Patagonia EcoCamp Trek

From: $1,350

per person dbl occ

Dates: - see all dates

Total Days: 5

Activity Level: 4

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Patagonia EcoCamp Trek

Price:

2014/2015

Shoulder season (Sep–Oct 2014 and Apr 2015): $1,350

High season (Nov 2014 – Mar 2015): $1,925

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $630 Shoulder Season

Single supplement: $900 High Season

*Holiday surcharge: $80

Argentina entry fee: $160

Optional Upgrade to Superior Dome: $625 Shoulder Season

Optional Upgrade to Superior Dome: $900 High Season

Superior Dome upgrade per person/double occupancy only.

Trip Dates:

2014/2015


Departs every Sunday from Sep 28, 2014 – Apr 19, 2015


*Departures on Dec 21 and Dec 28, 2014 have a holiday surcharge of $80 per person

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 4

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

EcoCamp, 3 nights; Mountain refugio, 1 night. Shared facilities.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Torres del Paine National Park, a stunning jewel of Patagonia
  • Hike French and Ascencio Valleys; visit Grey Glacier on the shores of Lake Pehoe
  • Take in spectacular vistas and marvel at stunning granite mountains and spires
  • Stay in comfortable domes at an innovative basecamp in the heart of the park

Chile's Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most impressive geological spectacles on Earth. Declared a World UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, it's easy to see why hikers from around the world travel to this special place. These spectacular mountains, known as the Torres del Paine (Blue Towers), dominate this landscape of radiant blue glaciers, azure lakes, roaring rivers, and emerald forests. Standing before this monumental cluster of mountain peaks, it's hard not to stop and stare at the granite monoliths rising from an otherwise flat plateau.

Our trip follows trails that provide constant delight. In French Valley, get an up-close view of the Paine Massif. A walk along Lake Pehoe delivers us to a boat bound for Grey Glacier. Then, a trail along the Ascencio Valley takes us to the east face of the towers.

In between our hikes we spend three nights at lovely EcoCamp in the heart of the park, enjoying comfortable accommodations utilizing sustainable practices.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Travel from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Day 2 - Explore the French Valley, which separates Paine's massive spires.
  • Day 3 - Hike to Lake Pehoe and explore Grey Glacier.
  • Day 4 - Venture to the base of Torres del Paine with impressive views.
  • Day 5 - Return to Punta Arenas for departure, or more South American adventure.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Travel from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park.

    Discover the magic at the end of the world! Travel from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park. The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or at the Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in Calafate if you are arriving from Argentina. En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890's. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon. Lunch and dinner included. Driving time: 5.5 hours.

  • Day 2 - Explore the French Valley, which separates Paine's massive spires.

    After breakfast, we start our day driving towards Pudeto dock, located by the shores of Pehoe Lake. Once there we board the catamaran that takes us to the northwest sector of the lake from where we'll start the challenging hike to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far we go depends on our groups' pace and energy level. Our hike leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the southeast face of the Massif. From this point there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail until reaching the upper section of the valley. The entire group of geological formations of the high valley can be admired here: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark's Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress)! It's time to have a picnic and recover from the walk. An optional hike to Mirador Britanico is available as well. Next, we descend through undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the serene shores of Lake Pehoe. We have dinner and overnight at the Refugio. All meals included.

    Note: The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe: From October 1st to November 15th and from March 16th through April the navigation operates only once a day, therefore the hike will be limited and only reach Italian campsite. (From November 16th to March 15th the excursion operates on a regular basis).

    Hiking: 25 km (15 mi), 8 hours; Terrain: Mostly level trails with some steep sections.

  • Day 3 - Hike to Lake Pehoe and explore Grey Glacier.

    Today we'll hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of mountain-lined Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the blue face of Grey Glacier*. You'll have lots of time to marvel at this calving glacier during the boat ride across Lake Grey with its floating pieces of ice. From Lake Grey's southern end we transfer to the EcoCamp. We have dinner and overnight at the EcoCamp. All meals included.

    *Occasionally the weather may not permit us to sail across the lake, or during Shoulder Season (October and April) the sailing might be cancelled if the required minimum of 10 passengers isn't reached. In this case we will get up early and trek about two hours along the Grey trail until reaching a sightseeing point offering a spectacular view of the Glacier. Then we return to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to Pudeto's dock, from where we're driven back to Ecocamp.

    Hiking: 14 km (9 mi), 4 hours; Terrain: Mostly level trails.

  • Day 4 - Venture to the base of Torres del Paine with impressive views.

    Our day's goal: to complete the most famous trail in Torres del Paine National Park. We hike from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres and connect with the winding uphill path to Ascencio Valley which leads to the east face of the Towers. On our scenic hike into the valley, we'll pass by dry mountain terrain, beech forests and small rivers. 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 challenge, 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 the EcoCamp. All meals included.

    Note: During Shoulder Season (October and April) the Towers Trek excursion might be cancelled because of weather conditions and safety considerations.

    Hiking: 21 km (13 m), 8 hours; Terrain: some steep sections.

  • Day 5 - Return to Punta Arenas for departure, or more South American adventure.

    Following breakfast we board our vehicle to transfer 5.5 hours to Punta Arenas. Departing flights can be booked after 5:00 p.m. Breakfast and boxed lunch included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Meals as noted in the daily itinerary; 3 nights accommodations at EcoCamp in standard domes, 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande, guide leadership and support staff; airport transfers; park fees; boat crossing for Lake Pehoe (and Lake Grey); sleeping bag for refugio; luggage transport while trekking.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

A non-refundable deposit of $400 is required at time of booking to secure space. Full payment is required 90 days before fixed departure date.

Cancellation and transfer policy:
91+ days prior to departure—$400 penalty per person
90-45 days prior to departure—50% of the total trip cost is non-refundable
45 days or less prior to departure—100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

Not Included

International airfare into Punta Arenas; cost of medical immunizations; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; entry fees for Argentina and/or Chile (price subject to change); alcoholic beverages or soft drinks not included with meals; gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Vigorous [4]. Trip members should be strong, experienced hikers and campers in good physical condition. This is a remote trip, with long (but spectacular) days of hiking and no easy access. Hiking trails may be muddy with numerous stream crossings. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least three months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming. Get out on those hills if possible!

Weather

The weather in Patagonia is notorious for high winds and extreme variability. Days can range from sunny with temperatures in the 70s to rain, hail, and occasionally even snow. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear. Nighttime temperatures often drop down into the 30s.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted on the trip itinerary. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, there is no single supplement. Please note: The second night of the 5-day trek is spent in a refugio where guests will share a room that holds 6 people. No single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Patagonia EcoCamp Trek Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trip leader first-aid kit
Official Papers
  • Passport
  • Airline itinerary and confirmation
Luggage
  • Duffel bag – 70 liters
  • Daypack (approx. 2,000 cu. in.) to carry your lunch, camera, water bottles, extra clothing
  • Luggage tags
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable; side-zip pants are highly recommended
  • Insulated parka/ski jacket, down or synthetic, roomy enough to accommodate your clothing layers
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken-in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for travel and evening wear
Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Midweight thermal underwear tops and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants, lightweight and synthetic
  • Hiking shorts, lightweight and synthetic
  • Long-sleeve shirt(s)
  • T-shirts, synthetic
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks, synthetic
  • Casual socks
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat – preferably with a chinstrap
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Wool or fleece gloves
  • Waterproof gloves or shells
  • Gaiters, ankle-high
Travel Accessories
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Flashlight or headlamp and spare batteries
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Small washcloth and small bath towel
  • Baby Wipes or hand sanitizer gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Daypack waterproof rain cover
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, memory cards, spare batteries & charger
  • Small binoculars
  • Electrical converter and adapter plug
  • Earplugs
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Several Ziploc plastic bags
  • Shower sandals

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed
  • Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures can be relatively warm, but when the wind is constant you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind/raingear is very important.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens wearers should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresPatagonia EcoCamp Trek
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

Reviewed by 2 customers

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5.0

AWESONE!!!!!

By bobbyz

from Chicago

About Me First-Time Adventurer

Pros

  • Activity Level
  • Exceeded Expectations
  • Food
  • Group Camaraderie
  • Guides
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about REI Adventures Patagonia EcoCamp Trek:

      The EcoCamp has a great staff and they make your stay very comfortable but the gift shop was horrible.

      Our guide(Roberto) was very attentive and made sure that the trip was enjoyable. He was very helpful in keeping morale up and all in good spirits.

      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
      • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
      • The views!!!

      (7 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Amazing trip!

      By Jfru

      from Riverton, WY

      About Me First-Time Adventurer

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Patagonia EcoCamp Trek:

          The park is so pristine and untouched it is just amazing so many amazing places

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Recommended by a Friend
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Wanted to see Patagonia and not have to worry about all the details
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Everything

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