|Torres del Paine, Patagonia
March 19-26, 2018
Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime! Join us for our one-of-a-kind retreat to Answer the call of the wild at Women’s Quest Patagonia Retreat 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 – Patagonia. 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. All this and more awaits in Patagonia, where rustic comfort and adventure meet.
What to Expect
We will wake each morning to the beautiful view of Cordillera Paine and make our way to the Yoga dome for gentle Qi-Gong and yoga followed by a healthy and hearty breakfast. Each day we will have exciting excursions – hiking the Cerro del Paine, biking the blue lagoon (Laguna Azul), horseback riding with our Basqueano (Patagonian Cowboy) , taking a catamaran to the trek of the Valle Frances (French Valley) , boat trip to Grey Glacier and an afternoon of giving back – planting much needed trees after the devastating fire of 2011. Our last day we will sail to Magdalena Island to visit the world renown penguin colony.
- 6 nights at EcoCamp – unique eco-friendly accommodation with delicious cuisine and a friendly atmosphere in the middle of the wilderness
- 6 days of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, volunteering and a couple of boat excursions
- 1 night Punta Arenas
- Half day sailing to Magdalena Island Penguin Colony
- Daily relaxation practices including yoga, meditation, and Qigong, designed to center and empower
- Lifelong friendships and memorable experiences
Included in the Price:
- 7 nights, 8 FULL days
- Starting 9:00am March 19th
- Concluding 3:00 pm March 26th
- Healthy and nutritious meals and wine with sack lunches for excursions
- *Dinner in Punta Arenas and lunch on the last day will be on your own.
- Delicious food at every meal with sack lunches for our day excursions,
- Transportation from your hotel to EcoCamp on the first day and from your hotel to the airport on the last day
- Women’s Quest staff and EcoCamp guides
* Airfare is not included in the cost. Only ONE single room is available this retreat and is based on first come. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a single room.
What are the accommodations?
- EcoCamp – We will be staying in suite domes – double occupancy
- Suite Domes are comfortable 28m²/ 300 ft² 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 Suite Domes
- Spacious 28m² / 300ft² area
- Open terrace to read, relax and admire the view
- Enclosed porch to hang wet clothing
- Comfortable King-size or twin beds
- Low-emission wood stove
- Patagonian decoration
- Propane heater in bathroom
- Private fully-equipped bathroom
- State of the art composting toilet
- The last night will be in Hotel Cabo de Hornos or similar
- ONE Single room is available (on a first come basis) for an additional $1750 for the week in a single suite dome with a king bed. Email email@example.com for more information and to reserve.
What will the food by like?
Throughout the retreat we will experience Patagonian cuisine. A lot of effort into developing a menu of fresh hearty meals using locally-sourced ingredients, fusing Chilean, Altiplanic, Patagonian and international food.
BREAKFAST – A hearty breakfast is the key to enjoying a day’s trek or nature walk and we encourage guests to fill on our tasty buffet selection each morning. Breakfast is served in the community domes from 7:00am to 9:30am and consists of a plentiful buffet selection with hot and cold beverages:
- Tea (selection of different Ceylon teas)
- Coffee (decaf on request)
- Milk (semi-skimmed and whole milk, lactose on request)
- Juice (Orange, apricot, pineapple & apple)
- Cereal – muesli, oats and cornflakes
- Milk and Yoghurt
- Cheese, ham, butter, jam, honey
- Bread – white toast, whole wheat and pitta bread.
- Additionally fresh scrambled eggs with sausages are served at your table.
BOX LUNCH – 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 flavours, 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 3 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 – 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 us know if you have any dietary restrictions. We make sure the food is VERY GOOD!
What is Patagonia Like?
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 km² but the region’s main city Punta Arenas is home to 120,000 people.
The park encompasses ancient forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and 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 park’s coordinates are 50°S latitude and 73°W longitude.
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 colour 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 3050m tall.
EcoCamp is situated in the very heart of Torres del Paine National Park, perfectly placed right at the start of the hiking trails!
When does the retreat begin and end?
Please arrange to arrive at least one day before the retreat. The retreat will begin 9:00 AM on the morning of the 19th Puerto Natales . The retreat will end at 3PM on the 26th. Please do NOT book your flight out of Punta Arenas before 3:00 PM.
What weather can I expect?
In Torres del Paine in spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and possibly snow. Autumn can also be unpredictable and winter is bitterly cold. Even in summer (December to March), cold strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall are not uncommon. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min). Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm. Night-time temperatures will most likely range from –1°C to -5°C (30s and 40s ºF) depending on the weather.
What is the average age on this retreat?
We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young. This is a retreat that everyone can do but you will love it even more if you are in good shape – please start your training program now – call me if you need some assistance Jacqueline 818-331-9955
What if I am coming alone?
The majority of the women who attend our retreats come by themselves. Patagonia is a safe and easy country to travel as a single female. English is spoken in most tourist areas and we are here to answer any questions about travel that you may have. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!
Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?
No! All activities and outings are optional. This is YOUR retreat. We encourage you to do what feels most nurturing and right for you. You will be fully supported in doing as much or as little as you choose. All of our activities will be guided by expert staff, and instruction and support will be offered for every activity according to your experience level.
What will the hikes and activities be like?
Our hikes will be perfect for everyone. We will have one guide for every 6 ladies so we will be able to accommodate all levels. But I would highly recommend starting to train for the hikes. The Cerro del Paine hike is quite steep and the weather can range from 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.
Cancellation policy for international camps:
• If you must cancel, a $500 deposit is NOT REFUNDABLE*
• Full refund, less deposit, will be given with at least 91 days notice *
• Within 90 days of your camp, sorry but absolutely no refund will be given
*no exceptions will be granted to the above policy.*
Please note: We are sorry but injury and illness do not disqualify you from any of the above cancellation policies. We are UNABLE to transfer deposits or any payments from one year to the next.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest, in which case all money paid to Women’s Quest will be refunded. Women’s Quest CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.