Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Adventure Tour
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This tour is provided by

Cascada Expediciones

Cascada Expediciones

30 Years of Experience

Cascada Expediciones has been creating life-changing trips since 1991. Our company is known worldwide and each year we provide services to travelers from the United States, Canada, England, France, Australia and more. To date, we have provided trips to more than 35,000 people.

We Are Local Experts

Nobody knows the region like we do! We are based in Chile and are considered specialists in outdoor travel and adventure tourism. We work with a variety of individuals and organizations that share our passion and aim to provide top-notch service and expert knowledge.

Unique Trips

Dedicated and passionate staff do everything in their power to meet each guest’s individual wants and needs. Our experienced representatives work to craft your perfect trip and can even create customized packages if desired. We also are available 24/7 and can easily find solutions in cases of emergencies and unforeseen events.

  • 4-7 Days
  • Group Size: 1-16
  • Chile

Want to immerse yourself in the magic of Torres del Paine like never before? Do it with an EcoCamp twist!

Embark on an adventure and discover the flora and fauna of Torres del Paine. EcoCamp Patagonia is offering a customizable package, select from 4 to 7 days, with daily activities. Whether you’re a professional hiker, a wildlife photographer or just a wanderer, you’ll find your fit!

Departures

Regular departures are available every day from September to May. 

Starting / finishing point

The trip starts every morning with pickups and drop-offs in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or El Calafate.Please visit our Weekly Transfer Board for details of EcoCamp pick up and drop off times from both Chile and Argentina.

Highlights

  • Departs any day
  • Choose 4, 5, 6 or 7 days
  • Stay in the world’s first fully sustainable dome hotel
  • Choose Suite, Superior, Loft or Standard Dome
  • Make like-minded friends for life at EcoCamp
  • Learn all the local secrets from our knowledgeable guides
  • Choose between nature walks, longer treks and bike excursions
  • Explore unique fauna and flora
  • Daily yoga stretching group class

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in an EcoCamp Suite, Standard or Superior Dome
  • Regular bus tickets El Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in El Calafate
  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide. Guide ratio 1:6. Max. group size: 16 people
  • Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee
  • Boat ticket for crossing Grey Lake* and/or Pehoe Lake. *Please check the itinerary
  • House wine during dinner
  • Day 1: Lunch/Box Lunch, Dinner
  • Days in between: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
  • Last day: Breakfast, Box Lunch

Price Excludes

  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance (appropriate insurance is mandatory for this trip)
  • Voluntary tipping to guides and staff
  • Drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp
  • Cash to buy extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Personal items

What to Bring

Passengers need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once. We recommend:
  • A day backpack (15-20 liters - to carry a camera, glasses, raincoat, etc)
  • Water-resistant trekking or hiking boots
  • Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet
  • Waterproof jacket
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Shorts or comfortable loose pants
  • Sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm, and sunscreen)
  • Cash to buy extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Optional: Capilene underwear for the upper and lower body

Additional Information

Physical demands

The easy excursion options do not demand extensive physical activity, other than walking a maximum of two consecutive hours over fairly flat terrain. We stop as many times as necessary depending on the rhythm of the group.
Travelers doing the active excursions will find them more energetic and to enjoy these more active treks it is essential to be in shape before arriving. All trails visited in the programs are under 1,000 m / 3,000 ft high so passengers don’t need to worry about altitude.

Transport

In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia, transportation is in minivans that normally seat 8 to 14 people. Pick-up/drop-off times will be confirmed by our local operations team. An exclusive toll-free emergency number will be available for additional support while you are in Chile.
Check our Weekly Transfer Board details for more information about pick-up and drop-off times to/from EcoCamp.

Weather

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rain and even snow. Even in summer (December to March) you should come prepared to find cold- strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. Summer’s average temperature is 11ºC (52ºF), ranging between 2 to 24ºC (35 to 75ºF).

Children policy

  • Minimum age 6 to participate in the program.
  • Children aged 6 to 9 are welcome to participate in nature walks.
  • Children aged 10 to 12 may participate in trekking excursions but the family must hire a private assistant guide.
  • Children aged 12 and up are welcome to participate in all activities and are treated as adults.
  • Check our Children Discount Policy for more details

Itinerary Modifications

We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based on safety/weather considerations.

During the shoulder and low season (October and April), some excursions may be canceled or modified for reasons of security. For example, the Navigation on Grey Lake, the excursion to French Valley and the Tower Base trek. In any case, we will either modify the original itinerary or offer you a good alternative within the park.

Accommodation
EcoCamp Patagonia

Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, with views of the majestic granite towers. The region’s first sustainable lodge south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers upscale camping in domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants.
Children from 6 to 12 years receive a 50% discount if staying with their parents in the same dome (advisable 6 years minimum age). Discount will be applied after the online inquiry. Check out the kids’ guide to EcoCamp!

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome
(Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)

Suite domes were designed to further our goal of providing comfort in a natural setting with minimal environmental impact, and also maintain the hotel’s familiar and cozy vibe. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a wood stove and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet.

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome Loft
(2 floors, Heating & Private bathroom, 37m²/398ft²)

Suite dome lofts are two-storey domes which fit up to four people and have comfortable double or twin beds both up and downstairs. These domes, ideal for families or groups of friends, come with a wood stove, a private terrace and a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet.

EcoCamp Patagonia Superior Dome
(Heating & Private bathroom, 23m²/250ft²)

Spacious, comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, Superior Domes are the optimum choice for trekkers wanting that bit more space and comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. Each Superior Dome has comfortable queen-size or twin beds, a propane heater, skylight windows and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet

EcoCamp Patagonia Standard Dome
(Shared bathroom, 10m²/108ft²)

EcoCamp Standard domes were the world’s first lodge accommodation in geodesic shape. They are resistant to the strong Patagonian winds, and come equipped with two single beds (doubles on request), cozy fleece blankets and feather quilts. There are windows in the ceiling for stargazing. Standard domes include shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will not be involved in the Standard Dome sharing option this season. All standard domes will be reserved for individual travelers or travelers from the same reservation group.

Itinerary
We can custom design this itinerary and all Chilean and Argentina destinations. You choose your preferred standard of accommodations, travel dates and the amount of time to spend at the various sites along the way. With advance planning, we can match a specific guide to your group's interests.

Monday

Hiking in Laguna AzulActivity: Nature Walk

Schedule: 10am to 4pm
Distance: 5km / 3mi
Difficulty: 1/5
Walking time: 2h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

On our way to Laguna Azul, we will have the chance to enjoy some marvelous views of the famous Torres, as well as passing through the pampas (the local steppe) 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 (“Blue Lagoon”), where we’ll enjoy our box lunch looking out over the lake, with a view of the three granite towers in the distance. We will then jump into our van again, heading back to the EcoCamp in time for cocktail hour.

Towers Base TrekActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 22km / 14mi
Distance: 22km / 14mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 9h
Altitude point: 914m / 3.000ft

After a hearty breakfast we set off from Ecocamp towards Hostería 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. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world’s most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,850 m/ 9,350 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 us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

Pehoe Lake Boat Ride & French Valley HikeActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 8pm
Distance: 18km / 11mi
Difficulty: 3/5
Walking time: 6h
Altitude point: 500m / 1.640ft

After breakfast, we will be driven to Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We will board the catamaran that will take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A faster pace will take us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the southeast face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley.We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day’s adventure will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, we will board the catamaran which will take us back to Pudeto, where we will be collected and transported back to EcoCamp.

N.B. The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe:

During May (low season) the catamaran service will be out of operation. Therefore, the excursion will be replaced by a 15km/9mi Trek to Los Cuernos. [Read more about Los Cuernos Trek]. We will walk through the sinuous Cuernos Trail which leads us alongside the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this nice walk we will have the opportunity to admire the area’s exquisite flora and fauna, as we enjoy the magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif.

Tuesday

Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Glacier Grey Boat RideActivity: Nature Walk & Boat Trip

Schedule: 10am to 8pm
Distance: 0.8km / 0.5mi
Difficulty: 1/5
Walking time: 1h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

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 Pudeto Dock to leave travelers doing Grey Trek and some viewpoints on the way observing and photographing herds of guanacos, Andean condors, and interesting flora. As we walk along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we will see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. From here, we drive up to Grey Lake and wander along the beach. 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 up-close look at the glacier, we drive back to EcoCamp. – *Please be aware that the Grey Glacier boat trip is subject to availability and weather conditions, so please confirm your reservation in order to participate on the day of your arrival. (*During shoulder season -September, October, April the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be canceled as the boat requires a minimum of 15 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.)

Please Note: During May, the Grey Navigation is not working. The alternative excursión is the Pingo Trail Nature Walk (9km).

Western Lakes drive & Cerro Ferrier HikeActivity: Hiking

Schedule: 7:30 am to 6:30 pm
Distance: 12km / 7.5mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 4h
Altitude point: 800 m / 1,970ft

We begin the drive to Lake Grey where you should pause and raise your eyes to the huge peaks of the east. This wind-swept rock monster is Cerro Ferrier which, standing at 1599m/5246 ft, makes a rewarding (but intense) hike.

First, you’ll pass through a forest that gives a fascinating insight into the diversity of austral trees. Here you’ll meet all the classics, lenga, coihue, ñire, and if you’re lucky you’ll meet the famous South American deer, the huemul, which is a national natural monument (keen-eyed watchers will remember it from the Chilean coat of arms).

Lazo Weber HikeActivity: Hiking

Schedule: 10am to 6:30pm
Distance: 12km / 7.5mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 5h
Altitude point: 700m / 2.300ft

We’ll start our day at 8:30 am with breakfast at EcoCamp and a moment to prepare our Box Lunch before boarding our bus at 10 am. Our ride takes us past the Lazo Weber Estancia where we’ll enter the National Park via Laguna Verde and begin our 12km hike. The Lazo Weber Trail is packed with native flora and wildlife all with the mountainous Paine range on our right. The hike is rather easy and apart from a few hills, the trail remains rather flat. We’ll stop a moment to refuel by the magical Laguna Honda and enjoy the sights and sensations of the gorgeous landscape and fresh breeze. On our way, we will hike through one of the quietest forests in the national park, a fantastic opportunity to observe native trees such as the Lenga and the Coihue.

The rest of our hike takes us to a lookout point (El Toro Lookout) where we’ll be wowed with a 360 degree view of the Paine mountain range, the Patagonian Andes, and a suite of rivers and lakes (including the Paine, Grey, and Serrano Rivers, and Lake Toro, the largest in the region). An hour’s descent towards Paine River will see us reunited with our van. But before we go back to EcoCamp, we’ll search for more animals to photograph and take a final moment to enjoy the scenery. At about 6:30 pm, we’ll arrive back at our “dome sweet dome”, ready to share in a tasty dinner and talk about our day hiking the Lazo Weber Trail.

*Note: If the weather is not good, an alternative excursion will be provided.

Wednesday

Sarmiento Lake & Fauna TrailActivity: Nature Walk

Schedule: 10km / 6mi
Distance: 5km / 3mi
Difficulty: 2/5
Walking time: 5h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

This 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 breathtaking view which could easily be mistaken for a piece of art! 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. 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.

Pehoe Lake Boat Ride & French Valley HikeActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 8pm
Distance: 18km / 11mi
Difficulty: 3/5
Walking time: 6h
Altitude point: 500m / 1640ft

After breakfast, we will be driven to Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We will board the catamaran that will take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A faster pace will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley.We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day’s adventure will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, we will board the catamaran which will take us back to Pudeto, where we will be collected and transported back to EcoCamp.

N.B. The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe:

During May (low season) the catamaran service will be out of operation. Therefore, the excursion will be replaced by an approx. 15km/7.50mi hike to Valle Encantado (Seron Woods). [Read more about the Seron Woods hike]. We will leave EcoCamp and walk on the first kilometers of the famous Torres del Paine Circuit. Some of the most beautiful Lenga trees can be found in the Seron woods, which is home to the elusive Magellanic Woodpecker and Tucuquere owl – the biggest owl in Chile. After a few gentle ups and downs we will reach a lookout where you can admire the immensity of the steppe and lakes like Laguna Azul and Laguna Amarga.The path is smooth and will allow you to relax with the constant sound of the Paine River whose waters flow from the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields.

Towers Base TrekActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 5pm
Distance: 22km / 14mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 9h
Altitude point: 914m / 3000ft

After a hearty breakfast we set off from Ecocamp towards Hostería 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. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us 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 us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

Thursday

Hiking in Laguna AzulActivity: Nature Walk

Schedule: 10am to 4pm
Distance: 5km / 3mi
Difficulty: 1/5
Walking time: 2h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

On our way to Laguna Azul, we will have the chance to enjoy some marvelous views of the famous Torres, as well as passing through the pampas (the local steppe) 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 (“Blue Lagoon”), where we will enjoy our box lunch looking out over the lake, with a view of the three granite towers in the distance. We will then jump into our van again, heading back to the EcoCamp in time for cocktail hour.

Towers Base TrekActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 5pm
Distance: 22km / 14mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 9h
Altitude point: 914m / 3000ft

After a hearty breakfast, we set off from Ecocamp towards Hostería 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. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world’s most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,850 m/ 9,350 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 us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

Pehoe Lake Boat Ride & French Valley HikeActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 8pm
Distance: 18km / 11mi
Difficulty: 3/5
Walking time: 6h
Altitude point: 500m / 1640ft

After breakfast, we will be driven to Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We will board the catamaran that will take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A faster pace will take us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the southeast face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley.We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day’s adventure will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, we will board the catamaran which will take us back to Pudeto, where we will be collected and transported back to EcoCamp.

N.B. The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe:

During May (low season) the catamaran service will be out of operation. Therefore, the excursion will be replaced by a 15km/9mi Trek to Los Cuernos. [Read more about Los Cuernos Trek]. We will walk through the sinuous Cuernos Trail which leads us alongside the beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this nice walk we will have the opportunity to admire the area’s exquisite flora and fauna, as we enjoy the magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif.

Friday

Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Glacier Grey Boat RideActivity: Nature Walk & Boat Trip

Schedule: 10am to 8pm
Distance: 0.8km / 0.5mi
Difficulty: 1/5
Walking time: 1h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

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 Pudeto Dock to leave travelers doing Grey Trek and some viewpoints on the way observing and photographing herds of guanacos, Andean condors, and interesting flora. As we walk along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we will see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. From here, we drive up to Grey Lake and wander along the beach. 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 up-close look at the glacier, we drive back to EcoCamp. – *Please be aware that the Grey Glacier boat trip is subject to availability and weather conditions, so please confirm your reservation in order to participate on the day of your arrival. (*During shoulder season -September, October, April the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be canceled as the boat requires a minimum of 15 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.)

Please Note: During May, the Grey Navigation is not working. The alternative excursión is the Pingo Trail Nature Walk (9km).

Western Lakes drive & Cerro Ferrier HikeActivity: Hiking

Schedule: 7:30 am to 6:30 pm
Distance: 12km / 7.5mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 4h
Altitude point: 800 m / 1,970ft

We begin the drive to Lake Grey where you should pause and raise your eyes to the huge peaks of the east. This wind-swept rock monster is Cerro Ferrier which, standing at 1599m/5246 ft, makes a rewarding (but intense) hike.

First, you’ll pass through a forest that gives a fascinating insight into the diversity of austral trees. Here you’ll meet all the classics, lenga, coihue, ñire, and if you’re lucky you’ll meet the famous South American deer, the huemul, which is a national natural monument (keen-eyed watchers will remember it from the Chilean coat of arms).

Lazo Weber HikeActivity: Hiking

Schedule: 10am to 6:30pm
Distance: 12km / 7.5mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 5h
Altitude point: 700m / 2.300ft

We’ll start our day at 8:30 am with breakfast at EcoCamp and a moment to prepare our Box Lunch before boarding our bus at 10 am. Our ride takes us past the Lazo Weber Estancia where we’ll enter the National Park via Laguna Verde and begin our 12km hike. The Lazo Weber Trail is packed with native flora and wildlife all with the mountainous Paine range on our right. The hike is rather easy and apart from a few hills, the trail remains rather flat. We’ll stop a moment to refuel by the magical Laguna Honda and enjoy the sights and sensations of the gorgeous landscape and fresh breeze. On our way, we will hike through one of the quietest forests in the national park, a fantastic opportunity to observe native trees such as the Lenga and the Coihue.

The rest of our hike takes us to a lookout point (El Toro Lookout) where we’ll be wowed with a 360 degree view of the Paine mountain range, the Patagonian Andes, and a suite of rivers and lakes (including the Paine, Grey, and Serrano Rivers, and Lake Toro, the largest in the region). An hour’s descent towards Paine River will see us reunited with our van. But before we go back to EcoCamp, we’ll search for more animals to photograph and take a final moment to enjoy the scenery. At about 6:30 pm, we’ll arrive back at our “dome sweet dome”, ready to share in a tasty dinner and talk about our day hiking the Lazo Weber Trail.

*Note: If the weather is not good, an alternative excursion will be provided.

Saturday

Sarmiento Lake & Fauna TrailActivity: Nature Walk

Schedule: 10am to 5pm
Distance: 10km / 6mi
Difficulty: 2/5
Walking time: 5h
Altitude point: 200m / 660ft

This 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 breathtaking view which could easily be mistaken for a piece of art! 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. 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.

Pehoe Lake Boat Ride & French Valley HikeActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 8pm
Distance: 18km / 11mi
Difficulty: 3/5
Walking time: 6h
Altitude point: 500m / 1640ft

After breakfast, we will be driven to Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We will board the catamaran that will take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A faster pace will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley.We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day’s adventure will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, we will board the catamaran which will take us back to Pudeto, where we will be collected and transported back to EcoCamp.

N.B. The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe:

During May (low season) the catamaran service will be out of operation. Therefore, the excursion will be replaced by an approx. 15km/7.50mi hike to Valle Encantado (Seron Woods). [Read more about the Seron Woods hike]. We will leave EcoCamp and walk on the first kilometers of the famous Torres del Paine Circuit. Some of the most beautiful Lenga trees can be found in the Seron woods, which is home to the elusive Magellanic Woodpecker and Tucuquere owl – the biggest owl in Chile. After a few gentle ups and downs we will reach a lookout where you can admire the immensity of the steppe and lakes like Laguna Azul and Laguna Amarga.The path is smooth and will allow you to relax with the constant sound of the Paine River whose waters flow from the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields.

Towers Base TrekActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 8am to 5pm
Distance: 22km / 14mi
Difficulty: 4/5
Walking time: 9h
Altitude point: 914m / 3000ft

After a hearty breakfast we set off from Ecocamp towards Hostería 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. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us 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 us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

Sunday

Wild Horse TrackingActivity: Nature Walk

Schedule: 8am to 5pm
Distance: 8km / 4mi
Difficulty: 2/5
Walking time: 6h
Altitude point: 300m / 1000ft

After enjoying a buffet breakfast at EcoCamp, we’ll head towards the Laguna Azul sector. From here, we’ll begin our journey by 4×4 through the folds of the Cordillera Masle, from which we’ll be able to appreciate the Cordillera Baguales, Salto Las Chinas, and Barranca de Los Toros pass. After about 40 minutes, we’ll arrive at a typical “puesto” where Patagonian “gauchos” would take refuge while caring for their livestock. Here, we’ll hear a short but interesting introduction to the area’s history and the evolution and characteristics of its wild horses. With the help of satellite tracking equipment, coupled with our guide’s experience and knowledge, we’ll begin our trek, searching for the 100 untamed horses that remain isolated in this sector surrounded by mountains, lakes, and plains, in the most pristine and untouched terrain of Torres del Paine. Depending on the location of the horses, we’ll choose a place to have lunch and share our stories and experiences. The experience of tracking, observing, and analyzing the horses in such natural surroundings is incomparable. Additionally, we’ll be privy to fantastic views of Lago Stokes, the Cordillera Dickson, and the imposing Towers. After 7-8 hours, we’ll return to EcoCamp, ready to enjoy an aperitif before settling down to a warm meal.

N.B. The Wild Horse Tracking is not available during winter; the excursion is therefore not offered in May & September.

During May and beginning of September (low season) the excursion will be replaced by a 6km/7.50mi walk to Salto Grande & El Condor Lookout.

Cerro Paine TrekActivity: Demanding Hiking

Schedule: 9am to 5pm
Distance: 16km / 9mi
Difficulty:5/5
Walking time: 8h
Altitude point: 1500m / 4920ft

We leave after a tasty breakfast at EcoCamp to head to Cerro Paine, a nearby mountain characterized by its two imposing peaks. We hike along the mountain for half an hour, which allows us to warm up while admiring the view of the surrounding pampas. The challenge begins as we start climbing the eastern part of Cerro Paine. We cross the lenga forest with the sound of the local birds and enjoy a few stops to observe the immense Almirante Nieto Mountain and its glacier on our left side. With any luck, we will follow the tracks of the puma as the towers come into full view. A nice place for lunch, isn’t it? As we are ready to start the steepest part of the hike, we leave the forest and hike on the rock. As we go up, we admire the spectacular panoramic view of the immense pampas and the mountains in the distance, like the Balmaceda mountain. We walk upward for about an hour up to 1500m/4920ft to reach the eastern peak of Cerro Paine, which offers an unforgettable lookout of the towers and the ascencio valley. After chilling and taking in one of the most striking views of the national park, we backtrack along the same trail and return to EcoCamp.

Salto Grande & Condor LookoutActivity: Contemplative Ride

Schedule: 10am to 5pm
Distance: –
Difficulty: 1/5
Walking time: –
Altitude point: –

After breakfast we head westwards by van, 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 the viewpoint, we drive to Pehoe Lake and begin the two-hour round-trip walk to El Condor Lookout from its shores. We go gently uphill through the steppe vegetation; a great opportunity to learn about the local flora. Here we witness the piercing blue of Pehoe Lake and the Paine river. On a clear day, we can see the immensity of the Southern Patagonian ice fields in the distance. We re-energize while taking in the whole Paine Mountain range and its stunning snowcapped peaks. After a hearty lunch in this perfect location, we backtrack along the same trail and drive back to EcoCamp

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