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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting and booking the holiday of a lifetime is an adventure in itself and we know that you'll want to be absolutely sure about all the details. Hopefully the answers to most of your questions are here in our FAQ section but if not please don't hesitate to contact us!

 

Will unpredictable weather cause problems?

You will notice that our tours are planned carefully to avoid the times of year when the weather makes excursions less favorable. However, unpredictable weather in Patagonia (and sometimes the Lake District) is a given. Patagonia is in fact famous for its fast changing weather - If you ask a local “baqueano” (cowboy) about the weather forecast for the next day, he'll answer “I don’t know what it’s going to be like in 15 minutes…so don’t ask me about tomorrow”. If the weather turns really nasty and things get complicated, your trip leader will probably make some adjustments to the itinerary to ensure the best interests of the group. Be assured that just as quickly as the weather turns bad it can get bright and sunny again. In the north of Chile all year round and in Santiago during summertime you can pretty much always guarantee good weather.
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Where can I find more information about Chile and Argentina?

In our Destination Guides! You can also check out our page Travel Books and More for literature recommendations.
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Does Cascada offer customised itineraries?

Yes we do and many travellers book more than one trip with us, for example Patagonia + Atacama desert + Day Trip activities while in Santiago. We take care of all the land and air arrangements so that everything is perfectly coordinated before you arrive in Chile. Also, if you have a special request for your honeymoon or group of friends/employees, we will tailor an itinerary to match your specifications. Just let us know what kind of thing you're looking for and we'll work to create an outstanding itinerary!
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Where can I read previous travellers' testimonials?

You can read Ecocamp Patagonia reviews on TripAdvisor and you can read the Cascada traveller comments which have been published on our website.
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Do you cater for children and families?

Yes we do, see our section on Family Travel. Our EcoCamp Patagonia Wildlife Safari is particularly suitable for families staying in quadruple domes and children aged 6-12 recieve a 50% discount when sharing with parents.

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What are meals like? Are you able to cater for special diets?

We consider meals to be an essential ingredient of a successful trip. Each trip will have its own menu depending on the local food and typical dishes prepared in the area and on many trips meals are enjoyed in restaurants providing a wide array of local cuisine. 

At EcoCamp Patagonia we've put a lot of effort into developing a menu of fresh hearty meals using locally-sourced ingredients. Meals at mountain huts on trekking routes are simple but plentiful. Vegetarian and special diets are welcomed, just let us know well in advance.

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What happens if I fall ill or injure myself?

Most travelling incidents are relatively minor, involving nothing more than cuts and bruises or a brief case of traveller's tummy. Our leaders are trained to cope with these minor incidents but in the unlikely case of something more serious, we will seek local medical assistance. Medical insurance is mandatory for all our trips and we also strongly suggest you buy cancellation and curtailment insurance. If you do not currently have your own plan, here are several companies that sell insurance online. These companies offer different plans depending on your nationality: 

World Nomads
World Nomads is designed specially to be unlike any other type of travel insurance by providing 100% of services online - no paper or fax. Just help yourself to everything from your nearest internet cafe while you are away! Traveller citizenship: Worldwide

InsureMyTrip.com
Offers 51 different travel insurance plans from 14 different companies. You can compare each policy giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about your travel insurance needs. Traveller citizenship: Worldwide

Bonus: Don't forget to read our 20 Top Travel Insurance Tips!
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How fit do I have to be?

It depends on the type of trip you want to take. To give you an indication of the difficulty of our trips we have sorted them into five categories. Some trips are classified as strenuous and should only be undertaken by those with plenty of experience and a high level of fitness. However, the vast majority of our tours are well within the capability of any healthy individual leading a normal, active life. Our “Nature Tours” - usually classified as 1 or 2 - need very little physical effort and can be undertaken by almost anyone. On many tours, an open mind and love of new places is more important than a high level of physical fitness.
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Difficulty Levels Explanation

When you select a trip, it's important to know if it’s a good match for your fitness level. Our scale is from an easy (1) to a strenuous (5). Every trip has an associated difficulty rating which you need to consider before booking the trip so you'll get maximum enjoyment out of the experience. You want to make sure the pace of walking, cycling, hiking, paddling or riding you'll be doing is well-suited to you and your group’s level of fitness. Our trips are rated according to a number of factors like level of required fitness, altitude, type of terrain and level of specialist skills (like climbing or rafting experience etc.). On the majority of trips, porters, pack animals or support vehicles carry all the gear. All you ever carry is a light day pack for the most part. 
 
Easy - difficulty 1
These trips offer an easy pace and an average-to-sedentary level of fitness. Activities may be optional. You should be in good health and fit enough for full day of normal sightseeing and walking.
 
Easy to Moderate - difficulty 2
An average level of fitness or some experience with the featured activity is recommended. While some activities may be optional, you may still have to walk, hike, bike or paddle for two to three hours daily. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips (Class I-II rapids).
 
Moderate - difficulty 3
These active trips require you to have performed the featured activity previously, with some periods on challenging terrain. Activities are mandatory and you may be traveling at high altitudes. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III-IV rapids. Your lodging and camping accommodations may be primitive and in remote locations. You need to be in good health and physical condition to enjoy these trips, with adequate muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance.
 
Demanding - difficulty 4
On these trips, you must be very physically fit and are expected to hike or ride four to six hours over steep or rugged terrain in altitudes exceeding 3,000 m (10,000 feet), often in remote locations far from medical facilities. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (5-6 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV+ rapids. Porter/vehicle support for difficult terrain, but may involve carrying your own gear in sections.
 
Strenuous - difficulty 5
The most difficult trips, often including extensive hiking or riding on difficult terrain for up to nine hours a day. Trips may involve altitudes exceeding 4,500 m (15,000 feet), which may create discomfort and symptoms that you do not experience while exercising at lower elevations, rugged terrain including steep and rocky mountain trails, and carrying your own gear on some of the trips. Trips include sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids, and otherwise challenging conditions. Previous experience may be required and you should be in top physical condition to enjoy such an experience.
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Who will be leading the trips?

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature expert guides who can be counted on for maturity, expertise in their field, knowledge of the country as a whole and a high level of entertainment. Your safety and enjoyment are their primary concerns. Get to know our Guides.
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How many others will be on the trip?

It depends on the tour you are booking. Private departures mean only you and the people you are booking for will be on the trip. The maximum size of the group is specified for every tour (see Trip Facts). 
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Can you organise international and domestic flights?

For your international flight into Santiago de Chile or Buenos Aires Argentina it will be easier and cheaper to do it directly with your local travel agency or through the following airlines: Lan ChileAir franceBritish AirwaysLufthansaAmerican Airlines, Air Canada or Tam Airlines.

We can help with your domestic flights in Chile. When you book these flights through us it is easier to coordinate with the land arrangements. Let us know at the earliest possible stage so we can reserve spaces early and avoid higher rates due to last minute reservations. If you ask us to make your local airline reservations, we need to make it using your legal name (the name that appears on your passport). We charge an issue fee of 13.000 CLP (Approx USD$27) for each domestic flight ticket and 18.500 CLP (Approx USD$39) for each Easter Island or Argentina flight ticket.

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What's really included in the price?

Your trip payment total is made up of the land cost, which you pay before you go. Some tours don't include all meals, but this is always stated clearly in the Trip Facts section detailing what is and what's not included. Tips and personal items like drinks and souvenirs are not included in any programs.
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Solo Travellers - Will I have to share?

On most trips there is a one person group booking surcharge which gets you your own hotel room during the trip. At EcoCamp Patagonia we put individuals of the same gender together in Standard Domes, unless they opt to pay a surcharge to have their own dome. Where combinations are not possible we don't charge a supplement, and we never expect two people of opposite genders to share. Our tours attract like-minded people so you will meet people and make friends from all over the world so, solo travellers, embrace the sharing!
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Who travels with Cascada Expediciones?

People who love wilderness, activities and new cultural experiences. Our travellers are mostly professionals from all over the world who are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on their vacation. Travellers tend to be from the U.S, Canada, Australia, UK and the rest of Europe but we also have travellers from Latin America and Asia. The average age ranges from 30 to 60, although we do get younger and older travellers as well. Our trips are very popular with individuals and couples and we also recieve families and groups of friends each year. What are Travellers saying?
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What will it be like?

Adventure holidays are precisely that, and you will be journeying off the beaten track and generally seeing nature at close quarters in some of the most remote, beautiful and memorable parts of this region. Adventure holidays are not for everyone though, and you should be clear that if you are after 5* luxury, rest and pampering, then this is probably not the type of holiday for you. Having said that, we guarantee high levels of service, good quality accommodation & meals and expert guides, with many optional 'premium' versions of our trips. So if quality adventure sounds like your thing then Cascada is definitely for you!
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Why should I travel with Cascada Expediciones?

We live and work in Chile, so we have the experience and in-depth knowledge of the region and the ability to design and operate great trips! We are passionate adventure travellers ourselves who have traveled extensively through Chile, Argentina and the world and we want to provide you with the adventure of a lifetime in our beloved territory. If sustainable travel, adventurous activities and unique nature, all operated at a local level, sound like the ingredients of a perfect vacation then look no further than Cascada! 
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Why we invoice in Chilean Pesos (CLP)?

We believe that prices based in Chilean Pesos (CLP) is the best way to assure competitiveness giving the best rates to our clients and assuring no artificial inflation of prices or lack of protection against exchange rate fluctuations.
 
Do not hesitate to ask our Sales Team for more details!