Patagonia EcoCamp & Kayaking
Patagonia: a world of wind-swept steppes, towering mountains capped with glaciers, and an undeniable frontier aura. On our new custom, hand-crafted Torres del Paine Kayak Adventure, you kayak down swift-running rivers, glide your boat to the foot of a glacier to watch ice calve into the river below, and hike up a moraine to the base of the towering granite monoliths known as Torres del Paine.
Each day is filled with a variety of adventures that will get your heart pumping from both the activity and the incredible scenery. Whether you’re hiking a ridge, cruising on a catamaran to Lake Grey and its glacier, or kayaking down the Serrano River, you are surrounded by some of the best views the Torres del Paine National Park has to offer. Relax at night glamping in Patagonian style in an EcoCamp suite dome, settled into a riverside tent, or nestled into a secluded mountain lodge. It’s romantic, rugged, and liberating.
Check out our new Patagonian kayak adventure through Torres del Paine. It feels like you’re at the edge of the world, and at the beginning of an adventure.
- Trekking through Torres del Paine National Park
- Hiking through Ascencio Valley and staring up at the base of the Towers
- Cruising through fields of icebergs
- Kayaking down Serrano River to the base of Balmaceda Glacier
Images & Videos
Travel from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park
Your Patagonian adventure takes off after you land in Punta Arenas, a Chilean city that climbs the hills bordering the Magellan Strait. As you fly in, sights of 19th century manor houses and sun-baked tin roofs greet you. Our guides meet you at the Punta Arenas airport, and after the group gathers you set off towards Torres del Paine National Park.
The journey takes you through some of South America’s most striking terrain, and we take breaks with lunch en route and a stop at Cueva del Milodón. The cave system and the remains of a giant Mylodon, or giant sloth, were discovered here in 1895. Cueva del Milodón is now a national monument, and visitors can look upon a realistic model of a Mylodon, explore the complex of caves, and look at the artifacts within that give insight into the the world of 10,000 BC.
We then make our way to Torres del Paine National Park, named for the three granite megaliths that dominate the skyline. We disembark at EcoCamp Patagonia, secluded away in the Patagonian backcountry. Settle into your lodgings and enjoy a welcoming reception, fresh dinner, and cocktail while you take in your incredible surroundings. Spend the night in the camp’s geodesic domes, whose windows allow you to fully appreciate the panoramic views of fjords, glaciers, and granite peaks.
Pehoé Lake Catamaran and Valle Francés Hike
Wake up with a hearty breakfast on the Patagonian steppe before heading out to Lake Pehoé. We launch off from Pudeto Dock on a catamaran ride that takes us to the lake’s northwestern shores.
After docking, we begin our uphill hike to Valle Francés (French Valley). This is a challenging yet scenic trail lined with notro and coihue trees, and it leads to a suspension bridge over the French River with panoramic views of Glacier Francés’ frosted spires and Paine Massif’s eastern face. From there, the trail takes you through Valle Francés’ slopes strewn with rugged outcroppings and shady lenga forests.
Our group’s hiking pace determines how far into Valle Francés we go today. If our group maintains a good pace, we can potentially reach the Valle Francés viewpoint, where you can relax and look upon the undulating valley and its many granite rock formations. Once we’ve topped our ascent, we pause for a relaxed picnic, take in the scenery, and explore the area.
After lunch, we begin our descent through mountainous forests and stretches of grasslands. The trail concludes at Refugio Paine Grande sitting on Lake Pehoé’s shores. Climb onto the catamaran for the return trip to Pudeto Dock, where we are picked up and driven back to EcoCamp Patagonia for the evening.
- Activity: Nature Hike
- Hiking Distance: 13mi/ 21km
- Estimated Hiking Time: 8 hours
- Maximum Altitude Point: >660ft/ >200m
- Overall Activity Time: 8am Start/ 8pm Finish
Note: This activity can be influenced by weather as the Valle Francés hike is dependent upon the catamaran trip. If the catamaran ride is cancelled due to inclement weather, an optional hike to Mirador Britanico is available.
Further Activity Options:
The catamaran service is closed during the shoulder season that runs through April and May, September and October. In its place, we offer an excursion that takes you from Estancia Lazo to Weber Bridge.
Read more about the Weber Bridge Adventure below:
In the event that we go on the Lazo Weber Excursion, we depart EcoCamp Patagonia after breakfast and drive past Lazo Weber Estancia and enter Torres del Paine National Park through the Laguna Verde keeper post. We set off from here on our 12km hike along the relaxed Lazo Weber Trail. The trail follows along a number of lakes with glacier-trimmed peaks rising in the distance, hills of golden grass, and forests of lenga and coihue trees. We stop to enjoy the landscape at Laguna Honda, where we also have the opportunity to catch sight of condors and caranchos, flighty foxes and herds and guanacos.
From Laguna Honda, we continue on the trail to the lofty El Toro Lookout, from which you can see the Paine Massive, serpentine mountain rivers, and a series of glacial lakes including Lagos Toro, Grey, Paine, and Serrano. We then leave the heights of El Toro Lookout for the lower-lying Paine River; there, we have time to explore the rocky shores before meeting up with our van for return transport to EcoCamp Patagonia. Dinner and a cocktail are waiting for you.
Additional Notes on Itinerary
- From November 1st-15th: Hiking trails are restricted to Camp Italiano.
- From November 16th-March 15th: Activity operates as planned.
- From March 16th-31st: Hiking trails are restricted to Camp Italiano.
Grey Glacier Cruise and Kayak
We breakfast early at camp before setting off on the 2-hr scenic drive to Lake Grey. Once we reach the dock, we settle into the boat and launch off on our cruise across the glacial lake dotted with luminous blue icebergs. The Paine Massif looms in the background alongside the hulking glacier that comprises part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. We cruise to the base of Glacier Grey, where we might have the opportunity to see calving ice collapse into the lake below. Watch for the way the sunlight seeps through the luminescent blue of icebergs or plays off the yellowed grass of the steppe in contrast to the subdued granite spires.
Once there, we disembark the boat and hop into kayaks. Suit up into kayaking gear, sit for a safety briefing, and then begin our paddle across Lake Grey toward the glacier’s eastern face. Paddle through the labyrinth of icebergs and crane your neck to look up at the wall of the glacier. In time, warm up with a hot beverage and snack as you enjoy the frozen world around you.
Later, we meet up with our boat, which transports us back to our van for our drive back to EcoCamp Patagonia. Relax from the active day with a cocktail and a sunset vista before dinner.
- Activity: Boat Cruise and Kayak
- Paddling Distance:
- Overall Activity Time: 9am Start/ 5pm Finish
Note: The boat tours to Glacier Grey may be cancelled during Shoulder Season if the 8-passenger minimum is not met. If this occurs, we have other activities planned that will allow you to explore other areas of the park.
Las Torres Trail and Towers Base Hike
Today takes you on one of the most challenging and inspiring hikes found within Torres del Paine National Park. We rise early and enjoy a hearty breakfast before we begin our walk toward nearby Hostería Las Torres. Our trail climbs uphill to Ascencio Valley and the Tower’s eastern face. Trek along sinuous ridges, in company with small mountain rivers, and through sparse forests of grey beech trees on this morning’s hike.
Up next is the most challenging portion of the hike: up a moraine. A moraine is a steep collection of boulders that have fallen from surrounding glaciers and granite peaks, and our climb through the boulder field takes us to the base of Las Torres (The Towers). The three granitic spires make you feel microscopic from their 9,400 feet height, and the remains of a cirque impress upon you the sheer power of the region’s geologic forces.
We stop for lunch surrounded by the most iconic of Patagonian vistas and spend some time exploring the area. After we’ve seen our fill, we return on the trail through the craggy moraine and the lower Ascencio Valley before returning to EcoCamp Patagonia for another evening on the steppe.
- Activity: Challenging Hike
- Hiking Distance: 14mi/ 22km
- Estimated Hiking Time: 9 hours
- Maximum Altitude Point: 3000ft/ 914m
- Overall Activity Time: 8am Start/ 5pm Finish
Serrano River Kayak
After breakfast, we begin our day by packing up camp and driving to the Serrano Camp, lying in the southwest region of the park. Once there, get equipped while given a brief safety orientation for the next three days of your Patagonian adventure. Then, hop into your kayak and set off on the paddle down the Serrano River as it slithers its way through the Torres del Paine National Park on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
We paddle for about 4 hours surrounded by spectacular scenery before reaching a crashing waterfall. Disembark and portage the kayaks to avoid the tumultuous Serrano Falls before once again jumping in your kayak. Our paddle then takes us through a mountain pass carpeted in lenga forests.
Our day on the river comes to an end at the mouth of Tyndall River, where we pitch our riverside campsite for the night. Relax and enjoy the fresh night air with dinner by the campfire.
Overall Activity Time: 9am Start/ 5pm Finish
Serrano River Kayak Continues
We rise early for breakfast in the crisp morning air before continuing our kayaking adventure down the Serrano River. Today’s paddle takes us by Tyndall Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field also known as Geike Glacier. After a morning on the river surrounded by incredible views, we pause at Estancia Pekin Guerrero for lunch.
Up next, we paddle for approximately 3 hours through Patagonian fjords shadowed by the towering, heavily glaciated Mount Balmaceda. We eventually pull in to Mount Balmaceda, where our secluded mountain lodge waits. Enjoy the cozy surroundings and a warm dinner after a full day.
- Activity: Kayak
- Paddling Distance:
- Overall Activity Time: 9am Start/ 5pm Finish
Balmaceda Glacier Kayak and Reach Puerto Natales
Wake up to a fresh breakfast before setting off in your kayak to the Balmaceda Glacier, which sits in the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Standing at over 2,000 meters, the Balmaceda Glacier is a breathtaking sight to see from the seat of your kayak. Balmaceda Glacier icebergs calve into the Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) Fjord, and it can only be visited nautically—so sit back and enjoy a rare view.
Our paddle then takes us to the O’Higgins National Park’s main dock, where we leave the kayaks in favor of a catamaran that takes us to Puerto Natales. We cross Last Hope Fjord en route and look for our last views of Patagonian marine life and fauna. We disembark in Puerto Natales, where we’re met by a driver who transports us to our hotel for the evening.
Adios Torres del Paine National Park!
- Activity: Catamaran Cruise and Kayak
- Paddling Distance:
- Overall Activity Time: 9am Start/ 5pm Finish
Return to Punta Arenas
Wake up and enjoy a hearty breakfast before making your way to the local bus station. You'll travel as a group back to Punta Arenas Airport for your return flight home.
Dates & Rates
This is a private and exclusive itinerary just for Sea Kayak Adventures Guests. All services provided will be exclusively for our group.
- 4-5 Guests: $4,995
- 6-10 Guests: $4,795
- 11-12 Guests: $4,495
Single Supplement: $1,500
- All activities as indicated on your itinerary
- All meals as indicated on your itinerary
- 2 glasses of wine or a soft drink per meal
- Tea and coffee served at the bar all day long
- Transfer from Punta Arenas Airport to EcoCamp upon arrival
- All accommodations as indicated on your itinerary
- Services of professional guides
- All necessary kayaking and camping equipment
- Airfare to and from Chile
- Gratuities for guides
- Items of a personal nature
- Drinks (anything beyond the 2 provided each meal) and souvenirs
- Tour Extensions
TIERED PRICING EXPLAINED: Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled.
We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
FAQ & More
For this tour we will use the Suite Domes at EcoCamp. These geodesic domes are roughly 300 sq ft in size and offer comfortable double or twin beds, modern low-emission wood stove, private bathroom with gas heater and state of the art composting toilet. Fall asleep each night gazing at the starlit skies through the dome windows and enjoy stunning views of Torres from the comforts of your very own private terrace. There are 10 Suite Domes located within EcoCamp. In addition to your private Suite Dome, EcoCamp has 3 Community Domes where you can relax with other guests, enjoy your meals, or grab an evening cocktail!
Suite Domes Include:
Spacious 28m² / 300ft² area
Open terrace to read, relax and admire the view
Enclosed porch to hang wet clothing
Comfortable King-size or twin beds
Low-emission wood stove
Propane heater in bathroom
Private fully-equipped bathroom
State of the art composting toilet
The Community Domes are the center of EcoCamp’s social activity and will also serve as the meeting place each day prior to your departure from camp. EcoCamp offers 3 community domes housing the bar, library, dining room, and lounging. These common spaces are available for use throughout your stay and connected to your sleeping quarters by raised wooden walkways.
• Solar & hydro energy providing 100% of EcoCamp’s electricity
• Policy of carbon reduction & CO2 offsetting
• Low impact design with minimal excavation & terrain disruption
• High tech composting devices in all bathrooms
• Efficient dome design to provide thermal insulation & wind protection
• Raised wooden walkways not disturbing flora & fauna
• Ecologically verified suppliers
• Careful recycling and reusing of materials
• Policy of carbon reduction & CO2 offsetting
• Buying and supplying locally
You will want to book a flight to Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport (PUQ), the airport serving the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile in the Patagonia region of South America. LATAM Airlines and American Airlines are the two biggest Airlines offering flights to Punta Arenas.
Once you arrive at Punta Arenas Airport, we will pick you up for the scenic transfer to EcoCamp
Unfortunately, we are not authorized to book air travel for our guests. We would be happy to recommend you to a trusted flight broker that we work with on many of our international tours.
We consider quality cuisine to be an integral part to a successful trip! At EcoCamp we put great effort into developing and offering a menu of fresh healthy meals using locally sourced ingredients. The menu has been designed fusing Chilean, Altiplanic, Patagonian, and international foods. Typical meals might include: Chilean pot roast, lamb stew with provencal potatoes, seafood lasagna with prawns, spider crab and octopus, pumpkin ravioli, beef tenderloin or Gnocchi with a Bolognese sauce.
We will start each day with a hearty breakfast buffet, providing you with plenty of fuel for our busy outings! Following breakfast you will be directed to a different buffet table to select the contents for your boxed lunch. Lunch ingredients are changed each day to offer a fresh variety throughout the trip. Each evening will start with cocktails and appetizers, followed by a 3 course meal.
All of the meals are served in the Community Domes family style, allowing you to meet and interact with other guests visiting EcoCamp.
We are happy to accommodate vegetarians, gluten free and other special diets. Advance notice is most helpful and important due to the remote nature of camp. In addition, a daily vegetarian option will be provided on the menu.
We would describe this itinerary as being moderately physically demanding. As such, we would highly suggest having performed the featured activities previously to build a base level of endurance for both hiking and kayaking. You should be in good physical condition, with adequate muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance, to enjoy this trip. Please refer to the itinerary for activity descriptions and distances. If you are unsure if this itinerary if right for you, please call one of our Adventure Consultants, we would be happy to discuss this with you in further detail.
Our tours are purposely planned to avoid the times of year that weather can be less favorable. That being said, weather can often be unpredictable and fast changing in Patagonia. Your trip leader will be constantly monitoring the weather and will make any needed adjustments to your itinerary. We always have back up activities planned in the event that weather precludes us from doing the planned activity; however the best way to manage the unpredictable weather of Patagonia is to travel with a flexible attitude and open mindset!
Your guides will be Patagonian locals with an intimate knowledge of and experience in this pristine region. Many of our guides are recent graduates of Ecotourism programs and have extensive experience hiking and wildlife watching throughout Chile. They love to share their local culture and landscape with our guests.
Absolutely! We would be happy to help you organize a private departure for groups of 2 or more people. Please contact us for additional details and rates.