David’s 5 day W Trek in Torres del Paine

David visited Patagonia in November 2013, where he went on a 5 day W Trek in Torres del Paine, based from an Eco Camp in the National Park. Here he tells us about his experiences…

imageHow was your trip?

It was a great trip. The Patagonia weather was pretty fierce for the first two days though, and we had heavy rain and 70-80 km/h wind gusts on Day 1 so didn’t get all of the way into the French Valley. But the weather was great on Day 3 for the hike to the Towers – there were no clouds and very little wind!! That was the highlight of the trip.

How was your accommodation?

The EcoCamp itself was pretty good, but the refugio we stayed in in the national park on the second night wasn’t great –only half of the showers were working.

Our guide told us that they have a 10 year contract to run the place (& very few potential return visitors), hence no incentive to fix anything or provide good food. But I guess it’s a long drive back to Ecocamp and that’s why the itinerary has the night at the refugio. 

Did you visit anywhere else on your trip?

I did a penguin colony visit the morning of the drive up to Ecocamp. I was glad I did that, and I know others on my trek weren’t aware that there was a second van from Punta Arenas to Ecocamp – they all left much earlier in the day.

What did you think of the Operator of the trip?

Ecocamp itself was pretty good, but the thing they could improve is storing of valuables in a proper safe (or at least locked drawer) while the people are out hiking!

Unfortunately they were not as punctual and efficient as I had expected and were also unclear on pickup times in Punta Arenas. I received a pre-trip briefing from the operator but it had no times on it, and tried phoning their host Francesca but there was no answer

Given that the people on the ground don’t necessarily speak English, it’s even more important for them to give a clear itinerary in advance.

What did you think of Swoop Patagonia?

They were punctual and efficient, Luke was very helpful and quick with his email responses and explained things well. 

Thanks again for helping me to arrange a great vacation! Sorry if my comments sound negative here, but I figure that will help more than all the positive things I could say.