LET’S GO EXPLORING
Welcome to Patagonia! For those who might want to experience “it all”, we are excited to offer a variety of non-fishing activities, guided by local experts.
If you want a non fishing day, we would love to help you explore and learn about our unique country. Here are some opportunities that might pique your interest. Many excursions require advance bookings, especially during January and February. Of course, others can be booked while you are here. These outings are offered from El Encuentro Lodge while guiding hiking can be arranged from Brook Trout Base Camp.
El Encuentro sits on the banks of the Rio Futaleufu, between the Andes and the Valdivian temperate rainforest in the West and the dry, open Steppe country to the East. Without going very far, one gets to see a wonderful variety of birds that dwell in these distinct environments. Our trained ornithologist provides a spotting scope, binoculars and local bird book for our guests. Your day will be customized around certain birds you want to see and other activities you might want to include. One of our favorite nearby birding sites is Terraplen Lagoon, on the way to Los Alerces National Park. This large shallow lake and surrounding wetlands host many different species of water and land birds, including the Chilean Flamingo and Blackneck Swans. While there, Condors might be sighted overhead. Near the Lodge, one might get to hear and see the Huet Huet and the Chucao, a small wren like bird with a lovely song.
We can arrange for you to go with a local gaucho for a short ride along the river or for a full day ride up into the surrounding mountains to Lago Baguilt a nearby alpine lake. On this ride, you will enjoy the amazing views overlooking the valley of Trevelin. We’ll pack our El Encuentro style lunch and why not carry a four piece rod to fish for an hour or two in the small stream that is the outlet for the lake for small but healthy rainbow trout!
Going on a hike with one of our guides lets you connect with the Patagonian landscape, get some aerobic exercise and learn about our forests, birds and wildlife! We have a variety of hikes in the area near the lodge (two right across the river), as well as several in nearby Los Alerces National Park. Guided hikes within the Park need to be booked in advance.
Day Trip to Los Alerces National Park
This guided day trip offers a good perspective of our national park, declared a World Heritage Site in 2017. Leaving from El Encuentro lodge, we first stop at Terraplén Lake, a marvelous bird watching site. In the
park, we stop at the Interpretation Center and take a short walk to see pictographs. Our tour then takes you around the spectacular glacial lakes in the park, and can include a lovely 5 km across the Rio Arrayanes through forests and along the Rio Menendez.
This stunning national park is a World Heritage Site, established in 1937 to protect the largest collection of ancient Alerce trees in Argentina. The globally threatened Alerce tree (Fitzroya cupressoides) is the second longest living tree in the world and is an endemic conifer to South America. Alerce trees in the Los Alerces National Park range from 1000 to 3000 years old. In addition to lush forests, the park is also known for its large, crystal clear glacial-carved lakes, framed by the mighty peaks of the Andes. A day trip to the park can include a boat trip into the park backcountry, and/or half or full day hikes.
This region offers great kayaking on lakes and/or rivers near the lodge or in Los Alerces National Park. Certified kayaking guides can take you out for a day or half day, designing the excursion to match your interest and skill level. Both hard shell and inflatable kayaks are available. Helmets and lifejackets are provided.
CULTURAL and HISTORY TOURS
Our corner of Patagonia has a most interesting culture and history. To experience this, we want to take you beyond the typical tourist routes and connect you with local people so you can appreciate what sets our region apart from other places in Argentine Patagonia.
LANDSCAPE AND PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
If you are an experienced photographer, our guide will help you to find the best landscapes with a chance to also see and photograph birds and wildlife. If you are a beginner, our guide can help you take first steps into photography, and provide you with the camera and lens for the images you would like to take. Photography gives one a unique way to experience a place and the surrounding environments. Mountains, lakes, rivers, temperate rainforest, and the high desert lands of the steppe, are all within 20 km of El Encuentro.
Hiking from Brook Trout Base Camp
Experience Patagonia wildness at its best on a guided hike while staying at our remote Brook Trout Base Camp. Hikes begin right from the door of your tent, led by your guide or helper. You can enjoy a half day or full day hike, exploring the lenga forests, small streams and open hillsides around Camp, with dramatic views of the Andes. Sheep, cattle and horses might cross your path, but you won’t have to see any other people.