Patagonia Travel Updates from Esquel, Argentina
January 4, 2021
It breaks our hearts that we are unable to welcome you to Patagonia this season. Travel restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic have created a complex and fluid situation for international and domestic travel. There have been many hopeful headlines and announcements, but sadly they have not been accompanied by substantive details about how and when international tourists will be able to return to Patagonia in a safe and predictable manner.
It is our hope to use this update to regularly communicate what we know about the current travel restrictions from our extensive network of partners on the ground here in Patagonia, as well as in Buenos Aires. We will be updating this page routinely, as well as communicating on our social media pages and in our email newsletter. If you haven't done so already, be sure to follow El Encuentro Fly Fishing on Instagram and Facebook, and signup for our weekly newsletter at the bottom of this page.
As we evaluate the current travel situation, we consider 4 fundamental questions from the perspective of an international traveler such as you, our extended family of El Encuentro friends.
1. Can you currently enter Argentina?
- Argentine borders remain closed to all US and European countries.
- On November 2, Argentine borders opened only to residents of neighboring countries Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay.On Dec 25 the government reversed this decison essentially closing the borders to all non-residents or non-natives.
- The Argentine Ministry of tourism issued a “Prohibition of entry into the national territory” which expired November 29, 2020. On November 30, 2020 the Ministry announced that the Prohibition is extended until December 20, 2020. On Dec 20 the government announced that the Prohibition will be extended until at least January 31, 2021.
2. Once in Argentina, can you travel to the Chubut Province, and ultimately reach the El Encuentro Lodge or Brook Trout Basecamp?
- Chubut Provence began welcoming tourists from other Provences on Dec 15, 2020
- In order to enter Chubut Provence, tourists are required to have health coverage or Covid Insurance, booking confirmation (dates and location of stay during their visit), and a sworn statement declaring that you have not had any close contact with a Covid infected person.
- At this time there are only two flights per week from Buenos Aires to Esquel - on Mondays and Fridays. We are hopeful that after January 1 this will increase to 3 flights per week
- Although Argentina's borders remain closed to US and European travelers, this is an encouraging development as it allows communities throughout Patagonia the opportunity to salvage some of their Summer tourist season with Argentines and residents of neighboring countries.
3. Having reached the El Encuentro Lodge or Brook Trout Basecamp, can you move around freely and access all of the wonderful Patagonia fly fishing that you traveled so far for?
- After easing restrictions in Chubut, and many other parts of the country, Esquel has moved back into "Phase Two Restrictions" which restricts movement in public places.
- Residents can still move about in public places, but circulation is limited to odd and even numbers according to your government issued ID.
- This restriction applies until January 11, 2021
4. Can you return home after your trip?
- Limited numbers of international flights are operating roundtrip flights from Miami and Houston to Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires
- Local and state restrictions in the US may require a 14 day quarantine after your return
What to Expect Next
- Communication from the Argentine government has been slow, inconsistent, and unclear. However, the government reviews the “Prohibition of entry into the national territory” every two/three weeks.
- The anouncement of the last review occured on December 20, 2020.
- The current “Prohibition of entry into the national territory” was extended by the Ministry of Tourism on December 20, 2020 to last until January 31, 2021.
- The next announcemnet will likely occur around January 30, 2021.
- Covid-19 vaccinations began in Argentina on December 29, 2020.
- Initially, 300,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik vacine were shipped to Argentina
- An additional 19.7 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine are reported to be delivered to Argentina in January and February
Protect your Investment with Trip Insurance and Travel Booking Services
We are thrilled to partner with Kanna Travel, a US-based, full-service travel agency whose team of seasoned professionals offers international ticketing, trip insurance, and emergency evacuation solutions for fly fishing and hunting travel. This partnership will allow El Encuentro Fly Fishing to offer our friends access to the industry’s finest travel insurance products, that can include a “cancel for any reason” rider, as well as comprehensive international travel booking services to help you navigate schedule changes and other potential complications.
When you book a trip with El Encuentro Fly Fishing we want you to know that we have your back. Click Here to read more about Trip Insurance and Travel Booking Services.
Still Have Questions? We Are Here!
This is a dynamic situation with complex variables changing rapidly, often times without prior notice. The El Encuentro Family has deep roots throughout Argentina. We are the oldest lodge in our region with a vast network of partners developed over decades of operating in Patagonia. We are in constant contact with colleagues, associates, suppliers, and officials on the ground here in Argentina.
Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions, or to chat about how and when to start planning your next trip to Patagonia.