EcoCamp Patagonia Chile
Office: Barros Arana 166, Puerto Natales, Chile
Hotel: Estancia Cerro Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
Luis Hernán Águila is the General Manager with more 13 years of experience in high-end hospitality, both in Chile and abroad. Much of his professional development comes from working experiences in Mexico.
Sustainable geodesic dome hotel
EcoCamp has been offering unique travel experiences for almost 20 years. Throughout this time, the hotel has grown and developed. The owners now believe it is best to keep the hotel at its current size, in order to maintain the adventurous spirit and intimate experience of EcoCamp. In the development strategy, the owners plan to replicate and build a second hotel in the upcoming seasons. This project may be delayed two years due to the ongoing pandemic.
History & Story
EcoCamp Patagonia is the first geodesic dome hotel in the world, located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. It was created in 2001 by Javier López, Yerko Ivelic and Nani Astorga, who also own EcoCamp’s parent company and Chilean tour operator Cascada Expediciones.
The hotel’s dome structures and unique concept were inspired by the original dwellings of the Kawésqar indigenous group and their “leave no trace” lifestyle. Today the hotel utilizes a range of unique green practices, is committed to providing economic and educational opportunities to the local community and offers active adventures that connect travelers with nature.
The original domes were designed in-house by the owners. Later, they began working with Marcelo Rodríguez who helped with the construction of add-ons to the hotel (reception, connectors, entrance, kitchen, etc).
Date added extensions
In 2005, Marcelo began working with EcoCamp to make continuous improvements to different aspects of the hotel.
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Strengths include: the hotel’s prime location in Torres del Paine, sustainable actions, involvement with the local community and unique all-inclusive programs that connect travelers with nature.
Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia.
Key sites/activities in the area
Key sites: base of the Towers, French Valley, Grey Glacier, Laguna Azul, Pehoé Lake, Cerro Ferrier, Sarmiento Lake, John Gardner Pass and Dickson Lake
Activities: trekking, nature walks, kayaking, wildlife tracking, biking, horseback riding and yoga
• Roughly 95% of the energy at EcoCamp comes from solar or hydro sources.
• The hotel has composting toilets, a biofiltration system, raised walkways and is committed to eliminating plastic and single-use materials.
• EcoCamp works with local artisans and created the brand “Man-Kai,” which features locally produced wool and ceramic products.
The minimum age is 6 years old due to the challenging nature of EcoCamp’s programs. Children from ages 6 to 12 will receive a 50% discount when sharing a dome with their parents.
Number of suites:
• 4 Superior Domes – 23 square meters in size with a private bathroom and propane heater.
• 13 Standard Domes – 10 square meters in size with shared bathrooms. This dome is intended to offer a “camping experience” and therefore does not have heating or electricity.
Number of Luxury rooms:
• 13 Suite Domes (including one accessible Suite Dome for wheelchair users) – 28 square meters with a low emission stove, propane heater and private bathroom.
• 3 Suite Dome Lofts – Two floors and 37 square meters, built for families or groups of four. It comes with a low emission stove, propane heater and private bathroom.
Number of rooms, (keys) in all: 33 rooms in total (includes: standard, superior, suite and suite dome loft)
Restaurants & Bars
All EcoCamp programs provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks, wine, juice, water and a daily cocktail prepared by our professional mixologist.
• The menu incorporates the flavors of Chile and is made from local ingredients and produce.
• Meals can be catered towards vegans, vegetarians, dairy-free and gluten-free eaters or any individual with a dietary preference or restriction.
• EcoCamp has a yoga studio where travelers can participate in retreats, private classes or free group classes.
• Additionally, EcoCamp has a massage room where travelers can book a session at an additional cost.
• All EcoCamp programs include active excursions.
Corporate & Celebration Events
There are three “Community Domes” which have a bar, restaurant and lounging area. In this space, there are daily briefings, dining services and occasionally special or celebratory events (ex: speakers, small concerts, etc).
Extra Notable Features
There is also a “Welcome Dome” with the reception desk and EcoCamp store.
Hotel and restaurant Awards
• Second place award: “Most Value in Tourism,” National Tourism Service (SERNATUR)
• First place award: “2019 Sustainable Luxury in Latin America” (category: hospitality)
• Selected as Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice
• “Best Transformational Travel Experience,” Pure Awards
• First place award: “Hotel of the Year,” LATA Achievement Awards
• “Adventure in Motion Award,” Adventure Travel Trade Association
Selected as Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice
• First place award: “Sustainability Award,” Landscape Hotels Awards
• Voted 32nd “Best Hotel in the World” and second “Best Hotel in South America,” Travel + Leisure
• Selected as Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice
Number of employees
In the 2019-2020 season, there were 80 employees at the hotel and 40 employees in the Santiago and Puerto Natales offices.