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Epic Patagonia Adventure

Overview

Enjoy the best of Chilean Patagonia on this multi sport adventure leading you through the highlights of Torres del Paine!

This adrenaline-pumping adventure features action-packed days of hiking, cycling, kayaking and horse riding. Relaxing evenings at EcoCamp offer the perfect opportunity for epic adventurers to wind down as they enjoy the fantastic food, wine and company of EcoCamp’s community domes, in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park.

Trip Code: CLTSECMS

Location: Torres del Paine National Park

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in Calafate (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of ''Seno de Ultima Esperanza'', where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen.

The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.

Arrival, The Patagonian Adventure Starts

After breakfast, drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga to mountain bike towards Laguna Azul campsite approximately 20km to the north east. Cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos and ostrich-like ñandús, heading up north past the cascading Paine waterfall to stop for a break to admire the view. Upon arrival at Laguna Azul, you are treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local chef on the lakeshore. Following lunch, climb to the nearby sightseeing point for a panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres in the distance. The cycle ride back to EcoCamp is optional, with the support van alongside throughout the day.

Cycling to Laguna Azul & Patagonian BBQ

Journey two hours to Lago Grey in the western sector of the park. The first part of the day is spent kayaking on Grey Lake, passing piercing blue icebergs which have floated downstream from the Grey glacier. After lunch on the lake shore, board a boat to venture up close to the glacier. The boat ride lasts approximately three hours and you get to enjoy views of the Paine massif as well as the impressive glacier which forms part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. After the glacial boat ride, board the van to go back to EcoCamp for the evening aperitif and meal.

*During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) alternative tours may be offered due to logistics and weather.

Kayak and boat trip to Grey Glacier

After breakfast travel to a traditional Estancia with a horse-riding range, founded at the end of 19th century. The horses have been raised in the area’s wild geographical surroundings but are very well-trained and used to being ridden by anyone - no previous riding experience is needed. Saddle up and set off through the fields, passing by a little village en route to Las Flores. In Las Flores you are very close to Sierra Baguales for a great view of the mound with its condor and eagle nests. There’s also an adobe house (the only remaining adobe house in the southern Patagonia Magellanes region) you can visit.

After lunch, make your way back to the stables by way of Vega Nash, soaking up the experience of riding across the Patagonian plains in traditional fashion.

Horse Riding

Today you will walk from EcoCamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge comes as you climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading you towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900m/ 9,400ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before you, with the glacial lake visible below. After feasting on the view and your picnic, backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

Trek Towers Base

Board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago.

Departure Day
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WHY TAILOR-MADE?

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  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

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Important Information

    • Accommodation at EcoCamp’s
    • Meals as indicated in the price chart.
    • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary.
    • English speaking guide. Guide ratio 1:12. Max group size: 12 people.
    • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park.
    • Boat ticket for crossing Grey Lake.

    Excluded
    Flight tickets.
    Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip).
    Voluntary tipping of guides and staff.
    Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested.
    Items of personal nature.
     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available Upon Request

  • Only superior domes have private bathrooms.

    Trip code: PAT027

  • Season and accommodation standard.

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Eco camp has gained an award-winning reputation for its eco-friendly policies and innovative use of green technology. We are leaders in environmentally responsible travel to areas of fragile natural resources and we minimise the footprint of every visitor in Torres del Paine National Park through our careful development strategy and implementation of green technology. Our low impact design and focus on raising guests’ awareness of how to care for their environment highlights our commitment to a greener present and future for tourism. Conservation is central to the philosophy driving our operations, and we have been certified as complying with the highest international standards of environmental management, such as ISO14001.

The design premise behind EcoCamp was to create accommodation where travellers could connect with nature and explore Torres del Paine without leaving a footprint. At EcoCamp guests are immersed in their natural surroundings, hearing the wind race through the sky while looking up at the stars through the ceiling of their cozy dome. All natural light and heat energy is utilised and electricity comes from hydro and solar energy. Domes blend naturally into their surrounding environment and flora and fauna continues to flourish on EcoCamp ground.

Our premise from the start has been to take comfort to the limits of what is sustainable and for this reason we resist the concept of luxury because environmental conservation will always be prioritised over any luxurious amenities or practices which could be detrimental to the park.

EcoCamp’s dome design was inspired by the The Kaweskars (Alacalufes), a group of nomadic Patagonian inhabitants whose presence in Torres del Paine is documented. They arrived by canoe in the 15th century and made no demands on natural resources as they travelled from place to place, setting up and dismantling their semi-circular huts built from simple materials, leaving no trace behind. To keep warm they lit fires inside the domes.

EcoCamp is a tribute to the ancient Kaweskar dwellings and way of life and the essence of their dome homes has been kept by maintaining a simple nomadic design in the midst of natural surroundings. Just like the Kaweskars, EcoCamp respects nature and aims to leaves no footprint behind in the wilderness.

All of our electricity (which is very little as most of our efforts go to efficiency and electricity saving) comes from a micro-hydro turbine and photovoltaic panels. Energy is gathered together in a 24V battery bank to power all of EcoCamp’s refrigerators, lighting, electrical appliances, stereos etc. Propane gas is only used to heat water and superior domes. A pilot scheme to heat shower water with solar energy is in motion.

Water from the river enters the micro-hydro turbine at 5 litres per second with a net pressure of 38 meters delivering a steady power of 800 Watts. An inverter is used to switch from the 24V DC in the battery bank to 220 AC, the standard voltage in Chile. An array of 1700 Watt photovoltaic panels - also connected to the battery bank - collect the extra energy needed at Ecocamp.

Electricity is limited and only available to guests for charging camera batteries and laptops, not using hairdryers or electric razors. Solar energy is very efficient in summer when Patagonia receives up to 17 hours of sunlight daily.

Domes have skylight windows so natural light and heat can be utilized. This not only allows guests to follow natural light patterns but saves electricity, leaving us confident that our renewable energy sources are sufficient and fossil fuels are not needed. Suite domes have a wood stove for warmth, recycling dead wood from the park and avoiding the need to use diesel.

EcoCamp’s sustainable design, structure, implementation and maintenance is all the direct work of the owners themselves. Javier Lopez and Yerko Ivelic, both Chilean engineers, worked to design a hotel concept which would allow them to rely almost entirely on green energy. They then installed the micro-hydro turbine and composting toilet devices and taught a team of skilled workers how to work and maintain these features. To this date, ten years after EcoCamp’s opening, the owners continue to travel to Torres del Paine to oversee implementation and maintenance of the sophisticated structure they put in place all those years ago.

We have a basic policy of environmentally-sensitive waste management which includes bringing as little paper, tin and plastic into the wilderness as possible. All waste brought in is separated at the source and stored according to its recycling status: organic, paper, glass, and dangerous or toxic materials. All non-organic materials are removed and sent to the closest town of Punta Arenas to be recycled or disposed of and organic material is fed to a neighbouring pig farm.

Guides ensure guests leave no rubbish en route during treks, and that all non-biodegradable material is brought back to EcoCamp to be properly disposed of. Guests reuse zip-lock lunch bags and water flasks.

We choose all of our suppliers extremely carefully, ensuring they are all aware of and meet with our environmental standards. We buy in bulk so as to limit individual packaging and our suppliers limit packaging brought into the park to an absolute minimum.

Guests recycle their lunch bags everyday and use the same flask which they re-fill with water en route during their trek. We have a traveller handbook in all domes informing guests of our ecological practices and their responsibilities while in the park, which include staying on the raised wooden walkways, never smoking inside domes, using biodegradable hygiene products, always returning waste to the recycling point at EcoCamp, taking batteries back home, minimising time in the shower and sharing transport to and from EcoCamp.

EcoCamp has the world’s southern-most composting device, and the first in the hotel industry in the whole of Chile and Patagonia. Composting chambers collect waste from toilets and solid waste remains in the chamber, mixed with paper and wood chips, and is heated to keep microorganisms alive and the compost process active. Liquids are passed through a cleaning chamber, filtered, then passed into the ground. Due to the low temperatures in Patagonia, great effort is required to maintain the active process.