About Adventure Tours Argentina Chile

The First Adventure Tours
The first adventure tour..

In February of 2002, accompanied by 13 paddlers, using two rafts and pack horses, Zach Cowan and Diego Rodríguez led the first commercial raft descent of the Rio Manso to Lake Tagua-Tagua. Upon completing the descent, the duo returned with kayaks and descended the entire river at river level. Drawn by the remote beauty of the Manso wilderness and its Andean culture, Zach and Diego started Adventure Tours Argentina Chile (ATAC)

ATAC is currently the only adventure travel company to visit the Manso Valley, one of the last wild places left in the world.

ATAC Philosophy
Adventure Tours Argentina Chile (ATAC) is concerned with the social, environmental and economic impacts of international adventure tours in remote areas. We are dedicated to preserving the culture and wilderness of these areas through low impact travel. To minimize impact, we limit group sizes on all trips and pack out all of our garbage. Our tours provide jobs with fair wages for locals and income for the farmers who supply our food.

ATAC The Team
Our guides provide a combination of leadership, safety, skills, and knowledge of the area to make each tour a safe yet challenging adventure. We take into account the comfort level and interests of individuals on every trip.

Diego RodriguezDiego Rodriguez
Born and raised in Bariloche, Argentina, Diego has always lived within 100 km of the Manso valley. A true renaissance man, Diego maintains many facets to his life. He owns a hostel in the center of Bariloche where he also distributes kayaking equipment. During the summer, he operates his local white water rafting business in Nahuel Huapi National Park of Patagonia on the upper sections of the Rio Manso. In the winter, he is a member of the Mountain Rescue Team of Club Andino Bariloche, Argentina. With a Ph.D. in Physics, Diego has worked on projects involving hydrogen storage in alloys for fuel cell vehicles and is currently working on toxic waste management systems for city-related bio-hazardous materials. Balancing many activities, somehow Diego has found time to become an expert kayaker and pioneer numerous first descents in Argentina including sections of the Rio Manso.

Zachary Cowan Zachary Cowan
Zach first came to appreciate the outdoors growing up at the base of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. He raced mountain bikes, sailboats and rock climbed throughout California. He completed two National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) courses before deciding to become an outdoor guide. He attended the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Program (COLT), then qualified for and completed the Practicum in 1994. Since then, he has followed the summer from one hemisphere to the other fulfilling his year-round whitewater paddling dreams. He has worked with over 30 different white water rafting companies as a guide, safety-kayaker and video-kayaker in California, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. He has traveled through almost every Latin American country, kayaked a handful of first descents, including sections of the Rio Manso, and even driven his Nissan truck (with kayak) from California to Chile.

Gabriela Stephens
Growing up between Tofino, Canada and Pucon, Chile with a Chilean mother and British father, Gabriela is fluent in both Spanish and English. While living on a Chilean farm growing organic vegetables, she found her love for cooking. Pursuing her interest, she traveled to Florence, Italy to study cooking at the Lorenzo D´Medici Art School. When she returned, she worked in restaurants in both Tofino and Pucon. Not only a maestra of the kitchen, Gabriela is also a woman of the campo - a confident horseback rider and leader in the backcountry.

Chris Larsen Chris Larsen
Chris grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont spending his spare time hiking and snowboarding. In 1997, he moved to Colorado to attend Western State College and learned to kayak the white water of the Rocky Mountains. Chris graduated in 2001 with a degree in Kinesiology and a desire to paddle the rivers of the world. Chris and his friends started Ashland Mine Productions, an extreme white water kayaking video company and in 2002 put out their first video called No Big Names. During the North American summer, Chris lives in Colorado managing a kayak shop. In the winters, he heads to Chile to gather more extreme kayaking footage and work on the Manso. Chris is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Swift Water Rescue Technician.

Paola Minetto Paola Minetto
Paola was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. In 1995, she moved to Pucon, Chile of the IX region knowing that she wanted to work with her hands and be outdoors. She fell in love with the volcanoes, mountains, rivers, and lakes of the lakes district and learned massage from her friends. Massage soon became her source of income. In 1998, her love of the wilderness drew her to live and work in the remote Parque Pumalin, a nature reserve created by Doug Tomkins, where her main responsibilities were to maintain the gardens and greenhouses, camp sites and cabins. Drawn by the desire to return to massage as a business, Paola flew back to Santiago to study massage in depth.
She completed courses in masofilaxia, reflexology, quiro-massage, facial analysis and treatment, and was soon after hired by the five-star resort, Hotel de Los Lagos in Pucon, Chile. Currently, Paola works at la Clinica Los Andes de Puerto Montt as a massage therapist and has her own practice in Puerto Varas, Chile. There she has been able to balance her outdoor lifestyle and massage. When she isn't practicing massage, she can be found climbing, hiking, and white water rafting all over the lakes district.

Marcelo Deza Marcelo Deza
Gentle and soft spoken, Marcelo is a great mountain guide with an endless knowledge of the Patagonian Andes. He has been skiing and snowboarding for more than 20 years in Chile, Argentina and Peru. He is an active member of the Club Andino Bariloche and the search and rescue team. When he is not in the mountains, he works as an accountant in Bariloche.

Adventure Tours Argentina Chile - ATAC