Rio Manso Lodge is a spectacular retreat nestled in the mountains of Patagonia. Deep in the beautiful forests of Nahuel Huapi National Park, the lodge is secluded from the bustle of nearby Bariloche, yet close enough to make travel to town an easy day trip. Ideal for travelers who prefer a closer connection to nature, Rio Manso provides the perfect luxury oasis in the middle of the pristine Patagonian nature.
The lodge features outstanding views of Mount Tronador, a towering Andean peak that defines the border with neighboring Chile, and is visible from every guest room in the lodge. This view is one of the most famous in Argentina, and truly awe inspiring.
Rio Manso Lodge is the only full service hotel located in the southwestern part of Nahuel Huapi National Park. This immense nearly 2 million acre reserve is the oldest national park in Argentina. Because of their unique location, they’re ideally situated to provide travelers with a well-appointed base of operations for exploring, birding, rafting, or just plain relaxing.
The surrounding old growth forests contain alerce, or Patagonia cedar trees, which are some of the oldest trees in the world. Some specimens are up to 3,000 years old. Walking through these woods you might see a variety of wildlife inhabitants, including deer, foxes, and if you’re really lucky, the elusive cougar.
The Season - The fishing season in Argentina runs from the beginning of November until the end of April. It is the exact opposite of the North American season, with the longest day of the year falling on December 21. Rio Manso Lodge is open for the entire season.
Early Season: Early November – Mid January - These months are often marked by high water, which gradually recedes in December. The season starts off with fishing lots of weighted streamers on sinking lines. Mayfly and caddis hatches beginning in November will intensify in December providing increasingly better dry fly fishing as the fish begin to look up to the surface for more food. Early to middle December will see dragonflies hatching on the lakes and rivers bringing up the biggest fish and providing exciting dry fly action. Dragon fly nymphs and wooly buggers are very effective at this time.
Summer Season: Late January / Mid March - Excellent evening dry fly action continues into January. The river channels near the lodge feature multiple mayfly and caddis hatches that bring the fish up, especially early and late in the day. As temps warm in February, day time fishing can slow down on both the river and in the lakes. Terrestrials play an increasingly important role in the daily diet as summer progresses.
Fall Season: Late March / End of April - As fall approaches, water temperatures begin to cool and the fish become more active. Evening fishing is characterized by a brief flurry of activity right before dark while most daytime fishing is with streamers or large attractor dry flies. Big rubber legged dries work well in the lakes. April is when the big browns become aggressive prior to spawning season
If you’ve fished with a guide, outfitter or lodge in North America, the daily schedule will feel quite familiar. Unlike many lodges, however, you will have the opportunity to be out on the water for 9 -10 hours. If you really like to fish, you’ll love the length of the fishing days at Rio Manso. For those who consider fishing just one part of a great Patagonia experience, it’s your day so you can be brought in whenever you’re ready.
While there is no such thing as an ordinary day at Rio Manso Lodge, there is a bit of a routine in place that begins most days with breakfast at 8am. After hot coffee, eggs, cereal, fresh fruit or whatever else you need to get going, you’ll meet your guide in the wader room around 9am. With the exception of a trip to the Pichi Leufu, or a horse ride into Lago Los Cesares for big brookies and bigger browns, none of the waters you will fish are more than 20-25 minutes from the lodge which allows you to spend more time fishing and less time riding around. When departing for the Pichi, or Cesares, you will have breakfast at 7:30am.
Fishing continues until mid day, then stop for a streamside lunch which can be either hot or cold, and might include such items as steaks, quiches, sandwiches, salads, cheese, and fresh bread. Some guests like to take a siesta after lunch which is fine, but your guide will be ready to get you right back on the water!
After fishing through the afternoon, you would normally get off the water by 7-8 pm or so, and return to the lodge to clean up, take a sauna, or perhaps get a massage. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres are served before dinner in front of the fireplace. Dinner is usually served between 9 and 10 o’clock, although if the fish are rising and you just can’t tear yourself away, dinner is happily held until you are ready.
Rebuilt in 2004, Rio Manso Lodge was uniquely designed so that every one of the 9 guest rooms at face northwest offering spectacular views of Lago Hess and the Andes Mountains. Just 15 miles away towers majestic Monte Tronador located on the border with Chile. If the weather is clear, the mountain looks close enough to touch. Each room is comfortably appointed with either King Size or two Full Size beds and private bath. Some are equipped with a Jacuzzi as well. Many guests sleep with their windows open to let in the crisp, cool mountain air. The lodge features a full wader room for tackle and waders, a fly tying area, a small, but well-equipped bar, and a spacious sitting area in front of the river stone fireplace. Many nights it is cool enough to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a roaring fire. The lodge has a sauna available to drive out the chill and loosen those stiff casting muscles.
There are a multitude of guided hikes available from the lodge that range from simple excursions into the woods or walks to the nearby waterfall, to more involved expeditions climbing the surrounding mountain peaks of the Andes. Day hikers near the lodge will be able to explore the temperate Patagonian forest and perhaps glimpse local fauna such as foxes, pudus (deer), or even the elusive puma.
Organized birding walks and expeditions are usually led by Dr. Lorenzo Sympson, a noted authority on Andean condors, and founding member and head of the ornithological committee of SNAP(Sociedad Naturalista Andino Patagonica), a regional NGO dedicated to the conservation of Patagonia's unique ecosystems. He participated in the re-introduction of captive bred condors in Patagonia, and is the coordinator of a program designed for researching their biology and behavior. Dozens of species are found in the area including the Magellantic Woodpecker, Austral Parakeets, the endangered Torrent Duck, and the Andean Condor.
We offer several ways to explore the waters of the surrounding park: our Motorized Boat Tour of the lakes, or a River Float Trip. Both will take you into areas that are unreachable on foot, and give you the opportunity to see more of the beautiful Patagonia forest and ecosystem. You can combine them with a Birding Trip for even more enjoyment. There are miles of Class I-III rapids to float near the lodge, as well as wilder waters further down river.
Riding at Rio Manso Lodge
Riding at Rio Manso Lodge provides rare glimpses into the surrounding pristine forest. The lodge is located in the southern part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, surrounded by lakes and rivers, snow capped mountains and hanging glaciers.
Experts have prepared several riding trails thru the lush evergreen forest that lead to untouched places such as lagoons, cascades, lakes and rivers. Most of the programs are classified easy to medium in riding difficulty. And all of the trips are guided by an experienced horseman who is fluent in English and eager to helping you with bird spotting and full of stories from the region.
The stable of horses are young, sturdy animals that have been raised in the back country, used to moving around the dense forests and are very tame. Ideal stock for children but they are still fun when cantering comes into mind!
Relaxing at the Lodge
Many guests are just as happy relaxing at the lodge, taking a sauna, reading by the fireplace, or just taking in the view. Massages can be arranged for you. Or a wine tasting can easily be organized. No matter what you choose to do, our attentive staff is always there to serve you and address your needs. And when the day’s activities are over, you’ll enjoy our outstanding cuisine and excellent wines.
Fishing Packages Rates 2012-2013 - Nov 1 – April 30
Weekly Package (one night free) 7 nights / 6 Days
The above rates include airport transfers to and from Bariloche area, lodging, all meals and snacks, all beverages including wine and alcohol, laundry, internet, guided fishing (1 guide for every 2 anglers), fishing license, and non-fishing guided activities.
Personal fishing gear, gratuities for staff and guide, long distance telephone calls, massages (available upon request).