Dec 302012


In one of the world’s largest areas of wilderness with one of the most powerful climates, EcoCamp Patagonia opened its doors in 2001 after Javier Lopez, Yerko Ivelic and Nani Astorga combined a new style of lodging, resistant to the fierce Patagonian winds, with sustainable hotel features they’d seen across the world.

Looking for inspiration in the rest of Chile and keen to help protect an area of wilderness and make sure similar destruction never happened again, Javier, Yerko and Nani looked to hiking mecca Torres del Paine in Chile’s extreme south. They knew the best way forward was to build examples of sustainability, and where better than a revered national park where travellers could be shown that they could enjoy the wilderness in a responsible way without leaving a footprint?

ecocamp4The idea of the domes came from the ancient Kaweskar tribes’ huts, which were set up throughout the park as the nomadic tribe wandered. The idea was to create a hybrid hotel, with the traditional elements of camping such as being immersed in nature, but with the comforts of a modern day hotel. Thus EcoCamp, the world’s first geodesic dome hotel in the world, was born!
EcoCamp Patagonia – The Chilean Founders' Story behind the World's 1st Geodesic Sustainable Hotel

ecocamp5For Javier Lopez, Yerko Ivelic and Nani Astorga their way of life and way of doing business makes sense because being immersed in nature provides a source of transformation for everyone. They believe you should take your job as close to the arts as possible and provide a meaningful experience for all involved.
EcoCamp is eco-friendly with 100% renewable electricity generated by solar and hydro energy. It also has composting toilets and a sophisticated recycling system. This green technology was designed and implemented by Yerko himself, while Javier sketched the dome designs. In 2007 EcoCamp received ISO 14001 certification, confirming its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

ecocamp3Guests carry back home the experience of living in such close quarters to nature yet with all the coziness and comfort of a ‘regular’ hotel and sociable nature of the EcoCamp community. Looking up at the stars from inside their dome, walking through the night air to get to the bathroom during dinner, sleeping in a low-impact sustainable structure where they can hear the wind rushing through the sky – These are all experiences that classic hotels do not offer and that guests relish in the moment and treasure in the years that follow.


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