We had a wonderful experience hiking in Torres del Paine National Park last month, but Ecocamp did not really live up to the expectations of any members of our group. Whether we want to admit it or not, price determines one's expectations to some extent, and Ecocamp is not cheap, especially when you realize that you are actually only sleeping and eating at Ecocamp for 3 days/4 nights of the "7 day" W trek trip. The first 3 entire days and 2 nights are spent hiking and/or eating and staying at two of the refugios (lodges) in the park system. The quality and comfort of food/accommodations in the lodges varies considerably, but none are really up to what you'd expect when paying for the more expensive domes at Ecocamp (which, by the way, are totally worth it unless you enjoy sleeping in the freezing cold - even in Patagonian summer - and trekking to communal bathrooms in the middle of the night). I think Cascada needs to do a better job of informing people that half the time you are doing the W, you will not be in Ecocamp and that the quality of food (virtually inedible at one place) and lodging (shared room in one place, not super clean in the other) is out of their control. We liked our superior dome a lot and were really glad to have a wood burning stove and own bathroom to come back to after a long hike, but Ecocamp seemed pretty lacking in service. Only one of the nights, did anyone bother to light our stove (which took a while to heat up the dome) and we ran out of gas for the hot water heater and it took several trips to the camp administration to get it working again. The food was decidedly mediocre, especially for vegetarians. One night we got a big plate of roasted potatoes with an undercooked mushroom or two for dinner. Overall, the camp manager seemed pretty disinterested in making sure guests were happy. When we had a change of hiking plans due to bad weather and had to wait more than an hour for Ecocamp vans to come pick us up, even though they knew well ahead of time that this would be the case, the manager was present and never spoke one word to our group to explain or apologize for the delay. This just gave the impression that they don't really care, once they have your money.
All that said, hiking in Torres del Paine was an unforgettable experience. It is a place of stark beauty and we are really glad we made the trip. Having experienced guides who took care of all the logistics and porters to carry our stuff made the experience much more enjoyable than it would have been to go it on our own. But, Ecocamp sells itself as luxury camping and it did not really live up to our expectations in this regard (and I say this as someone who has travelled extensively on my own in much less developed countries than Chile) which made us feel that it was a bit pricier than it should be for what you get.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ecocamp Patagonia Hotel Torres Del Paine
- Ecocamp Patagonia Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile