FAQ

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 !

  • General questions
    • 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?

    • 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.

    • Why do you 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.

  • Cascada Expediciones
    • 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. 

    • 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 by 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.

    • 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.

    • What are the 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 typical dishes of the area, and on many trips meals are enjoyed in local restaurants to give you the chance to try a wide array of local cuisine. 

      It's important that you inform us of any dietary restrictions, allergies, special requirements, etc so we can make inform our local providers to give you the best possible option. 

    • 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.

    • 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:

      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

    • How much should I tip in Chile in general?

      In restaurants in Chile, it is suggested to tip 10% of the total bill. However, you are welcome to tip more or less in response to how you were attended to. 

      For tips associated with services during your trip with us, like chauffeurs, support staff, assistants, porters or guides, each dossier you receive during booking will include the recommended amounts. 

      In any case, it’s important to emphasize that all tips are voluntary.

    • 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. 

    • Solo Travelers - Will I have to share accommodation?

      If you wish, there is a surcharge for reservations for a single person that allows you to have your own room in the hotel(s) you will use during your trip. For some of our programs, we offer the option to share accommodation with another person of the same gender, allowing you to save money.

      Our tours attract like minded people, allowing you to meet people from all over the world and make new friends. For more information about solo trips in Chile, you can check out our blog.

  • EcoCamp Patagonia
    • Why do I have to book through Cascada Expediciones?

      Cascada Expediciones is a local tour operator and the parent company of EcoCamp. We work directly with the hotel to ensure all tours and programs run smoothly. Additionally, we are here to help you organize other parts of your trip in South America! We provide a wide range of day and multi-day trips throughout Chile, as well as in Argentina and Bolivia.

    • What's really included in the price?

      If you book an EcoCamp package, this includes your shared transfer from Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales (or public bus from El Calafate to 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?

      If you wish, during some of our programs (for example in reservations booked with a EcoCamp Standard Dome) there is an option to place two people of the same gender together in a room. Otherwise, there is an option to pay an additional fee for your own dome. 

      If you reserved a shared EcoCamp Standard Dome, but there was not another person available to share at that time, then we will not charge an additional fee.

      Our tours attract like minded people so you will have the opportunity to make new friends from around the world, which is one of the fundamental aspects of the EcoCamp experience! 

      Special Note: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we will not be offering the option to share a Standard Dome during the December 2020 to April 2021 season. All Standard Domes can be reserved by individual travelers or travelers from the same reservation group.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • EcoCamp Seasons Explained

      Our seasons in Torres del Paine are the following (each season has a different price that will be automatically reflected once you request the price in our "Book Now" button):

      • Low Season: April 18 to April 26, 2021; September 24 to October 15, 2021; April 18 to May 1, 2022.

      • Shoulder Season: April 1 to April 17, 2021; October 16 to October 31, 2021; April 1 to April 17, 2022.

      • High Season: January 21 to March 31, 2021; November 1 to December 14, 2021; January 21 to March 31, 2022.

      • Peak Season: December 30, 2020, to January 20, 2021; December 15, 2021 to January 20, 2022.

    • Where should I fly?

      The quickest way to get to EcoCamp is to fly from Santiago (SCL) to Puerto Natales (PNT). This alternative is faster because it eliminates the transit between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, which takes almost three hours. However, PNT is a small airport and therefore local airlines (Latam, Sky, JetSmart) have few weekly flights and only fly during the months of December, January and February. 

      Punta Arenas (PUQ) is located approximately five hours driving from Torres del Paine National Park and is the largest regional airport in the area with multiple daily flights. We have a transfer service scheduled in the morning and afternoon.

      If you arrive via Buenos Aires, it is quickest to go to Argentine Patagonia in El Calafate (FTE), where you can cross to Chile and we’ll pick you up to go to Torres del Paine. You can take a public bus, or if you prefer a private or semi-private transfer.

    • 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?

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