The ING is happy to transport visitors up and down the mountain free of charge as part of its normal transport arrangements. These are that on weekdays transport leaves the Santa Cruz office at 07:45 to make the upward journey and leaves the site at 16:00 (15:30 on Fridays) to make the downward journey. There is frequently official transport at weekends but it is not guaranteed and would-be travellers should check well in advance. The journey takes about 1 hour (via Mirca). There is an alternative route via Garafia that may need to be used in some circumstances; this journey takes two hours.
At other times (weather permitting) it is possible to travel up or down by taxi (booked via the ING receptionist at least 3 working days in advance) but such journeys must be paid for by the visitors concerned (current cost 4500 Ptas via Mirca). Visitors being met at the airport by a taxi booked in advance should look for a driver who will identify himself. Visitors should remember that the road is only negotiable by ordinary cars when the surface is free from snow and rocks. In the event of bad road conditions ING will make other, ad hoc, arrangements.
The ING transport consists of a fleet of saloon cars. Members of the permanent staff often drive straight from their homes to the telescopes in the morning and vice-versa in the evening without visiting the Santa Cruz office. Others call in at the office for administrative purposes or to receive visitors and drive them to the mountain top. On weekdays you should report to the office before 07:45 in order to catch the transport. At weekends, when prior arrangements have been made with the receptionist, you will be met at your hotel or the Santa Cruz office at a pre-arranged time.
Never make your own arrangements to travel up to or down from the site (e.g. by hire car or unofficial taxi) unless you have contacted a staff member and made sure that weather and road conditions are safe.