Fundo "El Sombrero"
How (and how long) to get there after a 12 hour flight from the States or Europe.
Home | A few more pictures... | A bit of background... | The "Mini-Ranch" concept | Location maps

In the big picture

....and a bit closer up.

And we've finally arrived!
Now, that's better...

Flying time from Santiago to Temuco: 1hour 10 mins.
Driving time from the Fundo to Temuco: 2hours
                                                     Valdivia: 1hour 45mins.
                                                      Osorno: 1hr 45mins.
                                                    Villarica: 1hr 15mins.
                                                        Pucon: 1hr 45mins. 
                                                      Panguipulli: 30mins.
San Martin(Argentina):3hrs(or 2hrs drive/2hrs ferry across the scenic Lago Pirehueico).

Uphill towards the homestead

About the climate: As can be seen from the maps, we're on approximately the inverted latitude of Madrid, but of course the Humboldt stream cools things down a little....The altitude of Fundo "El Sombrero" ranges from 1.500 to 3.000 ft above sea level, and according to visitors familiar with both areas, the weather is similar to the Mendocino ("Lost/Redwood") coast of N.California. Spring, summer and autumn are in fact pretty much like in the Yosemite, but the winters are much milder.
A noteworthy aspect of the region is the absence of weather-related disasters or natural hazards, and there are neither poisonous snakes nor mosquitoes. Even the mushrooms are supposedly all safe to eat (although I normally stick to the species I know - which are delicious). The only nuisance is the "tabano", a horsefly which makes its appearance from mid-November to mid-January, but it's not much of a bother up here in the mountains, only down by the lakeside. 

Notros in bloom (November)

About Panguipulli: Just half-an-hour's drive from "El Sombrero", nestled on the shores of Lago Panguipulli, this very attractive little town (as yet, largely undiscovered by tourists), has all the basics needed. The "City of Roses" in the "Land of the Lion" (puma), offers half a dozen cafes/restaurants, banks, bus station (a very comfortable over-night ride to Santiago, if you don't want to fly), post office, supermarket, hospital etc., in addition to its charm. For more information, click on
Should you be interested in further links to sites relating to the general area and covering a range of activities, I recommend, and if you'd like to check out properties in the area in general, I'd suggest

A different angle amidst the "coighues"...

For address information, see home page. To e-mail us; -

Situation update as at October 15th, 2003:
6 Mini-Ranches, totaling 250 acres have now been spoken for. This means that technically only four "slots" remain, although 750 acres are still available. My original intent was that at least two of the ranches would be in the 200+ acre category, but I have been singularly unsuccessful with all supposed "big-timers" to date. To avoid further time-wasting disappointments, it has been decided to split up one of the larger parcels into three, and thus create a few additional opportunities for smaller the "club of ten" may now become the "club of twelve".
Meanwhile, I should mention that the official partitioning of the mini-ranches will take place at the end of this month, so the "custom"-aspect of the offer will no longer be available, although it will of course be possible to acquire more than one parcel.
The prices will remain unchanged until the end of the year, but as a result of the strengthening Chilean peso and increasing property values/infrastructure costs, a ten percent increase is envisioned from January 1st, 2004.
Situation update as at March 27th, 2004. And then there were four.....the final subdivision did indeed result in a total of twelve parcels, eight of which have now been spoken for. Here's a list of remaining tracts:
1. 84.23 acres (34.1 has) 
2. 79.29 acres (32.1 has)
3. 67.93 acres (27.5 has)
4. 70.89 acres (28.7 has) 
And as at August 22nd, 2004; - Two parcels now remaining:
1.  79.29 acres (32.1 has)
2.  70.89 acres (28.7 has) 
October 9th, 2004; - The 70.89 acre parcel is now sold, so technically only one is left; - However, another subdivision became necessary to accommodate the altered requirements of two existing owners, and furthermore an option given to another has now expired. The final situation accordingly is that there will now be a grand total of 14 mini-ranches, 10 of which are sold, with 4 remaining available:
1. 79.29 acres (32.1 has)
2. 76.08 acres (30.8 has)
3. 82.25 acres (33.3 has)
4. 39.52 acres (16.0 has)
November 13th, 2004; - Back to three remaining. Parcel #4 is now also spoken for.
And, ah yes, I'm afraid that as of the first of the year prices will increase by another 10% to keep abreast with property-prices and a declining dollar. 
December 7th, 2004; - And then there were two. The 82-acre spread is now sold, so in order to recap the remaining, here goes:
1. 79.29 acres (32.1 has) 
2. 76.08 acres (30.8 has) 
February 12th, 2005; - The 76-acre ranch is now "history".....but in the meantime the last option given has expired without having been exercised. Thus, the remaining opportunities are: -
1. 79.29 acres (32.1 has)
2. 39.52 acres (16.0 has)
March 22nd, 2005; - And then there was one: -
1. 79.29 acres (32.1 has)
May 3rd, 2005; - Another parcel, 71.62 acres, has now again become available. 
To recapitulate, there will now be a total absolute maximum of 17 ranches, 13 having been sold and 4 remaining. 
February 6th, 2006; - And then there was just one left (again):
36.31 acres.
March 30th, 2006; -  Crunch, crash, splinter, splash (there's a pond outside my new house...)......Yep, you've guessed it; - That was the sound of the computer going out the window....and a damned good window it was too!
The lighter side apart, however, although we are as of today sold out (final tally: 17 ranches, 16 owners - one owner decided to buy two), I must admit to having, over the past three and a half years, developed a certain affinity for the "durn contraption" (especially the unobtrusive means of communication, known as e-mail....I can stand the phone much less), and as such decided to keep not only that, but also to maintain the web-site active for the foreseeable future, in case that one or more of the parcels should again become available.
Now, where's that horse at?!

1st January, 2010; - What better day to update the web-page than New Year's Day? Especially when full of renewed energy after the return from a sailing-trip from Europe to South America, involving a 5-month absence from the ranch (the first since '96)....

I actually toyed with the idea of re-writing the page, but decided against it as I think it still gives the flavour of things down here despite the fact that circumstances and land-values have of course changed in the eight years since it was originally written, opting instead for this brief addendum.

The most significant development is that the better part of the ranch - after years of legal wrangling - is now an official nature reserve for all time to come, one of the first private such in Chile, with all mini-ranch owners being de facto part-owners after my donation of the terrain as well as the Club with surrounding land to the non-profit Owners' Association. The fundo is now also one of only a handful in the South certified organic.

So, with all the ranches sold as of '06, the Owners' Association up and running, the Nature Reserve incorporated and the organic certification accomplished, you'd think my work would be done. Well, it would have, had it not been for the economic turmoil up North which has forced a number of original owners into circumstances where they no longer are able to meet their obligations on the by me financed properties, resulting in a few now being again available.

Here's a run-down of them:

1. 82.25 acres, truly stunning views (the opening shots on the site were taken from here), river frontage on Agua Blanca (the small river constituting the Western border of the fundo), good grazing, contains avellano (local hazelnut) plantations as well as fruit dittos. No construction as of yet.  SOLD.

2. 43.97 acres, nice view and very long and attractive (and accessible) river-frontage on Rio Manio, the main river constituting the Eastern and Northern border of the fundo. This property was in fact the first to sell back in '02, and now contains a small house, stables and various improvements. Straddles the main road of the ranch (giving easy access to all parts) and is close to the gate.  SOLD.

3. 36.80 acres, not too much of a view given its comparatively low altitude near the fundo-entrance (although the top of the Villarica volcano can be seen from the highest elevation). The best river-frontage on Rio Manio of any of the ranches (most of the river-pictures on the site were taken from here). Quite a lot of flat-land and excellent grazing. No structures.  SOLD.


Well, as of today (April 15th) all three parcels have been spoken for. There will, however, exist two more possibilities to join the budding community at El Sombrero, as I've used the proceeds from recent transactions to buy back two more parcels; -

1. 36.31 acres, splendid views, good grazing and many improvements, including a very nice 2-bedroom house, a barn/stable, a workshop/utility building and lots of internal fencing. SOLD

2. 95.84 acres, excellent views, no structures, lots of virgin forest. SOLD

Well, there you have it, folks; - As of today, June 24th, 2012, almost to the day ten years since the original publication of this web-site, we are again sold out, and this time it would appear very unlikely that there will be any further changes, as far as I am concerned, to the ownership-status of the now 20 ranches. But a couple may soon become available for re-sale, due to the owners' age and/or altered circumstances, so I will keep the site active for a while yet.

The possibility also exists that I may consider a few more subdivisions of my own holding at some point in the future, when my need for private roaming-space diminishes with the advancing years....and there's of course always the Nature Reserve - not for any further commercial intrusion, obviously - but rather in the realm of roaming-space, the magic of riding across its vast expanse in the knowledge that it's been saved for all future having been the driving force and motivation behind this project since its inception.....and my reward, and that of all "the lucky 10", now 20.

Thanks for all the interest and enquiries over the years.....thinking back, there must have been thousands of the latter. Little did I know what I started back in '02.....

Cheers, SW

Update (as at September 6th, 2014): One parcel of about 30 acres has again become available as an original sale, due to current absentee-owners change of circumstances. No structures as yet, only splendid views and lots of creeks, in addition to pastures and forest. SOLD.....but there's always the possibility of a couple of new subdivisions, as mentioned above. 

Stop Press! (November 18th, 2015)

One of the more attractive parcels, has again become available, as the owner decided to leave the country, and I to buy it back.

Bordering my own remaining holding, it measures 36.31 acres (14.7 hectares), commanding spectacular views and boasting two creeks, excellent pasture land as well as native forest.

Existing buildings include a very well-built, fully furnished and equipped, 2-bedroom house, a "bodega" (warehouse/garage/workshop) and a four-horse stable. Truly a turn-key situation, and available immediately.

SOLD  (27th of March'16)


Bye for now!

Fundo El Sombrero (Home Page)