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Patagonia Tours & Adventure Travel with Cascada

Cascada TeamCascada Expediciones is a Chilean in-bound tour operator with headquarters in Santiago de Chile. We started out in 1991 as a rafting company and expanded to offer trips in destinations as remote as Patagonia, the Atacama desert and Easter Island. We currently organise eco-friendly trips in Patagonia (Where we own and operate EcoCamp Patagonia), Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Activities include trekking, mountaineering, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, skiing, wildlife observation and wine tours. Since 1991 over 30,000 people visiting Chile have enjoyed Cascada-operated tours. Check out our photo timeline since 1991!


Cascada's goals:

  1. Create and provide an innovative, high-quality experience for each individual during their trip
  2. Develop and promote environmentally-friendly tourism, which is 100% sustainable wherever possible
  3. Support nature conservation and the preservation of flora and fauna
  4. Ensure excellent working conditions for all staff at Cascada, enabling their personal and professional development

1. Create and provide an innovative, high-quality experience for each individual during their trip

At Cascada we focus on the whole experience. We want travellers to enjoy every moment of their trip, and feel both relaxed and energised by each activity.  Our trips are unique, eco-friendly and carefully designed to ensure maximum enjoyment and positive experiences. Trips are an opportunity for guests to switch off from their normal life, connect with nature, get to know a new place, and feel refreshed afterwards.  
 
We choose all of our suppliers extremely carefully, ensuring they meet with all our standards and expectations so that guests are comfortable all the way through their Cascada experience, from being picked up at the airport to chatting with their guide on the mountainside.
 

2. Develop and promote environmentally-friendly tourism, which is 100% sustainable wherever possible

At Cascada we carefully select our providers and fellow tour operators based on their environmentally-sustainable policies. We constantly study, test, purchase and install sustainable technologies for renewal energy supply, insulation and waste management, and our environmental management system has been ISO14.001 certified.
 
In the year 2008 we became a Carbon Neutral company. Our goal is to minimise our emissions of CO2 as much as possible and in the future hopefully become a CO2-free company. Between June 2009 and June 2010 we offset 183.68 tons of CO2 emissions.
 
We have a basic policy of environmentally-sensitive management of waste which includes bringing as little paper, tin and plastic into the wilderness as possible.  All waste brought in is stored according to its recycling status, whether plastic, glass, organic matter, paper or batteries. At EcoCamp we obtain energy from 100% natural and renewable sources like water, sun and wind. Solar energy is maximised in summer when Patagonia receives 17 hours of daylight. Domes have been constructed to utilise all natural energy and retain heat from sunlight.
 

3. Support nature conservation and the preservation of flora and fauna

We respect all flora and fauna and foster an understanding of nature’s importance among our neighbours by sharing all our innovations with the local Corporacion Fomento & Producción (CORFO), so they can help other entrepreneurs follow the same path.  We focus on developing successful, concrete examples that can be imitated by other developers. By doing this, we motivate the building of portable lodgings that don’t have a huge impact on the terrain in Chilean National Parks and don’t disrupt the flora or fauna.
 
Nani Astorga, one of the founders of Cascada, runs an animal rehabilitation centre in Cajon del Maipo, in the Andes mountains near Santiago, providing refuge to endangered species.
 

4. Ensure excellent working conditions for all staff at Cascada, enabling their personal and professional development.

Cascada employs approximately 25 people in its Santiago office all year round - working in sales, marketing, traffic, operations and accounting - in addition to staff in Patagonia at Ecocamp.  Our personnel at EcoCamp in the 2010-2011 season consisted of 39 employees: 5 people working in Punta Arenas and at the Puerto Natales office (two of Torres del Paine’s closest cities), 16 people attending to guests at the camp, 6 drivers and 12 experienced guides. 90% of our EcoCamp staff are native to or are long-term residents in Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas.
 
Staff and guides live an eco-friendly life, taking care of our energy, water and waste management.  All staff at Cascada share the environmentally-sustainable philosophy put into practice over the last twenty years by the company, and encourage guests, suppliers and shareholders to think and act alike.