Travel Companies

Casa De Guías // Travels and Y Expeditions in La Patagonia Austral
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares // El Chaltén // Santa Cruz - Argentina


Casa de Guías

Casa de Guías is an official Travel Company (Disp. 1024- Leg. 14086) which is specialized in Trekking and Mountaineering, also authorized as Tour Operator in the Los Glaciares National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares), which is located in the Santa Cruz Province in southern Patagonia, Argentina.
We are based at El Chaltén, a young mountain village at the foot of the legendary Mount Fitz Roy. We organize mountain expeditions, trekking programs and trips with different technical and logistical difficulties in this beautiful land: Southern Patagonia. Many years exploring the most remote and hidden corners of this fascinating geography have helped us to develop a variety of programs in which we combine nature and action.
Our Mountain Guides Service combines quality, efficiency and personalized attention.
For more than 15 years we have been traveling and exploring the most beautiful spots of southern Patagonia as well as mountain climbing. The experience that we have gathered along has taught us to respect the environment and to priorize safety conditions for all our programs.
All the activities are carried out by certified mountain guides and interpreters of this beautiful nature. Our goal is to give through a variety of adventure programs, a professional and specialized frame to interact with our customers.
We know about time availability and expectations are not the same for all of us so we offer custom trips as well as pre scheduled departures.  Do not hesitate to contact us for special groups or individual customers.

RESERVATION POLICY AND GENERAL CONDITIONS

Reservations Reservations will only be accepted via mail under the following conditions: • Please, inform us date and kind of program you wish to book in (and quantity of participants), upon our confirmation, we'll block that date for you for a maximum of up to ten days. • The reservation will be confirmed with a cash deposit of the 30% of the required services (usually a Western Union money transfer if you are overseas). We also accept credit or debit cards. We can also grant your booking with the complete information of your credit card, as follows (confidential information only used as a backup of your booking, no payments will be pre-cashed from your credit card and you will decide you payment method upon arrival): Type of credit card (Master, visa, etc) Name of the beholder Nber of the credit card Expiration date Code nber (the last three figures at the back) Emission Bank • Complete Medical Record &Personal Health, Responsability Discharge and Consent with informantion. We accept payment with debit and credit cards (VISA and Mastercard, Visa Electron or Maestro). Cancellation Policy (only written and clearly stated) Up to 30 days prior to day 1 of the program, 100 % refund, Up to 10 days prior to day 1 of the program, 50 % refund Within 10 days prior to day 1 of the program, your down-payment will be fully held. In all cases, administrative fees will be held. The refund will be done within a 60-days period following your cancellation.

CASA DE GUIAS – GUIAS DE MONTAÑA EVYT LEG. 14086 PRESTADOR DE SERVICIOS PARQUE NACIONAL LOS GLACIARES

++54 2962 493118 (SEPTEMBER TO MAY)

info@casadeguias.com.ar

www.casadeguias.com.ar

PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES AND LOGISTICS

We invite you to explore our site where we present our classic hikes, expeditions and travel programs as well as our philosophy and staff.


WEATHER

The local weather can be characterized by intense westerly winds with amazingly powerful gusts, as our village is located in a narrowing spot of a former glacial valley. The temperature during the touristic season (oct-may) is cold to temperate, never actually warm, being an average day 15 centigrade Celsius or 60 Fahrenheit. Anyhow you should keep in mind that the wind, due to the wind-chill factor, will determine the final temperatures, so it can be warm out of the wind and freezing if your are fully exposed. In the same way the climate can change all of a sudden, with all seasons in one day. As you go up as well, the temperature will go down and also when you are higher than the tree line (1000 mt) you’ll be out of the sheltered forest: we say it’s already a high mountain environment although not very high in absolute altitude. Many of the glaciers in our area are at a very low altitude from sea level (i.e. the final section of the Torre Glacier is at 650 mts) so also in this cases the weather can be like that of the high mountains. At the time of organizing your trip you should bear in mind the tough weather conditions that you may experience here. As well as good weather you have to expect rain and even snow in the mountains. The Patagonian storms are really wild but without them we wouldn’t have all the beautiful glaciers of the National Park and the Southern Ice Field! In a land of extremes there will be also fantastic days with sometimes hot temperatures and hard sun on your face! Never forget to protect your skin! Your clothing will have to deal with all this conditions not only along your trip but also during one single day. October, April and May are cold months with a lower snowline in the mountains. Always ask for the Equipment List and never hesitate to ask for our advice; we’re ready to answer all your questions so you can properly inform your customers.

TERRAIN

LThe programs are carried out in all kind of terrain. One day or several, with hotel accommodation or organized camps, light weight style trekking or/and also bivouacs. There are going to be well marked trails, up and down, as well as rocky trails, screes, moraines, ice, snow, glaciers, off trail conditions under thick forest, peat bogs, river crossing, rope maneuvers, Tyrolean rope, etc. It will on depend on your customer’s choice. Please remember, as it was stated before, that higher than 1000 mts in our area (up to 1500 in northern Patagonia or down to 600 in Tierra del Fuego), that is, the tree line, conditions will be those of a high mountain environment: no shelter from the wind, rain or snow (any time of the year), under cero Celsius temperatures at night, fierce winds, etc. In the mountain expeditions it is very characteristic the presence of glaciers and moraines (chaotic accumulations of rocks pushed by glaciers) almost always, which can be very complicated terrain if you are not in a good physical shape and also exposed to harsh weather. We always recommend previous training, preparation and assessment prior to these expeditions, and we suggest also this kind of preparation for all our activities for a better outcome of your experience. Remember that Casa de Guias will always give you advice so you can choose the programs according to your abilities or your customer’s abilities and wishes.

SEASON

Our programs are mostly held from October to the end of April (this is what we call the touristic season). That would be the end of spring, our austral or southern summer, and the beginning of the autumn. Whereas the expeditions to the Southern Ice Field should be done preferably in late spring and early summer, the autumn offers a landscape of fascinating colors in our deciduous Patagonian Andean forest. Hiking, trekking and overnight activities can be carried out all along the season. The days are the longest in December and January and the Park and El Chalten receive the highest number of visitors in January: you are going to see more people in the trails but at the same time the village becomes livelier!! During the winter possibilities are more restricted and limited due to the presence of snow although excellent short hikes can be done in snowshoes or skis in a wonderful white landscape; also, the weather during the winter tends to be more stable, although always cold to extremely cold. Please remember to ask for our assistance before deciding on your trip.

REQUISITES

Outdoor activities always require of a minimum good physical condition to be able to walk without it possessing a threat to ourselves, as well as good general health. It will be of the highest importance to be well aware of the seasonal, meteorological conditions – especially in glacier programs- ; river crossing, etc, that can vary a lot along the season and even during a day. Difficulty of the programs will imply not only the physical demand or effort that will be required from you in terms of distance and elevation gain or drop but also on many other factors: the amount of days of the circuit (sometimes just camping or only hotels), big expeditions packs without porters, just daypacks, the weather, isolation from the village or medical assistance, circuits in which returning will take a couple of days with no possibilities of helicopter rescue, technical difficulties, terrain, as well as factor that ultimately depend of each of us like different abilities on varying terrains, physical and mental preparation and disposition. The difficulty scale is only for orientation and we follow the scale established by the Santa Cruz Province Tourism Bureau. Please it is very important for you to ask any questions regarding this item in order to a make a good choice and a good preparation. DIFFICULTY GRADUATION (clic here).

PERSONAL AND GROUP EQUIPMENT

Each program will require a specific Equipment List which will be necessary and obligatory for the program’s participants. Before each activity or day hike and prior to the trip Casa de Guias will provide the participants with the corresponding Equipment List for each case. Otherwise stipulated and arranged with the customer all the group equipment will be shared between the participants and members of the expedition. Casa de Guías has programs with/without organized Camps and porters. Please ask before travel on this item and tell us your preferences. Also Casa de Guias will assess you on rental equipment possibilities in El Chaltén and personal porters.

FOOD

All our activities need some sort of food planning, paying special attention to energy requirements. It will be different in organized camps with easy access than on expeditions where all the food has to be carried by all of us. Typical food in organized camps will include: breakfast (cereal, coffee or tea, bread, butter and jam), lunch box (sandwiches, cereal bar, chocolate, fruit), snack before dinner and dinner (appetizer –usually soup-, main course and desert, coffee and tea). Expedition food is organized in rations for each day keeping in mind a proper calories rich diet as well as overall weight.