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“Eco camp is great Cascada trek needs improvement” 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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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Eco camp is great Cascada trek needs improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I recently returned from Cascada's 9 day Torres del Paine trek which is actually a 7 day trek and 2 days of travel to and from Punta Arenas. I upgraded to a standard dome for the 3 nights spent at Eco camp. I found Eco camp to be a really wonderful place, domes and shared bathrooms are clean and comfortable. The staff is friedly and helpful and the food is really good. My experience on the actually trek was not as positive. The communication as to what to bring was non existent and the information on the web site is incorrect. For example, on the web site it states you will received two 20 liter bags that the porters will carry when in reality you only receive one. The tents at the camps were filthy, improperly pitched and my tent at camp Grey was patched with duck tape, needless to say not a water proof patch so I slept in a wet tent. We felt our head guide was basically annoyed by our presence, he even left us behind during a dangerous river crossing. The assistant guide was the complete opposite, really helpful and kind. Overall I'm not sure i would recommend Cascada as your tour guide option.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 15, 2013
Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate your wonderful review of EcoCamp and also your comments about the circuit which are regrettable and clearly need addressing. You should have received a pre-trip information pack after booking detailing what to bring, according to your sales consultant this was sent to you on December 12th along with booking instructions. In terms of the dry bags yes you should have received two 15 liter bags (with up to 5kg/11lbs to be packed in each) as clearly stated on the website, however I’ve been informed that in your case the guide for reasons as yet unknown decided to allocate one per person. We apologise for this and will be investigating why this decision was made. I’m told the night was very wet at Grey campsite and that duct tape covering miniscule holes is usually an effective solution, but clearly this needs reviewing in light of your comments, as does the cleaning issue which has never surfaced before because we’ve always maintained very high standards of cleanliness. In terms of your head guide I offer our most profound apologies, we pride ourselves on our high guiding standards in terms of safety & enjoyable company and we will be speaking to him to see why his behaviour was so out of character. I’m glad your assistant guide was helpful & kind and a good representation of the kind of guides we employ.

Overall we apologise for your Circuit experience and are very disappointed to receive the first negative feedback we’ve had from over 150 participants so far this season. I only hope that your positive EcoCamp experience acted as compensation for our very unexpected circuit shortcomings, which we will now be thoroughly investigating.

With best wishes,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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365 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
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Hartland, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We spent 6 nights at Ecocamp, coming from the U.S. We wanted to maximize our opportunity to have some good weather for our hikes and excursions. As it turned out, we had 3 good days of weather and 2 not so good. In fact 4 nights there would be ideal, if the weather cooperated.

The accomodations were very nice - we stayed in the "suite dome" and enjoyed the ambience. The food at Ecocamp was great. Everyday we made our own lunch to take with us and at night we had a gourmet meal with wine.

The service of the staff was very good and the guides for the hikes and excursions were very good as well.

For something different than what you typically do when traveling, I would recommend Ecocamp. It is expensive, but then it's a long ways from civilization and it must be very costly to operate Ecocamp. I would call it one of those "once-in-a lifetime" experiences.

Room Tip: The suite domes are worth the extra cost.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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EcoCamp-Patagonia, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ecocamp Patagonia, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed 6 nights at EcoCamp in your Suite dome, soaking up EcoCamp’s ambience, gourmet meals with wine and enjoying making your own packed lunch each day! Thank you for picking up on our high operating costs, we appreciate your understanding and are very happy that you found our service to be of a deservedly high standard as well as our guides and excursions. Unfortunately you can never predict the weather in Torres del Paine so always best to come for a day or two extra just as you did to make sure you get a clear day with that jaw-dropping view of the Towers!

Thank you for your review!
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Bloomingdale, NJ
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

This was one of our favorite parts of an extensive Patagonia tour. The Suite Domes are very comfortable, heated with wood-burning stoves and lovely appointments--all organic of course! We rented a dome WITH bathroom and shower. There are others more basic and cheaper, but we're not that into roughing it. The stove, bathroom and shower were important to us. This adds expense, however. The food was very good in our opinion and there's always a vegetarian choice. There were wonderful outings each day, either trekking, biking or others, and we adored the staff--our "counselors". We admired and cooperated with all of their efforts to be "green". If you go, bring your own plastic bottle for carrying water around while hiking. The ones they have there are only glass and add a lot of weight to your pack. It's a bit of an effort to get there but, if you aren't a fussy person, you won't regret it. We stayed 3 days which was just about right. I wouldn't call this the epitome of "glamping", but in the dome suites it's pretty comfortable. The service is very laid back by a young staff. It was fine for all of us, and we're in our 70's and well traveled.

Room Tip: I believe all of the Suite Domes have a great view. We were in #1, which was terrific.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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 7, 2013
Thank you for your review, we’re very happy to hear that EcoCamp was one of your favourite places on your Patagonia tour! Glad you found your Suite Dome comfortable & well decorated and enjoyed the wonderful view of the towers! Also glad to hear you enjoyed the food (including vegetarian choices) and the daily trekking & cycling excursions. That’s wonderful you adored our staff and cooperated with us in every effort to be green, thank you.

Our very best wishes,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Surrey, UK
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We booked on the 3 day Wildlife Safari which in fact, meant only 2 full days in EcoCamp - 3 days and 4 nights would have been ideal for this programme. We stayed in a Superior Suite Dome which could not be faulted. The mezzanine loft space was ideal for our adult daughter but would not be private enough if you weren't really good friends - or family! The shower was great and we certainly felt superior to those in the standard domes. Wood burning stoves that were lit for you while you were at dinner and electricity were luxury items that we never want to do without. The food was great 3 choices for the main each evening which included one meat, one fish and one vegetarian dish. The vegetarian dishes were not very adventurous but that was made up for by e great (sweet) desserts. The daily excursions were wonderful. We went on both easy and active options over the 2 days which did vary from difficult treks (to the base Towers) to almost no walking at all (boat ride to Glacier). Please be aware 'Patagonian Flat' - this is not flat as I know it!
All in all, glamping at it's best.

Room Tip: Superior domes always!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 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 feedback, very happy to hear how much you enjoyed EcoCamp’s accommodation and excellent location overlooking the Torres. Our Suite Dome Lofts are ideal for families like yours and yes it’s lovely to have the fire lit while you’re at dinner! Glad you enjoyed both our easy and active Safari options, it’s nice to know people take the opportunity to mix & match and make the most of our broad excursion menu.

We hope to welcome you back another time for a longer stay!
All the best,
Gemma, EcoCamp Community Manager
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
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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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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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
94 reviews 94 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
41 helpful votes 41 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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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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 14 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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