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The Short Version: EcoCamp Patagonia is an award-winning hotel that has attracted adventure seekers, nature lovers, and outdoorsy couples from all over the world. This unique, eco-friendly destination offers an array of guided excursions and programs that encourage guests to get active and explore Chile’s mountainous national park. Couples can make unforgettable memories staying at EcoCamp Patagonia’s domes and trekking into the untamed wilderness.
Yerko Ivelic and Javier Lopez became friends at university over 30 years ago because they shared a passion for kayaking and going on adventures in nature. In 1991, these two men teamed up with their kayak instructor Nani Astorga to found a Chilean tour company called Cascada Expediciones.
Cascada Expediciones was an early pioneer in ecotourism, and its one-of-a-kind programs have helped intrepid travelers explore Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia without disrupting the environment.
After about 10 years, Javier, Yerko, and Nani founded EcoCamp Patagonia as an extension of Cascada Expediciones. It has become one of the most popular destinations thanks to its expert-led treks in Torres del Paine National Park. Singles, families, and couples can venture into remote areas and appreciate the natural beauty of the mountains, glaciers, and forests.
The tour group provides plenty of adventurous activities, treks, and programs to help guests see the sights without leaving a big environmental footprint.
EcoCamp Patagonia’s domes provide rustic comfort with natural lighting and locally made furniture made from wicker, pinewood, and other renewable resources.
Whether they’re enjoying a honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary, couples can share many romantic moments here, and they are certain to come away with some great photos and unforgettable memories of Patagonia.
“This was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime, and it definitely was,” said Joanna W. in a TripAdvisor review. “The only problem is that now that we are home, we really want to go back again!”
EcoCamp Patagonia is in close proximity to many famous attractions, including Torres del Paine National Park and Cleopatra’s Needles (aka the three towers). The three granite towers provide an eye-catching backdrop for photos, and they have enticed many guests to venture on multiple-day treks to get a closer look.
As the world’s first geodesic dome hotel, EcoCamp Patagonia is an attraction in and of itself, and its dome-shaped suites provide a cozy retreat with some breathtaking views.
Over 30,000 visitors have gone on Cascada-operated tours at EcoCamp Patagonia and throughout Chile.
EcoCamp Patagonia invites people to enjoy nature in an eco-friendly way. The hotel uses renewable energy sources and sustainable practices to minimize its ecological footprint. Its green ethos can be found in everything from the skylight windows to the composting toilets.
“Here at EcoCamp, we firmly believe the present and future of tourism is green,” the team said. “As leaders in this industry, it is absolutely vital that we look towards long term, sustainable solutions that protect our outdoor spaces and minimize harmful CO2 emissions.”
This sustainable mission is a big draw for many eco-conscious travelers, particularly young and active millennials, and the hotel has won many awards for its sustainable luxury and green leadership.
Outdoorsy couples will be in their element at EcoCamp Patagonia. This place offers a front row seat to the beautiful natural park, and its eco-friendly practices protect the park for future generations.
EcoCamp Patagonia typically closes from May to September due to inclement weather; however, in 2020, the hotel shut down in March and doesn’t expect to open until early October. The team is currently busy developing new procedures and policies that will keep all guests and staff members safe.
Once it reopens, guests can expect the same world-class service and dedication to environmental sustainability to continue making EcoCamp Patagonia a must-visit destination.
EcoCamp Patagonia isn’t just about sitting back and looking at nature — the expert guides lead outdoor activities that accommodate adults of all ages and fitness levels. Couples can take it easy by going on a boat ride to see glaciers one day and then kick things up a notch by signing up for all-day nature hikes. The outdoor experts have put together many different types of tours to appeal to different types of guests.
The hike to see the base of the three towers is one of the most popular excursions, but it’s not for the faint of heart because it takes about eight hours altogether. Still it’s a wonderful photo op for couples, and many say it’s well worth the effort.
Experienced hikers who really want to test themselves can go on five-day, seven-day, or nine-day treks that include some nights camping on the trail or staying at mountain lodges.
During the nature hikes, the EcoCamp guides always make a point to provide insights into the history, ecology, and wildlife of the area, and they can offer a lot of interesting background information to make the natural surroundings come alive. Plus, during the wildlife safari and puma tracking tour, the guides will teach guests how to spot the telltale signs of wildlife activity, and their tracking skills can lead to some incredible animal sightings.
EcoCamp Patagonia also has seasonal programs, including yoga retreats and marathon runs, that appeal to people with specific interests and fitness levels.
Guests can also take advantage of the Epic Patagonia multi-sport program to enjoy biking, kayaking, trekking, horseback riding, and other adventure sports on a six-day trip. Add-on activities include fly fishing or a private yoga class.
“I highly recommend EcoCamp! My husband and I did the Epic Package, and it lived up to the name,” said Alysse on TripAdvisor. “This package includes hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and kayaking. All of these were challenging, fun, and provided amazing views of the park.”
EcoCamp Patagonia was designed by nature lovers who wanted to allow people to experience all the wonders of Torres del Paine National Park without harming the environment. This eco-friendly destination provides all the comforts of glamping along with all the adventure of trekking through the wilderness, and, once they’ve experienced the park’s beauty, many couples say they plan to make a return trip.
Visitors often fall in love with the untouched landscapes and active wildlife in the area, and they bring home many photos and memories to cherish with loved ones. EcoCamp Patagonia provides a welcoming space where couples can be present with one another and appreciate their time together.
It doesn’t matter if couples are bird-watching from the domes or challenging each other to do extreme sports — what’s important is that they share those experiences and soak in the natural beauty of EcoCamp Patagonia.
“My husband and I had never done anything nearly as adventurous or outdoorsy as this, yet we enjoyed every single minute,” said Amanda about her stay at EcoCamp Patagonia. “Thank you so much from the bottom of Larry’s and my heart for all you did to make our stay at Torres del Paine’s EcoCamp an experience and a memory like no other.”
Photos courtesy of Timothy Dhalleine