About this listing
This is a wonderful, natural environment for a family vacation or a writer's retreat. Once you are there, the anxieties of city living fall away and you begin to enjoy forest walks, magnificent hikes, mountain or rock climbing, the river or a book!
(Please note that the prices vary and are negotiable depending on the season and the cabin.)
After a train trip through Chile's central valley you are picked up at the train station in Linares, Chile and driven 2 hours up into the Andes. The last 45 minutes are on a private hand built road that winds under ancient native deciduous trees and next to a crystalline clear river. There are three different cabins and you can also tent camp upstream in private clearings near the river. In the houses we have modern bathrooms and kitchens with running water, hot showers and good beds with linens and comforters. The houses are hand built with cedar logs and boards.
January through April we have an organic vegetable garden with old fruit trees that produce heirloom plums, apples and cherries. We have solar power and spring water.
The location is at the confluence of two rivers so the exploring and relaxing is infinite. There are waterfalls to hike to, horses to rent and much local lore. If you desire we can hire a cook and or guide for you hikes. The caretaker is a wonderful man of the mountains who can show you native flora and fauna. Price is according to number of guests and services you require. I have listed it as $100 but that can be more or less.
You will be unplugged as there is no internet or phone service. We have radio communication for emergencies. There are no stores, you are completely isolated. The experience takes you back in time; there is constant horse traffic with the mountain people taking herds of animals up to summer pastures in the spring and bringing them back to market in the fall. Summer brings backpackers, fishermen and eco-turists.
This is an incomparable experience in a safe and accessible wilderness between two friendly rivers. It's a fabulous location to write a book, read several books from my library.
There is a transportation fee of $150.00 from Linares to Las Animas and back to Linares.
There are two different cabins plus my own house. I will occasionally rent out my house. You are welcome to ramble over all the trails and through the pastures. There are specific paths down to the river and we ask you to please use the paths to help us control erosion.
Interaction with Guests
Sometimes I am there and sometimes not. There is almost always a caretaker there but he is working and if needed for guiding hikes, he will charge approximately $15,000 Chilean pesos.
This is a wilderness. The nearest neighbor is a 30 walk. The nearest store is a couple of hours. We are very happy and excited to receive guests and share this spectacular location. Your visit requires a lot of advance preparation on our part. The shuttle up to the cabins is and extra charge. We have no cel phone reception but do have radio communication.
Please email me with your potential trip dates and we will do all possible to minimize the costs and make your trip a memorable, life-changing event.
The prices I have listed are negotiable according to your needs for food and guiding. I have had people come for up to a month with wonderful feedback.
4WD vehicles, horses, walking.
Other Things to Note
The water is delicious and healthy. It comes out of a mountain spring. We have radio communication.
No dogs, please!
We expect that you will not burn fires unattended. We have a campfire space and make small fires because, even though we are in a forest, there is not an abundance of firewood. We hope that if you bring children you will supervise their behavior. The birds and lizards are our friends and we do not chase of catch them...
Smoking only in the campfire area, please.
I gave my daughter a stay with Mary Seppi as her 21st birthday present. She loved her stay, and enjoyed the natural beauty, the comfortable cabin, and swimming in the lovely rivers. When my daughter felt a bit under the weather (having caught a cold in Santiago), Mary was a helpful and sympathetic host. My daughter and I continue to be enthusiastic fans of Mary’s place at Las Animas!
Mary Seppi’s place in Las Animas in the cordilleras two hours east of Linares is just magical. We were picked up in Linares and did our food shopping with the help of a list from Mary. The local sausage is superb! She also had us taken to get fresh eggs (literally from under hens that ran around happily). The hen owners insisted on our buying two dozen eggs and we ate all of them in 4 days! We had perfectly adequate kitchen facilities (gas stove, sink with running cold water, cooking utensils, and crockery/cutlery) to make our own meals which we enjoyed very much. One night we cooked meat with fresh rosemary on an open fire pit and ate it with fresh salad from Mary’s vegetable garden. Yummy.
When we arrived at Las Animas, Mary greeted us like friends and made us comfortable in the most marvelous wood cabins, one minute above a river in which we swam and from which we happily drank water. We also kept our white wine chilled in that river. We did not miss electricity, internet, wireless or phone connections at all! We hiked and walked and swam, exploring several rivers and brooks and comfortably drinking water from most of these streams. Maxi Roky, a local colleague of Mary’s who arranges treks through the cordilleras, took us on a day hike (about 12 km round trip) to two gorgeous waterfalls, one of which had a jewel-like pool. If I sound effusive, it is because I truly do not think we could have had a more wonderful stay anywhere in Chile. Perhaps as good, but not better. Thank you Mary!
About the Host, Mary
I am an educator and American citizen who has lived in Chile for 30 years. I have a wilderness home in the Andes of Central Chile which I occasionally open to guests. I have a summer camp for children that I've had for 20 years and look forward to with great anticipation every January/February. I love to travel and visit friends all over the States and long to go to Spain and Italy and one day return to India and Sri Lanka. I'm a pretty mellow self-reliant traveler who likes to read and sample local cuisine.