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“Patagonia Proposal!”
Review of Ecocamp Patagonia

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Ecocamp Patagonia
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Reviewed 3 April 2014

The cascada travel agent and the guides of Ecocamp helped with the surprise proposal my fiance had planned at the top of the French Valley . The guide hiked 10 miles with a dozen unscathed roses, champagne and 2 real glasses in his hiking backpack without me knowing! It was truly a team effort and shows how wonderful the staff at Ecocamp and Cascada truly are!
The ecocamp is truly in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. The property is beautiful and the domes are very comfortable. We did the 5 day W trek and stayed in the standard domes.They provide plenty of cozy blankets in the unheated standard domes.It is a little chilly getting out of bed in the a.m. though.The W trek was incredible overall. The guides were well educated and they only allow 6 peopel per guide so everyone feels taken care of. The food at Ecocamp was amazing not in any way your typical camp food. Its really nice to mingle with the other groups as well at the ecocamp at dinner or at the bar they have.
One thing you need to set your expectations for is the weather.Patagonia has very erratic weather so 2 days of your hike may be sunny with no wind but then the next day might be windy and rainy... you just have to have a good attitude and make the best of whatever Mother Nature brings that day. The Ecocamp is a truly unique and wonderful experience and great for adventurous first timers to Patagonia.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

Huge congratulations on your wedding!! We are always aim to go the extra level so our guests have a trip of a lifetime - I'm sure you will remember this moment forever! All the best wishes for the future and we hope to welcome you back for one of your anniversaries. Best wishes for the future!

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

I recently stayed in Ecocamp to do the 4 day/3 night Wildlife Safari tour with a group. We chose Ecocamp because we wanted to be in Torres del Paine, we liked their conservation philosophy, and we though it looked really interesting.

When arranging the trip, we communicated mostly via e-mail with a Cascada representative. She was very helpful and extremely prompt about responding to us. On our trip, we traveled from El Calafate in Argentina to Ecocamp. Transportation for this was arranged through Ecocamp. I would recommend making sure you that you confirm the exact details with Ecocamp about transportation, and know who is responsible for what - we had a small hiccup with being dropped off at a bus station by one of Ecocamp's Argentina partner companies but not having any bus tickets to our destination, which was supposed to be provided by the partner company (luckily we had copies of our e-mail communication to prove this to them).

Upon arrival in Puerto Natales on the way to Ecocamp, we hoped to obtain Chilean pesos. The Ecocamp staff said that we did not need to do this, we could use US dollars at Ecocamp - the only problem is that we didn't have enough small US bills. I asked for a bank or ATM, but they directed us to a building across the street from their office to exchange money. This experience was a bit strange as it seemed to be someone's home, and then they refused to exchange our money. I asked the staff again for a nearby bank or ATM, but they kept saying that we didn't need any pesos. (We ended up stopping at a small general store for a bathroom break halfway between Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine, and they exchanged currency at the store). If you will not be able to obtain Chilean pesos before your journey to Ecocamp, be sure to bring enough small USD bills ($5s/$10s/$20s) for use at Ecocamp - you may not get a chance to obtain any other currency and you may want the money for tips or a drink at the bar.

Our group stayed in the suite domes. I felt that things were clean, houskeeping was good, showers were hot, and nothing smelled despite the use of composting toilets. The bed was extremely comfortable and warm - I think we had 7 blankets! We had a fire to warm the domes, but this had to be fed every few hours or else the fire would be extinguished, so one of us was getting up a few times a night to do this. When we did not, the fire would go out and we would wake up with the dome very cold. When we did feed the fire, the upstairs of the dome got a little too hot and stuffy - we never figured out a good way to regulate the temperature with the stove in the dome. We also got our own bathroom, which we were unable to heat well at all (so stepping out of the warm shower into the cold air was a little brutal). However, because of the nature of Ecocamp this wasn't too much of an inconvenience - I was just grateful we even got a heating unit (some other domes do not). No hairdryers, re-using towels - hopefully you are aware that these are part of their eco-policies and are able to deal with this appropriately. (And if you come during the summer, perhaps it will be warmer at night - my stay was in mid-March and the temps got down into the 30's).

The staff at Ecocamp was stellar. All the guides were friendly and personable, and seemed very knowledgable. The Wildlife Safari offers 2 options for excursions per day - one easier, one harder. Depending on what day you go, different excursions are offered. We only had 2 full days at Torres del Paine (the other 2 days were just travel days, to get to and from Ecocamp).

For our first day, we ended up doing a mostly driving tour of Torres del Paine, then taking a small boat to see Gray Glacier. We had just come from trekking a glacier and were interested in the alternative offered, a hike, but the guides talked us out of this - not sure if it was because the hike was steep/difficult so they didn't like doing it, because they wanted the few hours off while we sat on a boat (or both), or because they really DID think that the glacier boat ride was worthwhile. My group was underwhelmed with the boat ride given we had just hiked a glacier, and the boat ride was pretty much JUST a boat ride. I thought we would get some information about the glacier, Torres del Paine, something - but aside from a quick introduction at the beginning of the trip, the rest of the 3 hours consisted of looking at the scenery, with no further guidance. It was a pretty ride, so perhaps a good experience if you haven't seen a glacier, but I would have liked to learn more about what I was seeing. The next day two different hikes were offered, and both got positive reviews from those that went on them. However, I do wish that we could have perhaps had more options - for instance, it would have been great to hike to the base of the Towers, but it was not an excursion offered to the Wildlife Safari on the days I was there even though other groups were doing that hike at the same time.

The location of Ecocamp is a big selling point - it was great to already be inside the park, and to stay right beneath the Torres del Paine mountains - views were consistently amazing.

The food at Ecocamp left something to be desired. I wasn't too impressed with breakfast (done buffet style) - there was always cake (which I never wanted to eat first thing in the morning), some bread/butter/jam, a cold crepe you could fill with jam/nutella, yogurt, two cornflake-type cereal options, watery scrambled eggs of an odd consistency, and some kind of chicken in a crock pot. If you were scheduled for breakfast a bit later, they often didn't replenish things and you were just picking through whatever was left (I didn't realize this the first day, at 8 am breakfast, but noticed that there was a lot more choices the next day at 7 am breakfast). Lunch was build-your-own sandwich, with some snacks (nut trail mix, granola bar, cookies, chocolate). Again, if you were scheduled for a later breakfast, they didn't replenish the lunch spread so your choices were often limited. Dinner was a 3-course meal served by waiters, and was hit or miss - some dishes were very good, and some were not so good. I appreciated that they offered 3 choices for appetizers and entrees, though (for entrees usually a meat, a seafood, and a vegetarian option). I realize that the food doesn't have to be gourmet and Ecocamp's location may limit what's available, but for the price I expected a little more.

Also, I expected Ecocamp to be more social that it actually was (again, I didn't go during high season). We always seemed to be the last to finish dinner, and the common areas would be dead at 9:30 pm. There was a bar, but we also found that not many people were there, and it was not always open (we tried to go at about 5 pm one day, only to find it closed).

In summary, I think that the location of Ecocamp is perfect, the staff was fantastic (despite the difficulty exchanging money in Puerto Natales), and the accommodations were unique, but the food was lacking and I wish there were more choices as to the excursions. The cost was quite expensive and I'm on the fence as to whether or not it was justified. I wonder if doing a different tour (such as the W trek) would have been more worthwhile than the Wildlife Safari. Your Ecocamp experience may vary depending on the tour you choose and what time of year you go. However, given that the options in Torres del Paine are limited, I think it's definitely worth looking into a stay at Ecocamp, if only for the pleasant staff, location, and the uniqueness of what they do.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank EWVA1512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

Thank you for your detailed comments. Great you found the domes extremely comfortable and warm. We will pass on your comments to the 'stellar staff' and agree that the EcoCamp location is perfect! We appreciate your comments about the food and are always trying to improve the service. Saludos from Chile!

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

One of the highlights of our trip. We loved Patagonia & this is the best way to see it. We stayed in the standard dome which was fine for us with great views of the mountains; bed was comfortable & very warm. The hike to the base of the towers was tiring but worth it & the boat trip around the grey glacier was wonderful. The staff were friendly, professional & generally helpful and really eager to please. The food was good & plentiful with good choices for vegetarians; the pisco sours & wine to accompany it was unexpected & much appreciated. The only negative was the composting toilets were smelly at times, but I fully endorse their concern for the environment.
If you're going to Patagonia - stay here for at least 3 nights, it's well worth it

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ruth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

Great to hear Torres del Paine was one of the highlights of your trip! We will pass on your comments to the staff and are glad to hear you enjoyed the pisco sours & wine! The composting toilets don't normally have an odour and the issue during your stay has now been fixed. Saludos from Chile!

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Reviewed 30 March 2014

We stayed 5 nights in a double suite dome with private bathroom. The views from our dome were stunning with the horns of the Torres del Paine greeting us each day as we set off. We opted for the schedule of daily activities with a mix of active and easy options to choose from. The excursions last from 7 to 10 hours depending on your choice and a you make your own box lunch from ingredients provided by the Camp. The wildlife and the Patagonian landscapes encountered on the excursions are unforgettable and the guiding very professional. From the moment we were met at the bus station and escorted to the Camp until we were transferred at the end of our stay, the efficient and friendly service provided by both Camp staff and guides was outstanding. The domes are extremely comfortable with a huge bed and the ensuite bathroom a must. We had a small stove which was lighted each night by staff. The quality and variety of food provided in such a remote location was truly remarkable. A great experience which we hope to repeat.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank RMG2306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for your comments - great to hear you enjoyed your stay in one of our double suite domes and have gone home with unforgettable memories! Fantastic that you found the service outstanding, the domes comfortable and food remarkable! We also hope you repeat the great experience and visit us again!

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Reviewed 27 March 2014

We stayed here for three nights on a group program, exploring Patagonia. Step outside your dome and the Iconic towers are right there. The suite was roomy, beds were comfortable, and the bathroom was great, though I had feared something quite different when I read about composting toilets. There was no smell at all in the bathroom, and the shower had good pressure and temperature control. Because this is an eco facility, you are encouraged to take short showers and reuse your towels, and we had no problem doing that. The one downside to the domes is that they are very dimly lit. Although they use solar panels for electricity, you can get very good LED lights that use very little power, and in the bathroom in particular, it would have been good to have a brighter light above the wash basin. Be aware that you are not allowed to use hairdryers here. There is a little clothesline on part of the deck, ours was even equipped with clothes pegs. But don't make the mistake of going out there without your key, because the very strong winds of Patagonia will make your door slam behind you. Oops. The bathrooms have biodegradable soaps etc, and I had brought along some biodegradable laundry sheets.
The food here was excellent, and the service was good. The Pisco Sours were great.
We were there as part of a tour, and had some guides along on our excursions who were part of the Ecocamp staff. One, Claudio, was knowledgeable about birds, and as a birding enthusiast, I really appreciated his spotting ability.
Patagonia is a magnificent part of the world, and this camp is the perfect base from which to see it. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Mollysslave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. Great to hear you loved the view from the domes and found them roomy and comfortable! We will pass on your comments about the low lighting in the domes, especially in the bathroom. Fantastic that you found the food to be excellent, the service good and the Pisco Sours great! We hope to welcome you back in the future. Saludos!

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Reviewed 20 March 2014

we had a great experience staying at ecocamp patagonia. this trip was a trip of a life time...and although a bit pricey for us..we stayed two nights in a dome with heating and a private bathroom, one night in a refuge and one night in a tent! in the end it was all Worth it.. we were a bit concerned at the beginning about the difficulty of the hikes offered in the packages with ecocamp and even did some training before leaving for chile...but the professional team at cascada travel was able to help us with any questions that we had. we opted for the 5 day trek which offered three full days of trekking with an experienced guide (the other two days are used up in travelling mostly to and from punta arenas which is about 5 hours away and roads are not always paved so speed limits are slower) the hikes were a bit harder than we expected so we were very pleased when our guide brought us back safe and sound back to cozy ecocamp. the program was very good and it was nice to come back to the ecocamp at the end of the evening and enjoy a nice meal and some good chilean wine. the location is perfect for leaving on all hikes within the park. ecocamp..has professional guides, very good drivers (a must since roads can sometimes be difficult) good planning, awesome location with views of the torres on a clear day, good food, friendly staff..and serious hiking. and we were lucky to be a Group of five people..who basically had the same experience with hiking as us...so that also made our trip very personal and friendly.

Room Tip: it really depends on what time of year you go. we were there in february so even though it was summe...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank TravellerC396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

We are so proud to have delivered your trip of a lifetime! Congratulations on completing the hikes - it is true, they are not easy! But coming back to EcoCamp afterwards is a reward worth working for! Best wishes and happy travels from all the team in Chile.

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Reviewed 20 March 2014

Just back from 5 days at Eco Camp. Hiking in Torres del Paine is a breathtaking experience in both senses - the beauty and the inclines. Go in shape to get the most out of it, and expect to leave city comforts like internet and hair dryers behind. But it's well worth the time to get there. We stayed in the Standard Domes, which I would not recommend for someone over 60 who has to crawl through the door to get in. A bit too cramped for me. Mattress was very comfortable, and two duvets on top of blankets was cozy. But when it is zero at night, the place was a bit chilly getting out of bed. Our friends were more prescient and chose the Dome Suites, with their own stove and en suite bathroom....highly recommended!

The highlight was the hiking. We had two wonderful guides - Diego and Adriana - both Chilean with good English and a good appreciation of where they were taking us, what our limitations were and provided good explanations of what we were seeing and experiencing.

Generally all the staff were friendly, anticipated needs and did their jobs well. Must have good management.

We felt the food was just so-so, but everything else was so good we would definitely recommend a visit to people who like activity and have an outdoor orientation.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Aix06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Community Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Hi there and thank you for leaving your comments. EcoCamp is certainly not the place if you want internet and hairdryers! Great to hear the hiking was your highlight, we will pass on your kind words about the guides and management, many thanks. We hope to welcome you or / and your friends in the future. Saludos!

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Additional Information about Ecocamp Patagonia

Address: Torres del Paine National Park, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Phone Number:
Region: Chile > Magallanes Region > Torres del Paine National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range: £171 - £383 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ecocamp Patagonia 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
EcoCamp is situated in the very heart of Torres del Paine National Park and provides the region’s first fully sustainable accommodation, complete with green technology. You enjoy guided treks and wildlife excursions by day and share evening meals with new friends, before falling asleep gazing up at the star-filled sky through your dome ceiling. Wake up in the middle of the Patagonian wilderness in a cozy geodesic dome, with a panoramic view of the majestic Torres del Paine, ready to pick up the hiking trail!EcoCamp Patagonia is a tribute to Kaweskar dwellings and way of life. The basic premise in designing the EcoCamp was to maintain the nomadic spirit of Patagonia’s ancient inhabitants. EcoCamp Patagonia is the 1st sustainable accommodation south of the Amazon, and the only one of its kind in Patagonia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ecocamp Patagonia Hotel Torres Del Paine
Ecocamp Patagonia Torres Del Paine National Park, Aisen Region, Chile

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