Patagonia has a rich cultural history that is often overshadowed by its natural marvels. At EcoCamp, we aim to educate guests about Patagonia's original inhabitants, nomadic tribes such as the Kaweskars and Yaghans, as well as the baqueano culture and the history of sheep farming in the region.
Baqueanos are the local versions of cowboys, similar to the guacho in Argentine Patagonia. Since the 1870s, baqueanos were frontiersmen and trailblazers throughout the vast plains of Patagonia, acting as guides for visitors from Europe, herding sheep and cattle, and even hunting animals like guanacos and ñandus for their skins and feathers. They would also catch and tame wild horses. They are experts in the region, and many baqueanos today also make a living guiding tourists around Torres del Paine on horseback or leading them into the backcountry to see wild horses. EcoCamp is proud to work with local baqueanos in helping our guests discover the wonders of Patagonia and the historic baqueano culture and lifestyle
Aonikenk Cave Paintings
The Aonikenk, who were nomadic hunter-gatherers, are the ones responsible for giving Torres del Paine its name. When they first saw the granite spires for which Torres del Paine is famous when they first came to the area in the latter half of the first millenium, they called them Paine, which meant 'blue' in their language.
Unfortunately the Aonikenk tribe is now completely extinct (most native tribes perished with the settlement of Europeans in the late 1880s) but their culture and way of life is still preserved for posterity.