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Patagonia Adventure Retreat

Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Cost: $6500
March 17-25th, 2024

Embark on an unforgettable adventure that beckons you to Torres del Paine, the crown jewel of Patagonia. Wake up to the breathtaking view of Cordillera Paine, partake in invigorating yoga sessions and immerse yourself in the wonders of Patagonia through exhilarating hikes, biking the mesmerizing blue lagoon (Laguna Azul), horseback riding with our Patagonian Cowboy (Basqueano), exploring Valle Frances (French Valley) by catamaran, and witnessing the majesty of Grey Glacier on a boat trip and an exhilarating kayak adventure through the Straits of Magellan. This is your invitation to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the heart of Patagonia.

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.

Join Women’s Quest on an extraordinary odyssey to this land of wonder, where every moment pulses with the energy of adventure and every vista sparkles with the promise of the extraordinary. This is a place that transcends the ordinary, a must-visit destination for those seeking the remarkable, the unforgettable, and the once-in-a-lifetime.

What to Expect
On the first morning we will visit Puerto Natales and climb the beautiful hill just outside the town – our first welcome to the Patagonian wind. The following day we will visit our local yoga teacher and be treated to yoga, meditation, cooking class, volunteering and a delicious lunch.

Then, we will wake each morning to the beautiful view of Cordillera Paine and make our way to the Yoga dome for 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 OR will kayak the Straights of Magellan.

  • 5 nights at EcoCamp – unique eco-friendly accommodation with delicious cuisine and a friendly atmosphere in the middle of the wilderness and 1 night in Puerto Natales and 2 nights in Punto Arenas
  • 9 days of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, yoga, volunteering and a couple of boat excursions
  • Half day sailing to Magdalena Island Penguin Colony OR kayaking the Straights of Magellan
  • One day of yoga, meditation, cooking and volunteering at our wonderful local yoga dome
  • Lifelong friendships and memorable experiences

Included in the Price:

  • 8 nights, 9 FULL days
  • Starting 9:00am March 17.
  • Concluding 3:00 pm March 25th. 
  • Healthy and nutritious meals and wine with sack lunches for excursions
  • One dinner in Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas on the second and last days will be on your own
  • Delicious food at every meal with sack lunches for our day excursions
  • Transportation from from the penguin tour/kayaking to the airport on the last day
  • Women’s Quest staff and EcoCamp guides

* Airfare is not included in the cost. No single rooms are available this retreat.  Email kelly@womensquest.com 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 $1900 for the week in a single suite dome with a king bed.  Email kelly@womensquest.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:

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)

Buffet selection:

  • Fruit
  • 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 desertspampas 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 in Santiago, Chile on March 16th to catch the 10am flight to Punto Arenas.  We will be met by an Ecocamp bus ($50) to take us to Puerto Natales.   We can help you arrange the hotel for that evening.   The retreat will begin 9:00 AM on the morning of the 17th Puerto Natales . The retreat will end at 3PM on the 25th.

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.

Payment Policy
A deposit is required to hold your reservation at a retreat. Deposits are $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international retreats. Additional deposits may be required to reserve a single room. All deposits are non-refundable.

We cannot hold your reservation until we have received your deposit. If you would like to reserve an available spot in a retreat 90 or fewer days prior to the retreat date, we require payment in full for the retreat to hold the spot. This is in accordance with our payment policy below.

Payment in full for all retreats is due 90 days prior to the retreat date. If you do not provide payment in full by 90 days prior to the retreat you risk losing your reservation.

A 4% payment processing fee will be added to all payments made using PayPal, Stripe or Venmo. 

You are welcome to send in a check or pay by Zelle to avoid this fee.

Cancellation Policy
If you must cancel a reservation, a full refund, less your deposit which is non-refundable, will be provided for any cancellation we receive in writing at least 91 days prior to the commencement date of the retreat. We are sorry but we cannot refund any payments for cancellations made 90 or fewer days prior to the commencement of the retreat.

We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest. Women’s Quest IS NOT responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in schedules or tour cancellations.

Covid-19 Policy
Cancellations by Women’s Quest: Women’s Quest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel or reschedule any retreat due to concerns over Covid-19. As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled by Women’s Quest due to the Covid pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, in the event Women’s Quest cancels or reschedules a retreat due to Covid-19 Women’s Quest will apply all payments to the rescheduled or following year’s retreat, or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of the next year after the year in which the retreat was cancelled by Women’s Quest.  Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.

Cancellations by You: If you need or desire to cancel your reservation due to Covid-19, or failure to comply with the requirements of a negative test and being symptom free, this cancellation is subject to the Cancellation Policy above.  This is why we urge everyone to purchase travel insurance when signing up. 

Covid Waiver and Release
This waiver, release and acknowledgement of responsibilities is unfortunately necessary during this unique time of the Covid 19 pandemic. By signing up for and or attending any Women’s Quest retreat you agree to be bound by the terms of this document. We understand these times are challenging, however, these provisions are necessary to protect all attendees and staff members of Women’s Quest.

Testing For and Symptoms of Covid 19.  Irrespective of vaccination status you are required to provide a negative test for Covid 19 taken within 3 days of the commencement of the retreat. This test can be either a PCR test or a home antigen test. Also, irrespective of your vaccination status, you agree you will not attend the retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 immediately prior to the beginning of the trip. These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea (these, along with symptoms outline in the following link and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control shall be collectively referred to as the “Symptoms”.) More information on symptoms of Covid 19 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Symptoms During the Retreat. In the event you develop any Symptoms during the retreat you must immediately leave the retreat and follow protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and all local regulations. We understand this may result in you incurring significant expenses associated with separate accommodation and travel, however, you understand these expenses are not the responsibility of Women’s Quest and must be incurred by you. You agree to be fully honest with Women’s Quest staff in regard to any Symptoms you may develop and agree to comply with a request by Women’s Quest staff to depart as determined by Women’s Quest staff in their sole discretion. As provided below, this is why we strongly urge everyone to get travel insurance covering these and other expenses prior to departure.

Procedures During the Retreat. During the retreat Women’s Quest may, but need not, endeavor to practice social distancing and wearing of masks when traveling in close proximity. You agree to comply with all requests of Women’s Quest staff during the retreat related to these procedures. Any such procedures implemented by Women’s Quest are not a guaranty you will not be exposed to Covid 19 and you understand you are responsible for taking any precautions you deem necessary and providing your own personal protective equipment during the retreat. You also agree to comply with any reasonable requests by other attendees to respect their social distancing and other protective measures (“Participant Requests”.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, you are responsible to comply with all laws and regulations of the locality visited relating to protections against Covid 19.

Waiver of Coronavirus Related Illness; Indemnification. You understand that irrespective of protective measures that Women’s Quest or you may or may not take, you may be exposed to Covid 19 by another retreat attendee, a Women’s Quest staff member and or an individual to whom you may be exposed during, or traveling to or from the retreat. You agree to waive and release Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any claims, liabilities or damages you may incur in the event you contract Covid 19 at any time during travel to, attending or after attending the retreat. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any loss, liability or damages it or they may incur as a result of your failure to receive a negative test for Covid 19 prior to the retreat as provided above, attending the retreat with any Symptoms, not respecting Participant Requests, and not immediately departing the retreat if you develop any Symptoms.

Cancellation. In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your trip, cannot attend due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms prior to the retreat, or must leave the retreat due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms, Women’s Quest cannot provide any refund of any amounts you paid.

Travel Insurance. As provided in this document you could incur significant personal expense in the event you contract Covid 19 or develop any Symptoms during the retreat. As such, you are strongly urged to obtain travel insurance that provides adequate protections against these risks.

Additional Waiver. This waiver is incorporated into and made a part of other waivers you agreed to in connection with signing up for the retreat. In the event of a conflict between these terms and the terms of any other waiver, this waiver shall govern.

Purchasing Travel Insurance
We highly, highly recommend you get travel insurance to cover your expenses and losses in the event you test positive or come down with Symptoms prior to the retreat, develop Symptoms during the retreat, or cannot return home due to Covid related issues.  We recommend getting insurance that covers the cost of your trip, medical care while at the retreat, and coverage to pay for the necessary quarantine period if you test positive or come down with Covid.  Please remember, if you have to cancel your trip in the unfortunate event you come down with Covid, test positive, or suffer Symptoms prior to or during the retreat and need to leave, Women’s Quest cannot provide a refund since we have to pay your trip expenses well ahead of time.

If you are concerned about travel and the changing environment in which we are living irrespective of your Covid status, we recommend getting travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. This coverage is more expensive, however, may provide you with the coverage and flexibility you desire.

We spoke with Allianz Travel Insurance about travel insurance primarily for Covid issues – trip cancellation, medical treatment and delay in coming home due to catching Covid. From our understanding, Allianz does offer policies providing for trip cancellation due to Covid and extended trip interruption coverage for Covid quarantine periods, however, you should talk to them via the phone to ensure you have the coverage you need. Irrespective of the travel insurance you get, please make sure you talk to a travel insurance agent prior to buying any insurance and make sure you have the coverage you desire and that the policy will cover trip cancellation, medical expenses and trip interruption due to Covid. We are providing this only as our understanding after talking to Allianz and not as a representation of what Allianz will cover.  You should do your own investigation including directly calling Allianz or any insurance provider you choose, and not rely on this overview to ensure you get the coverage that is right for you.