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Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime! Join Women's Quest for their one-of-a-kind retreat to answer the call of the wild in Torres del Paine National Park, home of mountains that pierce the sky, azure lakes, blue and white glaciers, and endless expanses of plains and sky. Eons of ice, water, wind, and tectonic forces have crafted this refuge for pure nature and adventure in Patagonia, Chile! All this and more awaits in you, where rustic comfort and adventure meet!
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You will be staying in suite domes for double occupancy at EcoCamp Patagonia. Suite domes are comfortable 28 meters square or 300 feet square geodesic domes built in the same shape as the ancient Kaweskar tribe dwellings.
Their structure produces minimal environmental impact while providing an efficient thermal and wind resistant unit, with great exposure to nature in the most magnificent Patagonian setting. Guests can gaze at the stars through the ceiling windows while falling asleep each night, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from their private terrace.
Each suite dome has comfortable double or twin beds, a private bathroom with a state of the art composting toilet, and a modern low-emission wood stove. Electricity is very limited inside the domes, meaning hairdryers are not permitted, but laptops and cameras can be charged.
Inside the suite domes, you will find an open terrace to read, relax, and admire the view, enclosed porch to hang wet clothing, comfortable king-sized bed or twin beds, low-emission wood stove, Patagonian decoration, propane heater in bathroom, private fully-equipped bathroom, and state of the art composting toilet.
The last night will be in Hotel Cabo de Hornos or an accommodation similar to it. One single room is available (on a first come basis) for an additional 1750 USD for the week in a single suite dome with a king bed. Please contact Women's Quest for more details.
You will wake each morning to the beautiful view of Cordillera Paine and make your way to the yoga dome for gentle Qigong and yoga followed by a healthy and hearty breakfast. Each day, you will have exciting excursions. Your last day, you will sail to Magdalena Island to visit the world renown penguin colony.
Your retreat will be interspersed with six days of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, volunteering, and a couple of boat excursions. You will stay for one night in Punta Arenas and spend half a day sailing to Magdalena Island to observe the penguin colony.
There will be daily relaxation practices including yoga, meditation, and Qigong, designed to center and empower you. During this retreat, you will nurture lifelong friendships and memorable experiences with like-minded people.
The hikes will be perfect for everyone. You will have one guide for every six ladies in a group so Women's Quest will be able to accommodate all levels. But you are highly recommended to start training for the hikes. The Cerro del Paine hike is quite steep and the weather can range from only needing a t-shirt to many layers and there might be snow at the top. The French Valley is rolling up hill and is fairly long. There will be an easy mountain bike ride and hike and horseback riding.
All the excursions will be led by Jacqueline Stanford and the EcoCamp guide. They are knowledgeable, reliable, and environmentally-conscious trekkers who enjoy every moment of leading groups through the Patagonian wilderness. The majority are locals who have grown up in the region and studied eco-tourism at university, specializing in areas including geology, ornithology, and botany. Guides eat with guests each night and socialize with groups in the library and bar following briefings.
Jacqueline is just the best at everything, including pottery. Jacqueline was also a professional triathlete for many years. She also rode in the first Women's Tour de France. She has a love of water and was a National flat water and kayak racer. She loves to help people on ropes challenge courses. She now fills her very busy days with selling real estate, making and teaching pottery, leading Women's Quest adventures, working for New Hoirzons, and riding with Pedalers Fork.
The retreat will be held in Patagonia, Chile. Be awed by the spectacular granite peaks of Torres Del Paine, come face to face with the immensity of Grey Glacier, hike through the forests of French Valley, encounter guanacos, rheas, and condors on nature walks, trek through rolling pampas, and fall in love with a land that both challenges and inspires everyone who visits.
Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains as well as the deserts, pampas, and grasslands east of this southern portion of the Andes. Patagonia has two coasts: western facing the Pacific Ocean and eastern facing the Atlantic Ocean.
The Women’s Quest Patagonia retreat is in the Southern tip of the Andes in Chile at the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and home to some of the world’s most classic trekking routes.
The park is located in Chile’s southernmost and largest region, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, where the main economic activities are sheep farming, oil extraction and tourism. The population density is sparse at 1.1 per kilometers square but the region’s main city Punta Arenas is home to 120,000 people.
The park encompasses ancient forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and fjords, as well as fauna including guanacos, foxes, pumas, and a diverse array of birds. The park draws in approximately 100,000 visitors each year who visit the Paine Towers, Los Cuernos, French Valley, and Grey Glacier.
The landscape in Torres Del Paine is dominated by the huge Paine Massif, also known as the Cordillera del Paine. Despite being part of the Andes Mountains officially, the Paine massif is an independent mountain formation with its own unique characteristics.
The origins of the Massif date back to 12 million years ago when the sedimentary layers of the earth were lifted up and were slowly worn down through glacial erosion until only hard resistant granite rock was visibly left. The jagged Torres are a classic example of the results of this process and the difference in color between the sedimentary and granite rock in the park is highlighted by the sharply contrasting Cuernos peaks.
Valleys running between the mountains of the massif include Valle del Francés (French Valley), Valle Bader, Valle Ascencio (next to EcoCamp Patagonia), and Valle del Silencio (Silence Valley). The highest mountain in the massif is Cerro Paine, which is 3050 meters tall. EcoCamp is situated in the very heart of Torres del Paine National Park, perfectly placed right at the start of the hiking trails!
The price of the package includes daily delicious food at every meal with sack lunches for your day excursions. Dinner in Punta Arenas and lunch on the last day will be on your own. Throughout the retreat, you will experience Patagonian cuisine. A lot of effort is put into developing a menu of fresh hearty meals using locally-sourced ingredients, fusing Chilean, Altiplanic, Patagonian, and international food.
A hearty breakfast is the key to enjoying a day’s trek or nature walk and guests are encouraged to fill up on the tasty buffet selection each morning. Breakfast is served in the community domes from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and consists of a plentiful buffet selection with hot and cold beverages.
Additionally, fresh scrambled eggs with sausages are also served at your table.
After breakfast, you will be lead to a different buffet table to select the ingredients for your lunch box, which you’ll take hiking with you in your backpack to eat at a viewpoint en-route. The ingredients change each day in order to give your lunch box some variety.
Be creative and mix it up with a wide range of ingredients: whole wheat, white, tortillas, and pitta bread are all on offer, with sandwich fillings including cheese, tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, ham, beef, salami, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and hard boiled eggs. Cereal bars, chocolate, fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts are also available, so stock up!
Dinner is one of the highlights at EcoCamp, where everybody comes together to enjoy delicious food and a glass of good Chilean wine. The evening begins with cocktail hour in the bar. Pisco sours, the famous Chilean aperitif, are served with unique additional flavors, including the Calafate berry, ginger, and chili. Appetizers, including cheese, olives, salmon, and crackers, are served with the aperitif.
When dinner is ready, guests are called into the dining dome to take their seats at the table with the rest of their group. Dining at EcoCamp is very sociable, and groups sit with their guide and discuss the day’s achievements and funny moments over food and wine. Dinners are innovative and ‘nouvelle cuisine’, but with appetizers and three courses, you won’t go hungry!
Starters range from salad or soup to carpaccio, and main meals usually fuse typical Chilean dishes, made from beef, pork, or fish accompanied by locally grown vegetables, with potatoes, rice, couscous, or quinoa.
At least once a week, there is a Chilean barbecue, known as an ‘asado’, with spit-roasted lamb. Desserts are generally served in a buffet style, with numerous options available such as torte, panna cotta with rhubarb sauce, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, or mousse with local fruits, and these can all be served with coffee.
Good quality Chilean wine is served throughout the meal and one bottle is allocated per two people. Should you wish to drink more, simply notify the waiter, who will bring you a bottle of your choice and add it to your bill.
Afterwards in the bar, you are free to continue socializing and buying wine, beer, liquor, or soft drinks. Please let Women's Quest know if you have any dietary restrictions. They will make sure the food is suitable for you, as well as being very delicious!
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