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What to Expect on Patagonia Eco-Adventure

August 1, 2016

The Patagonia Eco-Adventure Yoga Retreat is absolutely epic. From the spectacular scenery to delicious food, this is an incredible way to experience the real Patagonia. Here are descriptions of some of the unbelievable activities we’ll be doing:

Arriving

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or 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 (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp’s pick up & drop off schedule). 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 journey is scenic and highly atmospheric, featuring many wild birds and wonderful Patagonian landscapes. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia (optional), nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and with a prime view of the majestic Torres. Sunset is usually around 11pm during the summer months, meaning that there will still be enough daylight for you to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon once you arrive.

Boating to Grey Glacier Torres del Paine NP

After breakfast at EcoCamp, we will head off at 9am to Grey Lake in the western sector of the park, about a two hour drive away. We cross the glaciar lake in a boat, during which you will get to enjoy views of the Paine massif in addition to the impressive glacier which forms part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. 

Cycling to Laguna Azul Torres del Paine NP

After breakfast, we will drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga, hop on our mountain bikes and pedal away towards the Laguna Azul campsite, located approximately 20 km to the north east. We will cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains, including: guanacos and ostrich-like ñandús (plus maybe the occasional puma print!) as we head north past the cascading Paine waterfall where we will pause to admire the stunning views. We will continue our journey heading past a small canyon in the middle of the Patagonian wilderness before heading towards Laguna Azul. Upon our arrival at Laguna Azul, we will enjoy or box lunch. Once we have feasted and rested, we will have some time to explore the surroundings and climb to a nearby sightseeing point with a panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres in the distance. The cycle ride back to Ecocamp is optional – anyone who is tired after the journey and barbecue is welcome to travel back in the support van (accompanying the group at all times on the outward journey). Back at EcoCamp the cyclists reunite with their Safari hiking counterparts to enjoy the evening aperitif.

Trek Towers Base, Torres del Paine NP

We will walk from the campsite towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic  base-view of the Towers – Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, 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 for a well-deserved dinner.

Optional:

Patagonia Horse Riding

Chilean Patagonia
One of the best ways to enjoy all that Patagonia has to offer is by riding through it on horseback. This excursion departs at 9:30am, after we have had a hearty breakfast at  EcoCamp. We will admire the most spectacular parts of Paine hill with a full day of horseback riding. Venturing through forest and crossing streams, all the while surrounded by amazing greenery. There are 5 different prairies along this trip and experienced riders are welcome to gallop through these parts at their leisure. If you visit in February, you will be able see the Encantado valley. Lunch will be served at the Seron campsite, where we will enjoy a spectacular view, featuring parts of las Torres, Mount Admiral Nieto, the Blue lagoon and the Paine river. Depending on our group we can decide to stay out riding past 4:00pm or choose to head back early to EcoCamp and enjoy an evening cocktail. If you are a horseback riding fanatic this is the perfect adventure for you! If this excursion is cancelled because of climate conditions, it will be replaced by the trek to French Valley.

Prices dependent on group size and season. Estimate: 1 person private $444 // 2 ppl $290 p.p. // 3 ppl $238 p.p. // 4 ppl $213 p.p.

Fly Fishing

Chilean Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the world’s foremost destinations for fly fishing. Home to freshwater rivers, open seas and vast lakes, the region is a perfect spot for both expert fly fishers and those wanting to try the sport for the first time. Patagonia fly fishing extends all the way down from the top of Aysen down to the bottom of Magallanes at the southern tip of Patagonia. Coyhaique on the Carretera Austral in Aysen is especially famous for fly fishing.

Surrounded by mountains and Patagonian scenery, these rivers are ideal for soaking up the scenery while practicing the relaxing sport of fly fishing. Serrano river, whose source is Del Toro lake on the southern boundary of Torres del Paine National Park, is home to giant Chinook salmon which can weigh up to 35kg from June to December! Brown trout, sea trout and rainbow trout can also be found in Serrano river in Chilean Patagonia, as well as in nearby Nutria river.

All fly fishing excursions with EcoCamp Patagonia include the necessary equipment – fishing boots, rod, reel, lines, fly bait. Specialist Patagonia fly fishing guides provide theoretical and practical support to small sized groups.

Prices dependent on group size and season. Estimate: 1 person private $688 // 2 ppl $375 p.p. // 3 ppl $343 p.p. // 4 ppl $299 p.p.

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