I'm just back from an ascent of El Misti. Here is the latest update as far as the arrangers and the market:
You will find plenty of agencies downtown Arequipa offering guided tours of the very high volcanoes around (Misti, Chachani, etc.). However, beware there are just 4 actually organizing tours left! The others just sale the service and sub-contract 3 of those 4, adding their margin to the base price.
The four genuine guided ascent organizers are:
Carlos Zarate "Adventures"
Calle Santa Catalina 204
Offers high Standard service only with UIAGM certified guides. They are the only ones to sale their services without working with all those retailers previously mentioned. The most expensive on the market!
Ulises Barrenechea C.,
An adventure specialist operating from
Hostal “La Reyna”
Calle Zela Nro 209
GPS: S16-23.702 & W71-32.154
Next to Sta. Catalina Convent
Telef. / Telefax:+51-54-286578
Ulises has his “exclusive” guides. They are reliable and have passed part of the UIAGM required courses. He operates 3 modern Toyota 4 x 4, a luxury in Arequipa “mountain industry”: A “must” for those mountains requiring a long and tough approach! He applies market prices (after fair negotiations!).
Calle San Francisco 218
They contract reliable guides with UIAGM certification or part of the required UIAGM courses. Market prices (after fair negotiations!).
The joint venture of
Continental Expedition (operates 4x4) & Wayra or Pachamama Explorer (has a well equipped warehouse of technical gear)
Calle Jerusalen 302-b & 314
Telef. +51-54-330155 & +51-54-221990
Cel. +51-54-9995353 & +51-54-9685424
The least reliable of the 4 operators, the retailers only work with them when the demand is higher than what Ulises or Quechua can handle. Pachamama Explorer team (3 brothers) are very much into Spirituality and Quechua culture but from what I saw it was more motivated by the resulting success in banging western naïve ladies than deep faith and conviction ! Market prices (after fair negotiations!).
February 2006, market prices for an ascent of El Misti, from Arequipa, are as follow:
Complete guided package:
120 to 140 US$ for 1 client
65 to 75 US$ for 2 clients
45 to 55 US$ for 3 clients and more
Transportation from downtown to the trailhead (Ruta Grau or Southern approach) and back from the trailhead to downtown: 40 to 50 US$ depending on the quality of the used 4x4 vehicle.
Guide services for high summits: 60 to 70US$ / day (El Misti is viewed as a one-day trip to guide as the ascent starts at mid-day and finishes the next day at mid-day).
Wishing you a great time in South America,