1) How was Mañihuales Lodge born?
Mañihuales Eco Lodge was born from a series of events that began around 2013, when the former owners of a land close to the Mañihuales river, in the middle of the Chilean Patagonia, decided to install a base camp to complement other lodge’s operation.
During those years I dreamt of owning a part of that wonderful and untamed land called Patagonia and sharing this experience with guests from all over the world, around an activity I am passionate about…flyfishing.
During 2020, just before the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to be a part of this project almost by chance, and without a doubt I jumped, along with some good friends, into this adventure of building a lodge to welcome fishers from all over the world that have the desire and motivation to experience what this faraway and wonderful land can offer.
2) What is the infrastructure of the lodge?
Our Glamping proposal offers an original and different proposal, simple and rustic, but cozy and welcoming, right by the Mañihuales River.
In terms of accommodations, we have two yurts with a private bathroom. These are constructions based on the old houses used by the Mongolian, which are characterized by their round form and a transparent dome on the roof, allowing guests to see the stars and rain, providing a unique experience of intimate connection with nature, without giving up the comfort that we all expect after a demanding fishing day. This is possible thanks to the technology applied to our yurts, which are built with special polymers with high insulation and resistance levels.
We also have a simple and cozy Club House that becomes the perfect space to share breakfasts and dinners, as well as stories from our fishing journeys, sitting by the woodburning stove and enjoying a glass of Chilean wine.
For the warmer nights, we have a rustic fireplace that allows us to enjoy Patagonian barbecues around the fire made with wood logs that are brought directly from our coigües forest.
3) What types of fishing does it offer?
The quality and variety of our fishing is our signature, which is given by our location, that allows us to fish in places with very little fishing pressure and very different characteristics, at sites no more than 45 minutes away from the Lodge.
During the whole season you can find brown and rainbow trout in different sizes and color patterns, and they will always put up a good fight due to their wild origin.
These trout can be fished in rivers, streams, lakes, and lagoons; by float or wade depending on the preference of each fisher, going from a landscape of exuberant vegetation to rocky plains with high grass, typical of the pampa.
Regarding fishing techniques, again, we are fortunate to be able to use the one preferred by each fisher, considering of course, the conditions available and the fishing goals one looks for. However, our area is recognized for its fishing with “chalas”, big dry foam flies that make water explode with the spirited attack of the trout.
In some of our waters, from the end of February until the beginning of April, the Chinook and Coho salmon make their way upstream for spawning, which opens the possibility of fishing these true river beasts or take advantage of the whirlpool caused to fish trophy trout with imitation salmon eggs.
4) What program do you recommend?
We always recommend the 6-night program, since it allows our passengers to take 100% advantage of a fishing week and get to know a good portion of our waters, always leaving, of course, a few sites to be seen the following season. In addition, the trip is optimized by improving the cost-benefit relationship, and it also helps the environment by reducing the carbon print, which is essential.
On the other hand, with a program of 6 nights or more, it is possible to enjoy additional activities, such as a “Wine Update” that makes a sommelier available to guests so they can enjoy a premium wine tasting during evenings.
5) How can we get there?
There are different ways to arrive to our lodge, which vary in travel time and associated costs.
The most common and fast way is via air travel; however, land travel offers incomparable features on the Carretera Austral route, which will, however, take morethan one day depending on the location of departure.
The fishing programs consider transportation from and to the Balmaceda airport.
There are three Airlines that offer daily flights to Balmaceda, with different alternatives according to the available time or our passengers. The flight has a duration of about 2 hours and 10 minutes. From the Balmaceda airport you must continue by land through Route 7 (Carretera Austral) until you get to the lodge.
The trip to our lodge can be made by car through the unrivalled Carretera Austral, which necessarily combines travel by land and sea.
First, you must arrive to the city of Puerto Montt through Route 5 Sur, traveling for about 1.032 kms. from the city of Santiago. Then, you must drive for about 542 km through the Carretera Austral. During this part of the trip, you must make three crossings in a barge, sailing fjords surrounded by the Patagonia rain forest and powerful views.
For greater comfort, privacy, and optimization of your travel time, we offer an exclusive charter service from Santiago in a direct flight to the city of Aysén. The flight is about 3 hours and 30 minutes and has a maximum capacity of 6 passengers.
Our Lodge is located at 392 kms from Esquel, in Argentina, and the trip by land from this city is about 6 hours, depending on road conditions, and you will go through Futaleufú, la Junta and Puyuhuapi, among other places of interest.
6) What other things can be done in the area?
There are several trekking circuits in the area where we are located, that allow to enjoy first-hand the beauty of the landscapes and nature. The Puente de Piedra trekking, which takes you to natural pools amidst rock formations made of old glaciers, is one of the best-known ones, as well as the demanding path to the top of the Colmillo hill, which offers a spectacular view of Villa Mañihuales and its surroundings, along to the
flight of the condors that nest in the cliffs.
Fifty minutes from the Lodge the scenic route of the Queulat slope begins, where you can visit waterfalls and exuberant forests. This route ends at the Queulat National Park, that has, among other attractions the hanging glacier and the Tempanos Lake.
Close to the park we can find hot springs by the Puyuhuapi fjord, which are a perfect complement for the day visit to the Queulat.
City tours to the cities of Puerto Cisnes, Puerto Aysén and Puyuhuapi are also available, as well as Kayaking and Horseback riding.
7) What are some things you would like clients to take away from this experience?
To summarize it in one word…. happiness!
Understanding that happiness is not a permanent state but rather passing, as a team we look to bring happiness to our fishers, no matter what their wishes and expectations may be, we will always do our best effort to help them achieve their goals.
We are fishers, and passionate about nature and outdoor activities. Therefore, we feel a strong commitment to our guests so that they are satisfied with the experience and treasure these moments of happiness.
Contact Francisco: https://www.flydreamers.com/en/travel/fly-fishing-lodge-in-villa-manihuales/manihuales-eco-lodge-fly-fishing-lodge-in-villa-manihuales-region-de-aysen-chile-l-1682#ref=news/view