Off Grid Eco Café in Cochamó, Chile



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We, Jonathan and Elizabeth, and our dogs Iris and Bluebell, all from England, and dogs Lupin and Helios from Chile, are working towards opening an off-grid eco cafe in the temperate rainforest in the Cochamo Valley, in Northern Patagonia in Chile. The cafe will be a hub for climbers and hikers and serve gourmet coffee, tea and other refreshments as well as a quiet place to relax, plan your adventures and learn more about the local ecosystem.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We can provide accommodation (possibly tents depending on stage of construction) and food, training on woodland management basic to intermediate construction, how to serve coffee and about the local trees and wildlife. Cochamo Valley is a world reknowned climbing and hiking destination but the nearest town of Puerto Varas also has its charms as well as the other valleys, rivers, fjords and lakes in Northern Patagonia. The area is one of the last wildernesses in the world and the second largest temperate rain forest in the world with and abundance of unique species, many of which are endangered, such as the pudu, a miniature deer, the Darwin's frog, which hatches its young in its mouth and the puma. The gaucho way of life is still practiced here, just as it has been for over 100 years, with men on horseback ranching their cattle up and down the valley. 
    We hope to be able to learn woodworking skills, electrical skills, languages, and rock climbing tips.

  • Help


    We are opening an off grid eco cafe in the temperate Patagonian rainforest and will need help shoring up the existing building and clearing wood. The building needs a new roof, insulation and tiles. It is made entirely of wood. The café will not have mains electricity any time soon so we will have to design and implement an off grid solution, likely consisting of solar, wind, bio and hydro power.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We have hot water (finally!) and depending on the stage of construction we have either beds or camping on our pampa (amazing views up the valley!) We can provide bedding and tents if preferred. 
    The atmosphere is like a big family and everyone is expected to chip in. At present there is a wood oven and a gas cooker. All meals will be provided but cooking is shared. As areas are communal volunteers are expected to keep those areas clean and tidy.
    The mini markets in nearby Cochamo are not particularly good so you may have to come with us to Puerto Varas to help with the shopping. We are aiming to eat a balanced diet consisting mainly of vegetables but also have meat, biscuits and cake at times.
    Please note that we do not yet have internet access in the cafe but WiFi is available in the village.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We prefer a minimum of three weeks but we will consider shorter stays. This enables plenty of time to get to know the project, go up to La Junta to climb or trek or to explore the area. On out land we have a waterfall, access to the river and a pampa (a tranquil clearing of grass in the forest with views up the valley) Apart from the Valley, Lago Cayutue and Lago Chapo, both stunning alpine lakes, are nearby. The area is also one of the best in the world for salmon and trout fishing, with some people paying thousands of dollars to fish on the Rio Petrohue for example. The climbing in la Junta is one of the biggest areas for new routing in the world with all up to 1,000m high of beautiful granite. For the less vertically inclined there are a number of trails up the different granite domes each offering a different view over the valley and the surrounding area.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

The dogs outside the entrance to the cafe
L-R Lupin, Lizzy, Bluebell, Iris, Jonathan, Helios
Iris (Labrador) and Bluebell (Whippet)
Lizzy and Jonathan
View from the camping meadow
The lush vegetation and trees surrounding a stream nearby.
The view up the valley to Cerro Arco Iris from the edge of the river at the bottom of our plot
Cerro Trinidad with the La Junta and Cochamó rivers. Just a short 13km walk from the café.

Host ref number: 111165766786