Patagonia Travel Updates from Esquel, Argentina
Borders Reopening to Foreign Travelers on November 1, 2021
September 22, 2021
We are very pleased to announce that Argentina will soon be opening its borders to our international friends.
In a press conference on September 21, 2021, Argentina’s Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti announced that the government is developing a plan to begin welcoming residents of neighboring countries as early as October 1, 2021, and all other foreign tourists by November 1, 2021. In the proposed plan, visitors will be allowed to enter Argentina without a quarantine so long as they are fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test within 72 hrs of arrival, and undergo an additional test 5-7 days after their arrival.
It is important to note that this announcement is not the final decree, and we expect to see some modifications to the travel requirements before the final version is published and the rules are enacted.
As we have seen since March of 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic created a complex and fluid situation for international and domestic travel. From the time that Argentine borders closed to our international friends, It has been our hope to use this update to regularly communicate what we know about the current travel restrictions from our extensive network of partners on the ground here in Patagonia, as well as in Buenos Aires.
After many months of darkness, there is now a very bright light at the end of this long tunnel, and we will once again be able to welcome our friends back to Patagonia. As we transition through Argentina’s reopening phase, we will continue to update this page routinely, as well as communicating on our social media pages and in our email newsletter. If you haven't done so already, be sure to follow El Encuentro Fly Fishing on Instagram and Facebook, and sign up for our monthly newsletter at the bottom of this page.
When we evaluate the current travel situation, we consider 4 fundamental questions from the perspective of an international traveler such as you, our extended family of El Encuentro friends.
1. Can you currently enter Argentina?
The current proposed decree will open Argentine borders to all foreigners worldwide on November 1, 2021.
Proposed travel requirements include proof of vaccination, negative pcr test at least 72 hrs from time of travel, and additional pcr test 5-7 days after arrival in Argentina. Those who are not fully vaccinated, including minors, must perform quarantine, a PCR test on arrival, and a PCR test on day 7.
In her press conference on September 21, 2021, Argentine Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti also proposed the possibility of eliminating the need for an additional PCR test 5-7 days after arrival in Argentina once 50% of Argentines are fully vaccinated. At this time roughly 45% of the total population is fully vaccinated and there is a robust campaign underway to continue rolling out doses.
Officials from the Ministry of Tourism have also proposed the use of a digital Travel Certificate that could be used to travel into Argentina and among provinces.
2. Once in Argentina, can you travel to the Chubut Province, and ultimately reach the El Encuentro Flyfishing Lodges?
Chubut Province began welcoming tourists from other Provinces on Dec 15, 2020
In order to enter Chubut Province, tourists are required to have health coverage or Covid Insurance, booking confirmation (dates and location of stay during their visit), and a sworn statement declaring that you have not had any close contact with a Covid infected person.
At this time there are four flights per week from Buenos Aires to Esquel. We are encouraged by the addition of flights.
3. Having reached the El Encuentro Lodge, Valle del Carrileufu Lodge or Brook Trout Basecamp, can you move around freely and access all of the wonderful Patagonia fly fishing that you traveled so far for?
- Restrictions have eased in Chubut, and many other parts of the country, allowing Argentines to travel between the provinces.
- Restrictions vary between provences. Once the national government publishes the new decree in the offiicial bulletin, each province will define their requiremnets locally.
4. Can you return home after your trip?
- Limited numbers of international flights are operating roundtrip flights from Miami and Houston, New York, Dallas to Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires. These flights are operated by Aerolineas Argentinas, American Airlines and United.
- Local and state restrictions in the US requires a Covid test after your return
What to Expect Next
Communication from the Argentine government has been slow, inconsistent, and unclear. However, with a proposed reopening date of October 1, 2021 for neighboring countries, we anticipate seeing a final decree with dates and travel requirements by then.
Aerolinas Argentinas Update: the Government and Airlines are working on new schedules for international flights and increase international flights frecuency.
Covid testing at El Encuentro
Testing is a part of the world we now live in, and will likely be a part of any travel requirements for the foreseeable future.
We have secured the services of a local biotech lab (owned and operated by a dear friend and member of the El Encuentro extended family) to administer and process tests at El Encuentro. This will allow us to provide the necessary testing to meet the 5-7 day test required by Argentina, as well as any testing needed for your return trip home.
Additionally, should the need arise at any other time during your stay in Patagonia you will have access to fast reliable testing.
Protect your Investment with Trip Insurance and Travel Booking Services
We are thrilled to partner with Kanna Travel, a US-based, full-service travel agency whose team of seasoned professionals offers international ticketing, trip insurance, and emergency evacuation solutions for fly fishing and hunting travel. This partnership will allow El Encuentro Fly Fishing to offer our friends access to the industry’s finest travel insurance products, that can include a “cancel for any reason” rider, as well as comprehensive international travel booking services to help you navigate schedule changes and other potential complications.
When you book a trip with El Encuentro Fly Fishing we want you to know that we have your back. Click Here to read more about Trip Insurance and Travel Booking Services.
Still Have Questions? We Are Here!
This is a dynamic situation with complex variables changing rapidly, often times without prior notice. The El Encuentro Family has deep roots throughout Argentina. We are the oldest lodge in our region with a vast network of partners developed over decades of operating in Patagonia. We are in constant contact with colleagues, associates, suppliers, and officials on the ground here in Argentina.
Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions, or to chat about how and when to start planning your next trip to Patagonia.