Bike & Paddle Patagonia is a small family-run Canadian-Argentinean tour company. The owners are
Julián Tisato and Katie Hambly who along with their children divide their time living between Canada
The business began in 2010, after many years working in the adventure tourism industry: Julian as a guide/instructor and Katie in various administrative and managerial positions. After establishing El Bolsón as our home-base, we began offering multi-day whitewater kayak and canoe tours. Since then the business has expanded to offer mountain biking, hiking and customized vacations.
Bike & Paddle Patagonia boasts unique and personalized tours based heavily on local expertise and connections. The aim is to offer authentic Patagonian experiences in our little-known region of Argentina. We have forged some great partnerships with local families, accommodations and outfitters. We also now work with several groups annually who use us as their in-country trip specialists.
Whether you are a solo traveler looking to join a tour, a family seeking the ultimate vacation or an organized group that wants to get off the beaten track, we hope you’ll trust us with your next active holiday adventure.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Katie & Julián
El Bolsón is Bike & Paddle Patagonia’s home base. It is a small town located in the province of Rio Negro about 1800km south of Buenos Aires. You can take a 22 hour bus ride or you can fly into the nearest airport of San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC) and travel 120km south.
El Bolsón literally translates as “the big bag,” which is not the most poetic name, but comes from the fact that El Bolsón is located in a valley between several mountains. This “bag” nestled in the mountains has an unusual microclimate for being so far south. The region produces 75% of the Argentina’s hops and an enormous amount of organic fruits, vegetables and honey. On top of it all, locally produced cheeses, smoked trout, regional chocolate, jams and preserves make this place a food-lovers dream.
Through most of the year El Bolsón hosts the “Feria Artesanal”, the local artisan craft and food fair (Tues,Thurs,Sat/Sun). Tourists from all over the country flock to El Bolsón to enjoy the market with over 300 stalls to explore. Artists sell everything from sculpted wooden cutting boards, and handmade mate gourds to jewelry, instruments and pottery. After visiting the market, a visit to El Bolsón is not complete without sampling one or more of the many local micro-brews and the ice cream shops!
To the east, the town is towered over by “Piltriquitron” mountain (2,284m) whose Mapuche name translates as a mountain “hanging from the clouds.” Across the valley to the west are the many beautiful mountain peaks of the Andes mountain range that offer a variety of moderate to challenging hikes. Many adventurers come to El Bolsón to hike the “refugio” mountain hut trekking circuit. This “hut to hut” circuit allows you to immerse yourself in the mountains by hiking anywhere from 1 to 10 days without ever having to return to town.
San Carlos de Bariloche is the “gateway city” to Patagonia, situated on the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by lakes (Nahuel Huapi, Gutiérrez Lake, Moreno Lake and Mascardi Lake) and mountains (Tronador, Cerro Catedral, Cerro López). It is famous for skiing but also great for sight-seeing, water sports, trekking and climbing. Another claim to fame is its Swiss-like atmosphere and its chocolate boutiques. Because it has an international airport (BRC) most of our tours will start and finish in Bariloche.
The town of Futaleufú, Chile is close to the Argentine border and has a population of about 2,000. The main income for the community is fly fishing, white water rafting, and tourism. The Futaleufú River is a river fed by the lakes in the Los Alerces National Park in Chubut Province, Argentina, crossing the Andes Mountains and the international border into Chile and opening into the Yelcho Lake. The town of Futaleufú is our starting point for most intermediate whitewater kayaking tours.