5 years, Australia
Mountain Planet is publishing a series of "Mountain Guide's Profile", with the aim of helping outdoor enthusiasts find a professional to visit mountain regions all over the world. The Mountain Planet database contains more than 1000 specialists contacts from different countries, including those certified by mountain guides national and international associations, and every day they are more and more.
If you need help from a guide in a particular country: go to the project page, choose the most suitable guide for you and ask the candidate questions by email by specifying every detail. If you are a guide: provide as much as possible information about your tours on your profile. Help the outdoor enthusiasts make the right choice.
While it is winter in the northern hemisphere of the Earth, it is summer in the south hemisphere. Latin America and Andes hosts guests from all over the world: from hiking lovers to experienced climbers. Everyone finds there the most suitable activities.
For example, in the Argentinian Patagonia, advanced climbers will never get bored, as the monolithic walls of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy are great for trying yourself. The popular mountain Machu Picchu in Peru will meet hikers' interests and offer them an immersion in the ancient culture of the Incas. Most Latin American guides are specialized in climbing such famous peaks as Mount Aconcagua (Argentina, the highest peak in Latin America), the volcano Pico de Orizaba (Mexico), Chimborazo, Cotopaxi and other volcanoes (Ecuador). Don’t forget to grab your trekking sticks while traveling to Brazil in order to go for a walk on the Mantiqueira Mountains. The highest peak of this mountain chain is 2 791 m (9 157 ft) high, Agulhas Negras. Those looking for intense and exotic adventures are welcome to Venezuela and to its not always safe approaches to mountain chains through the jungle.
You have to be a professional mountaineer or you can just be accompanied by an experienced mountain guide in order to be safe in the mountains at any altitude. And in the case of such exotic countries as Latin America, local guides will be helpful even for professional climbers. Without connections and enough knowledge, a foreign, completely unfamiliar country will still remain ''tierra incognita'' while unfamiliar mountains will result dangerous for you. Once you decide to conquer the mountains of Latin America, your next action should be focusing on choosing a guide. Of course, professional mountain guides, trained in different countries can work in any mountain, but nevertheless, it is better to visit exotic, hard-to-reach places with local guides, who will enrich the adventure with interesting stories about their land and culture in addition to help you reach your goal safely.
More than 150 guides from Latin America are registered on the Mountain Planet website, including those with national and international education certificates. By the way, only 4 South American countries are IFMGA members: Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. But nothing can stop the other countries guides from getting their certificates from their "neighbors". In fact, those requiring documented confirmation of guides' qualifications will be able to get them. An international certificate, at least, stays for a professional guide with a wide profile, with whom you can go not only for hiking, but also on complex technical routes to the peaks. Moreover, many guides have their own websites or links to travel companies they work with, where you can get closer to the programs and experience of the specialist.
Probably, the best evidence of guides working quality is the feedbacks left by participants after taking part to their tours. You can evaluate taken tours on Mountain Planet. It is an important option for those who visit mountains often and did not built yet a team of guides in popular regions.
While traveling to Latin America, it is important to know that all the official mountain guides own an official certificate, and hiring an unregistered guide is considered fraught punished with a fine for you. The documentation verification process should be one of the first steps of your negotiation with the guide. If you bring your own guide, for example, from Europe, he must also have a legal right to work in the territory of Latin America, which means having an international IFMGA certificate.
Anyway, remember: mountains will get closer to you and safer only when you feel confident with your physical condition, know your route well, calculate your possibilities correctly and follow all the rules of a safe stay in the mountains. In most cases, this is only possible with an experienced guide.
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