Consisting of 25 domes, EcoCamp was inspired by the round houses of ancient tribes that formerly inhabited the area now known as Torres del Paine National Park. There are three categories of domes, all made from green plastic with sheer windows. Standard domes feature twin or double beds and a shared, campsite-style bathroom. Standard domes don’t have central heating and can be nippy in the Patagonian climate. Superior domes have gas heaters, wood-burning stoves, and en suite bathrooms. The suite domes are similar to the superior rooms, but have two floors. Domes are connected by raised wooden walkways for minimal environmental impact. Communal meals and pre-excursion briefings take place in the central community dome.
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EcoCamp is a good spot for keen hikers wishing to explore Torres del Paine National Park. The hotel is very close to the spot where the trek to the Base of the Towers begins. Many travelers come to Patagonia to take on the famous W Trek, which guests can do with EcoCamp. For those who would rather stick to day trips, the three main legs of the W (Base of the Towers, French Valley, and Glacier Grey) can be visited on subsequent days. Other attractions in the park include flora and fauna (including guanacos, foxes, Darwin’s rheas, and pumas), as well as biking, horseback riding, and kayaking around the icebergs on Lake Grey.
Need to Know
Rooms: The 25 bedroom “domes” are split into three categories: standard, superior, and suite. Bookings are on an all-inclusive basis. For example, the Wildlife Safari package, which takes you to the highlights of Torres del Paine National Park, starts at $1,420 for four days. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The EcoCamp restaurant serves simple and plentiful food around a long table. Lunch takes the form of a DIY packed lunch with sliced bread and sandwich fillings laid out so guests can make their own sandwich. The food is by no means gourmet, but the evening meal spans three courses and is served with house wine. There is also a casual bar that serves beers and pisco sours.
Who's it for: Intrepid hikers who want to be close to the Torres del Paine Mountain Range and those who like a community environment and want to meet other travelers (meals are taken in the Community Dome along with other guests on the same itinerary). Excursions take place in groups, and transportation is via minibuses. Our favorite rooms: The standard domes, although charming as they resemble hobbit homes, are very simple, and guests booked into these have no heating and use a communal bathroom. The superior and suite domes have en suite bathrooms and wood-burning stoves, making them much more comfortable—just be ready to get up in the middle of the night to put another log on the fire. Restore yourself:EcoCamp opened a Yoga Dome in 2013, so guests can stretch out with some downward dogs after a day of hiking.
My wife and I stayed at EcoCamp and trekked "The W" with them. I highly recommend the place and the organization. We slept in the simplest/cheapest dome (no heater, etc). It was plenty warm. The dome is insulated well and the bedding is ample. The floor is raised. It had a nice window with mountain views. The "party" domes where you take your meals and mingle are really large and very cool.
The location is incredible with views of the Towers, into Patagonia, etc. I took amazing sunrise photos of the Towers and surrounding area right from EcoCamp. You are right in the heart of Torres del Paine when staying here. It is a spectacular place.