PATAGONIA BASE CAMP LODGE
Patagonian Base Camp was established by Marcel and Carolina Sijnesael to provide a “home away from home” for the international fisherman. Marcel spent much of his adult life fishing all over the world and once he discovered the fishing and spectacular scenery in the Northern Aysen Region of Chilean Patagonia he knew that it was the place where he was going to build his dream lodge.
The lodge is centrally located and sits on the banks of the Rio Palena and living in the large variety of waters that are fished by the lodge’s guests, are fat and sturdy Rainbows and Browns that range from 12 to 20 inches. Catching a 20 incher or larger fish is a common occurrence. The lodge is the central hub of several locations and camps that are fished in the area, hence it actually is a “Base Camp”
The location of the Base Camp Lodge was selected not only because of the proximity of the fishing but the vast beauty of the area. Every day you will be amazed at the beauty of the snow capped peaks that appear through the windows of the lodge. Each evening when you return to the lodge you will enjoy the warm hospitality of the professional staff, and be made to feel like family for the duration of your stay.
The Patagonian Base Camp is a small lodge that has some of the most diverse fish habitats one can find in Patagonia. One of the most well known fishing lodges in the world, the lodge provides the highest level of comfort that you could ever want, that includes hot tub, sauna, and massage service. The lodge has a cellar that holds one of the finest Chilean wine selections there is.
For non fishermen there is plenty to do at the Patagonian Base Camp. Next to world class fly fishing the camp offers a great variety of non fishing activities that include horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking to glaciers, whale, porpoise and bird watching, river float trips and white water rafting.
At a Glance
Target Fish: Rainbow and Brown trout
Location: Northern Aysen Region of Chilean Patagonia
Seasons: December through April
Lodge Capacity: 12 guests per week
Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt, Chile
Electricity: 220 volts
Documents needed: Passport
While as a guest at the lodge you will have the opportunity to fish innumerable rivers, lagoons, creeks and lakes. The fish are all wild and average from 12 to 20 inches. Each week a fish 23 inches or larger is caught. So far the lodge record Rainbow is 32 inches. Whether a novice fly fisherman or expert there is a fishing opportunity for everyone.
In addition to the fishing program available in the waters close by of the lodge, several outlying camps are available. The Rio Palena Camp is available for overnight stay as is the Temple Camp which is located on riverfront property and has been recently acquired by the lodge. From the Base Camp Lodge you will have the opportunities to fish the Palena, Rosselot, Figueroa, and Yelcho rivers. The many tributaries located in the area will give you the chance to fish the very productive small creeks.
The Rio Palena starts in Argentina as Rio Corcovado and during its voyage to the ocean it changes by the mile and along with its many tributaries, it offers an incredibly diverse fishery. It is the lodge’s home river and it is about as good as it gets. River is accessed by jet boats or rafts.
The Rio Figueroa connects the region’s most important lakes, Lago Verde and Lago Rosselot and is one of the most beautiful rivers in Pategonia. The upper section winds through deep canyons and flows over big boulders. Some sections, especially the ones accessed from the Temple Camp requires negotiating serious white water with the reward being some very large fish. The lower section where it enters Lake Rosselot is accessed by jet boat allowing guests to fish both sides of the river.
Lago Rosselot is the largest lake in the area and offers some of the most exciting fishing that the lodge has to offer. The experience of sight fishing the “scum line” for huge lake dwelling fish, is unparrelled.
Rio Futaleufu and Yelcho
The Futaleufu flows from Argentina and is renowned as one of the world’s most challenging white water rafting rivers and also known for its great fishing. After flowing into Lake Yelcho it becomes the Rio Yelcho as it exits the lake. Its flows, having been enhanced by several lake tributaries, increase tremendously. Some very large fish have been caught at the outlet . . . some as large as 20 lbs.
The guides are all experts in the unique ecology of the area. Additionally they will be happy to share their expertise in fly fishing technique whether you’re are a novice or an expert. Their nationalities are a mixture of Chilean and American and all speak fluent English.
Best Fly Fishing Seasons
December through mid April
The main lodge sits on the banks of the Rio Palena. It includes six double rooms with baths. Private rooms are available at no extra cost, subject to availability. The living room includes a stone fireplace that provides a warm soothing fire on colder nights. The views from the lodge of the surrounding area are amazing.
In 2008 the Patagonian Base Camp purchased a beautiful section of riverfront property on the upper stretches of the Rio Figueroa where they built the Temple Camp which consists of a compound of igloo tents surrounding a communal and eating area. The same high level of service and gourmet cuisine cooked over a wood fire, is available at the Temple Camp. The Temple Camp program is only available as an add on to the regular fishing packages.
On Site Amenities and Activities Include
Non fly fishing activities include horse riding, bird and porpoise watching, river floating and rafting, hiking, visiting thermal baths,
Mark’s wife and partner Carolina creates awesome meals featuring local and international cuisine. Lunches are provided streamside during the day and in the evening, guests return to the lodge to be greeted with appetizers, and drinks.
Most guests take an overnight flight, available from several major airlines, from the US to Santiago Chile. From there you will take a 2 hour domestic flight to the Puerto Montt Airport and spend the night in either Puerto Montt or close by Puerto Varas (overnight accommodation in Puerto Varas is included in your package) and then fly to the town of Chaiten in the morning. Upon arrival you will be met by a lodge representative who will transport you by land vehicle to the lodge.
Rates (based on double occupancy)
Included: hotel accommodations for one night in Puerto Varas on the night before traveling by car to the Base Camp. All ground transfers. Round-trip ground transfers in Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Santa Barbara and the lodge. Round trip charter flight to and from Puerto Montt and Santa Barbara/Chaiten.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day at the lodge. All alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, fishing license, laundry service, use of sauna, hot tub and all other lodge amenities.
Not included: International air fare to Santiago Chile, domestic airfare to Puerto Montt, gratuities for guides and staff, rods, reels and personal items.
7 nights/6 days(Friday to Friday) and includes 2 or 3 night Rio Palena float: $6,995.
10 nights/9 days (Tuesday to Friday) and includes 2 or 3 days at the Temple Camp and or Rio Palena overnight float): $9,995.
Patagonia One, Patagonia sin Fronteras Program
10 nights/9 days (Saturday to Tuesday) Patagonia One Program: combo trip that includes 3 days at Las Pampas, Argentina, 3 days at Patagonia Base Camp and 3 days at Temple Camp): $9,995
Patagonia One/Extended Program
14 nights/13 fishing days (Friday to Friday) includes the Perfect Circle Program that combines, Temple Camp, Las Pampas ,Argentina and Patagonia Basecamp in Chile): Call
Single supplement rate: 50% of double occupancy