Andres Rios Luci
My wife booked this tour (through Viator) instead of the cruise ship provided tour and I cannot thank her enough for that! Although my wife was sick and could not go, I went. I was the only one from the cruise ship on this tour(although we did meet up with a German group at the lower cable car station). Our tour guide - Andres Rios Luci – was FANTASTIC! He had worked for the National Park and knew everyone and had a wealth of information about the island (and the different potato types) and the park. The tour price included the cable car ticket AND the limited availability hiking permit to access the peak. Be forewarned that the peak is VERY WINDY and can be quite cold. I brought gloves and a toboggan hat (very helpful). Andres provided trekking poles which were also helpful. The hike from the upper cable car station was fairly steep (climb of 163 m on a 650 m trail) but on a fairly well maintained rock trail. The view from the top (on a sunny day that I had) was GLORIOUS! We spent about 15 minutes on top and then descended and took another trail to view a crater. After that we got back in the car for the drive down. Andres stopped the car multiple times for me to take pictures (Andres wisely suggested we save the picture taking for after the hike so that we could beat the crowds going up). I cannot recommend this tour enough – it was the highlight of our 25 day cruise vacation! This was basically a private excursion(only Andres and me in his car) in an area of extreme beauty and spectacular views at a bargain price! A final word of advice – GET STARTED EARLY! Andres was waiting for me when the gang plank was deployed. This early departure allowed us to park in the upper carpark right by the cable car station and we did not have to wait at the cable car station. My only regret is that I did not tip Andres enoughafterwards.