Scott & Orlee returned in April from a trip to Chile, during which they spent 5 days of day hikes in Torres del Paine National Park, based from an eco camp. Here they tell us about their experiences on the trip and in booking through Swoop…
‘We had an amazing time in Chile, one that will not be forgotten with Patagonia being a definite highlight!’
What did Swoop do well?
Communication and customer service which gained trust. I also felt that I was being dealt with directly and not as part of the masses…a personalized service in helping organize our trip.
What did you think of the eco camp in Torres del Paine?
This place is amazing. Clean, comfortable, & hospitable. I would (and already have) definitely recommend it to anyone!
We did encounter one issue that could have been serious…one morning the board walks connecting the domes and other facilities had frozen over with a very thin layer of ice that was not distinguishable from wet wood. Unassumingly my wife led the way to breakfast and nearly fell right outside our dome (double scary when pregnant). As I sort of rushed after her my feet went flying out from beneath me and fell within inches from hitting my head on the steps leading away from our dome. I find it unlikely none of the staff noticed this on their way to prepare breakfast but regardless, guests should be made aware of this possibility and if the ground is unsafe, signs indicating icy or slippery ground should be placed in plain view at the very least.
Also, our room had a hot water urn to make a tea or instant coffee. These should be filled in anticipation of guests return from excursions so when we change for our brief & dinner we have hot water waiting for us (there was not much time to shower, change, etc…and the 1 time I went for hot water, there was none ready).
How did you enjoy the excursions from the eco camp?
They were fantastic. We also lucked out with the weather. Our last excursion was the Lasso-Webber (sp?) trail hike in place of the French Valley (I think). This should always be an option…just as rewarding as the towers and less effort.
How were the staff and guides at the eco camp?
Guides were knowledgeable, funny, and comfortable to be around for long periods of time. The drivers however went too fast at times on those bumpy roads and car sickness was not a welcomed addition to the trip.
Is there anything you would have changed about this part of your trip?
No, I don’t think so.
What was the highlight of your trip overall?
Hard to say…the whole thing was a highlight.
Do you have any tips for other people planning a trip?
If guests are not regular hikers I would definitely recommend this trip, it seemed a better mix of effort and comfort.
Did you manage to visit anywhere else in Chile or Argentina?
Yes, Santiago, Puerto Varas (driving around the lake and visiting Osorno was also amazing), and Chiloe.
‘All the best from us to you, Luke and Sally and thanks again for helping us plan a truly unforgettable experience.’