Climbing Aconcagua: How to reach the top

Camping at the base of AconcaguaThe most dramatic hiking destination in Argentina is Aconcagua. At 6,962 meters (22,841 feet), it is the tallest peak in all of the Americas, as well as the tallest peak outside of the Himalayas. The mountain is located just 112 kilometers from Mendoza, making it easy to access. The peak is an internationally acclaimed mountaineering destination, attracting world-class climbers from around the world to attempt its blustery summit. Climbing season on Aconcagua lasts from December through March, although most climbers attempt the summit around January. Summiting requires excellent physical condition, and most climbers also utilize a guide service.

For those who want to see the mountain from a bit more of a distance (and prefer to be able to breathe), Aconcagua Provincial Park offers beautiful day hikes, and multi-day treks, all with breathtaking views of the mountain. For multi-day treks, hikers can choose between the Horcones Valley and the Vacas Valley. The park service issues permits for short (three day) treks or long (seven day) treks, as long as the treks remain below 4,300m. Because of Aconcagua’s popularity, the park service is able to charge much higher prices for these permits. The price tag for a high-season summit attempt for a foreigner is $650 USD, while three and seven day permits are $80 USD and $160 USD, respectively.

If you wish to see the mountain for free, there is a small loop you can do outside of the visitor’s center that takes you to a few smaller lakes and affords great views of the mountains. Although not the most economical hiking option, Aconcagua is a must-visit destination for serious hikers in Argentina.

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes is a British journalist who has been living in the Southern Hemisphere for the last six years, has tried over 500 Malbecs, eaten over 600 Chilean oysters and still has a functioning liver and kidneys (as far as she knows).
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