Info & Resources
About the Services
What are the safety standards of Andeanface?
As our liability waivers and every book on the topic will tell you, climbing is an adventure activity, and as such it has inherent dangers. One of our main goals, as a company committed towards safety, is to help you have a safe trekking and mountaineering adventure. To reach that goal, we hire guides who are experienced in risk management and knowledgeable of the necessary skills for safe outdoor activities. In Ecuador, statistically, more people injure themselves approaching the mountains than while roped in a glacier.
Who will be my guide?
All of our guides are skilled climbers who have been known for their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgement, patience, supportive teaching styles, knowledge of English and good personalities. Most of our mountain guides hold a Wilderness First Responder Certification. Many of them also have a university studies.
What kind of food will be provided on my trip?
Our many years of mountain travels in Ecuador have provided us with well-tested and nutritious meal plans. Meals will consist of pastas, rice, soups, and fresh food. Be sure to bring along your favourite energy food and after dinner treats. If you have specific allergies or special dietary needs, our staff will provide meals accordingly if it was specified on your application.
What if someone on my rope gets altitude problems and I lose my summit chances?
Safety is the primary consideration on all our trips. Participants must keep in mind that they are part of a team and that the safety and security of a team member is the highest priority. In the unlikely event that the entire group is required to get a team member down, they will be called upon to assist the guides. If a trip member can be escorted safely by another individual, and the group can continue on safely, we will make every attempt to reach the summit.
What is the accommodation like during the trip?
Every expedition begins in Quito where we stay in a comfortable hotel with hot water, private bathrooms, and trusted staff. Our climbing expeditions leave the hotel after two nights and spend the rest of their time in haciendas, which are country side farmhouses converted into cosy lodges. Before the summit attempts, on most of the major peaks, we stay the nights in well-equipped mountain refuges, complete with electricity and bathrooms. In some cases such as Antisana, where there is no hut, we will set up a base camp where we spend the night before the attempt.
What sort of transportation will we use during the trip?
It depends on the group size; in most cases we use well maintained 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps. With more than five climbers we use a mini bus.
Will there be any gear provided by Andeanface?
Yes, we can provide double plastic mountaineering boots up to size 46 EU – 11 1/2 US, crampons, ice axes, helmets and harnesses. Please note that it is always better that you bring your own gear.
Can I visit the children’s home project while I am in Ecuador?
Of course, we will be happy to take you for a visit to the Child ‘N Family centre in Ambato. This can easily be done especially if your itinerary goes near the city. The kids will be happy to see you! Volunteer work opportunities are also available at the project.
How do I sign up for a trip?
We will e-mail you an application form which has to be completed, signed and sent back to us by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax (593-2) 510-5861. After that you will be asked to send us a deposit of 30% of the cost of the trip. The rest of the amount must be paid 30 days before your arrival. The bank account details will be sent on request.
Can I book only some services with Andeanface?
Yes, our services are guiding, food, reservations, transport, gear, logistic support, planning, radios. It all depends on your needs.
Can I book only some excursions with Andeanface?
Yes, Andeanface gives you the chance to book from a single excursion to a multiple day expedition. It all depends on your interest, length of stay and experience. Tailor-made programs are our speciality.
What happens if I need to cancel my trip?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, Andeanface must be notified in writing by e-mail or fax. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
> More than 30 days from trip departure: loss of deposit;
> Less than 15 days from trip departure: 100% of the full payment unless agreed with Andeanface due to unforeseen circumstances.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
We highly recommend travel insurance. The insurance should provide coverage for loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.
How physically fit do I have to be for a high altitude climb?
All our climbs above 5.000 m /16,400 ft are physically demanding, and your ability to enjoy the trip depends on your overall health and fitness. Your trip will be more rewarding for yourself and others if you prepare for it by conditioning properly. We believe that the best form of training is to simulate the activity you are training for and increasing the level of exertion as the routine becomes easier. For example, walking up hills and stair climbing are excellent ways to condition your lower body, heart and lungs for climbing. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, and eventually add weight as you increase your training pace. Then begin taking longer hikes several times a week with a heavier pack. Supplement these workouts with running, swimming, cycling or other forms of aerobic activity. We suggest that you begin your daily training a few months prior to your visit to Ecuador.
What will the weather be like on my trip?
The Andes of Ecuador generate and attract their own weather, making conditions difficult to predict. Because of its position, it is the only place in the world where you can climb on any day of the year, being the best months for the ascensions located on the eastern mountain range from November to February. Adverse weather can occur at any time. You should be prepared for a wide range of temperatures, from freezing nights with snowy and windy conditions, to bright sunshine intensified by high altitude. Our guides will make every attempt to follow our trip itineraries. If you are unable to reach a summit because of weather or any other reason, Andeanface will be unable to provide a refund.
About Local Issues
Where do I fly into?
Our company is based in Quito, the capital city, and therefore our services start from here. People travelling from Europe usually fly from Madrid or Amsterdam into Quito, and people from the U.S. leave from Houston or Miami.
What are the entry requirements for Ecuador?
Upon arrival you will go through immigrations first and then customs. First you will be asked to present your passport and tourist card (usually handed out on board your flight prior to landing). Be sure your entrance papers are officially stamped showing the number of days you are allowed to stay in the country. You will be given a copy of the tourist card. Keep it in a safe place with your passport, as you will need it to leave the country. If it is lost you will need to fill out a new one at the airline counter when you check in for your departing flight.
What are the Customs Regulations?
According to Ecuadorian law, any person that enters the country temporarily is exempt for the payment of any customs duty. You will not be required to pay taxes or duties for your luggage, new or used articles that you will use during your trip, and portable items such as photo cameras, video camera, laptops, radios and CD players.
Do I have to pay to pick up my luggage?
Next you will proceed to pick up your luggage. If you require assistance there are porters who can help you; the stand gratuity is USD 1 per bag. If you want to use a trolly, you also need to pay USD 1.
Are there taxis at the airport?
Once you arrive in Quito you can take a taxi to your hotel. There are only official taxis operating from the airport in Quito, so it is generally very safe; they are the yellow ones, you will see them standing just outside the terminal after you clear costumes. From the terminal to the Mariscal area the driver will most likely charge you $10 and it will take you 20 minutes at night and up to 45 minutes during the day (depending on the hour).
Is Ecuador safe?
Ecuador is generally rated as one of the safe countries in South America. As in any country in the world, the golden rule is not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are places, mostly in the main cities, where you need to remain vigilant at certain times but once you get out to the countryside the atmosphere is more relaxed. Ecuador’s north-eastern border with Colombia should be avoided, as Colombian rebel groups and contraband are increasingly crossing the San Miguel River due to an escalating civil unrest.
What type of electricity does Ecuador have?
The electricity in Ecuador is the same as in the United States and Canada: 110V-60HZ.
Which time zone is Ecuador at?
Mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are on two different time zones. Time on the mainland is Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5). Time in the Galapagos Islands is Central Standard Time (GMT-6). Due to its location on the equator, the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador have long 12 hour days year round. The sun rises around 6am and sets around 6pm. These consistent hours of sunlight make it so daylight savings time is not necessary or observed.
What are the spoken languages in Ecuador?
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken at hotels, restaurants and shops. Almost everyone involved in hosting you during your stay speaks some English. If you plan to set out on your own – or simply for convenience – it is good to carry an English/Spanish phrase book. Electronic stores like Radio Shack® sell pocket translators that make it simple to look up words and conjugate verbs for around USD 20.
What is the country code for telephone calls?
The national country code is 593, if you call Quito you need to add a 2, plus the 7 digits of the number. For example (593-2) 292-1485.