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“A few lies about the history of La Leona - not great decorative style”

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Hotel de Campo La Leona
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 October 2011

Over the years I have visited the wonderful Leona many times. Some years ago I even worked there to pay for my stay. The owners of the property are the Saldia Westerlund family who have a fascinating history at La Leona. Anita Saldia Westerlund brought the property to life in 1995 and it remains her property to this day.

As a professor of Argentine history I should point a couple of innacuracies with the current tenants description of La Leona.

1. Butch Cassidy never stayed at La Leona. He was in the Province of Santa Cruz in 1905. La Leona was build in 1915-16.

2. No one from the 1922 Patagonian strike was executed at La Leona. The tragic events took place at Estancia La Anita miles away near Lago Argentino.

I can quite understand why the current tenants might exagerate the place´s history - to attract visitors - but I thought I should put the honest record straight.

Have a wonderful stay in the very special La Leona.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jb123Brisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 February 2010

La Leona is an often overlooked Patagonian landmark, located at a spot where prior to the building of a bridge recently, sheep and cattle herders would have to wait sometimes days to cross the River Leona with their many animals, on their way to the markets in the big cities on the coast. Butch Cassidy spent a few weeks here hiding low after robbing banks in Santa Cruz province. Situated on the slate grey River Leona, it still looks very much like how one would imagine a Patagonian estancia or inn, with its bright red corrugated roof.

Its an essential pit stop for any buses heading along the Ruta 40 between El Calafate and Helsingfors, El Chalten or Tres Lagos, but the short time that the buses stop there don't do it justice.

We didn't stay in the hotel itself, which is actually an annex to the La Leona, in a separate building downriver, rather we camped in a small but sheltered area immediately behind the inn, although we did have to share it with many biting flies. The campsite washing facilities (free hot showers !) seem to be shared with the hotel annex, but are clean and never busy. The inn itself is a small farm and there is a veritable menagerie of curious farm animals wandering around - geese, dogs, cats, piglets, even a tame baby guanaco ! None of the animals were aggressive or a nuisance in any way.

Staying in La Leona allows you to miss the bus crowds and enjoy the good food in the restaurant, and more importantly take part in the old fashioned bar games that would entertain the shepherds and cattle herders during their sometimes week-long waits for the ferry. The cafe owners spoke English and were ever so helpful in teaching us these games, even though they'd probably done it a hundred times before. It was just a pity that the cafe gets locked up at 8pm ! During the day its also possible to relax on sunbeds by the river.

As night falls, its completely peaceful, only the rushing water of the river to be heard ...

No mobile phone reception or internet here BTW.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Casualist
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank AndresHoracioRonco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: January 2018, travelled with friends
Thank marianomarza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
Thank tilborulez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel de Campo La Leona

Address: Ruta 40, 9405, Argentina
Region: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz
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Hotel Style:
Ranked #58 of 104 Hotels in Province of Santa Cruz
Price Range: $172 - $190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
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