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.
The Kaweskars, whose "leave no trace" lifestyle inspired the EcoCamp domes, arrived by canoe in the 15th century and lived largely nomadic lives.
To keep warm they lit fires inside the domes. EcoCamp is a tribute to the ancient Kaweskar dwellings and way of life and the essence of their dome homes has been kept by maintaining a simple nomadic design in the midst of natural surroundings.
Just like the Kaweskars, EcoCamp respects nature’s well-being and aims to leaves no footprint behind in the wilderness.
Menu & decor at EcoCamp
All pieces of furniture and decoration are made in typical mountain style using different wood and many native painting styles. Pictures of the native Kaweskar inhabitants are on show at EcoCamp and traditional Andean patterns are also used on decoration.
EcoCamp’s food is a mix of Chilean, Altiplanic, Patagonian and international food. The EcoCamp Patagonia fusion menu includes typical ingredients from Chile which form staples for the native inhabitants, such as purple potatoes, quinoa, patasca from the Altiplano (a stew made from tripe, veal, potatoes, corn and peppers) and molasses made from the meaty sweet fruit found on northern Chile’s chañar trees.