Aconcagua Climbing – Argentina awaits you to climb the Aconcagua

The Aconcagua Provincial Park is very close to Route 40, and to the city of Mendoza, it allows access to the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia, Cerro Aconcagua, 6,960 m high.

On this page we give you information on how to get there, when to visit it, what there is to see and do. This provincial park is located about 190 km from the capital of Mendoza, very close to the border with Chile.

It has an area of ​​71,000 ha. It was created in 1983 in order to protect the flora, fauna and archaeological material around the highest peak in America (and also in the western and southern hemispheres); in fact, it is the biggest peak in the world outside of Asia: Cerro Aconcagua, with 6,960 meters of height. Without a doubt, the Cordillera de los Andes is the main element of the park. The Cordillera is not a monolithic unit but is subdivided into three differentiated bands and the Andes between 28° and 34° S, are subdivided into two cords that run parallel:

The first, to the east, or Cordillera Frontal, closer to the city of Mendoza and the Uco Valley.

Climb Aconcagua

The second to the west, which is where the Park is located, called Cordillera Principal or Cordillera del Limite. Its width in this area is about 30 km.

Both cords are differentiated by the type of rocks that compose them: the “Main” is made up of marine sediments with Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils.

Aconcagua, unlike other peaks in the area, such as the nearby Cerro Tupungato, is not volcanic but has been raised by tectonic forces that raised the Cordillera.

It is surrounded by hills over 5,000 m high, such as the Cuerno, Catedral, Bonete and Mirador.

The high peaks are covered with glaciers. The melting winter snow forms Penitentes about 2 to 3 m high, in the form of sharp, aligned and erect mounds.

The Name: Aconcagua

The natives used a Quechua word to name this mass of almost 7 km in height: Aconcagua, which means “Stone Sentinel”

The rivers that irrigate the foothill oases of northern Mendoza (the Mendoza, Tunuyán, Diamante, and Atuel rivers) rise in the mountainous area and are fed by melting ice in spring.

The Mendoza River receives part of its waters from Aconcagua since its tributaries: the Horcones River (to the west and southwest of the Park) and the Las Vacas River (to the north and east) come down from the Aconcagua Expedition

Weather in Aconcagua hike

It is temperate semi-arid mountain. With summer rains and in winter, rainfall from the Pacific.

The Zonda wind is characteristic of the area, warm, dry and carrying a lot of dust in suspension.

The height makes the thermal amplitude great: in summer temperatures can drop below -20°C at heights above 5,000 m.

Even at lower altitudes, the daily thermal amplitude is considerable and even in summer it is cold. The wind can aggravate the low wind chill. Always wear warm clothes.

Aconcagua Climbing – What to take to Aconcagua

Whether you go on your own or decide to join an excursion to go to Aconcagua, you must bear in mind that it is a high mountain area and that you have to be prepared for everything. For example, the weather can be very changeable or you may notice a lack of oxygen if you are not used to the altitude.

To do the trails of both the Horcones Lagoon and the Confluencia base camp, I recommend you to bring a small backpack with everything you may need: a bottle of water, food to recharge your batteries, an external battery so you don’t run out of mobile, sunscreen. , a small medicine cabinet… If you are affected by soroche, they sell pills to mitigate it or you can buy coca leaves to chew or make an infusion.

As for clothing, try to dress with a windbreaker and in layers. Thus, if the day is sunny you can take off the warmer clothes, and if it changes to cold, put them on again to keep warm. Do not forget the hat and gloves if there is a forecast of cold, nor the cap and sunglasses if there is forecast of sun. For your feet, good socks and used hiking shoes that won’t hurt or chafe.

Aconcagua Mountain Guides

Also, and very important if you travel from abroad, remember to have good travel insurance. The mountain is beautiful, but it can be treacherous, and we never know when we might fall, twist an ankle, or even catch a cold. So, in order not to have to manage the paperwork of medical assistance or have to pay money for it, it is best to be covered by insurance. I recommend Mondo and with them you always have a 5% discount for reading my blog. Where to sleep on Aconcagua ascents

If you are going to visit Aconcagua for a day, it is normal to return to Mendoza. Most people reserve their accommodation in the capital and from there move to other places in the province that they wish to visit. Now, if you want to stay over there, you have some hotels in the surroundings of the Provincial Park along Route 7. You can consult them here.

If you are thinking of camping on Aconcagua, it is only possible if you are going to do a multi-day trek. The base camps are enabled for this, although you will have to take your tent, your sleeping bag and your food. If you are only going to trek to Confluencia, I am sorry to tell you that you cannot spend the night, since the entrance is only during the day.

I hope this post helps you plan your adventure and now you have a clearer idea of ​​how to get to Aconcagua treks. I did the trek to Confluencia on my own by bus from Mendoza and it was a very nice experience (although exhausting due to all the travel time and the high altitude walk). If you like the mountains, I highly recommend it, even if it’s just a day trip from the city. It is very worth it!

Aconcagua Climbing – Do not forget to drink a lot of water to hydrate yourself

In Plaza de Mulas I took a Reliveran and hydrated with a lot of liquids, at night I was fine. We ate polenta, (last night capelets prevailed) and natural peaches. I went to bed early, I read a little and fell asleep, I forgot to mention that I dropped my reading glasses and they broke, luckily I was able to fix them, only those who know me and know what reading means in my life, can measure this fact. Mount Aconcagua

Sunday 08 / 02 / 04

“You are a creature of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, and whether it is evident to you or not, the universe is certainly unfolding as it should. So be at peace with God, in any case.” However you conceive it. Whatever your job and aspirations, in the noisy confusion keep peace with your soul. With all its farces, jobs and broken dreams, this is still a beautiful world. Be careful and strive to be happy.”

I was able to take a bath!! I shaved, spectacular!! Here this that seems so simple is quite a procedure, the bathroom is a very elementary place made of wood, with a plastic bag of 15 liters of warm water, with a small adjustable flower, therefore one gets wet, then soaps up and finally it is rinsed, regulating the water so that it reaches, everything is very primitive, but it has the virtue that you learn to value the simple and important things of common life such as a good shower, a good bath, a comfortable chair, a soft bed, I don’t miss television, we never really got along very well.

I feel good physically and mentally. I went to the doctor, oxygen saturation is up to 85% and heart rate is 90 beats per minute. I am satisfied with myself, I am 54 years old, and 90% of the people my age do not go beyond Cerro de la Gloria, and I am a native of Buenos Aires, I am going to make the necessary effort to climb Aconcagua, why is it that I like them so much the challenges, trying to improve myself day by day, constantly competing with myself… Climbing Aconcagua

Plaza de Mulas is like a small town, everyone walks slowly and carries bottles of water in their hands to hydrate themselves, apparently good hydration prevents altitude symptoms, it looks like a slow motion movie. There are around 150 tents and several languages ​​are spoken.

I have decided to pay homage to Miguel de Cervantes, since next year will be the , Aconcagua Argentina

fundamental book of universal literature and very dear to me, a photo at the summit with him would be original. Also a photo with the flag of the SATI (Argentine Society of Intensive Therapy) and that of the Municipality of Capital and Cimesa that supported us financially, a special memory for my friend Lili Vietti.

Aconcagua Climbing – Always listen to the advice of the guide

Today there is a discussion about the dinner menu, half the group wants capletines and the other half polenta, tomorrow when I write the diary the mystery will have been revealed. It’s 5 pm and I’m going to read a little.

Tomorrow we are going to carry food to Nido de Cóndores (5500 meters), so we will go up with more weight than today, we will see how it goes. I hope the weather is with us.

Today I had a medical check-up, in the health tent in Plaza de Mulas, (in Mendoza I have 60) and an oxygen saturation of 80% (in Mendoza I have 94%) given the height all good.

Saturday 07 /02 /05

“No, to remain and pass, is not to endure, it is not to exist, nor to honor life. There are so many ways of not being, so much consciousness without knowing numb… because it is not the same as living… honoring life ”

We leave at 10 a.m. for Nido de Cóndores (5500mts), we pass through Plaza Canada at 1:30 p.m. and arrive at Nido de Cóndores at 3 p.m.

We made a good time but the effort was great, in the last 300 meters I understood what it means to climb with the head. There comes a time when the legs do not want more, in any other situation one stops, but here you have to continue, then you start thinking about your great and beautiful dream, about your loved ones, about all those who trust in you and in your commitment, it’s incredible but I imagined them all Aconcagua Hike encouraging me Cuca, Carlos, Guillermo, Liliana, Pablo, Gonzalo, Jimena, Carla and Paula I dedicated several minutes to each one and they all gave me energy. Also my dear friends from the mountain José Luis, Sergio and Hugo with whom I climbed Lanín. I am sure that they are not here physically for other reasons , but they are with me spiritually and they also gave me their energy . Everyone told me that I could and the energy came back!!! I arrived with tears in my eyes, like now when I write this remembering everything, what I am experiencing is very strong and I thank life for this opportunity. I wonder if this is how the 5500mts are like the 7000mts will be… I’ll solve it in due course. Aconcagua Expeditions

I brought hot tea of ​​different herbs, I drank it when I arrived and vomited immediately, tea was always poison for me, the question is why do I experiment at this point, is it the lack of oxygen? They took a picture of me throwing it away with a lot of anger. Aconcagua Climb

The descent cost me a lot, I felt my legs were weak.

Aconcagua Climbing – Great destination to end your vacation

Base Camp Confluence

If you want to go a little deeper into the Provincial Park, you can continue the trail to the first base camp of Aconcagua. It is called Confluence and it is the first of the stages on the way up to the top of this majestic mountain.

This camp is located at about 3,500 meters above sea level and it takes about 4 hours to complete the entire route if I remember correctly. The way out is uphill, so you may notice the altitude and Aconcagua 360 Route will cost you a bit. Of course, the good news is that the return is down. Along the entire path there are incredible views and you will not lose sight of the colossus, always vigilant from the bottom of the valley.

Aconcagua Summit

If you are in good physical shape and have mountaineering experience, you can join an expedition to climb to the top as well. In this case I don’t have much information, but I’m sure there are agencies that organize it from Mendoza. The ascent lasts several days (I think at least two weeks) and involves a high level of demand due to the extreme conditions of the high Andean mountains. Please note that this is NOT an activity suitable for everyone. How much does the entrance to the Aconcagua Guided Climb cost?

The Aconcagua Provincial Park is a protected space and to help in its conservation, visitors must pay an entrance fee. The price of this depends on the nationality and the activity to be carried out. Here I leave the amounts, but you can also check the park page for more details:

How to Climb Aconcagua

Entrance to the Laguna de Horcones (small path to the viewpoint):

Argentines: free entry

Latin Americans: 550 pesos

Rest of foreigners: 820 pesos

Day Trekking Ticket (walk to Confluencia):

Argentines: free entry

Latin Americans: 2720 pesos

Rest of foreigners: 3400 pesos

If you visit Aconcagua with a tour, it is possible that the entrance is included in the price and you will not have to register, but if you go on your own you must register online and buy your ticket beforehand. I explain how to do it:

You must go to the reservation website of the natural areas of Mendoza and select the Aconcagua Provincial Park.

Indicate the number of people and click on the activity you want to do. You will see the option to choose the dates of your visit and the number of seats available per hour.

Select the day and time and click the “Book Now” button below.

Indicate your personal data and proceed to pay the indicated amount.

Aconcagua Climbing – A dream climb

High mountain excursion through the Andes: visit to Uspallata, Puente del Inca and Cristo Redentor. It does not enter the Provincial Park, only Aconcagua Argentina can be seen from the outside.

Excursion to the Aconcagua Provincial Park: walk to the Laguna de Horcones within the Provincial Park. Low difficulty.

Trekking to Confluencia base camp: trek from the entrance of the Aconcagua Provincial Park to Confluencia, the first base camp. Medium difficulty.

How to get to Aconcagua from Santiago de Chile

If you live or are going to travel alone to Santiago de Chile and want to take an excursion to Aconcagua, you basically have two options: travel by car or join a full-day tour from the capital. In any case,remember that you have to cross the border with Argentina, both on the way out and on the way back, which can make you lose several hours. Argentina

If you dare to travel by car, you have to follow Route 57, which in Los Andes becomes Route 60. Once in Argentina, the road becomes Route 7 and you will only have a few kilometers left until the entrance of the Provincial Park. Aconcagua.

In case you do not have a car, I am sorry to tell you that it is not possible to go by public transport. You would have to go to Mendoza first, which is not feasible for one day. Therefore, the alternative is to take a full-day guided tour from Santiago de Chile. This tour will allow you to make a small trail inside the Provincial Park and get to know other places along the way. You can reserve it here.

What to see on Mount Aconcagua

When planning your visit to Aconcagua there are several places that you should be clear about. You should spend more or less time exploring the Provincial Park.

The main access is on Route 7 and is the Horcones Visitor Center. The main hiking trails start from there. Although there are other accessible places in the park, I am going to focus on the part that I know and that is the one that most people visit.

Horcones Lagoon

The route that most visitors to the Aconcagua Provincial Park follow is the one that takes you to Laguna de Horcones. It is a very simple route that will take you between 1 and 2 hours round trip, depending on how much you spend taking photos. In addition to seeing this small lagoon, there is a viewpoint to Cerro Aconcagua (the typical image of the park).

Aconcagua Climbing – Preparing the charges to begin the Ascent

In the afternoon we put together the “petates” (packages), to carry food; to Plaza Canada tomorrow and to Nido de Cóndores on Saturday. Today I patched the mattress. Tonight we will eat a stew, I plan to go to sleep early, all the clothes have arrived in good condition, the mules behaved very well this time. In the first load, a can of beer broke and four liters of water spilled, so all the boxes got wet, nothing too serious. As I write this, I’m eating a snack with beer. We had a delicious lentil stew for dinner, I with beer, I still have a few cans left. Aconcagua Treks

How I fixed the inflatable mattress, despite the height (4200 meters) I slept straight for 6 hours, woke up at 4 am, read 1 hour with my headlamp, I got sleepy again and slept until 7 am. I feel very well physically, some colleagues have a headache, I only notice dry lips and skin despite the creams. At this height no vegetables grow and the only animals I have seen are a couple of beautiful and majestic condors that flew over us.

Friday 06/02/05

“The transparency and beauty of that great mountain arises when you are completely committed to it, when the dedication is mutual”

Today we get up at 7:00 a.m. and at 10:00 a.m. we leave for Plaza Canada (4910mts) to acclimatize by going up and also to carry food that we will leave there in closed bags covered with stones, that way we will carry less weight on the final ascent. Climb Aconcagua

In general the whole group well and even. I do not exceed 120 beats per minute at maximum effort, which is my usual frequency in hard training (big Jack!)

Esteban leads the march and Constanza closes it. In Plaza Canada we find several expeditions of foreigners camping. The landscape from here is impressive, I see the Cuerno hill, Plaza de Mulas from high above and the Tupungato hill with its snowy west wall. skate between the stones, a sensation similar to skiing.

On the descent Mario was a bit weak, I think he suffers from vertigo and as the slopes are very steep and with loose stones you have to skate away, it’s a very nice feeling… if you’re not afraid. Aconcagua Expedition

We arrived back at 3:30 p.m. very tired but happy. Spectacular weather, sun and heat with little wind (ideal)

While I was going up I was thinking about taking a photo of myself at the summit reading Don Quixote and on the way back I would take another one reading it in line at Citibank (to name just one of those that mortified me) put them together and put a sentence on it: “In the most exciting places and in the most frustrating and stressful the book can always accompany you ” and donate it to the General San Martín Library.

Aconcagua Climbing – Some tips to set up the tent on windy days

We set up the tents, I walk around the place that is quite populated, in relation to when I came with my friend José Luis, last year. I take some photos and we have dinner in the dining tent of Confluencia: soup, lasagna and chocolate flan.

Wednesday 04/02/04 Aconcagua Guided Climb

Confluencia is a spectacular place, I take some photos, we have breakfast and we go to Plaza de Mulas, a place I don’t know.

At the exit you have to cross a rudimentary bridge, where Esteban’s solidarity and great physical condition are evident. I have already gone out with him other times and his great physical display is a constant, he knows that he is the strongest and he permanently shows it, but with good vibes.

We leave Plaza de Mulas at 10 am, after a slight climb we enter the valley of the Horcones river, surrounded by imposing hills, and then we enter Playa Ancha, a large plain 10 km long, with small, clear stones. and little slope. At 2:00 p.m. we arrive, eat and begin the ascent to Plaza de Mulas, around 4:00 p.m.

Photo of the whole group: back from left to right: Esteban Zalazar Eduardo Sibulosky, Mario Mónaco, Eric Cruzuar, Leandro Gitelman, Eduardo Morales, forward crouched: Constanza D´Angelo, Graciela Zakalik, Gladys Quiroga Jorge Arroyo and Belem Saua, missing Fernando Santa Maria. Aconcagua Mountain Guides

It is practically a very steep ascent of 1000 meters, which is why it is called the Cuesta Brava. There I realized how well trained I am, I remembered my 10 km jogs with Jack 3 times a week, my faithful and dear companion, the times I went out to train reluctantly and in bad weather, in short, everything What do you do when you want to make a big dream come true?

I arrived first at Plaza de Mulas, taking 5 minutes from the second, Eric, and 30 minutes from the rest of the group. I am happy with how good and strong I feel, considering that the rest of the group is between 15 and 20 years younger than me.

We had an early dinner of pea soup, 4-cheese noodles, me with half a liter of beer, one of the luxuries I give myself. At 10 pm we are sleeping in the dining tent that Tato lent us, a macanudo dentist, who from November to March leaves his office and dedicates himself to providing accommodation and food to groups of climbers for very reasonable prices. He punctured my mat and I couldn’t put the pillow together, so I didn’t get the best sleep. Outside 10 degrees below zero. I took some photos of the beautiful west wall of Aconcagua at sunset.

Thursday 05/02/04 Aconcagua Ascents

I am aware that I am already on Aconcagua at 4,200 meters, more than halfway to the summit. We had spring rice for lunch with a lot of cheese, before lunch I went to the Plaza de Mulas Hotel, it is 2 km from the camp, it is very nice, it costs 60 U$D per person with food per day, obviously built for foreigners. There is the booth, I contacted Lili, mom, Pablo and Debra, telling them how beautiful this is and how good I feel physically and mentally.

Aconcagua Climbing – Aconcagua base camp is great

Freedom means learning to accept reality, with all its contradictions and paradoxes, both the terrible and discouraging aspects and the pure and inspiring ones. The freedom of our limits”

We met at the Directorate of Natural Resources, to get the permits to climb Aconcagua. There I met Eric, Eduardo and Leandro, from Buenos Aires and members of the expedition

I gave Constanza 15 kg of cargo for the mules, where she goes food and clothing. On January 26, she had given him a duffle bag with 30 kg of clothes.

I see the whole group very happy and confident in achieving the goal, we are all very excited. Some may wonder why try to climb Aconcagua? …. The answer is because it is there, because it is beautiful and impressive, a real challenge!!! Aconcagua 360 Route

Wherever you can do it or dream it starts…. in audacity there is genius, energy and magic. That’s what everyone feels in their own way, it’s like an inner tremor that transforms you, you want everything to start at once, in my case a year preparing for this moment. I don’t know how else to express what I feel, I can only assure you that I never felt something like this

Tuesday 03/02/05

“Growing up is learning that maturity consists of a sum of personal choices and decisions; carrying them out makes us free. Daring to take responsibility and the pain of this type of freedom entails, is what it means to be alive”

Liliana takes me to the bus station, with my backpack that weighs about 15 Kg. I think I have everything I need, even a small chair so I don’t always have to sit on the stones. a sad and worried face possibly originated in the farewell and in realizing what was to come.

I plan to read and look at stars as well as admiring the incredible landscapes that surround that great mountain, the highest in America.

How to Climb Aconcagua

I have two books: Don Quixote, which I have already read in extreme situations and I plan to reread, at least some chapters, and Captain of the Ship, a book by Patric O Brian about ships and seas in the 19th century, another of my passions. I travel by bus to Horcones together with Belén and Gladys. I say goodbye to Liliana thinking that the next time I see her, this project will be finished, I hope successfully. The bus leaves at 10:15 and arrives in Uspallata at 12:00. 100 years surrounded by a small wall. I had never seen it, it is diagonally from the Service Station, I take a picture of it. On the trip I read three chapters of Captain of the Ship, very good.

We arrived at Horcones at 2:00 p.m. We got off the bus and began to walk to the park ranger control. We took some photos along the way. We arrived at the park ranger where there are three helicopters standing and the rest of our group waiting for us. 7 a.m.

We do the corresponding paperwork, I greet Pablo Perelló, Chief Ranger and in-law on the part of Leticia, Liliana’s sister, I send greetings to the family through him and we begin, after eating two sandwiches, the walk to Confluencia (3300mts) where we arrived at 7:00 p.m.

Aconcagua Climbing – How to get to Aconcagua from Mendoza

Although it is halfway between the two cities, the easiest way to visit Aconcagua is to do it from Argentina, for the simple fact that from Chile you have to cross a border. You can go both on your own and with a tour. I visited it on my own by public transport from Mendoza.

Go to Aconcagua Expeditions on your own

To go on your own to Aconcagua you have two options. The first is to have your own vehicle (or rent a car in Mendoza to explore the area). As I was saying, it will take about 3 hours and there is no loss. You simply have to follow Route 7 along almost 200 kilometers of incredible landscapes. Now, when traveling alone, going by car can be expensive because there is no one to share expenses with, so you may be more interested in going by bus.

If you opt for public transport, every day a bus leaves from Mendoza capital in the direction of Aconcagua Provincial Park. The buses leave from the Mendoza terminal, which is located very close to the center, making it very convenient. When I went the route was made by the Buttini company, but according to the park’s official website now it seems that Andesmar does it.

Bus schedules to go to Aconcagua

That’s the only information I’ve found about it. In any case, it seems that the schedules and frequencies that existed previously are maintained:

Ida Mendoza – Aconcagua climb

Monday to Friday departures at 5:55 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. to Horcones and 3:30 p.m. to Puente del Inca.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 7:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. to Horcones and 3:30 p.m. to Puente del Inca.

Return Aconcagua – Mendoza:

Monday to Friday departures at 11:35 a.m. and 4:35 a.m. from Horcones and 8:00 p.m. from Puente del Inca.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11:40 a.m. and 4:35 a.m. from Horcones and 8:00 p.m. from Puente del Inca.

Keep in mind that each journey takes about 4 hours. I recommend you take the first bus in the morning because that way you will arrive around 9-10 and you will be able to spend the whole day knowing that you have two buses back. Of course, do not stretch the day too much, lest you miss the last trip back.

Tours climbing Aconcagua from Mendoza

In case you do not dare to go on your own because you consider it complicated go alone to the mountain, you can also visit Aconcagua on an excursion. There are different tours that depart from the city of Mendoza to visit more or less places within the Provincial Park and its surroundings. These are some of them (click on the links to see more information and book):