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Frequently Asked Questions

Booking the holiday of a lifetime is an adventure in itself, and we know that you'll want to be sure of all the details. The answers to most of your questions can be found here in our FAQ section but in case you can’t find what you’re looking for please don't hesitate to contact us!

General Questions

EcoCamp Patagonia 

Cascada Expediciones

General 

How do I pay and what payment methods do you accept?

Once you are happy with all the finer points of your itinerary, we will send you the invoice. You are required to pay a 20% deposit in order to secure your booking, with the remainder due at least one month before your trip begins.

We accept payment through PayPal. This method accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Maestro, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club. PayPal is an easy, secure way to buy online that doesn’t require your financial information. All you need to do is register with an email and password, and you are ready to make your purchase.  Best of all, every transaction is covered by PayPal’s Buyer Protection so that you are protected in the unlikely event something goes wrong.

For more information about paying by PayPal, take a look here: What is PayPal?

Why we invoice in Chilean Pesos (CLP)?

We believe that stating our prices in Chilean Pesos (CLP) is the best way to ensure our prices are competitive, protecting you against exchange rate fluctuations. Do not hesitate to contact us for more details!

Can you organize international and domestic flights?

Yes - we can help you book your domestic flights in Chile. It is actually easier for us to coordinate your land arrangements if we oversee all aspects of your trip, so let us know at the earliest possible stage if you need us to do so (this will also help you avoid higher rates due to last minute reservations). We will need to make the reservations using your legal name (the name that appears on your passport) and 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.

For your international flight into Santiago de Chile or Buenos Aires Argentina, we recommend that you book directly through your local travel agency or online provider.

EcoCamp Patagonia Frequently Asked Questions

How will the weather affect my stay at EcoCamp?

The truth is that the weather in Torres del Paine National Park is unpredictable, which is why we send you a detailed packing list beforehand so that you come adequately prepared for the ‘four seasons in one day’. When you are here, your guide will suggest the best excursions each day depending on the weather.

Where can I read previous travelers' testimonials?

You can read our reviews here on TripAdvisor and also on Facebook.

Do you cater for children and families?

Of course! The minimum age at EcoCamp is 6 years, and this is due to the challenging nature of some of our programs. That being said, many of our excursions are suitable for children and our EcoCamp Patagonia Wildlife Safari makes a great choice for families; for more options take a look at this blog. When it comes to choosing your accommodation, don’t forget that children aged 6-12 receive a 50% discount when sharing with their parents, and our Suite Loft domes make an excellent, spacious choice.

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

We've put a lot of effort into developing a menu of fresh, hearty meals that use ingredients from our very own organic garden or from nearby local producers. When you’re out exploring the Park, the meals served at the refugios (mountain guest houses) on trekking routes are simple but plentiful. Vegetarian and special diets are welcomed, just let us know well in advance.

What happens if I fall ill or injure myself?

We will help you! While most incidents at EcoCamp are relatively minor, our staff are trained to cope in all situations and are trained in first aid. For anything 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, there are several companies that sell insurance online. These companies offer different plans depending on your nationality:

  • World Nomads: World Nomads provides 100% of its services online. Traveler citizenship: Worldwide
  • InsureMyTrip.com: Offers 51 different travel insurance plans from 14 different companies, allowing you to compare each policy.  This gives you the information you need to make an informed decision about your travel insurance needs. Traveler citizenship: Worldwide

Bonus: Don't forget to read our 20 Top Travel Insurance Tips!

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 a love of new places is more important than a high level of physical fitness.

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 the 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 daypack 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 a 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.

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.

How many others will be on the trip?

There will be a maximum of 12 guests per one guide.

What's really included in the price?

If you book an EcoCamp package, this includes your shared transfer from Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales, all meals, park entry and the cost of any included excursions; for additional details take a look at the Trip Facts section of your selected itinerary. Tips and personal items like souvenirs are not included in any programs.

Solo Travellers - Will I have to share?

We place 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 make friends from all over the world which is a big part of the EcoCamp experience!

Why book a stay at EcoCamp Patagonia?

First and foremost because we work to protect the health of Torres del Paine.

 

Cascada Expediciones Frequently Asked Questions

 

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.

Does Cascada offer customized itineraries?

Yes! We do offer bespoke trips and we will work closely with you to tailor an itinerary to meet your needs, for example, if you have a special request for your honeymoon or a group. We can help you by taking care of all your land and air arrangements so that everything is perfectly coordinated before you arrive in Chile.  Did you know that many of our guests book more than one trip with us? We weave them together seamlessly for the best experience possible, for example, y combining Patagonia + Atacama desert + Santiago activities. If you aren’t sure exactly what you’re looking for, then get in touch so that we go over the options with you - we are happy to call you whenever is convenient.

Where can I read previous travelers' testimonials?

You can read our reviews on TripAdvisor and also on Facebook here.

What happens if I fall ill or injure myself?

Most traveling incidents are relatively minor, involving nothing more than cuts and bruises or a briefcase of traveler'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, there are several companies that sell insurance online. These companies offer different plans depending on your nationality:

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).
  • Regular departure means that you will have to share transport and excursions with other people. 

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 of your itinerary which details what is and is not included. Tips and personal items like drinks and souvenirs are not included in any programs.

Solo Travellers - Will I have to share accommodation?

On most trips, there is a one person booking surcharge which gets you your own hotel room during the trip. Our tours attract like-minded people so you will meet people and make friends from all over the world; for more about solo travel in Chile, have a read of this article.

Why should I travel with Cascada Expediciones?

We are a locally-owned and operated company that has been in the business since 1991. Our extensive experience leading soft-adventure expeditions is part of the reason why we are a two-time winner of National Geographic’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. We are passionate travelers ourselves and we work hard to ensure that we provide quality experiences out in nature. Nature is at the core of who we are and we protect it, meaning that we only work with other like-minded businesses and we proudly offset all our carbon emissions through Carbon Fund.