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Cascada Company Statistics

Cascada started out in 1991 as a small rafting company, run by university friends Javier Lopez and Yerko Ivelic and Kayak instructor Nani Astorga. Javier and Yerko, both engineers, decided to give up their jobs in big corporations in order to pursue their love of kayaking and start up a company offering fulfilling, eco-friendly kayaking trips in Chile. The company expanded to offer rafting a couple of years later, and then destinations throughout Chile, from wild Patagonia, to the dry Atacama desert and the isolated Easter Island. In 2001 Cascada opened EcoCamp Patagonia in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, the first fully sustainable accommodation in the entire region. Eco-friendly policies, innovative igloo-style domes inspired by the region’s ancient inhabitants and high-end camping amenities including comfortable beds and good food and wine have made EcoCamp a popular destination with trekkers craving comfort in environmentally-sustainable accommodation. Cascada has changed office location over the years as the company has continued to expand, and today has its Santiago headquaters in Las Condes, with approximately 25 office staff working in sales, marketing, operations, traffic and accountancy. The Puerto Natales office has six year-round staff members plus a further 40 staff members working at EcoCamp in high season. Over the last twenty years Cascada has gained international recognition for its eco-friendly policies and unwavering focus on high-quality, environmental sustainable trips.


Quick Facts

  • Cascada has been operating since 1991, when it first opened as a small rafting company offering eco-tourism adventure rafting trips
  • Today Cascada operates throughout Chile and in Argentinian Patagonia & Bolivia
  • Cascada has won National Geographic and Virgin Holidays awards for its environmentally-sustainable policies
  • In 2008 Cascada became carbon nuetral
  • Cascada’s biggest-selling markets are the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the rest of Europe. We also sell to the South American and Asian market.
  • Activities run by Cascada include mountaineering, trekking, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, skiing, wildlife observation, city tours and wine tours.
  • Over the last twenty years Cascada has received over 20,000 tourists in destinations throughout Chile
  • Cascada’s biggest selling product is Ecocamp Patagonia, which opened in 2001. The number of visitors at Ecocamp Patagonia increases each year, and during the 2010-2011 season Ecocamp received 1600 guests in total (the average number since opening has been around 900 people) 


The Cascada Timeline

  • 1988 - Javier Lopez and Yerko Ivelic meet at university and join the kayaking club
  • 1989 - Javier and Yerko reunite and are taught white water kayaking by local instructor Nani Astorga in Cajon del Maipo
  • 1990 - Javier and Yerko head to the south of Chile to the beautiful Bio Bio river and their fate as kayaking and nature lovers is sealed
  • 1991 - Cascada is founded! Javier, Yerko and Nani a small kayak school in Cajon del Maipo called Cascada Expediciones
  • 1993 - Cascada opens its first office in Santiago and expands to incorporate rafting
  • 1996 - Cascada moves offices and expands further to offer horse-riding, trekking, climbing, and team building excursions, and also 3 day Bio Bio rafting packages
  • 1997 - Cascada begins offering trekking tours in National Park Torres del Paine
  • 1999 - EcoCamp planning and design sketches begin after Javier & Yerko decide they want to offer an eco-friendly upscale alternative to camping in Torres del Paine
  • 2000 - EcoCamp construction begins in Torres del Paine, inspired by the ancient nomadic Kaweskar tribe huts
  • 2001 - EcoCamp Patagonia opens its doors and begins to receive visitors from North America, Europe and Australia. Hydro-electric power is the main source of energy and bathrooms have a sophisticated composting device
  • 2005 - EcoCamp proves its low impact when the whole camp relocates to Cerro Paine ranch at the foot of las Torres del Paine
  • 2005 - Cascada relocates to its current Santiago office Don Carlos
  • 2006 - Cascada’s sister company Mandala Viajes begins operating, organising outbound tourism in Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • 2007 - Cascada announces EcoCamp’s ISO 14001 verification, confirming the highest international environmental standards
  • 2008 - Cascada becomes carbon neutral
  • 2008 - Cascada is awarded National Geographic magazine’s Best Adventure Travel Company 
  • 2009 - Suite domes are introduced at EcoCamp
  • 2009 - Cascada awarded National Geographic magazine’s Best Adventure Travel Company for second year running, with an overall score of 91.5%.
  • 2009 - EcoCamp Patagonia is highly commended in Virgin Holidays’ Responsible Tourism Awards
  • 2010 - Superior domes are introduced at EcoCamp Patagonia
  • 2011 - Cascada celebrates 20 years as an innovative, eco-tourism adventure provider