Planning a trip to Patagonia? These nine outfitters have you covered, whether you want a week of nonstop fly fishing or an epic trekking adventure.
Writer Chris Woolston arranged his trip, which he wrote about here, through Esquel Outfitters, with the assistance of seasoned guide and traveler Rob Nicholas. Esquel, founded by head guide Marcos Jaeger in 1994, creates guided itineraries that range from two to 10 days of fishing via boat or horseback or on foot. Catch rainbow, brown, and brook trout, and landlocked salmon in the Los Alerces National Park region, take advantage of exclusive access to the Rio Chubut, private estancias, and private access to secluded lagoons outside of Esquel.
Seven nights lodging, six days guided fishing, all inclusive, $4325 based on double occupancy. Esqueloutfitters.com
Nicholas also books lodges and fly-fishing trips in Argentina and Chile, with customized itineraries available, through his agency, Angling in the Andes. Individual and group rates can be arranged.
From $3,250 per person. anglingintheandes.com
Fly Fishing in Patagonia
A San Martin de los Andes–based outfitter started by Argentinean fishing buff Pablo Zaleski, Fly Fishing in Patagonia welcomes all skill levels on its fully customizable trips. Certified guides handle logistics and casting waters are legendary, such as the Malleo River, known worldwide for its high density of two-plus-foot trout.
From $4,025 per person. flyfishinginpatagonia.com
Big Five Tours
Chile & Argentina—Nature’s Wonders
The luxury operator’s new 17-day trip takes travelers on a horseback ride through the Atacama Desert, a visit to the marble caves of turquoise-hued Carrera Lake, and a tour of wine country in Cafayate, Argentina, known for its white torrontés grape. From $10,550 per person, double occupancy. bigfive.com
Glaciers, Gauchos, & Eco-Camps in Argentina
A family-friendly nine-night itinerary starts in Buenos Aires, then heads south to Patagonia and visits remote Los Glaciares National Park. Among the eco-camp lodgings: the Eolo Patagonia Spirit Hotel, a 17-suite estancia-style accommodation near the Perito Moreno Glacier in La Anita Valley. From $6,530 per person, double occupancy. blacktomato.com
Cox & Kings
Chile & Argentina: Patagonia & Fjords
An immersive multisport experience in Torres del Paine National Park (from kayaking to horseback riding), Cox & Kings’ 12-day adventure also includes a four-night cruise from the Beagle Channel to the Cape of Good Hope, with views of icebergs and penguin colonies along the way. From $9,590 per person, double occupancy. coxandkingsusa.com
Tailored to explorers who also like their down time, G Adventures’ 19-day trip accommodates both high-speed adventures, such as mountain biking through San Carlos de Bariloche, and leisurely sightseeing—think flamingo-spotting on a private ride through Punta Arenas, the very tip of the Chilean mainland. From $5,149 per person, double occupancy. gadventures.com
The main draw of Intrepid’s 10-day trekking trip is the W Hike, famous for its up-close access points to Torres del Paine’s must-see attractions. Normally, this hike is only for the boldest travelers, but with private guides leading the way and accommodations leaning more towards glamp than camp, this W trek isn’t just for hardcore backpackers. From $3,550 per person, double occupancy. intrepidtravel.com
Overseas Adventure Travel: Chile & Argentina—Andes to Patagonia
On this 12-day excursion you’ll take tango lessons in Buenos Aires, explore the colorful port of Punta Arenas, cruise among glaciers on Torres del Paine’s Lago Grey, and trek through the scenic, wildlife-filled landscape near the Patagonian city of Calafate. From $3,895 per person, double occupancy. oattravel.com
Best of Patagonia
Wildland’s 10-day “Best of” journey hits highlights all across Chile and Argentina, from the urban centers of Santiago and Buenos Aires to the Towers of Paine, three peaks that are the namesake of Torres del Paine National Park. Spend nights at Patagonia Camp, a luxury and eco-friendly yurt-style accommodation, and Eolo Lodge, a modern take on the classic Patagonian estancia. From $5,200 per person, double occupancy. wildland.com
This appeared in the August/September 2015 issue.