Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge
Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge
The waters surrounding Patagonian BaseCamp hold a very healthy population of brown and rainbow trout. Trout have not been stocked here for close to a hundred years and the fish have found their own natural balance in numbers and sizes. You will catch lots of wild and strong fish within the 12 to 20-inch range. Fish over 20-inches are caught almost daily, over 24-inches weekly. The lodge record for a brown trout is 32 inches, and for a rainbow trout 28 inches.
Patagonian BaseCamp is strategically located to access a surplus of rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons. The fishing options are seemingly unlimited and it would take an entire summer season to see and fish them all. The fishing program will be personalized to the best of the lodge's ability, taking into consideration the prevailing weather, river conditions and other guests desires. Each evening after dinner, Marcel will sit down and discuss with you all the fishing options available. It could be a two day float down the Palena, or run to Lago Verde to explore the Rio Pico or Rio Cacique Blanco. Or maybe a horse trek or mountain bike ride to a secluded high-mountain lake where you sight fish to surface cruising browns and rainbows. Its up to you, Marcel and the guides to decide.
The following is a short list of just some of the fishing options that you can take advantage of at Patagonian BaseCamp.
Rio Palena: (Classification: Easy to moderate)
This has to be one of the most enjoyable and unique floats in all Patagonia. Depending on your preference, and weather and river conditions, you can fish two long days, overnighting one or two nights at beautiful little riverside cabins complete with two bedrooms (sheets and linens supplied no sleeping bags), and a full bathroom with flush toilet and shower. The guides cook amazingly delicious dinners over an open fire and you toast the Southern Cross with great wine and stimulating conversation - all the while being serenaded by the whispering of the river and crunching sound of cows and sheep chewing their cud.
Rio Rosselot: (Classification: Moderate)
The river connects Lago Rosselot with the Rio Palena and is one of our favorites. The first section of the river is pretty calm and loaded with shore structure creating great streamer fishing for large brown and rainbow trout. After about a mile or so, your guide will have you secure your life vest and store your fly rod, as you are going to raft through an exhilarating Class IV rapid followed by miles of amazingly productive and beautiful water for the duration of your float.. You will fish either from the raft, or wading from the gravel bars. Large whirlpools hold cruising rainbows looking for surface naturals or spinners in the foam lines. Brown trout tend to seek shelter at the banks, rock ledges and submerged logs.
Rio Figueroa: (Classification: Easy to moderate)
The Rio Figueroa connects the lakes Lago Verde and Lago Rosselot and there are two separate day floats available to guests. The Figueroa is incredibly beautiful where it winds through canyons and flows over big boulders. It holds very good numbers of fish. And big ones, too. You will mainly be fishing dry flies like Fat Alberts and Gypsy Kings, but you might want to try pulling some streamers off the banks and around structure, as well.
Rio Figueroa Temple Float (Classification Moderate to difficult)
Marcels newest outpost camp located on the upper Figueroa allows anglers to fish and float two different sections of the Figueroa, never before fished. The upper float ends at the camp, while the lower float begins at the camp. Both floats are full-day, utilizing 14-foot whitewater rafts. The camp is located just below Diablo, an unclassified rapid. The name Temple comes from the unbelievable temple-like rock formations in the canyon you float and fish through. The outpost camp is built on top of wood platforms overlooking the river, and each yurt-like wall tent - domos - sleeps two fishermen and are equipped with real beds with comforters, and lavatories with (cold) running water. This is an incredibly unique opportunity to fish and explore water that until now has never seen an angler. It is also a serious whitewater trip and a certain level of physical fitness is recommended. Distance from BaseCamp is about 1.5 hour driving
Small creeks and tributaries: (Classification: difficult)
The main rivers in Patagonian BaseCamps backyard are all fed by many little creeks. Most of them are very difficult to access but can offer surprisingly great fishing. These creeks are hardly, if ever, fished and if you are ready for some hard work and technical fishing, you will not be disappointed. Two of these fine creeks are within minutes of the lodge and well worth the extra effort involved in getting to.
Patagonia and the Non-Fishing Options
The southernmost part of Latin America is dominated by the vast wilderness of Patagonia, an area that is sparsely inhabited or developed. Because of this, it offers almost unlimited possibilities for many kinds of outdoor activities: fishing, rafting, canoeing, horseback riding, mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking and bird watching. The Non-Angling program at Patagonian BaseCamp is not an afterthought of a fishing lodge; these are high-quality guided services. Some of the activities you will have the opportunity to enjoy include:
Horse back riding trips from 1 hour to a full day (even overnight trips, if desired)
Hiking expeditions to hanging glaciers (hikes from 1 to 6 hours)
Hard core white water rafting on the Futaleufu or Figueroa River
Visiting the hot spring of Termas de Puyuhuapi for a day trip (hot springs with massages, therapies etc.)
Visiting small local villages like La Junta, Puyuhuapi, Lago Verde
Non-angling guests should bring good raingear (jacket and pants), hiking boots, a warm fleece, camera, binoculars, daypack, and a good sun hat. The fortunate absences of bears, poisonous snakes or swarms of mosquitoes make Patagonia a safe and pleasant outdoor destination for anyone.
Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge is located in the midst of a pristine evergreen forest on the banks of the Rio Palena and within easy striking distance of the best regional waters in the area.
When designing the lodge, Marcel had only two things in mind: maximum comfort and as little impact as possible to the environment. The stylish and comfortable building is completely constructed of wood. The lodge offers very comfortable accommodation for a maximum of 12 guests, or 8 fishermen. All of the seven double rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated and feature en-suite full bathroom with unlimited hot water showers, sink, vanity and toilet. Body soap and shampoo are provided along with plenty of fresh towels and a robe. There is also daily laundry service available at the lodge. If you prefer, subject to availability, you may have your own private room at no extra cost. The main gathering room features a large central 360° fireplace, bordered by a huge bank of floor to ceiling windows that look out at the Palena River and surrounding mountains.
The food at Patagonian BaseCamp is meticulously and lovingly prepared by head chef and co-host Carolina, serving up a mixture of traditional Chilean cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, homegrown, organic vegetables from the lodges huge greenhouse, local meats, homemade bread and pastries, along with lots of fresh fruit. All of the food is grown or raised on the farm or purchased from local farmers. We will do our best to accommodate any dietary requests. American-style breakfasts are cooked to order and there is always, fresh fruit, cereals, fresh-baked breads and rolls, along with homemade yogurt and fresh raw milk for those who want the real stuff. Most lunches in the field are served streamside and include wine, beer, hot dishes cooked over an open fire with desserts, fruit, sodas and bottled water.
Marcels wine cellar is extensive and guests can look forward to fine Chilean and Argentine varietals, a good selection of spirits and finally, a good selection of Chilean beers.
There is a recommended but optional overnight lodging in Puerto Varas the night before going into the lodge, as well as the Meet-and-Greet at the Puerto Montt Airport earlier that day, transfer to Puerto Varas, and transfer back to the charter airport in Puerto Montt the next morning, included in your package price. The lodge owner prefers you do this instead of overnighting in Santiago the next morning, to insure everyone is present for the charter flight. We will arrange it for you, if you decide on this option.
All meals and all drinks consumed while at the lodge (so called "open bar policy"). In case of special drink preferences, we recommend you bring libations of your own taste, because they might not be available in Chile. All guided expeditions, by horseback, boat, raft, kayak, 4x4 vehicle, mini van, etc. All necessary fishing licenses. Daily laundry services which will help you meet your 60-pound maximum luggage restriction.
Getting to Chile is easy with a wide choice of convenient, daily flights from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York. Most flights are direct departing the States in the afternoon or early evening and arriving early the next morning in Santiago, the Capitol of Chile. Airlines that service Chile include LAN, Delta, United and American.
Arriving in Chile is simple, hassle-free and safe. The flights are almost always on time, the new ultra-modern airport is clean and the entire experience from clearing immigrations and customs to connection with domestic flights is very smooth. Airfares from the U.S. to Santiago vary widely with tickets from New York, Miami and Los Angeles ranging from $900 to $1,200 round trip. Usually the best fares can be had by flying LAN, the national airline of Chile. LAN is one of the largest air carriers servicing South America. Their modern, new air fleet has a superb record for reliability, safety and on-time departures and arrivals.
Immigration Requirements for entry into Chile: U. S. Citizens:
When traveling to Chile, a valid passport is required with an expiration date occurring at least 6 months later than the day of arrival.
Chilean Tourist Card:
A Chilean Tourist Card Application will be handed out by your carrier during your flight to Chile. Please fill out the application and present it and your passport to Chilean Immigrations upon arrival into Santiago. Immigrations will take one copy of the Tourist Card and leave you with another which you must keep with your passport and present to Immigrations when you leave Chile. Loss of your tourist card may result in a penalty upon departure.
Airport Entry and Departure Taxes:
Good for the life of the passport, a fee of $131 USD (paid in cash or with a credit card) will be charged to all U.S. Citizens entering the country by plane for the first time. This is the same amount charged to Chileans applying for a visa to the U.S.
A domestic airport tax of $8.00 is charged when flying within the country. A departure tax of $26.00 is due upon leaving Chile for another country. The departure tax is usually included in the ticket price.
Inoculations and Health Concerns:
There are no formal requirements, or recommendations, for immunizations and very little risk of infectious disease in Chile. The risk would be about equivalent to what it would be for a trip to Colorado. You should check with your personal physician if you are concerned. We recommend that anglers be up-to-date on their Tetanus, Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-B vaccinations.
Chile is a safe, pro-American country and has been a democracy since 1989. On March 11th, 2006 the new president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, took office. Michelle Bachelet is Chiles first woman president. Chileans are overall a very friendly people & welcome foreign tourists. The hospitality of the campesinos (country people) in rural Chile (where all the fishing takes place) is renowned.
If you will be overnighting in Santiago the night before going into the lodge, when making your domestic airline accommodations for your day of arrival to the lodge, please arrange to arrive in Puerto Montt by no later than 10:45 a.m. in the morning in order to connect with your charter flights to La Junta (conditions permitting).
On the day of arrival in Puerto Montt you will be met at the airport by a Patagonian BaseCamp representative she will help gather your luggage, and will inform you as to which route you will take. Depending on the conditions you may fly a charter straight to La Junta, Lago Verde or to Chaitén. Your host will be awaiting you in La Junta to take you on to the lodge, a short 25-minute drive.
The flight is short, approximately 40 minutes and flies over some awesomely beautiful and rugged landscape - have your cameras ready.
The charter flight will be arranged by Marcel Sijnesael, your host at Patagonian BaseCamp, and costs $495 per person, round trip, paid in advance as part of your angling package.
Because of potential logistical issues arising from the need to meet the morning Puerto Montt-Patagonian BaseCamp charter, Marcel has requested that clients do not overnight in Santiago the day before going into the lodge, but rather catch a flight straight through to Puerto Montt upon their morning arrival into Santiago from the States. If you choose this option, you will fly into Santiago from the States the day prior to your arrival at the lodge, arriving early morning, as usual. You will then want to have arranged a connecting flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt, being sure to have left a comfortable buffer between the two (typically 2-3 hours from when you arrive in Santiago to when you board the Puerto Montt flight).
Upon arrival at the modern airport Tepual of Puerto Montt you will be met by your guide and driver holding a sign The Patagonian BaseCamp (look for the dragon-fly logo). It takes approximately 30 minutes for the drive from the airport to the lakeside village of Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas is a quaint little village nestled on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. Your driver will take you to the 4-star hotel Bellavista, where a welcome cocktail is awaiting you. The hotel is built on the shore of the same lake and all the rooms offer stunning views of the water with the snowcapped volcano Osorno dominating the panoramic views. Just in front of the hotel is a lovely beach where you can sunbathe, take a dip in the cold water or a stroll along the shore. The main square is just a few minutes walk away. The hotel offers very comfortable rooms with free wi-fi internet, a good restaurant and bar and a very complete American-style breakfast. For more information on the hotel, please visit their website at: www.hotelbellavista.cl.
Puerto Varas is a lakeside resort town and boasts one of Chiles few casinos. The center of town consists of about nine square blocks centered on the main square (Plaza de Armas), with hills rising directly above to the north and west. In the streets around the square you will find some fantastic restaurants, interesting local art galleries and souvenir shops. There are even two very well-equipped fly-fish tackle shops for last-minute purchases. Summer attractions such as festivals, games, exhibits, music, and the like abound, making the whole center of town a fun place to hang out and to ferret-out some Chilean culture.
The following day, after a delicious breakfast and a relaxing morning, your driver will meet you at the hotel and provide transportation to the small airport of La Paloma for your charter flight into the wilderness of Patagonia and a fabulous week of fly fishing at The Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge. Upon arrival in La Junta you will be met by Marcel Sijnesael or a representative of the lodge and transferred via vehicle to the lodge. The very scenic road transfer will arrive at the lodge on the banks of the Río Palena by early afternoon. Just in front of the lodge the river flows, and you are welcome to wander down to the water in search of your first Patagonian trout of the week. If, however, you would like to relax from your journey knowing that you will have another 6 days of fishing, the hot tub and sauna are heated up and the pisco sours (typical Chilean cocktail) will be cold. Carolina will have a wonderful dinner ready at approximately 8:00 p.m.
Departure from Patagonian BaseCamp: After breakfast, you will be transferred to La Junta airport for your flight to the Paloma airport, then transferred back to the Puerto Montt airport for your onward connections.
BaseCamp Lodge, Summer Trout Season - 7 nights / 6 days, $4,995
TempleCamp Lodge, Patagonia Out Camps - 7 nights / 6 days, $3,995
BaseCamp Lodge, Spring Chinnook (Nov. - Dec.) - 7 nights / 6 days, $3,995
These packages include the round trip charter flight through the Andes from Puerto Mott, fishing license, and every item and amenity imaginable beyondpersonal tackle.
7 nights/6 days fishing. Friday to Friday US$4,995
Fishing from BaseCamp, including a 1 or 2 night overnight trip on the Rio Palena. Not including the TempleCamp for first time guests. Return guests have the option to choose between PalenaCamp and TempleCamp.
10 nights/9 days fishing. Tuesday to Friday US$7,245
BaseCamp program, including 1 or 2 night overnight trip on the Rio Palena and 2 or 3 nights at TempleCamp.
11 nights/10 days fishing. Friday to Tuesday US$7,995
BaseCamp program, including 1 or 2 night overnight trip on the Rio Palena AND 2 or 3 nights at The TempleCamp
14 nights/13 days fishing. Friday to Friday US$9,495
BaseCamp program, including 1 or 2 night overnight trip on the Rio Palena AND 2 or 3 nights at The TempleCamp
All rates include the US$495.- charge for land transfers, 1 night hotel stay in Puerto Varas and the flight to/from Puerto Montt/Chaiten.
Travel insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses and warrants your careful review and consideration.