Expeditions - South America
Please note you will be mailed a set of Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips.
The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our South American Expeditions. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers?
We are renowned for the quality of our service and strategy applied to our treks. Our reputation is attributed to our meticulous planning and logistics coordination done by our head office. Once on the ground in South America, our local agents and guides will ensure that the trip runs to the highest standard, so that you can relax and enjoy climbing through this amazing country.
FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the expedition?
Showers will be available the city hotels that are utilised prior to and after your trek or climb. After your departure from town, please do not expect a shower each day but where possible, these will be offered. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for the impromptu wash in between available showers.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our expeditions provide excellent local and western food!
What is the food like?
When staying in the cities, expect a wide variety of options. Once on the trekking/climbing program, our well-trained cooks prepare high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular local dishes. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.
What are the hotels/lodges like? Can I have my own room?
Through our local agents, we book centrally located mid-range hotels and tidy, clean, modern lodges. Once on your trek/climb program, you will be staying in tents which will be part of a larger camp. Our standard trips are based on shared rooms, usually twin share.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.
My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows our local agents to assist with changing your return flight plans if need be, while you are in the mountains.
When should I book my ticket?
Generally we ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip. In such situations we are usually able to help you book on to an alternate departure, either with us or another operator.
Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings to our expedition and trek destinations.
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
Our South American departures tend to fly into Santiago International airports and from there onwards to Lima in Peru, and Mendoza in Argentina. Where possible, an Adventure Consultants representative will be there to pick you up off your flight on the scheduled arrival date. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick-up, though taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.
What if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans as we love to pass on sightseeing tips.
Do I need to get a visa to travel to Peru, Chile or Argentina?
Most visitors to Argentina who stay for less than three months do not require a visitor’s visa, but you must check this with your local embassy or travel agent for updates. Australian, Canadian and US travellers should be aware that both Chile and Argentina charge a reciprocity fee, so please do check this prior to travelling.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared so that you have clothing/equipment for all eventualities. Please bring everything on the list!
How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going, but in general you will need a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be as cold as freezing. We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.
Will an altitude tent be carried or available during the trek?
On our Aconcagua departures, a PAC bag and oxygen are available at the Plaza Argentina Base Camp doctor's tent.
What altitude medication will be available on the trek/climb? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek/climb?
All our guides carry extensive medical kits on the treks. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.
How much weight can we carry on the trek/climb?
When on the trekking portion of your itinerary, you will carry your daypack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally it will be light, 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds). When climbing the likes of Aconcagua and Alpamayo, your packs will be much heavier so do make sure that you are 'pack fit' prior to arriving onto the expedition.
Who goes on your trips?
Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.
I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks such as Manaslu and Kanchenjunga, all Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.
HEALTH & FITNESS
What kind of physical condition should I be in for a trek/climb?
We cannot recommend enough in regards to being fit prior to the expedition as this will make all the difference to your acclimatisation, and ultimately, your enjoyment. For our South American expeditions, you should be comfortable walking for 6-8 hours with a light pack. Walking a few hours each day, then 6-8 hours on the weekends is generally a good realistic training programme.
COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
Yes, most of our expedition guides take satellite phones and you are welcome to use these at US$3-$4 per minute depending on the region. Most often, your guide will post daily dispatches on the AC website in which your friends and family can follow your progress.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
Many of our treks and climbs send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the trek? What voltage requirements?
We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our treks and expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our computers, satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment. If your equipment has a cigarette lighter type car charger, bring that and you can plug it in to charge. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras; they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office.
What insurance do I need to get?
On all of our international treks there is a requirement for each trek member to have travel insurance covering medical evacuation and repatriation insurance for when trekking. This should cover you in the event that any mishap occurs whilst climbing, where an expensive evacuation is initiated. We do also highly recommend that you purchase a standard comprehensive policy that would likely include cover for trip cancellation cover (in the event of an injury or mishap prior to your trip start date), delayed flights, lost luggage and at times, medical evacuation and costs.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips, including our courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
FEES & PAYMENTS
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up