Located in Chiles remote southern Andes, Heart of the Andes Lodge ranks among the most unique and interesting operations in the country. Part of what makes this experience so unusual, is the fact the owner Mark Kniprath has the only fly-out operation in the country. Mark spent more that a dozen years pilot-guiding for No-See-Um lodge in Alaska and started his operation in Chile in 1994. In the week package you fly three days and fish local waters three days. The Three days flying in the Andes will be a memorable experience. If you can bear taking some time away from fishing have him fly you over the ice fields and then land in the Fiords to check out the Glaciers up close. You will not regret it. You will have the opportunity to fish spring creeks, large and small freestone rivers, and glaciated fjords. While Rainbows and Browns are the prime target, opportunities also exist for Bookies, King Salmon, Silver Salmon and Sea Run Browns. The average fish size in most systems is 14″ to 18″ although larger fish are common. Anglers should be prepared to fish with dry flies, wet flies, sink tips, and mouse patterns. For the adventurous, there is the opportunity to be dropped at a remote camp for a stay of any duration to find trout that have most likely never felt a hook.
Heart of the Andes Accommodation:
Heart of the Andes Lodge consists of a main lodge for dining, tying flies and relaxing and private cabins for the guests. Each cabin has two bedrooms with queen sized beds, shower, and a small living room with a wood stove. Mark’s wife Margarita, a native Chilean, does all the cooking and most of the entertaining. She is a joy to be around, always greets you with a Pisco Sour and makes great bread in her wood cook stove.
Heart of the Andes Travel:
To get to Heart of the Andes Lodge you will need to Make travel arrangements to Santiago, Chile and then to Balmaceda, Chile. You will need to make you travel arrangements to arrive in Balmaceda by 12:00 noon on your arrival day. On your departure day it is recommended to depart on the 2:00 pm flight to Santiago.
The majority of flights to Chile depart the US in the evening and arrive early in the morning at the Santiago International Airport. Upon arrival you will be charged a $100.00 entry tax. Domestic airport taxes are $8.00 and departure tax is $18.50. After receiving your luggage and clearing customs, you’ll make a short 5 minute walk to the National Airport where you’ll connect with your 90 minute flight to Balmaceda. Your arrival will be in the late morning or early afternoon. You’ll be greeted in the Balmaceda airport by Heart of the Andes staff and be assisted on to your short flight to the Lodge.
Heart of the Andes Sample Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Santiago and spend the night.
Day 2: 8:10 am fly from Santiago to Balmaceda arriving @ 11:10 am. In Balmaceda you will be met by Mark of one of his pilots. They will assist you with your luggage and get you on their private plane for the flight to the lodge. Once you at the lodge and settled in to your room you will have lunch and head out for an afternoon of fishing.
Day 3-8: 6 full days of fishing.
Day 9: Depart for home.
Heart of the Andes Clothing:
In the Patagonia it is always possible to encounter a wide variety of weather conditions. We recommend that you always come well prepared with different layers including lightweight long sleeve and short-sleeved shirts, fleece top and bottoms, synthetic long underwear, rain jacket, sun and rain hats and fishing gloves. Evening attire is casual.
Heart of the Andes Documentation:
Passport Required : Note your passport must have an expiration date that is at least 6 months after your initial travel date.
Accommodations, meals, wine, alcohol, guided fishing, transportation from Balmeceda to the lodge.
Air transportation to and from Balmeceda, arrival and departure taxes, fishing license.