Socompa is a company made of people. There is nothing similar in NW Argentina. An operative office that follows step by step the creation of your travel programme and that is responsible of its development until the last second, 24/7.
We will simply introduce the permanent Staff of Socompa, but let’s not forget those who collaborate with us: Free Lance Guides (some of them work exclusively for Socompa), the Staff that makes possible the operation of the Hostería El Peñón at 3400 meters in an Oasis at the Puna and the staff of Finca Valentina. We are many, and each day we wake up thinking about the things we love most, our land and our job.
Fabrizio Ghilardi. Founder. He was born in Milán, Italy and has a degree in Business Economics. In 2004, after a life changing experience in the Puna Desert, he decided to move to Salta, where he lived with his family for more than 12 years. He knows every corner of the Puna, has climbed some of the highest peaks of the Andes (Pissis, Ojos del Salado, Llullaillaco, Licancabur and Sajama) and the Alps. He has published two books of travel in Italy, one about the Puna. His enthusiasm is inexhaustible, he is also the manager of Hosteria El Peñón, and with his wife Valentina, transformed their house into the most charming hotel to stay in Salta, Finca Valentina. Nowadays, he has moved back to Italy, where he is working on new projects with his family, while continuing his position as founder and director of Socompa in Salta.
Mariana Caliuolo. Managing Director. Was born Salta, her place in the World. At a very young age she decided she would do a career that would allow her to always be in touch with foreign cultures, it became a passion, as travelling and learning new languages. She moved to Buenos Aires where she graduated in International Relations, while working at the Malaysian Embassy in Argentina. Later, she specialized in International Business, Protocol and Asia-Pacific Politics and decided to return to Salta looking for new challenges. In 2008, she joined the Socompa Team working mainly on organizational development, sales and operations, becoming later Managing Director.
Federico Ochoa. Operations Manager. has a Degree in Tourism, he is salteño and in love with his region. Being a teenager he travelled with his father to every corner of NW Argentina and discovered his passion for tourism. He wrote his Thesis about the Hotel business of the Quebrada de Humahuaca and its contribution to the local entrepreneurs. He has worked in the Hotel industry, as a bilingual guide, travel agent and Chief of Operations of a car Rental Company. Has a great passion for cars and British music.
Verónica Sueldo Vavrinek. Travel Designer. Majored in International Relations Studies, Verónica discovered her passion for travelling and working with colleagues from abroad in Socompa. She travelled solo in Europe, after finishing University, and moved from the Academic world of teaching International History, to creating amazing adventure tours in NWArgentina.
Mariano Ochoa. Travel Designer. Mariano is one our most experienced team members, in the area of Hospitality and Tourism, he has worked in many other companies, including Hotels and High End Adventure Tour Operators, gaining precious expertise in designing tours in the remote region of the Puna Desert and its surroundings. He handles complex trips and loves to spend time personally discussing itineraries with the clients and advising on how to create amazing journeys in this remote and vast region.
Federico González. Operations and Logistics. Fede is a bilingual guide in french and spanish. Originally from Salta, he spent many years in France perfecting the language as well as working as a foreign language assistant, a fellowship offered by the French Embassy in both 2002 and 2005. On return to Salta, he worked both as a french teacher and a tour guide, principally for french- speakers, incorporating another of his hobbies into his workplace: driving cars! When he isn’t working he spends his time on his bike and attending tango dance classes: a dance he says is unique and passionate. He also enjoys playing the guitar and joining musical forces with friends, especially elaborate music such as jazz, tango and bossa nova, without forgetting the traditional argentine folklore and andean music! Having been a teacher and travelled parts of western europe, Fede has an easy-going, patient and empathetic personality making for an excellent travel companion! After many years on the road, he has joined the office team in 2019, to provide Operations and Logistic Support to our team of Guides, as well as introducing great insight from the field, in our office.
Adriana Escobar. Hostería El Peñón. Studied archaeology and biology at the Salta University. She was awarded “Mountaineer Woman of the Year” in 1999 and has been Vice President of the Club Aventura Salta (Mountaineering Club). She has participated of many high mountain expeditions with archeological purposes in the Andes of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia (including the National Geographic Expedition to the Llullaillaco Vulcano). Adriana has an special magnetism, getting to know the Andes with her is an unforgettable experience. She is the liaison with the local community of El Peñón, in the heart of the Andes, where we manage one of our Hotels.
TEAM OF GUIDES
Luis Giramonti. Adventure Guide. He was born in Buenos Aires and reaised in Salta where he studied Agronomic Enginering. Later, he decided to move to Italy the country of his grandfather to work in the family company for several years, travelling around Europe mainly in Germany and Austria. Back in Salta he decided to start his career as a Professional Guide joining the team of Socompa in 2010 as an adventure travel guide. Nowadays, Luis is one of the biggest expert on off roads trips to the Argentine Puna and the Altiplan, he manages as a tour leader very complex expeditions to the remotest regions of the Desert. He is fluent in Italian.
Gaston Huerga. Adventure Guide. Born in Salta, since his childhood he started to travel with his family, and explore the NW of Argentina. From that early moment he started to fall in love with the nature and culture of his native region. Gaston studied Tourism at High School and he is graduated as Professional Active Tourist Guide. Today he is one of the most brilliant and professional Guides of the whole Region. He loves Photography and any Outdoor activities. He speaks English and he is our Official Guide for the Best Socompa Photography Workshops.
Marcelo Meregaglia. Adventure Guide. He has always had a passion for nature and the natural environment. Perhaps inspired by the unique geography and geology of his birth place, Salta, he began his studies in geology in the mining sector. Marcelo led guided tours around the mine deposits of the Puna in both, Slata and Jujuy. However he soon expanded his horizons, leading exursions throughout Northwest Argentina in 4x4 vehicles as a guide and chofer. He also has interest in archeology, art and photography!