Spring Creek Lodge Excursions
Jake Crawford September 12, 2023
The area around Spring Creek Lodge offers a rich diversity of adventure, cultural and lifestyle excursions. The combination of the area’s numerous activities with the lodge’s unique gastronomy and accommodations are what makes Spring Creek Lodge an excellent option for adding other experiences to complement your Patagonia vacation or bringing along travel companions to enjoy their time while you are on the water.
Here is a sample itinerary for a week of excursions at Spring Creek Lodge:
- Day One: Hiking Lanin National Park to scenic panoramic views
- Day Two: Horseback riding through sub-Antarctic forest and deluxe camping
- Day Three: In-suite spa treatment with afternoon cooking class
- Day Four: Birdwatching and visit to local organic farm
- Day Five: Kayak session at Lake Machonico with special gourmet dinner
- Day Six: Seven Lakes Road Tour and Sailing Nahuel Huapi Lake
Spring Creek Lodge’s location allows them to design a wide range of excursions and tours based on guests travel styles and interests. Most of the activities are set for a medium level of difficulty but can be tailored to be more or less demanding. All excursions listed in this catalog are individualized, with one expert guide and 4WD truck per every two guests. Their team of guides are passionate and work hard to ensure that you have the highest quality experience. All guides, vehicles and boats that are used are part of the Spring Creek Lodge and SET Fly Fishing’s team. Many of the activities must be scheduled in advance, and some have additional expenses, so please let us know if there are specific excursions you would like to experience.
|Hiking Lanin National Park||Local Artists and Artisan Market||In-suite Spa|
|Horseback Riding||Local Cultural tour||Wine-tasting|
|Fly Fishing||Archeology tour||Special Dining Events|
|Deluxe Camping||Tango Dancing Class||Cooking Class|
|Scenic Boat Ride||Birdwatching|
|Whitewater Rafting||Sailing Nahuel Huapi Lake|
|Winter Activities||Shopping tour|
See below for a more detailed list of the adventure, culture, and lifestyle excursions they offer.
Patagonia’s unique geography provides the opportunity for a wide range of outdoor activities for all levels of skills and ages. See below for descriptions of each activity.
Hiking in Lanin National Park
Spring Creek lodge´s central location on the Lanin National Park, allows easy access to a wide range of secluded hiking trails. This variety of choices allows them to tailor the experience to your demand, from a very comfortable 1 mile walk for beginners, all the way to a stepped volcano excursion on the valdivian rain forest for the most fit guests.
All the options offer a unique north Patagonian surrounding with Nothofagus trees, breathtaking views, and sounds of nature, be that birds, or small streams that cross your paths.
Horseback Ride at El Alamo Ranch
Enjoy a scenic horseback ride in the Andes Mountains at El Alamo Ranch. You’ll ride through the native sub-Antarctic forest before eventually reaching tree line where you’ll experience the areas stunning views. The duration of this gentle ride is typically 2 to 3 hours and concludes with a delicious meal back at the ranch.
Optionally, for those seeking a bit more adventure enjoy a 5 to 6 hour ride to Laguna Rosales or over the north face of Cerro Colorado. A picnic lunch will be packed and served halfway through the ride. The ride will conclude back at the ranch with a delicious dinner and fine Argentine wine served as the sunsets over Lake Lolog.
Their dedicated camp staff will have your camp completely prepared prior to your arrival. Your only responsibility is to sit back and enjoy yourself! All camps include: Large sleeping tents equipped with cots, inflatable sleeping pads, pillows, freshly laundered sleeping bags, nightstand and flashlight, Toilet tent with chemical toilets, Shower tent with hot water, Dining tent with tables and chairs, electric power generator which will illuminate the camp area and provide power to recharge your devices, personal waterproof gear bag that includes a shower towel, camp staff that will prepare and serve meals and be responsible for all camp chores.
Deluxe Camps allows you to fully immerse yourself into the Patagonian experience without giving up your creature comforts. Imagine a day where you hike, horseback ride or fish the river, creek, or lake of your dreams, and conclude the evening gazing into the southern night sky.
Multiple years of offering this unique lodging option has literally equipped SET Fly Fishing to provide for all of your needs. The camp cooks have mastered the art of cooking over an open fire so be prepared to delight your taste buds. Dinners include Argentine asados, roasted lamb prepared gaucho style and much more. Prior to dinner enjoy freshly prepared hors d’ oeuvres, drinks from the mini-bar and fine Argentine wines. A dedicated camp staff will pamper you so that you never have to lift a finger!
Numerous trails and circuits are available in the national parks and neighboring ranches. This is a perfect half-day activity that can be combined with other leisure options. Prior to your ride you will discuss with your guide the type of outing that you are looking to experience.
For those looking for more adventure we offer full day rides on circuits with a higher level of difficulty. These rides take place on the scenic trails in the national park forests and are geared more towards experience raiders.
This morning guests will take a short drive through the Seven Lakes District before reaching Lake Machonico. There, you will meet your kayaking guide for a morning kayaking session on the lake, and paddle the pristine river that connects Machonico Lake with Pichi Machonico Lakes. Lunch will be served on the beach along a pristine shoreline. You will complete the loop circuit discovering the lakes furthest shore before returning to the vehicles.
The area surrounding the town of San Martin de los Andes offers numerous climbing walls with varying degrees of difficulty. All of these climbs are easily accessible and many are suited for beginners that would like to give this activity a try. However, the diversity of alternatives also provides experienced climbers with ample options (crack, wall and overhanging climbing) to enjoy this sport.
Several of these routes are geared with permanent anchors and cover climbing difficulties from 5.10 to 5.40. The guides are more than willing to instruct beginners and all gear and equipment is provided.
In the heart of the Seven Lakes Road district there have several multi-pitch routes and you can spend the day with expert climber, Manu Parada. Prior climbing experience is required to participate in this activity.
The approach to the climbing area requires bouldering for 1 to 2 hours. After arriving at the wall you will have 3 different climbing alternatives that vary for 700 to 900 feet in length and between 5.10 and 5.80 in difficulty. All of the climbs take place in a pristine environment that few climbers have experienced.
Winter in this part of the southern hemisphere brings snow and they have the perfect natural playground. The location, 40º south latitude, enjoys mild winter weather but still produces quality snow conditions. Patagonia is the perfect place to enjoy snow sports and winter activities when it is summer in the northern hemisphere. Snow boarding, skiing and snowshoeing are available along with year round activities that include: horseback riding, hiking, bicycle riding and even lake kayaking. You also have the option for more advanced backcountry skiing and visiting the Chapelco Mountain Resort.
Every region has cultural differences that are based on varying customs and beliefs. Native Mapuche’s culture has a strong presence in the surrounding areas and through the years it has blended with the cultures of the areas Austrian and Swiss immigrants. Experience Argentina’s northern Patagonian culture firsthand.
Local Artists and Artisans
The northern Patagonia region has become the home for many talented artists. These groups of talented individuals have been inspired by the area’s natural beauty combined with the calm and peaceful way of living. Multiple artists in the area are inspired to create fantastic works using silver as their medium. You can tour multiple showrooms and ateliers while discovering unique knives, cutlery, and amazing jewelry designs. You will be able to interact with the artists and learn about the techniques they incorporate into their creations. This is a great opportunity to purchase that “special gift” to remind you of Patagonia.
The soils found in Patagonia provide unique materials that have inspired multiple artisans to create unique pieces ranging from Mapuche style vases to modern earthenware. They invite you to visit these artisans and participate in a workshop where you will have the chance to dip your hands in the clay. Your patience, balance and concentration will be put in play as you create your own unique piece.
Patagonia Sheep Wool Tour and Workshop
Patagonia is Argentina’s main wool and yarn producing region. Included is the production of merino wool, fine mohair yarn from the goats of Neuquén Province and the super fine guanaco yarn produced by the native communities.
The legacy of the local Mapuches traditions with wool has brought creative and prolific knitters and weavers to the region. You are invited to meet local artisans and learn about the whole process from the fiber, natural dying, hand spool and weaving technique. Understanding the entire wool creating process will be helpful when you have the chance to create your own piece in the workshop. You will have shopping opportunities to acquire unique creations from different designers and styles.
Art Tour to Georg Collection
Master impressionist Georg Miciu Nicolaevici has spent significant portion of his life in San Martin de los Andes. It is here that he created this singular gallery and family museum. A visit to the collection offers the chance to discover firsthand the amazing talent of the different artists in the Miciu family. Besides family painters and fine art photographers you will discover the works of Emiliano Celiz, master silversmith, and his fascinating silver vases. The museums five-story building is by itself a work of art.
If you are interest in art and curious about Argentine art than a visiting to the Georg Collection is a must. This one of the kind gallery features pieces from: Georg Miciu Nicolaevic (pallet knife impressionist painter) – Emaus Miciu (canvas, impressionist painter) – Eliseo Miciu (fine art photographer) – Isaias Miciu (sporting life photographer) – Emiliano Celiz (master silversmith) Diverse creations from local artists are also featured.
Emiliano Celiz Master Silversmith
Emiliano is a one-of-a-kind artist and they are privileged that he makes San Martin de los Andes his home. Many of his works are on permanent exhibit in several top galleries around the world. If he is available, you will have the opportunity to meet him in person and learn firsthand the though process behind his creations.
Alberto Perez is a locally renowned archeologist who has extensively explored the Neuquén Province. Your time will be spent in the field discovering ancient artifacts at archaeological sites in the area surrounding San Martin de los Andes. During your outing you will discuss how the early native inhabitants lived prior to and after the arrival of the Spanish. You’ll get an understanding of the impact that colonization had on the local native culture and their way of life.
No visit to Argentina is complete without taking in a tango performance. Why not take it one step further and experience tango firsthand with a private dance lesson. Your instructors will be the talented husband and wife team of Marcos and Analia. This talented couple runs a successful tango school in San Martin de los Andes and they are experts at introducing people to the art of dancing tango. With a little practice you’ll be able to show off your new dance moves to your friends back home!
An enjoyable and memorable experience is key to what every traveler is searching to find, and they have a great list of special classes or experiences to complement your ultimate Patagonia vacation.
In Suite Spa Session
In the privacy of your suite enjoy a 90-minute, full body, deep tissue massage with their talented therapist Gabriel Gómez. This massage is adapted for their most demanding guests who are looking to recover after active outings or just for a fully relaxing experience. Besides a full body message, Gabriel will be happy to focus his efforts addressing specific pain issues that you are experiencing.
A great way to conclude your session is by enjoying a fresh glass of fruit juice or sparkling wine served to you on your private patio.
Take a tour of Argentina’s Malbecs. Argentina is the home of magnificent wines with malbec being the most renown. However, their cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and other vintages are also highly regarded. They will take you on a tour sampling different labels as you travel from the northern to southern wine regions of the country. Malbecs will be the focus and you’ll come to appreciate how the same grape, grown under different soil and weather conditions, can produce distinctly different tasting wines.
Special Dining Events with Avatars Meliquina
The Avataras Meliquina is an organic farming community that lives in a natural paradise within the Lanin National Park. The farm is perfectly located to take advantage of the beautiful view that overlooks Lake Meliquina. At their closed-door restaurant you will enjoy a 5 to 8 course dinner featuring the freshest farm to table ingredients.
With this activity dinner is typically served fairly early as it is combined with other activities in the Seven Lakes Road region.
Dinner at Alamo Ranch
An evening at El Alamo Ranch allows you to relax in a private outdoor setting with great views. Meet the hosts and listen to stories about the area and local culture while delighting yourself with a great traditional meal that’s prepared in large clay oven.
Dinner at El Comedor
Claudio Abraham is the former chef for one of the biggest lodges in the area. Since 2022 he runs his own closed-door restaurant in Junin de los Andes.
His versatile cuisine, combined with the unique setting provide a great dining experience for guests in search for a variety of local flavors.
Cooking Class with Private Chef
Spend an afternoon with Spring Creek Lodge’s Chef Federico, learning classic Argentine recipes. You will begin by preparing the famous chimichurri and criolla sauces that will later be served with the meal. They will continue with the typical beef empanadas and learn how to prepare the tasty dough and several different beef fillings. Your creations will served as appetizers prior that night’s dinner.
Every province in the country has developed unique empanada recipes and they all claim to have the best. You will be focused on the styles that are unique to Mendoza and Salta Province’s.
Class and Dinner at El Alamo Ranch
Spend the afternoon with Raul Pizales and Tomas Campbell at El Alamo Ranch. You’ll be assisting with the food preparation for this country style dinner that incorporates the clay oven and open flame. While helping with the preparations Raul and Tomas will entertain you with their stories about the people and traditions of the area. This is a fantastic activity that gives you the opportunity to meet interesting local residents and share some wine while enjoying the view overlooking Lake Lolog. Your outdoor dinner will be served as the sun sets over another day.
Seven Lakes Road Tour
This road is the most emblematic sightseeing drive in Patagonia. In addition to joining the towns of San Martin de los Andes and Villa La Angostura the road runs across the heart of the Lake District and through the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi National Parks. The Seven Lakes Road is a 107 km (66.5 miles) long section of National Route 40 that stretches south to north, from Ushuaia, to la Quiaca. During the tour you will view the typical characteristics of the Patagonian Andes region: green forests, snowcapped peaks, and beautiful lakes. If you visit during the autumn months of April and May you’ll view the trees as they change color from green to vibrant reds, yellows and oranges.
Along the way you will have the opportunity to stop for photos and if you like take several short hikes. After reaching our destination, Villa La Angostura, you’ll have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant overlooking stunning Lake Nahuel Huapi. The afternoon can be spent exploring Villa la Angostura or taking a sail on the lake.
The Best of San Martin Tour
San Martin de los Andes, located only 40 minutes from Spring Creek Lodge, is a charming resort town. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Lanin National Park and the park’s beautiful Lake Lacar.
The town is one of the most picturesque in the northern Patagonia Lakes District and features great restaurants, bars and unique shopping opportunities. San Martin is also the home of many talented artists, artisans and is a great outdoor recreational playground for locals and visitors.
You will explore the history of the area and visit several panoramic lookouts to discover how the town is situated in the overall environment. Following a gentle hike to the top of one of the nearby mountains you will head back to town for refreshments and some shopping.
Professional photographer Ezequiel Laprida will partner with you for a day in the outdoors. The focus of the workshop will be how to best capture natural images, lighting, composition, and if time permits editing some of the images that you captured today. Content of the class will be adjusted according to your current photographic knowledge and there is an added expense for this excursion.
Birdwatching with ornithologist
The Northern Patagonia region contains an abundance of birdlife. Records show that there are more than 140 different species that are divided into three categories: steppe, forest and aquatic. Florencia Macini is the specialist for this activity. There are three different outings that are planned to discover birds of different ecosystems: Magallanic Forest, Patagonian Steppe and the transition zone between the two. Each of the sub-areas will allow you to view different birds in diverse environments. Some of the most distinguishable species in the forested areas are the Megallanic Woodpecker and Campephilus Megellanicus. In the Patagonian Steppe you’ll find the Andean Condor, Buff-necked Ibis and Darwin’s Rhea.
To target the best bird activity all three viewing locations will require a very early start. Your outings will be on private ranches and in the Lanin National Park and will require easy gentle hikes. Binoculars and/or telescopes will be provided.
Sailing: This activity is normally paired with a visit to Villa la Angostura or the Seven Lakes Road Tour. Captain Ernesto will take you on a wonderful sail on the crystal clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Throughout the sail you’ll be able to view the spectacular scenery of the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Ernesto will introduce you to the basics of sailing, as you become part of the crew for a few hours.
Spend the morning at Chapelco Golf Course, the first in South America designed by Jack Nicklaus. This 18 hole, par 72 was designed to capture and highlight the area’s spectacular scenery. The course is considered one of the top-5 in Argentina and part of the PGA Latin America Tour. Lunch will be served at the clubhouse, an additional green fee is required for this activity, and they will arrange rental clubs for your round.
San Martin Shopping Tour
San Martin de los Andes city center and its surroundings hold a variety of shops and artisans. Fine leather goods, handcrafted knives and jewelry, photographs, local spirits and wines plus more are available. This will be an opportunity to discover representative items from the region and find that special item to bring home. Your guide will select several of the best stores and shops to match your interests and style.
Additionally, this is a perfect time to walk and enjoy downtown San Martin de los Andes and possibly visit one of the local ice-cream shops or a neighborhood bar for a glass of wine.
Spring Creek Lodge
Enjoy a diversity of fishing and excursion opportunities based out of the heart of Patagonia's original trout fishing hub.