Customer Rating On return from their adventure we ask customers: “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?”
Nicholas Koh's Trip Date:
25th Mar - 6th Apr 2019
Overall, how was your trip?
Overall very good. We had better than average weather according to the guides, and the sights were truly once a lifetime. Highlights: Laguna De Los Tres, Perito Moreno Glacier, Base of Towers in Torres Del Paine. To our friends, the more you train, the more you'll enjoy. Especially do vertical training.
In one sentence, what did you think of Patagonia? Did it live up to your expectations?
Amazing views, we really enjoyed it.
Would you visit again?
How was the service that Swoop provided?
Pretty happy with it. My main comments for improvement: - the final travel documents provided by the agency were very helpful (packing list for Torres Del Paine, ecocamp's training schedule), ideally more of this info could have been provided once we had the private space - for the W Trek I can't quite remember the accommodation arrangements that were made, we may have chosen a superior dome instead of the suite. It was nice that they gave us champagne, but it was hard to have it in the standard dome - there should be more emphasis on the physical training required before travel. I know one of the travel documents had it but we didn't notice it till a few days before the trip and would have changed our training plans accordingly - i wonder if there can be more explicit "plan B"s for bad weather. We were lucky but almost missed the Base of the Towers due to the weather - the change in the CRM midway through our planning was not communicated - we were also responsible for this, but we missed picking our packed lunch for the Perito Moreno Glacier due to some confusion with the instructions in the letter vs the documents given by the local agency (One of the documents said it would be given by the hotel OR on the bus and I mistakenly remembered it wrong) - for el chalten, I think hosteria el puma is nice but it was a bit of a distance from the town centre
How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?
8 out of 10
How was your experience in El Calafate and El Chalten?
Amazing, I would actually place this higher than Torres Del Paine because the weather was drier and the sights were (in our opinion) more varied than Torres Del Paine. Highlight was definitely Laguna de los Tres but we needed that break day to recover as we were not used to the ascent required. The other (Laguna Torre) hike was still amazing also. Accomodation: El Puma was comfortable, clean and pleasant with a bit of a back country feel. Awesome staff. Wish we had better WiFi from the rooms though. Esplendor was very good (especially breakfast), just that we missed our packed lunch (would have been nice for the staff to remember it since we were actually at the counter that day) and we did encounter a slight snarky moment from the staff when we were late for our early breakfast (we could have been reading this wrongly though). Guides: knowledgeable and fit, but sometimes seemed very focused on moving ahead (I think we were not fit enough though, I can see if they were much slower we would have missed the daylight) Transport was good. Perito Moreno Glacier was amazing! We wish we did the glacier walk, the 2 mini-hikes on the same trip really paled in comparison. Misc Note: The food in El Calafate was actually the best we had in the whole trip.
How was your experience in Torres del Paine?
Highlights: Base of the Towers and Ecocamp Suite Domes! Wildlife: we did see a lot of birds, guanacos and a distant suspected puma! Hikes: good highlights. Not too crowded although there were others on the trails. Guides: awesome. Shout out to Roberto and Felipe for keeping us going and laughing. The 2 guides per group of 12 was also very good so they could match paces better. Accomodation: standard domes were small and poorly lit which made packing for the Refugio difficult (we should have done this prior to arriving), but the suite was amazing. The Refugio stay was of course much less comfortable but I understand the logistics (and suppose it gave a tiny taste of the actual hike) Transport: good
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
I really liked El Chalten, it felt very untouched and there was a strong emphasis on not leaving rubbish etc. Ecocamp did make me think a bit more about saving water when showering.
Is there anything you would recommend we change to make trips like yours more environmentally sustainable?
Maybe, instead of using cling wrap or wax paper to wrap our lunch sandwiches, Ecocamp can look into partnering beeswax wrap companies to provide ecocampers their own reusable beeswax wrap to pack food for each day. It's something they can bring back home to continue using after the trip too. And in doing so, spread the use of these reusable wraps in their own countries.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?
Train! Especially vertically. It will make a huge difference in your enjoyment.
7 people found this review helpful