numerous stops along way to reach the trout infested waters in and around Puerto Montt - now that's dedication!
Now there is 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 ulta-modern airport is clean, and the entire experience, from clearing immigrations and customs to connecting 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.
We highly recommend the air and hotel reservation services provided by Alicia Regueiro at Holdy Tours in Walnut Creek, California. Alicia is very savvy, pleasant to work with, and, as she arranges travel for better than 80% of our South America-bound anglers, is intimately familiar with all the routings, lodge nuances, and best fares. Take the stress out of booking on-line and give her a call!
Holdy Tours, Alicia Reguiro, (800) 446-1111, firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAY: BUENOS AIRES TO ESQUEL TO LAS PAMPAS LODGE, ARGENTINA:
Typically the day before your scheduled arrival to Las Pampas Lodge you will depart the States on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires, arriving there early the following morning. Here you will need to arrange a driving transfer from the International Airport (EZE) where you arrive to the Domestic Airport (AEP) about an hour's drive away (Alicia at Holdy Tours can make this arrangement for you, as well the flights themselves).
From the Domestic Airport you will need to arrange flight down to Esquel, preferably arriving there mid-afternoon. Here you will be met by a representative of Las Pampas Lodge and driven the 2.5 hours to the lodge. You will be met with a refreshing drink and wonderful appetizers, and a delectable dinner – the first of many to come – is served at approximately 8:00 p.m.
THE ANGLING STAY:
You will begin your stay with 6 days fishing out of Las Pampas Lodge in Argentina. This is amazing country, true frontera, little-changed from the days that Butch Cassidy roamed the mountains and valleys. You have countless small spring creeks and freestone streams to walk and wade here, most of which are home to large, aggressive browns and rainbows that get almost no pressure. Expect large foam dries on the end of your leader, and memorable surface takes. Also available are a series of mountain lakes home to trophy brown trout and rainbows, many of which love to take huge dries from the surface. If you like big trout in small water with no-one else around, this place is for you.
On the seventh day, after breakfast, and saying your goodbyes, you will depart Las Pampas Lodge by truck (with your luggage) and drive straight to the border crossing where Patagonian BaseCamp Guides will be waiting to whisk you off for your first fishing day in Chile, Patagonia. Depending on the fishing and river conditions, this is typically either the Upper Temple Float or the Rio Pico Float. At the end of your fishing day you will end up at the TempleCamp for a hot shower, appetizers, and cocktails, followed by a delicious meal.
Finally, guests will finish their stay fishing out of the beautiful main Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge, on the banks of the Rio Palena. Each day guides will bring you out to choose between a huge variety of river floats, casting large foam dries to the banks for oversized browns and rainbows. There are also some "sleeper" lagunas here with trophy-sized brown trout, for those who enjoy mixing in a little stillwater dry fly action.
The Patagonia One Fishing Program (13 Nights / 12 Days):
• Seven Nights at Las Pampas - Rio Pico, Argentina
• Three Nights at TempleCamp – Lago Verde, Chile
• Three Nights at Patagonian BaseCamp – Rio Palena, Chile
Being blessed by innumerable rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons in the direct vicinity of The BaseCamp and Las Pampas Lodge, the angling options are almost unlimited. The fishing program will be designed to your personal preferences, but always taking into consideration the prevailing weather and river conditions. Some of the most popular options include exquisite overnight float trips on the Palena and Temple Camp Rivers.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the lodges and camps and fine mid-day meals are served streamside. The after-angling cocktail reception always includes a full complimentary bar, and fine domestic wines. Dinners, like all meals at the lodges, are informal, superb, and accompanied by the finest local wines.
TUESDAY: DEPARTURE DAY FROM CHILE, PATAGONIA:
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airstrip at Santa Barbara/Chaiten, Chile, for your flight back to the Paloma airport. From there you'll be transferred back to the Puerto Montt airport and onward connections.
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.
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 Chile's first woman president. Chileans are overall a very friendly people and welcome foreign tourists. The hospitality of the campesinos (country people) in rural Chile (where all the fishing takes place) is renowned.