In this world of vanishing wilderness, EcoCamp invites you to explore remote Patagonia with the least ecological impact possible; to trek in virgin beech forests; to admire colossal calving glaciers; to think and wonder about humankind while standing at the foot of the towering granite peaks of the Torres del Paine; to sit in total silence under the Southern Cross; and to share a glass of wine with new friends on your Patagonia tour.
The basic premise on designing the EcoCamp was to maintain the nomadic spirit of the ancient inhabitants that moved along the dismembered coast looking for food and shelter. This people lived in harmony with Mother Nature and built their huts out of wood, furs and leathers, all organic materials they found on site.
In Patagonia, from Golfo de Penas to the Strait of Magellan, these natives were called Kawesqar or Alacalufes, sadly nowadays the few remaining pure blood Alacalufes are no more than 10 and live in the remote village of Puerto Eden.
Kawesqar people built their huts on a geodesic shape bending branches and covering the structure with guanaco and sea lion skins. When whale hunters and marines established bases on their domains they abandoned their traditional ways of shelter and adopted new materials
and construction patterns.
Patagonia EcoCamp design was inspired on the traditional Kawesqar hut resembling and igloo and a dome at the same time. The instinctive engineering ability of the Kawesqar can be easily understood these days. The semi-hemispherical structure of the EcoCamp domes is formed by a number of isosceles triangles that provides uniform distribution of the stress caused by severe wind loads. Wind speed in Patagonia often surpasses 160-180km per hour which makes traditional straight and flat walls extremely vulnerable if the structure is meant to be light. Another significant aspect is that rounded bodies minimize the external surface in contact with the cold environment allowing less exchange of temperature with the warm interiors. Finally, semi-hemisphere gave Kawesqars the maximum internal space in relation to the surface they had to cover with valuable and sometimes scarce animal skins.
Patagonia EcoCamp is a tribute to Kawesqar dwellings and way of life.
Staying at EcoCamp
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Suite Domes are used for our Patagonia Wildlife Safari and End of the World trips. Suite Domes are comfortable 28mt2/ 300 ft2 tented igloo-type double domes built the same way as the ancient native Kaweska's dwellings. Their structure produces minimal environmental impact while providing an efficient thermal and wind resistant unit, with great exposure to nature in the most magnificent Patagonian setting.
Each dome has a private bathroom, comfortable double or twin beds, and it is heated by a modern low-emission wood stove. In addition, every dome has its own composting device to process waste. Electricity is generated with a micro hydro turbine and solar panels.
EcoCamp's Suite domes are located in a Lenga (beech) forest next to the existing standard domes but allowing enough distance so as to create a separate and independent atmosphere with more refinement and comfort. The domes are set up with enough space between them to provide adequate intimacy and introspection.
Superior Domes are specially designed for active travelers wanting an upgrade from our Standard Domes. The Superior are a bit smaller than the Suites, but have the same great comfort features. These semispherical domes are the materialization of EcoCamp's desire to continue creating high quality services and activities for their clients in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable manner, while paying tribute to the Kawesqar natives, this area's ancient inhabitants and their nomadic way of life.
The Superior Domes are 23mt / 250 ft, and come equipped with private bathrooms with an innovative compost device for generated waste, and electric stove for heating. Surrounded by nature, travelers have the opportunity of an even quieter more intimate stay, enjoying the first sustainable lodging south of the Amazon, and the only one of its kind in Patagonia.
The standard domes are used for our trekking trips (Pure Patagonia and Patagonia Panorama) and our End of the World trips in Torres del Paine. These domes in Torres del Paine have vitrified wooden floors and are 2m/6.5ft high with a diameter of 4m/12ft, allowing plenty of space for sleeping comfortably.
They are resistant to the strongest Patagonian winds, rains, and snow and come equipped with two single beds, fleece sheets, blankets, and feather quilts. Please note that there is not a heat source in the standard domes.
There are round windows in the ceiling to observe the stars of Patagonia before falling asleep.
For travelers staying in standard domes, there are comfortable and well illuminated shared toilets, divided for male and female. Both have showers with hot water, w.c., hand wash, special furniture and warm details that will make you feel at home. Each shower is located inside a closed space where the person can dry himself up and put on clothes with privacy. Additionally since our toilets facilities are powered with solar panels generators, there is no electric capacity to plug devices such as hair dryers, electric shavers, etc.
The EcoCamp has 2 Giant Domes:
The Dining Room Dome, 9m/ 30ft in diameter and 4.5m/13.5ft tall. It is equipped with a dining room, and kitchen. The space is bright and airy with a big panoramic window that brings dusk and dawn straight into the dining area.
Living & Resting Room Dome of 6 m/19,6 ft in diameter where the guests can relax, read a book, enjoy the experiences of the day with the other guests, etc.
Las Torres EcoCamp recently opened a Yoga dome to its guests. The yoga dome is in full swing and features stretching classes before excursions and yoga classes each evening.
One of the most popular features of EcoCamp is its delicious and plentiful food!
All that you will find at home: fruits, whole grain and white bread toast, cheese, scrambled eggs, butter, peanut butter, jam, cereals, granola, yogurt, milk, juice, honey, ham, coffee, tea, herb teas, and much more.
EcoCamp calls it a "buffet box lunch" because it is prepared after breakfast by each client before starting the excursion- they will find a pretty big table full of tasty elements to prepare a great sandwich: whole grain and white bread, cheeses, tuna, chicken, turkey ham, beef, salami, sauces, variety of vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and more; additionally they will also find chocolate and granola bars, nuts and fruits.
Lunch or Dinner:
It starts with a cocktail consisting of our famous pisco sour and different small appetizers. Then the meal starts with a local soup and is followed by a piece of white or red meat with rice, potatoes or vegetables, everything accompanied by good Chilean wine - we provide a bottle per each 3 persons. Finally a cup of coffee or herb teas with a delicious dessert will crown the meal. The meals often vary to make client experience different flavors and local preparations. EcoCamp also serves vegetarian and gluten-free meals if indicated with anticipation when booking.
Clients can also buy: juices, sodas, beers, wines and alcoholic drinks.