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Pick Up, Puerto Natales, Cueva de Mylodon, and EcoCamp
After pick-up from either Punta Arenas or El Calafate, the epic Patagonian adventure gets kickstarted with a scenic and wildlife-viewing drive to the cozy town of Puerto Natales, located on the shores of Last Hope Channel. Ominous as the name may sound, it’s definitely not all “abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” especially considering the gorgeous views, kind people, and exciting adventures that mark this spot on the globe. A quaint town that swells with life during the summer months, we’ll get a quick view around during a break for lunch before heading to our next stop at the Cueva del Milodon. Here, we’ll find a larger-than-life replica of the remains of a giant sloth which was discovered in the late 1800s and featured prominently in Bruce Chatwin’s famous travelogue “In Patagonia”. After saying goodbye to our prehistoric friend, we continue to our final destination in Torres del Paine - EcoCamp Patagonia. Made out of comfortable and charming sustainable and ecofriendly domes, EcoCamp’s location in the heart of the park under the shadow of the Torres themselves gives unparalleled access to the area’s wealth of flora, fauna, landscapes, and outdoor activities. After a filling dinner (and maybe a drink or two!) in the Community Domes, it’s time to retire for the night to your Suite dome. Gotta be fresh and ready the next morning!
Cycling to Laguna Azul
After filling our stomachs with a hearty breakfast from the delicious EcoCamp breakfast buffet, and then it’s time to set off! After being driven to the starting point, snap on those helmets and get those legs working for a 20km bike ride toward the Laguna Azul campsite, breathing in the refreshing Patagonian air and pedaling past guanacos and rheas. After a break for lunch at Laguna Azul and exploring the area, we’ll hike to a viewpoint to see the piercing spires of the Torres towering above Laguna Azul. Then it’s time to return to EcoCamp for the evening, but for anyone too tuckered out from the bike ride, there’s an optional van ride back, so you can relax before an evening of drinks, food, and laughter sharing the day’s adventures with the other guests.
Boating and Kayaking at Grey Glacier
Today, we’ll come face to face with one of Torres del Paine’s best treasures: the Grey Glacier. During the two-hour drive to the boating dock from which we’ll sail to the glacier, we’ll get to see incredible views of the entire front-face of the Paine Massif, including the iconic Cuernos. Then, starting from a dock at the far end of Lago Grey, the boat chugs up the glacial lake, dwarfed by the awesome heights of the Paine Massif. As the immense front wall of the glacier looms closer, we’ll pull over to slip into our kayaking gear, get a safety briefing, and then proceed to kayak as close as safely possible to this spectacular feat of nature. Spend a while being awed by its size and unbelievable gradients of blue before we return to the boat to head back to the dock and then back to EcoCamp.
Giddy up! Harness the spirit of Patagonia’s personal brand of cowboys - the baquenos - today as we saddle up to explore and tame the grassy plains of Torres del Paine on the back of a trusty steed. We’ll gallop, trot, canter, and walk through forests, prairie, and streams, with the blue sky above and the looming heights of the Paine massif dominating the horizon. All that’s missing is an epic movie backing track - but the sound of the wind whistling through the plains, the calls of birds, and the silence of untouched nature is the perfect soundtrack. Stopping at the Seron campsite, our lunch comes complete with views of the Condor’s Nest, the Torres, Laguna Azul, and the Paine River. Then, around 4:00 pm, we can either choose to explore the pampas a bit longer or head home with our buckaroos to EcoCamp for an evening aperitif and dinner.
Trek to base of the Towers
For our last day of adventure, we’ll conquer the most quintessential, classic trek in the entire park: the hike to the base of the Towers. The warm-up starts as we head through the Ascencio Valley, past peaceful forests and trickling streams of melted snow and ice descending downward from the high peaks, heading into the very heart of the massif, an isolated, lost world few have seen. One last challenge awaits before the big reward: scrambling up a jumbled moraine of boulders. But then, the ultimate payoff: three granite spires, shaped by ice, water, wind, and time, looming over a sloping lake valley. A well-deserved break and lunch will be enjoyed here as we soak up the view, before backtracking the way we came for the final night at EcoCamp.
Time to give ourselves a rest after four full days of thrilling exercise surrounded by some of the best landscapes nature can provide! Bid EcoCamp “adieu” and settle in for the transfer to your point of departure.
Dates & Rates
Departures: Daily departures, contact us for availability.
Rates: from $3,500 based on low season in a standard dome.
Please note: Insurance (Medical and Evacuation Coverage is mandatory)
• All activities as indicated on your itinerary
• All meals as indicated on your itinerary
• Tea and coffee served at the bar all day long
• Transfer from Punta Arenas Airport to EcoCamp upon arrival
• All accommodations as indicated on your itinerary
• Services of professional guides
• All necessary kayaking and camping equipment
• Gratuities for guides
• Items of a personal nature
• Drinks and souvenirs
• Tour Extensions
Your booking is based on Chilean pesos (CLP), but you pay in US$ (USD), using the exchange rate valid on the day of payment which will be shown on your invoice. This exchange rate may vary between the date you pay your deposit and the date you pay your outstanding balance, but rest assured this is the best way to keep our prices competitive and ensure the best rate for you!
FAQ & More
What are the accommodations like on this trip?
For this tour we will use the Domes at EcoCamp. These geodesic domes are roughly 300 sq ft in size and offer comfortable double or twin beds, modern low-emission wood stove, private bathroom with gas heater and state of the art composting toilet. Fall asleep each night gazing at the starlit skies through the dome windows and enjoy stunning views of Torres from the comforts of your very own private terrace. , EcoCamp has 3 Community Domes where you can relax with other guests, enjoy your meals, or grab an evening cocktail!
Domes Include (Depending on level of dome you choose):
Spacious 28m² / 300ft² area
Open terrace to read, relax and admire the view
Enclosed porch to hang wet clothing
Comfortable King-size or twin beds
Low-emission wood stove
Propane heater in bathroom
Private fully-equipped bathroom
State of the art composting toilet
What are the community domes like?
The Community Domes are the center of EcoCamp’s social activity and will also serve as the meeting place each day prior to your departure from camp. EcoCamp offers 3 community domes housing the bar, library, dining room, and lounging. These common spaces are available for use throughout your stay and connected to your sleeping quarters by raised wooden walkways.
What sustainable efforts can I expect to see at EcoCamp?
• Solar & hydro energy providing 100% of EcoCamp’s electricity
• Policy of carbon reduction & CO2 offsetting
• Low impact design with minimal excavation & terrain disruption
• High tech composting devices in all bathrooms
• Efficient dome design to provide thermal insulation & wind protection
• Raised wooden walkways not disturbing flora & fauna
• Ecologically verified suppliers
• Careful recycling and reusing of materials
• Policy of carbon reduction & CO2 offsetting
• Buying and supplying locally
How do I get to Punta Arenas?
You will want to book a flight to Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport (PUQ), the airport serving the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile in the Patagonia region of South America. LATAM Airlines and American Airlines are the two biggest Airlines offering flights to Punta Arenas.
Once you arrive at Punta Arenas Airport, we will pick you up for the scenic transfer to EcoCamp
Can you help with booking my International Flights?
Unfortunately, we are not authorized to book air travel for our guests. We would be happy to recommend you to a trusted flight broker that we work with on many of our international tours.
What are the meals like?
We consider quality cuisine to be an integral part to a successful trip! At EcoCamp we put great effort into developing and offering a menu of fresh healthy meals using locally sourced ingredients. The menu has been designed fusing Chilean, Altiplanic, Patagonian, and international foods. Typical meals might include: Chilean pot roast, lamb stew with provencal potatoes, seafood lasagna with prawns, spider crab and octopus, pumpkin ravioli, beef tenderloin or Gnocchi with a Bolognese sauce.
We will start each day with a hearty breakfast buffet, providing you with plenty of fuel for our busy outings! Following breakfast you will be directed to a different buffet table to select the contents for your boxed lunch. Lunch ingredients are changed each day to offer a fresh variety throughout the trip. Each evening will start with cocktails and appetizers, followed by a 3 course meal.
All of the meals are served in the Community Domes family style, allowing you to meet and interact with other guests visiting EcoCamp.
Can you accommodate special dietary requests?
We are happy to accommodate vegetarians, gluten free and other special diets. Advance notice is most helpful and important due to the remote nature of camp. In addition, a daily vegetarian option will be provided on the menu.
How physically demanding is this trip?
This trip is a multi-activity sports trip and therefore requires a moderate-high level of fitness. Those used to hiking on weekends or doing regular cycling or jogging, etc should have no problem but some warm-up hikes prior to the trip would be recommendable in any case. Horse riding and kayaking do not require advanced abilities.
Participants should be 15 years of age or older, and maximum 65 years old.
What if unpredictable weather affects my trip?
Our tours are purposely planned to avoid the times of year that weather can be less favorable. That being said, weather can often be unpredictable and fast changing in Patagonia. Your trip leader will be constantly monitoring the weather and will make any needed adjustments to your itinerary. We always have back up activities planned in the event that weather precludes us from doing the planned activity; however the best way to manage the unpredictable weather of Patagonia is to travel with a flexible attitude and open mindset!
Who will my guides be?
Your guides will be Patagonian locals with an intimate knowledge of and experience in this pristine region. Many of our guides are recent graduates of Ecotourism programs and have extensive experience hiking and wildlife watching throughout Chile. They love to share their local culture and landscape with our guests.
Are private tours an option?
Absolutely! We would be happy to help you organize a private departure for groups of 2 or more people. Please contact us for additional details and rates.
What time should I arrive to Punta Arenas? When should I plan to depart from Puerto Natales?
On the first day, it is best to arrive before 3:30 PM. On your final day, you'll want to make arrangements to depart after 3:30 PM.