Eco Camp Patagonia – Exploring The Camp
Our arrival to Eco Camp in the Torres Del Paine National Park was filled with some nervousness as we were unsure if we were able to get in. Before we left Australia, we were told that there had been record breaking rainfall and a lot of the rivers around the camp had burst their banks and for a few days some clients were stranded at the Camp. So, after our 6 hour drive from Punta Arenas to the park we were very relieved to hear that the rivers had dropped enough for us to cross in a 4WD – quite lucky I think!
When we arrived, I was amazed at how little you could actually see as the domes blended so well into the landscape. Eco Camp is next level glamping and is made up of 24 accommodation domes made out of canvas with hardwood floors and very comfortable beds! They range from basic with shared bathrooms up to the Suite Domes with electricity and your own private bathroom and views over the park. A real highlight for me was the log burner heater in the Dome which is lit every evening for you so it’s nice and toasty every night when you get back from the wilderness. The whole complex is off grid and uses solar and water turbines to create all its electricity.
All day activities are included and that evening we met our fellow travellers in the very cozy community dome over a couple of drinks. After we decided on our activity for the next day, we shared a beautiful 3 course dinner together and then off to bed for an early start the next day.
Activities are graded from easy – which may be something like a scenic drive around the National Park with photo stops – to difficult, which would be an 8 hour hike to an amazing lookout at the base of the 3 towers. We decided for our difficult activity to take on the challenge of the French Valley hike which was 25 km’s of challenging terrain but an unbelievable view once we reached the plateau. It was actually snowing when we got to the top, but we still had a perfect view of the glaciers around us, the French Valley below, and still being dwarfed by the Mastiff del Paine.
Each evening we would meet our fellow travellers, swap stories and plan our adventures for the next day. We decided on 2 moderate activities for the remainder of our stay and had a fantastic day taking a lagoon cruise and sailing up to Glacier Grey, as well as a flora and fauna walk trying to find the elusive Puma! Our stay at the camp had to come to an end and as we were driving back out to the airport, I heard a familiar ring tone coming from my backpack which I didn’t recognize straight away. It was my mobile phone coming back into range with messages telling me what was happening in the outside world while I lucky enough to be exploring the Park and truly getting away from it all.