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“Trekking the W” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ecocamp Patagonia

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Ecocamp Patagonia
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Torres del Paine National Park, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile   |  
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Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Trekking the W”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

We had a memorable trip! Our guide was skilled, patient, generous, and thoughtful. And the members of our group were terrific companions--two British women and two German men. All capable, experienced hikers.

On the way in and on the way out, we stayed in Punta Arenas in a lovely boutique hotel--Ilaia (http://www.ilaiapatagonia.com/)--and had nice dinners at a sweet restaurant--La Marmita (http://www.marmitamaga.cl/index.html) In Santiago, we spent a night at another exceptional boutique hotel, Lastarria (http://www.lastarriahotel.com/) in a neighborhood similar to Palermo in Buenos Aires.

But most importantly was our time at Eco Camp and on the trails, and that was wonderful. We're getting old and soft, so it was a treat to stay in a luxurious dome; have some fine food with good Chilean wine; and then embark on rigorous hikes that culminated in magnificent settings. We had come prepared to hike in high winds and driving rain, with nary a view of a mountain--we would've enjoyed that as well--but we were rewarded instead with clear, crisp blue skies. And we enjoyed it all the more.

My wife and I have hiked above the Arctic Circle in Sweden and in Norway's Hardanger region; on the Argentinian side of Patagonia; and backpacked in the Cascades, Glacier, and the Wind River in North America. This matched those experiences. It was perfect.

Room Tip: "Superior" domes come with heating; standards--well, tuck yourself deep into the ample amo...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

Just got back from Ecocamp at Torres del Paine. Best trip I've ever been on. The accommodations are top notch, with comfortable, cozy domes and great food and drink. The tour guides were all amazing and so helpful. If you plan on going to Patagonia this is the way to do it!

Room Tip: Suites have private bathrooms and heaters. We stayed in the standard dome and had no problem sharin...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

My husband and I enjoyed our stay at EcoCamp and found it to be a unique experience in a fantastic setting. The domes are quite cozy and comfortable with the fleece sheets. Food was good. We enjoyed the pisco sour hour after hiking with the hors'doevres before dinner while relaxing in the communal area. Dinners were good - accompanied by wine. Specify ahead if you are a vegetarian or have special dietary needs.

We were signed up for the W Circuit - 5 days trekking, 6 nights accommodations, which involves leaving Eco Camp and staying for two nights at refugios in the Park. As a result of the December 2011 fire, the planned itinerary was revised from what we had booked. At first we were disappointed as we lost out on a day of trekking but it turned out to be ok (albeit not ideal). Rather than hiking up to Grey Glacier we had a day boat excursion on Grey Lake. It was still fun. I did not realize that the hut to hut hiking would involve some driving in vans but it was well coordinated and the drives were through parts of the Park with amazing scenery.

Our guide Loretto was great!!! And we had an amazing hike from Eco Camp to the base of the Towers. Prepare yourself for a full day to do that - 8 hours of hiking but so worth the experience and you are rewarded with spectacular views.

All in all a very fun experience that I would recommend - although it is not inexpensive. I also agree with the comments of lil216park below. Helpful hints so you can be prepared.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Standard Domes. The Superior Domes cost more ( not sure how much more) have their...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

The eco camp in torres del paine is absolutely fantastic. Great accommodation. Food was gourmet, delicious breakfasts of all varieties, a huge spread of picnic foods and snacks to take lunch for the day and returning back to the lodge for pisco sours and gourmet dinners with wine. It was extremely comfortable and not remotely like camping if you want to enjoy the outdoors/exercise but not have to shiver your way through the night! The communal bathrooms were more like a hotel and the eating/relaxing quarters were lovely. We did the 7 day trek and it was fantastic although really only 5 of the days are actually trekking, the other 2 are travelling. Scenery is breathtaking, apparently the second most beautiful place to trek in the world. I loved the eco camp and couldn't believe that the rough guide didn't even mention it!

Room Tip: .Lovely, cosy huts, we stayed in a twin pod but you can get an en suite or even something bigger tha...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta and Dallas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

In the start of March (2012) we stayed at Ecocamp for 5 days and went on the Wildlife Safari tour. The description of this trip did not live up to how amazing it was! A better name for this tour would be a highlights tour. The trip to the national park was pleasant as it was broken up by a great lunch in Porta Natales and a tour of a historic cave.

The Ecocamp itself is the perfect base for hiking to all the wonderful sites in the park. We stayed in a Standard dome which was very comfortable. We made friends with someone in the Suite dome. The biggest perk of that is the private bathroom in the room, but the communal bathroom for the standard domes is nice as well and has private showers. They have biodegradable shampoo and soap in the shower, so you don't need to bring your own. The food was fantastic - five star meals and wine. After every hike was a happy hour w/ a pisco sour and appetizers, followed by a three course meal with wine. In the morning they had a great continental breakfast, with amazing fresh scrambled eggs. After breakfast they have a spread to make lunch from meats, to veggies, to peanut butter. We traveled with a vegan and they were very accommodating. Someone in our general group also was on gluten-free diet and they worked with the folks to make sure their dietary needs were met. We can't say enough good things about eco-camp.

We had three days of hiking. The first day we went to the glacier area. We went on a shorter hike that day; about 1 mile before stopping for lunch. After that one of us went on the boat ride to see the glaciers up close, the other two went on a hike to the waterfall. Both groups were very happy with what they got out of the day. We had a fabulous, knowledgable guide, Juan.

On day 2, we went on an 8 hour, 13 mile, hike up to the towers. While the hike was definitely tiring, it was totally worth it (we're all pretty athletic and in our early 30s and this was a very rewarding hike). The view at the top was breath-taking.

On day 3, we went on another 13 mile hike up the French Valley. The view all along this hike was incredible as you worked your way up to an amazing look-out which had a 360º view out into the valley, up at the glaciers on the mountains, and of the towers.

We are all well-travelled and all agreed this was the best trip we have every been on. We would highly recommend this trip and tour to anyone. Everyone should see beautiful Torres del Paine at some point in their lives.

Thanks to wonderful Ecocamp and all the amazing tour guides for an amazing trip! I would recommend eco camp to any traveler - from my friends to my parents to even my grandparents. They are very accommodating. We chose an active trip, but there are options for those wishing to see this beautiful place without having to break a sweat.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2012

We booked the 7day trek last minute b/c our reservations at Explora were cancelled unexpectedly due to the fire. Even though we had looked into the 7day trek during our initial planning, I must say we weren't totally prepared and didn't know what to expect because of the last minute nature of it all. Despite this, we had a fantastic experience!

Our guides Roberto and Kata were fantastic--knowledgeable, attentive, and just really great people to hang out with for 7 days. The treks are great for people who enjoy and appreciate the outdoors--you trek through unpredictable weather, hike the up&down terrain, and you see nature as it's meant to be. It is best to be physically "prepared" for the trek, though that doesn't mean "physically fit." Our group varied from 30s-50s and even though we were the youngest, there were amazing couples in their 50s who were at the head of the pack every day! For your efforts on the trek, you are rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views. We had a fantastic trekking group and got to know each other well.

I'm not sure why some people were disappointed with the food and lodging...it seems like it's mostly those who booked the safari. Maybe being on the trek set the tone for our expectations b/c food & lodging exceeded our expectations. Breakfast was hearty and lunch was adequate (we were carrying it while we were trekking so can't expect huge portions). For the two nights on the trail, we ate one night at the refugio and another night at Laguna Azul camp where Ecocamp staff cooked for us. Both these dinners exceeded my expectations for camping fare, especially the one at Laguna Azul. On the nights back at Ecocamp, we would start dinner with pisco sours & snacks, then to the dining room for a 3course meal. You can't expect 5star restaurant food, but the food that is served certainly doesn't taste like you're out in the middle of nowhere. Red & white wine were always available at our table. After a full day of trekking, I always looked forward to dinner and left with a full stomach each night. We stayed in a standard dome (shared bathroom, no electricity). Shared bathroom was a little weird at first, but we got used to it and it certainly made you appreciate how wasteful we are in our daily lives. They provided biodegradable soap, conditioner,and shampoo. We were out all day trekking so most of the time when we got back, the domes had cooled down. At night, the bed was very warm so it didn't matter that we didn't have a heater.

As I mentioned, we weren't totally prepared for the trek, and I think it would have been an even better experience if we had brought a few additional items. The website suggests the basics, but other things I would recommend:
Quickdry towel (to bring on the two nights on the trail)
Walking sticks (relieves pressure on your knees)
Headscarf or bandana (to shield from wind)
Good sunglasses (also to shield from wind)
Medical paper tape (in case you get blisters..even people with nice hiking boots got some)
Extra water bottle (otherwise you have to buy bottled water at the camp or refugio)
Headlight or flashlight (useful at Ecocamp and campnights on the trail)
Backpack (website suggests 10L pack, but a bigger pack is better so you can bring additional items for the two nights on the trail)

Overall, it was an experience that we won't ever forget. The standard dome was actually kind of fun (we've gone camping before, so it felt like upgraded camping) and very fitting for what we were there for--trekking and appreciating the natural environment of Patagonia. I think that it is important to go with the right expectations. If you enjoy nature, are conscious about the environment, and want to do something that is guided but outdoorsy, then the 7day trek is for you.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2012

When my husband suggested camping in the Torres Del Paine my only requirement was that I didn't have to carry my own tent or cook my own meals and I had to have a hot shower every night. 

We stayed in the standard domes and whilst not a luxury 5 star hotel (we did not expect it to be) I can say some things were better than 4 star hotels I've stayed at and it was certainly very comfortable and warm - even without a wood/gas heater.  Whilst inconvenient to have to go out in the rain or the cold to visit the shared toilet/bathrooms, I thought the standards and cleanliness were excellent.

Shower water was always hot - which is better than I can say for some 4 star hotels I've stayed at.

Breakfast was excellent - fresh fruit salad, meats, cheeses, cereal, yoghurt, crepes, cake, tea, coffee, white and wheat breads, eggs - much better than some four stars hotels. A late breakfast meant sometimes things like crepes were missing but if the kitchen had batter they would whip up another batch. Lunches are pack your own from food laid out in the mornings. Dinners I found excellent - it's not Michelin star but I found the dinners prepared at EcoCamp better quality than some restaurants during my Chile and Argentina holiday. There is a central dining and sitting area to be used at any time you like rather than sitting in your own dome.

Rafael, Natalia and Paolo - excellent guides - welcoming.  On the last night Rafael showed us a collection of photographs he had taken in the park.  Our group had at least 5 keen photographers, so photography was always a topic of conversation. 

EcoCamp is aimed at minimising our carbon footprint and to reduce our impact on local flora and fauna, but one or two more LED lights in the standard domes would be most welcomed as my eyes are not as good as they used to be. The bed in Dome 3 is comfortable but is starting to sag towards the middle.  My only other complaint is perhaps more directed at the general courtesy of fellow "campers" and not EcoCamp, but to perhaps let other guests know (or signs) not to have loud conversations at 23.00 or midnight after they've been drinking and as they walk the boardwalk to their domes, as some people do retire before 23.00 and  may like more than 6 hours sleep if they have to wake for an early start.

There's no TV, internet or telephone - time as they say to become one with nature again. It's not a cheap option so that is to be considered before embarking on such holiday.

Room Tip: Suites if you want ensuite and not share bathroom facilities
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ecocamp Patagonia

Address: Torres del Paine National Park, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Phone Number:
Location: Chile > Magallanes Region > Torres del Paine National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty lodging in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ecocamp Patagonia 3*
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 Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

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