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.
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.