Patagonia is wild and raw. A special place where nature can still be seen in all its glory. Every year, thousands of adventure travelers head to southern Chile and Argentina to check out the natural wonders found here. Animals like llamas, guanaco, rhea (a small wild ostrich) and the elusive puma are indigenous to Patagonia. The beautiful snow-capped Andes mountains backdrop icey blue glaciers and grassland pastures as far as the eye can see. And travelers can truly experience the region - in, on, and around it - to their heart's content.
So where do you stay in a place like this if you're not exactly the camping type? The wilderness of Patagonia is so unspoiled you might think the only places to stay in the national parks of Torres del Paine in Chile would be campgrounds or the backpacker refugios favored by hikers and climbers doing the popular "W" trail. Not at all. Turns out, even outdoorsy, day-packers like a little luxury now and then.
There are enough accommodations in or near Torres del Paine to satisfy most travelers. Although when I travel, I like my hotel to match my trip. If it's an "active" trip and I'm hiking all day, or even lightly exploring the park in and out of a dusty car, I wouldn't feel comfortable in an over-the-top luxury hotel, nor have the time to enjoy it. But how about sustainable, stylish digs in domes designed for nature-lovers? Now you're talking.
That's EcoCamp. Glamorous camping - glamping - in roomy, well-appointed and eco-friendly geodesic domes located in the choicest spot you can imagine - at the foothills of Las Torres with a clear view of the granite towers that give the Park its name. The fact that they're the greenest hotel in Patagonia is icing on the cake.
We stayed here recently in early March and had the opportunity to review EcoCamp Patagonia. It was easy to see why autumn here is one of the busiest times of the year.
The Geodome Accommodations
The Community Domes
For all of the personal touches, they manage to infuse your stay with a sense of community and the sharing of those experiences among guests, proving hands down that eco can not only be comfy, but also a transformative - even luxurious - experience. Clearly, EcoCamp is doing eco right.
Read my full review of EcoCamp here.
(We were guests of EcoCamp and Cascada during our stay in Torres del Paine. As always, all opinions are our own based on our first-hand experience.)
If You Go:
EcoCamp offers semi-private transportation from the airport in Punta Arenas, Chile included in the EcoCamp package you buy. The trip from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine is approximately a 6-hour trip. Packages include all meals and guided tours. For specific info about the activities included in the EcoCamp programs, check out their Activities page.
What do think of Glamping? Have you stayed in an eco-friendly lodge or hotel before? I'd love to hear of your experience in the comments below.