Trey and Shelby Scharp are a young couple who were both born and raised in the Rocky Mountains. They made their first trip to Argentina in 2000 and fell in love with the country and its people. Finally, in 2006 they left the States and returned to their favorite region of Patagonia in pursuit of starting their own business. We talked to them about Campo Cielo Grande and the activities they offer to adventure seekers.
What is Campo Cielo Grande and what inspired you to start it?
Campo Cielo Grande is small personalized lodge committed to providing their guests with incredible adventures, and is the best of both worlds combining the rugged surroundings of Argentina’s Patagonia with the luxury of a Safari style tent camp. The camp is inspired by my time spent in Africa blended with Trey’s love for backpacking and camping. Together we have created a first class retreat that is warm and welcoming. It is the quintessential marriage of soft adventure and soft beds – of childhood memories of camping and adult dreams of great food and a good night’s sleep. Today we are the first in the area to offer a step back in time to the Old West. After growing up and seeing how the “Old West” of America has changed so dramatically, we wanted to find a simple place, where we could feel our roots again. During the summers in the northern hemisphere we return to the US to manage a beautiful and secluded guest ranch near Jackson Hole. Flat Creek Ranch has many similarities with Campo Cielo Grande including fly fishing, hiking and horseback riding.
Where is Campo Cielo Grande?
Campo Cielo Grande is based in Argentinian Patagonia and the nearest town Trevelin is nestled in a beautiful valley that was settled by Welsh immigrants in the 1860’s. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid also had an estancia just a few hours to the north. The Andes tower to the west, with Chile just on the on other side. And to the east is the vast expanse of the pampas.
What is the best thing about staying at Campo Cielo Grande?
The highlight of your stay is the combination of trekking, horseback riding, national park tours and guided fly fishing trips that we customized to fit your desires. There is world class fly-fishing in crystal clear trout streams filled with brown, rainbow and brook trout. It is a place where the springs creek and rivers run clear and the lakes are unspoiled. Where you can spend the day walking the banks sight fishing and matching the hatch; or travel by raft down one of the great rivers of the region. There are several rivers within a short drive from Campo Cielo Grande that can be floated, as well as smaller creeks for walk wading; both will test the skills of any angler. Trey is a talented and creative fishing guide who will take you to areas very few have the opportunity to fish. He has been guiding in Patagonia for over a decade and will ensure your fishing experience is memorable.
What else can I do at Campo Cielo Grande?
Los Alerces National Park is just down the road from Campo Cielo Grande and makes for a wonderful day trip. Los Alerces National Park is a protected area of 263,000 hectares located in mountain range in the region of the province of Chubut, on the international boundary with the Republic of Chile. Los Alerces was created in 1937 with the aim of protecting the fundamental lahuán or larch forests, a typical exponent of flora-Andean Patagonia. The environments of the protected area can fall into the eco-regions of forest and high Patagonian Andes. The area is a complex system of
numerous rivers, streams and larger lakes. The highlights are Lago Menendez, Rivadavia, Futalaufquen and Krüger. There are several hikes to choose from depending on what sort of challenge you are up for! For something more strenuous, guests leave camp early in the morning and trek all day where they arrive at a year-round glacier.
What about horse riding, can you do that at Campo Cielo Grande?
The horse culture is a very important component of Patagonia has a strong history in our area. At Campo Cielo Grande horses are very much a part of our lives as well. Enjoy the comfort of an Argentine saddle covered in sheepskin atop the famous mountain bred Criollo horse. They are a large body breed that are used for cattle wrangling and provide an unforgettable riding experience, being superbly responsive and agile. They are strong and smooth riding as well. You will have a new found respect for the sure footed local Criollo horse after spending the day crossing mountains, creeks, and meadows as you explore the terrain just behind camp. This is not a trail ride, will be cross through fences, wading small marshes, and climbing hills. We have over 1000 acres to explore making this ride as challenging as you would like. We will bring along our picnic and stop in a shady spot and enjoy the sites. Our horses are very well trained and suitable for any riding level.
What is the accommodation like?
We have intimate deluxe camping accommodations created for up to four guests at a time. It is designed for the adventure seeker who wants to get back into the wild but not give up the creature comforts. The generous tents have queen or full beds with lush bedding, and wood burning stove that are sure to keep you toasty at night. Light abounds during the day with four large windows and a screened front door to take in all of the scenery. Right outside the back door a large bathroom with a hot shower and flushing toilet. Our retreat is located in the heart of Patagonia, Argentina, along the shores of Lago Rosario. Enjoy the sound of the crackling camp fire and star gaze in the Southern Hemisphere and catch a glimpse of the Southern Cross.
How long should I stay for?
Campo Cielo Grande is best enjoyed with a 5 night stay, although our minimum stay is just three nights. We feel this gives you time to explore the area, enjoy all the possible activities and still have time to relax and take it all in.