Camping in Patagonia, Chile in Style
The Game Changer is a land vessel that carries (2) anglers, a professional cook, a fishing guide and an assistant to unnamed waters in Southern Chile. With client demands for longer fishing days, less travel time to the water, evening hatches, and mobile accommodations further off the grid, the owners of Cinco Rios Lodge and Estancia Del Zorro near Coyhaique, Chile dreamed up The Game Changer, and they’re taking Patagonia fishing to the next level. This machine was purchased from the Chilean government and retrofitted to accommodate (2) anglers in luxury. Trip itineraries vary depending on the season and include early-season salmon fishing and mid-summer spring creek fishing. In late-summer/fall The Game Changer moves further south to fish extremely remote rivers that receive large migratory browns.
The Game Changer has three beds: two bunk beds and one conversion pull-out. The lower queen bed can accommodate one tall angler, and the upper short twin bed fits an angler shorter than 6-foot. If you have two tall anglers over 6’2,” there is a tent available to put up beside the van that’s equipped with an inflatable mattress and sleeping bag.
Food and Beverages
Breakfast includes bacon, eggs, omelets, toast, cereal, and coffee. Lunches include a starter plate of cheese, salami, and crackers followed by daily-made sandwiches. If anglers are on the river at lunchtime, lunches are prepared by the cook and include water, soda, and wine. If anglers are at the vehicle, lunch will consist of a cooked meal of veggies, meat, and rice. Often the meal will be cooked over a campfire in traditional South American spit roast style. The meals depend on the fishing and meal times and revolve around what integrates best into the fishing itinerary. Dinners consist of meat, potatoes, and salad – maybe even the odd stuffed trout one night. Wine and beer are always available, and water and soda are on hand. The meals aren’t considered gourmet but will be delicious and hearty.
Typical Length of Stay
A standard package with the Game Changer is seven (7) nights / six (6) days of guided fishing (Saturday through Saturday), although extended weeks can be arranged.
Non-angling activities and options
This is primarily a fishing-focused operation.
The internet is not consistent, and the areas The Game Changer drives will sometimes be off the grid. There is no cell service.
How to Get There
Overnight flights from the United States to and from Santiago, Chile (SCL) are available on American Airlines, Delta, United, or LATAM Airlines. From Santiago, you’ll fly with either Sky Airlines or LATAM Airlines on a 737 jet to the Balmaceda Airport (BBA), three hours south from Santiago. When you arrive, a representative from the Lodge will be waiting for you at the airport and will transfer you the 45 minutes to Cinco Rios Lodge to meet The Game Changer.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Most guests take an overnight flight to Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL), arriving early in the morning. After processing through customs and immigration, you can easily catch a late morning or early afternoon flight that same day to Balmaceda (BBA). This domestic flight usually makes a quick stop in Puerto Montt. This three-hour flight is incredibly scenic, traveling along the incredible Chilean Andes. Once you arrive in Balmaceda, you will be met by the Lodge representative and transferred to Coyhaique.
You will need a valid passport to enter the country of Chile. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and the UK do not need a visa unless they plan on staying for more than three months.
Yellow Dog can assist with travel logistics required for your trip and can recommend you to a preferred travel agent who can help you book airline tickets, hotels, transfers, trip insurance, and other travel needs. Contact us at 888-777-5060 for more information.
Jet pontoon rafts allow guests and guides to fish anywhere from glacial river and lakes, freestone rivers, as well as spring creeks. It depends on the time of year and which fishery guests will be fishing. The whole purpose of The Game Changer is to allow anglers the freedom to calculate what is fishing best and where. Anglers will be floating and wading all the region’s best rivers and lakes. However, during certain parts of the year, fishing is best in particular places. Lago General Carrera, for instance, has brown trout that swim into feeder streams in spectacular numbers in March and early April. King salmon will be the main target in November and December. The main concept of the Game Changer is flexibility, so anglers will be spending all their time in the areas that are producing the best fishing.
Boats and Equipment Required
Pontoon rafts with jet drive outboard engine. We suggest anglers bring 5, 6, or 7 weight rods. 5 for smaller streams and windless days, a 6 for the normal conditions and the need for large dry flies, and the 7 for any streamer fishing.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
(7) Nights / (6) days of guided fishing (based on double occupancy) is $5,500 per person.
Shorter packages are available.
- All transfers to and from Balmaceda Airport (BBA) or Coyhaique, Chile (GXQ) to The Game Changer
- All accommodations Saturday through Saturday
- All meals while staying with The Game Changer
- All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including the finest Chilean wines
- Daily guided fishing based on two anglers sharing one guide
- All taxes
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to Santiago, Chile (SCL)
- Domestic airfare to Balmaceda, Chile (BBA)
- Tips and gratuities for the Game Changer and guides
- Rods, reels, flies, and other tackle