meridies® offers the best of both worlds. The best local expertise and knowledge, held by our guides and instructors who were born and raised in the mountains of Argentina, and the best institutional standards for safety and expedition management, attained after years of work experience in the United States and Europe. This combination allows us to provide a valuable cultural perspective to our overseas clients as well as an important bridge to local Argentineans. meridies® maintains the highest international standards and professionalism that are unmatched in Argentina. This represents our vision and the core identity of meridies®. We are committed to maintaining this vision in everything we do.
Our Client/Guide Ratio
meridies® keeps a very ´tight´ client/guide ratios. For instance, during Aconcagua summit day, we mantain a maximum client/guide ratio of 3:1 and we guarantee a ratio of 4:1 for the rest of our stay in the mountain. This enhances our supervision capabilities and overall safety. It promotes healthy interactions of expedition members, lessens the stress caused by larger groups and promotes a deeper connection with the environment.
Unique strategy and itineraries
meridies® offers custom trip programs and tailored outdoor management development programs, which are carefully crafted according to our clients’ needs. Over the last few years we have also begun to guide ´on request´, a number of ascents of Aconcagua, Llullaillaco, Pissis, the Southern Patagonian Icefield, Mount Tronador, Lanín Volcano and other programs during the off-season. We have guided expeditions as early as October, when harsher conditions often break momentarily to unveil the whole mountain for us as our reward.
World class equipment & supplies
We provide ALL group expedition gear and we pay attention to details. All lead guides and facilitators are responsible that all the equipment is in perfect working condition and clean before every trip. They include, although not limited to:
- Top-of-the-line Mountain Hardware and Sierra Design ‘top of the line’ three-persona expedition tents
- Mountain hardware three seasons KIVA tents, which accommodate up to four people
- MSR stoves and cooking gear
- Comprehensive first-aid and drug kits
- VHF radios, two-way radios or cell phones as needed
- Garmin Etrex GPS (Global Positioning System) devices
- Black Diamond harnesses, climbing ropes and other technical gear
Lodging & Transportation
meridies® strives to accommodate our clientele in high end lodges and hotels, which vary from 3 to 5 star hotels. We pay attention to get “good mattresses”, solid breakfasts (usually small in Argentina), air conditioning and hotel lock boxes. Some have Internet access as well. We always attempt to patronize ‘bed & breakfast’ an other independent local lodging options.
meridies® only hires transportation that is fully insured and registered with the National Transportation Authority (CNRT). We always brief the drivers ahead of time and ensure they are experiences with the route they will travel.
Nutrition is an aspect of expeditioning that is underestimated or even neglected by some guiding agencies or consultants. We believe that an adequate nutrition is essential to a successful and enjoyable trip. We provide well-balanced meals prepared by an experienced mountain cook during our stay in huts, and all our guides and facilitators are also well trained in high-altitude meal preparation. Our menus are flexible and we can accommodate to special requests such as vegetarian, vegan or religious dietary restrictions. We take pride of our Patagonian pizzas made in the field!
We try to distribute business amongst the local communities we visit, including buying from small community markets, patronizing local hotels and restaurants in town, hiring porters and mules at fair prices. We want to contribute to a sustainable economy in all the communities we visit.
Our pricing policy
The fact that we live and work in Argentina, allows us to provide excellent service while maintaining a lower overhead when compared to similar companies based in the United States or in Europe. We do however, pay our guides and facilitators standard international wages, which translates directly into high levels of safety and quality. Our guides and facilitators are worth every cent we pay them because their judgment and professionalism determines safety, summit success and personal growth for our clients. Basic logistics costs such as lodging, food and supplies, equipment and transportation will not vary much from one guiding company to another assuming they offer the same services. Four-star hotels, for instance, all cost approximately the same in Mendoza and the same applies to mule transport, food, equipment and pretty much all other expenses, except of course for guide, instructors or facilitators salaries. This is our greatest expense and the bulk of the final price we charge to our customers. As a result our prices are slightly higher than other Argentinean companies but highly competitive when compared to foreign outfitters working in Argentina, simply because we are committed to work only with the most experienced and qualified guides and facilitators available.