Below are the guided excursions that are included when doing the Patagonia Wildlife Safari or End of the World trips: Transportation, lunch, and guide services are included.
Laguna Azul and Patagonian BBQ
Mondays and Thursdays
On our way to Laguna Azul we will have the chance to enjoy some marvellous views of the famous Torres, as well as passing through the Pampa Guanaco, where we will be lucky enough not only to spot many elegant guanacos, but also to hop out of the van and walk amongst them. After soaking up these beautiful surroundings, we will continue our drive to Laguna Azul, where a BBQ lunch will have been prepared for us! We will enjoy our lunch looking out over the lake, with a view of the three granite towers in the distance, snug in the warmth of the BBQ quincho. After lunch, we will walk south to Macho Cañon, where we can observe the typical fauna of the Torres del Paine National Park, including more guanaco herds. From here we will jump into our van again, heading back to the EcoCamp in time for cocktail hour.
Western Lakes and Grey Glacier
Tuesdays and Fridays
We start off driving across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. We stop at various viewpoints on the way to enjoy observing and photographing herds of guanacos, Andean condors and interesting flora. We drive down past Pehoe lake and enjoy a short scenic walk along the tip of its southern shore, with views of the vast Toro lake. From here we drive up to Grey Lake and wander along the beach on the shores of the glacial water. Here we enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on a boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. After this incredible sight of the glacier up close, we drive back to EcoCamp. (*During September, October and April the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.)
Salto Grande, Cuernos Viewpoint and Fauna Trail
Wednesdays and Saturdays
After breakfast we head out in the van westwards, taking a route along the southern shore of Nordenskjold lake. Our first stop is the magnificent Salto Grande waterfall, with its impressive cascading waters falling from Nordenskjold lake into Pehoe lake. From here it's a short walk to Cuernos viewpoint, with a panoramic view of the mighty Horns. From here we drive back eastwards along the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake until we reach the starting point of the Fauna Trail. As we walk northwards along the trail we see park fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! We pass by Goic lagoon and after an approximate 5 km relaxed walk we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we’re picked up and driven back to EcoCamp.
This easy-going, predominantly flat trek boasts stunningly diverse natural scenery and offers the chance to feast your eyes upon a startlingly blue lake, which is secluded from all the other water systems of the area. There will be ample opportunity to spot many graceful guanacos and great grebes along the way. First we will examine the geology of the area’s turbidite rock folds, before descending the isthmus which separates Lake Sarmiento from Lake Sarmiento Chico (the two lakes were once a single mass of water), walking along a slight slope, and ambling beside the eastern edge of Lake Sarmiento Chico. We will eventually arrive at an impressive bay on the western side of Lake Sarmiento, admiring a breath-taking view which could easily be mistaken for a piece of art! We will also be able to study the area’s characteristic calcium deposits here. Then begins our ascent back to the van, and along the way we will stumble across an awe-inspiring, panoramic vista of Lake Sarmiento from its western shore, looking towards its eastern coast glimmering on the horizon.
Trek Towers Base
Mondays and Thursdays
Walk from Ecocamp towards Hosteria Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge is climbing the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before you, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and your picnic, backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.
Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Hike Pingo Trail
Tuesdays and Fridays
Drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until reaching its spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, you are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey to walk to the start of the beautiful Pingo Trail, taking you through a fairytale Magellan forest full of local fauna and flora. As you walk, huge rock formations in nearby hills and the strong Patagonian wind give you a good idea of just how wild Patagonia is! Reach a small sightseeing point with splendid views of the Massif's west face, and then walk back to Grey Beach to meet your fellow travelers coming back from the boat ride. Together head to Ecocamp to enjoy dinner and relaxation time.
Navigation Pehoe Lake and hike French Valley
Wednesdays and Saturdays
After breakfast, start your day driving towards Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. Board the catamaran and voyage to the north-western sector of the Lake where you'll begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far you go depends on the group's rhythm - An active walk leads to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there is a truly wonderful view. Then continue up the trail to the upper section of the valley where you can admire the valley's entire group of geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Mascara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburon (Shark's Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). Here, picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn't keen on resting. Then, descend through a rippling terrain of grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, the catamaran takes you back to Pudeto to be driven back to EcoCamp. Please note: the excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe. Please contact us for more details.
Hike to Seron
The trek to Puesto Seron means doing the first part of the Paine circuit, bordering the eastern side of the Massif. The trail leads through plains home to Lenga forests and other flora, and with great views of Laguna Azul and Sierra Masle. Hopefully you will encounter the park's animals that roam around this sector, in their quest to avoid the more populated areas of the Park. After approx. 4 hours trekking, reach Camp Seron where you will enjoy a box lunch and admire the scenery before heading back to EcoCamp.
Cycling to Laguna Azul + Patagonian BBQ
Mondays and Thursdays
After breakfast drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga, next to the ranger station at the entrance of the park. Here, hop on your mountain bikes & pedal away towards Laguna Azul campsite approximately 20 km to the north east. Cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos and ostrich-like nandus (plus maybe the occasional puma print!), heading up north past the cascading Paine waterfall where you can stop for a break to admire the view. Continue your journey heading past a small canyon in the middle of the Patagonian flora and fauna before looping up towards Laguna Azul. Upon arrival at Laguna Azul, be treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue prepared by a local Patagonian chef in EcoCamp's cozy barbecue area on the lakeshore. Once you've feasted and enjoyed some rest, there's time to explore the surroundings and climb to the nearby sightseeing point with a panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres in the distance. The cycle ride back to EcoCamp is optional - anyone who is happily tired after the journey and barbecue is welcome to travel back in the support van (accompanying the group at all times on the outward journey). Back at EcoCamp, the cyclists reunite with their Safari hiking counterparts to enjoy the evening aperitif.