How You Can Travel For Good at Torres Del Paine's EcoCamp Patagonia
It’s hard to love someplace and not want to leave it as beautiful as you found it. That’s why we at Patagonia Unbound embrace responsible travel tourism. Essentially, we design our trips around making like bigfoot and leaving no trace. Patagonia—and the trekking mecca of Torres del Paine—is simply too stunning, too pristine, too fragile to imagine not practicing sustainable tourism. And one of our favorite ways to go green in Torres del Paine? Staying at Cascada’s EcoCamp Patagonia.
Sure, EcoCamp Patagonia is definitely a luxurious glamping retreat more than worthy of being named Travel + Leisure’s top 100 hotels in its 2017 World’s Best Awards. Set within Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, EcoCamp Patagonia’s geodesic domes allow you to wake up in nature surrounded by glowing blue icebergs and rugged mountains capped in passing clouds. But EcoCamp Patagonia is more than a glamping resort sure to have guests feeling the call of the wild: it’s Patagonia’s first fully sustainable accommodation.
EcoCamp Welcome Center - Chad Case Photography & Video
BUT WHAT MAKES ECOCAMP PATAGONIA TRULY “SUSTAINABLE”?
EcoCamp Patagonia was designed from the get-go with the environment in mind:
- The camp’s powered up by an electricity network utilizing micro-hydraulic and photovoltaic technology—big words for solar panels and hydroelectric turbines.
- The very design of the geodesic EcoDomes, modeled after the traditional homes of the indigenous Kaweskar peoples (nomadic Patagonia-dwellers) works with the environment. Not only are they sturdy against strong winds, but they are designed to be both constructed and dismantled without damaging the environment.
- Compost: they do it and do it well.
- They take the phrase ‘stay on the path’ to a whole new level: the entire property is connected by timber boardwalks to minimize the environmental disturbance of all those footsteps.
- They’re currently investigating the use of earthworms to clean the waste. Yummy.
The low-down on their environmental policy:
- 100% renewable electrical energy—now that’s responsible usage!
- Eco-education for visitors, including best practices for following well-trodden trails, waste disposal and minimized plastic waste
- A zero carbon police
- Maximal waste management procedures
- Fuel protocols to avoid contaminating environmental spillage
- Use of biodegradable detergents (no phosphates! Just like your favorite shampoo)
- Efficient dish-washing procedures
Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park offers some very famous roads—the W Trek and the O Circuit being two that come to mind as two of the world’s best hikes. But if you’re going to hike Patagonia’s famous roads, isn’t it nice to also take the road less traveled: the sustainable road?
Staying at EcoCamp Patagonia’s far from being a hardship with its sumptuous glamping accommodations and proximity to the black-horned Paine Massif. But even better, staying at EcoCamp Patagonia is supporting an establishment that works for the good of the environment, from the earthworms up.
It’s great to travel. It’s better to travel for good.
Want to stay at EcoCamp Patagonia with Patagonia Unbound? Check out our Signature EcoCamp Tour.
EcoCamp Boardwalks - Chad Case Photography & Video
EcoCamp Dining Dome - Chad Case Photography & Video
Solar Panels at EcoCamp - Chad Case Photography & Video
Geodesic Domes - Chad Case Photography & Video