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“Torres del Paine is amazing, less so Ecocamp” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ecocamp Patagonia

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Ecocamp Patagonia
Torres del Paine National Park, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile   |  
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Torres del Paine is amazing, less so Ecocamp”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

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.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Public Relations Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your comments, i’m very disappointed to hear about your expectations not being met on your EcoCamp trek. The time spent at EcoCamp in relation to mountain huts is clearly explained on the website and in your pre trip information pack however I am sorry that you felt it was not well communicated and would welcome any suggestions for improvement at media@cascada.travel

I’m glad you liked your Suite Dome at EcoCamp. I apologise for your wood stove not being lit regularly, we will investigate what could have led to this error. I’m sorry and also surprised to hear that the food did not live up to your expectations - we constantly work to innovate our menu and ensure all special dietary requests are served interesting and plentiful dishes. I’d also like to apologise on behalf of our onsite manager who cares very deeply about guests’ experiences and clearly forgot himself that day.

I’m happy you found the hiking experience to be unforgettable and enjoyed having experienced guides and porters who took care of all the logistics! Please do not think that we sell ourselves as anything ‘luxury’, simply that we offer a high quality product whose quality logistics require high expenditure in an area of wilderness.

Best wishes,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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318 reviews from our community

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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
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Ecocamp aims to provide a premium experience for those wishing to hike Torres del Paine, but fails on many accounts. Bottom line: Ecocamp is poor value for money. If you're intending to hike in Torres del Paine, I'd recommend trading down to mountain refuges, staying in local hotels (e.g. Hotel Lago Grey, Hotel Las Torres) or spending some extra money to stay at a place like Explora.

The 7-day W trek that my wife and I recently completed cost us $780 per night (standard dome). Doing the trek via mountain refuges would have cost us $340 per night. So what do you get for more the price premium - not enough is the answer.

- The common areas of the camp are quite nice and cozy, the domes not so much. While the beds are comfortable, the domes are cold and damp (they're not completely waterproof) and lack electricity.
- Only 4 of the 6 nights are spent at the camp, so for 2/3 of the trip you're staying at mountain refuges but paying a premium to do so through Ecocamp
- The service at Ecocamp leaves A LOT to be desired. Our guide was clearly knowledgeable and a seasoned hiker, but was uncommunicative and kept to himself most of the time. He also rushed us from place to place failing to give us much time to take in the amazing sights in the park. Ecocamp also seems strangely unable to cope with contingencies. We were hit with a couple of days of heavy rain, which forced us to abandon one of our hikes. The decision to cancel the hike was at 10am and at 3pm we were still waiting for a van from the camp to pick us up. While we waited for the van to arrive, the manager of Ecocamp showed up at our pickup point but failed to greet or even utter a single word to the guests. At $780 / night you'd expect the manager to be a bit more communicative and empathetic to the guests, who endured a hard day.
- The one area where Ecocamp truly excels is the food. Whoever is the chef of the camp deserves a pat on the back because the quality of our dinners were fantastic - perhaps the best we had in Chile
- One final point about the lackluster service. While planning our trip, we looked into having Cascada / Ecocamp arrange our domestic air travel to / from Patagonia. The prices they quoted us were 2x what we eventually paid by booking it on our own. Granted they were quoting us on LAN and we went with SKY Airlines, but why weren't they more diligent in finding us the best value or at the very least, giving us different options?

I want to be clear - it's not that Ecocamp provides a terrible experience. It's just that if you're going to charge Four Seasons-like prices, the expectation is that you're going to get a lot for your money, but Ecocamp unfortunately fails to deliver.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Public Relations Manager at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
I’m very sorry to read about your experience with EcoCamp on your W trek. As you correctly state it is approximately half the price to stay in mountain huts along the way however with EcoCamp it is a full package experience with everything included from experienced guides and porters to boat fees and three course evening meals (with aperitif and wine at EcoCamp on 4 of the 6 nights).

I’m glad you enjoyed EcoCamp’s communal areas and found our meals to be some of the best you had in Chile! I’m sorry you found the service to be substandard, we pride ourselves on our professional and sociable guides and will be investigating why the latter quality was lacking with the guide on your trek. The same goes for the onsite manager who I can only assume was stressed with the van situation - no excuse and I apologise for this. In terms of flights, we buy through a local travel agency and they always offer us the cheapest option available at the time of asking, which in your case was the LAN flight.

Please accept our apologies for any service failings, rest assured we strive to provide service which we feel fits with the high quality product we offer and will be taking steps to ensure that these service standard are met with every single group.

Best wishes,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Bristol U.K
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Having done over 50 countries tours over years. This Eco camp stay was the best ever. The domes,dinners and staff were excellent, The guides were informative and concerned on the people trekking the parks and peaks. The added bonus to my experience came after being upgraded to suites dome which proved pure comfort. My thanks to Gemma at Chimu Adventures in U.K also for the South American tour organisation. Keep up the good work and ideas at Eco Camp.
Abdul.

Room Tip: Suites dome worth considering
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, March 1, 2013
Thanks for the great feedback Abdul, we’re very happy indeed to hear how much you enjoyed EcoCamp’s domes, dinners, staff and guides, and being the best stay on all your tours throughout 50 countries is something we are extremely proud of!

Warm wishes from Chile,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I travelled to the Eco camp with Cascada Expeditions in January 2013. They picked me up at my Hotel in Punta Arenas and a 7 hour transfer took me to the Eco camp. It truly is a little paradise nestled where it's definitely the best view of Torres del Paine and the Towers! I settled in my dome and was off for a cocktail and a great dinner. The sunset and sunrise are just amazing. Breakfast is simple, you make and pack your own lunch-sandwiches/snacks (which I thought was a real bonus). Their dinners are definitely really good!

I booked the Safari expedition which had me choose between different guided excursions each day. I chose the active excursions every day because it's what I wanted. Sadly for me, some of those weren't as active as I would have liked and there was lots of time needed to travel in a van between different areas. Knowing this, I would a chosen the W-trek or the full trek for a more active vacation. Being younger than most (in my thirties) the atmosphere at camp wasn't as exciting as I hoped for.

Guides were all nice and great although sometimes looking somewhat disorganized.

Where I struggled with this vacation is when I got sick...including other travellers and STAFF. Something happened in the kitchen or advising us to drink water from the streams might not have been a good idea. The only other water alternative was small bottled water sold for 2000 pesos. I was down for two days sleeping off a heavy fever. Problem with the domes is you can't rest in there in the day cause it just gets too hot. So I transferred out early and booked a hotel in town.

All in all, it was definitely a great experience. Laying down in a super comfy bed and watching the stars through the window...just amazing! Domes, washrooms and common areas were always extremely clean. Most travellers didn't get sick! I give it a GO!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you very much for your feedback. Glad to hear you appreciated the unique view we have (just incredible at sunrise and sunset like you say!) and looking up at the stars from inside the comfort of your dome. That’s great you enjoyed our Community Domes as well as all of our meals including our pack-your-own lunch buffet. During your visit there was a bout of rotavirus in the park which happens very infrequently but unfortunately affected you during your stay, as well as affecting members of our staff. Please rest assured your being sick had nothing to do with our kitchen or drinking glacial water from the streams. I understand why you wanted to transfer out early and I hope you had a speedy recovery in your hotel outside of the affected area.

The best of luck in your future travels, fingers crossed for similarly amazing experiences but without the illness!
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I was at the EcoCamp about 10 years ago and it is even better than I remembered it. They relocated the site about 7 years ago and the facilities are even better. Before there was one room which served as meals, meeting and lounge--now there is a large dining room, and 2 other places for meeting or relaxing. The staff was absolutely first rate in every respect, and did more to accommodate us that we could have thought up on our own! Granted, we were with a group, but on 2 days, 3 of us did activities not with the group and the staff insisted on making us a wonderful lunch, complete with wine, served at the time of our choice. We had a standard dome which was fine--bathroom was not far and there was plenty of hot water for showers, as well as ecologically friendly shampoo and soap supplied in them--no need to bring your own. Meals were excellent (remember, you are remote here) and there were always choices, so the vegetarian in our group was well accommodated. This is a unique experience--I like nice hotels as much as the next person--but staying here immeasurably added to the experience of hiking in Torres del Paine.

Our tour was booked through Cascada and our guides were absolutely superb. On the first day out of our 3 day circuit, the soles of my hiking boots failed and I finished the day with them duct taped together. One of the assistant guides went back to camp (4 hours) to get my alternate pair of shoes and then refused any additional tip at the end--asked us to put it into the general guide's fund! The guides spread themselves out throughout the group so that no one was isolated or too far from assistance, if needed. I have been on many trekking trips and our guides were among the top that I have encountered.

Room Tip: Either standard, without a bathroom, or superior with one. No other real choice.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you, we’re very privileged to have you as a returning visitor, it’s fairly unusual for such a remote place as you can imagine and it’s wonderful to hear from someone who visited us ten years ago! As you mentioned we relocated in 2005 (without leaving a trace) and have made many changes since then, such as adding more Community Domes for meeting and relaxing, which I’m glad you appreciated. Glad you found our staff and guides first rate in every respect, we pride ourselves on hiring professional and helpful guides (such as the wonderful assistant guide who ran back to get your other shoes!) whose primary concerns are the safety and enjoyment of the whole group. Also happy to hear you enjoyed our Standard domes and shared bathroom with their amenities as well as enjoying all of the different meal choices.

Thank you and we hope to welcome you back again in another ten years to see how we’ve further evolved!

Very best wishes,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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toronto
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

My husband and I travelled independently throughout Patagonia in early January 2013. We rented a car in Punta Arenas and came to stay in Ecocamp for 2 days. We did not belong to any groups, did all the exploring on our own. The communication via e-mail prior to our trip was very professional, we got all of our questions answered, and the direction to the camp was very helpful, so we found the camp easily, despite the pouring rain, and the lack of signs on the road, and the camp is being not marked on a map of Torres Del Paine. We booked a suite dome for our stay. Because we arrived at 11 AM, our room was not ready yet, so we just changed and decided to go up to the towers. What a crazy/amazing idea that was in retrospect. We did the hike, experienced four seasons in a day with a heavy snow shower, and arrived back to the camp at 9:30 PM happy, proud and exhausted. Then we got to see our room, and we were blown away... What a great concept, luxury in the tent. The suite was magical, very comfortable and cosy. Yes, it is quiet expensive compared to the standard dome and to other Patagonia hotels or camps, but when you return to a room after a day of hiking and the fire is on in your room, there is heat in the bathroom, hot shower with good water pressure awaits you and know that you will have a best sleep in a super comfortable bed with the softest blankets around you, you feel like you are in heaven, so the money you spent on this is well worthed. Luckily the weather improved and when the clouds moved away, we saw the majectic towers from our own deck. The location of a camp is the best in Patagonia. All the meals we had were great, the staff were friendly, fun and kind people. We did notice that we were the only couple who did not belong to a group, but we were not treated any differently. In fact we approached the guides with some questions and they gave us really good suggestions. On our second day we drove to Glacier Grey, and exprored the rest of the park. We were worried about running out of gas and talked to Rene the manager on site, and he graciously offered and arranged some gas for us, so we made it back to Punta Arenas safely and stress free. A special thanks to Rene for this.
We will whoheartedly recommend Ecocamp to anyone visiting Torres Del Paine. Thank you for you hospitality.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
What wonderful feedback, thank you very much for sharing all aspects of your experience! Very happy to hear you felt so welcome at EcoCamp, despite not being in a group on one of our packages, and it sounds like Manager Rene was helpful as always! Glad pre-trip communication was very professional and that you found our meals great and our staff friendly and kind. Our Suite Domes are indeed very beautiful & cozy and ideal after a long hike up to the towers, not to mention the wonderful view of the towers when the clouds clear!

Thank you for becoming an EcoCamp ambassador! I wish you the best of luck in all your future travels,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Chester
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

The whole concept of the Ecocamp was something quite innovative and extremely well thought out. I can see it might not suit everyone but it certainly suited us and I would recommend it whole heartedly! Interesting to hear Travellingsuz saying her family called their come a 'hobbit hole' because that is exactly what we thought! We had a standard dome, it is quite small inside but with a wonderfully comfy bed, LOADS of covers and plenty of storage so as I say, luxury camping but if you want a hotel, go to a hotel! The toilet block was SO pretty, all the hot water from solar power, (and lashings of it!), biodegradable soap/shampoo provided along with towels etc. In the communal domes there were log fires, a bar, plenty of tea/coffee/biscuits and we found the meals to be beautifully presented and very nice. We had to nominate a breakfast time so again, not like a hotel but if you want a hotel then go to one! Once we had nominated the time then there were no problems, plenty to eat, good quality food. They also provided us with a fantastic range of things to make our own packed lunch, you could take as much as you wanted of exactly what you liked so no soggy sandwiches containing fillings you wouldn't touch with a barge pole! Just loved the whole experience!

Room Tip: Suite domes and superior domes do have their own toilet facilities but the toilet block is within ea...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Thanks for your fantastic recommendation, very pleased to hear you had a such a great time! Yes our Standard domes are very cozy with their fleece sheets and covers and we’re glad you liked the features of our shared bathrooms as well as appreciating our solar water heating system. It sounds like you enjoyed the vibe of our Community domes just as intended and the make-it-yourself packed lunch which is designed exactly to avoid soggy sandwiches and such things! As you said, EcoCamp is by no means a classic hotel but an ideal option for people such as yourself looking for an innovative experience in a beautiful setting!

Warm wishes from Chile,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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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 12 Specialty Lodging in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 25
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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