatic host Don Santos “Tito” Altamirano. Amongst many other talents, Don Tito is an incredible musician and storyteller who loves to share Patagonian anecdotes and rounds of yerba mate, while sitting around his giant open fireplace, keeping a watchful eye on an Asado al Palo, cooking in the embers. 

Don Tito has plenty of stories to liven up an entire evening. He’ll tell you of gauchos and troperos, working in the Palena – Queulat area before there were roads to move livestock to the Puyuhuapi ports.  During this time, he was around fourteen, and worked as a boat operator, moving men and livestock across Risopatrón Lake. During those years he developed a taste for exploring; one which served him well later on when he accompanied Senator Antonio Horvath and his crew in the development of the route of the Carretera Austral. Don Tito continues to open up routes, but now for travelers to explore hiking. 

How to work off the extra weight you’ll gain eating the delicious food at the Silencio Ranch?

First thing, after you eat, ask Don Tito to get the music going! He’s likely to appear in full gaucho array, with goatskin chaps, a poncho and large brimmed hat, ready to begin the fun. Don Tito is an accomplished composer and guitarist, with a repertoire of songs that tell of his life and adventures in Patagonia.  Perhaps his most famous song is that which tells the story of how he designed and engineered the bridge crossing the Risopatrón River to his house; a feat which earned him recognition from many, including the President of Chile!  Don Tito’s music will quickly have you dancing and working away all the calories you’ve eaten during your asado.

Don Tito’s latest engineering work is the new 5 kilometer hiking trail, Sendero El Silencio, through a corner of his enormous farm. This trail winds through forests of arrayanes, coigües, tepas, ciprés de las guaitecas y mañíos. It borders the west side of the Risopatrón River (excellent fly-fishing waters) and is equipped with bridges, walkways and signage of excellent quality. Everything has been hand-crafted using rustic tools, and the talents of Don Tito, his team of ranch hands, and students of the John Paul II high school, in Coyhaique.

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Videos

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Routes

To go this route , you'll need a good map. Find the details and steps here in georeferenced and downloadable version Smartphone, Tablet and GPS .

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