Estancia (American Spanish: [esˈtansja]) or Estância (Brazilian Portuguese: [iʃˈtɐ̃sjɐ]) is a Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese term describing a large rural estate with similarities to the English term ranch. The term is used in Argentina, Uruguay, southern Chile and southern Brazil. The equivalent in other Latin American countries would be hacienda, or fazenda (only in Brazil).
Unlike a hacienda, which could be any type of agricultural venture, producing grain, coffee, vegetable, beef, etc., an estancia, most typically located in the southern South American grasslands, the pampas, has historically always been a livestock (cattle or sheep) estate.
During the first centuries of Spanish colonial rule, cattle introduced by the Spanish roamed free and man undertook raids to catch and slaughter them.
In the 19th century stationary ranching ventures started to form in the pampas, with permanent buildings and marked livestock with clearly defined ownership. They were called estancias, the term indicating the stationary, permanent character.
Viedma Lake (Spanish: Lago Viedma), approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) long in southern Patagonia near the border between Chile and Argentina. It's a major elongated trough lake formed from melting glacial ice.
The name of the lake comes from the Spanish explorer Antonio de Viedma, who in 1783 reached its shores, being the first European to do so.
Lake Viedma is fed primarily by the Viedma Glacier at its the western end. The Viedma Glacier measures 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide at its terminus at Lake Viedma. The brown landscape is a result of ice scouring, which left virtually no vegetation on the steep-walled valleys.
Water from lake Viedma flows into Lake Argentino through the La Leona River, and eventually from there into the Atlantic Ocean through the Santa Cruz River.
Although most of the lake lies in Argentine territory, the western shores of the lake reach the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in an area where the border remains undefined. Even if the Chilean territorial claims don't reach the shores, that could change as the glacial tongue in the lake melts.