DAY DESCRIPTION LODGING MEALS
1 MENDOZA
Meeting at the airport. We drop off our luggage at the hotel and then walk to the Aconcagua Park offices which are located in a nice park full of 100 year-old trees. There we get our Aconcagua climbing permits. From there we walk back to the center of Mendoza. In the afternoon, gear check and free time to enjoy this vibrating town.
Hotel Today, lunch and dinner are on your own
2 MENDOZA – VALLECITOS
Transfer to Vallecitos and easy hike.
Hut Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
3 – 4 – 5 ACCLIMATIZING IN VALLECITOS VALLEY
During these 3 days we climb at least 2 easy peaks between 4,000 and 5,000 meters in order to optimize the acclimatization process.
Hut Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6 VALLECITOS – PUENTE DEL INCA – CONFLUENCIA (3,200m)
After breakfast we leave Vallecito, using a road that takes us to the heart of the Andes in about 4.5 hours. Just as we get to the Argentinean side of the border, we sidetrack into the Horcones Valley until we reach the Park Rangers station. Here we leave our car, show our permits and start hiking. It’s a 3- to 4-hour walk up to Confluencia, a camp ground next to the confluence of two small rivers. The path is diverse, but mostly composed of semi-arid land, in which we can see and hear different types of birds all the way up. Today we carry only a light day-pack since our gear is being carried up to Plaza de Mulas by mules. We set up camp at Confluencia camp ground, then we rest and have dinner.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7 CONFLUENCIA – PLAZA DE MULAS (4,300m)
We have an early morning start to avoid the midday heat. Today is a long day since it takes no less than 7 hours to reach our base camp at Plaza de Mulas. The hike goes over mixed terrain and the path up constantly changes since it lies next to a river bed. Today’s hike will be the most challenging so far because we enter into drier and windier zones and gain altitude. As we arrive at the base camp, we show the rangers our climbing permits and then set up our camp.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8 REST DAY AT PLAZA DE MULAS
Today we are in no hurry since we need to keep acclimatizing and we don’t want to wear ourselves out just yet. We have a relaxed breakfast and use this day to arrange our equipment for the mountain. Then we have the opportunity to get some rest and socialize with climbers from other groups in the base camp.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9 PLAZA DE MULAS – CAMP I (5,300m) – PLAZA DE MULAS
Today is a tough day. We carry parts of our gear and food up to Camp I to make our packs lighter. Today we reach 5,300m above sea level, our highest point so far. This is a good time to check our physical state and to see how we are getting acclimatized. Camp I will be at Nido de Condores. We choose our future campsite, hide the gear we carried up and then return to the base camp. The hike takes about 5-6 hours up and 1-2 hours down.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10 PLAZA DE MULAS
Today, we have two options: We can rest in the base camp or, if everyone feels fine and in good physical condition, we can move to Camp I. Climbing up today would give us one extra day to attempt the summit ascent. If we decide to stay at Plaza de Mulas, we rest and prepare everything for the next day.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11 PLAZA DE MULAS – CAMP I (5,300m)
Today we definitely move up to Camp I. Before leaving the base camp, we have to check our backpacks in order not to carry any useless stuff up the mountain. As soon as we arrive at Camp I, we set up the tents and start melting snow to make water. We rest, have dinner, and gaze at the thousands of stars over our heads before going to bed.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12 CAMP I – PIEDRAS BLANCAS (CAMP II, 5,900m)
After breakfast and warming up in the sun, we dismantle the camp, pack everything we need and start the 2-hour hike to Camp II. The trail is pretty good, although sometimes it can be slippery or may be covered with snow. As soon as we arrive at Camp II, we set up the tents and melt water. The rest of the day we rest, enjoy the magnificent views, get hydrated and prepare ourselves and the gear for the summit day.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13 CAMP II – SUMMIT – CAMP II
Early breakfast and early departure at around 5:30 A.M. There is no point in leaving earlier as it could be too cold outside. By starting off at this time, we will reach Independencia, an old semi-destroyed hut, just as the first sun rays warm the area. From there it takes another 4 to 5 hours to reach the summit. The terrain may or may not be covered with snow, but we carry our crampons in case we need them. There will most likely be other teams hiking up the same day, but this shouldn’t disturb us. The climb up will be very tiring, but by keeping a good group rhythm we can reach the summit all together safely and happily and enjoy the beautiful 360º view. If the weather is good, we can stay a bit longer on the summit and look down to the south face at the polish glacier and the base camp far below us. Then we go back down to Camp II in about 3 hours, where we get a good rest and eat a hot meal.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14 – 15 – 16 RESERVE DAYS
Just like the second day at Plaza de Mulas, these extra days are reserve days in case we face bad weather conditions or we need, for whatever reason, more time. Timing is key for a successful ascent in such high altitudes and the weather can be very rough, cold and windy at times. These reserve days allow us to pick the best day for our ascent in order to maximize your chances to reach the summit.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
17 CAMP II – PLAZA DE MULAS
After breakfast we dismantle the camp, pack up everything (including our trash) and hike back down to the base camp in about 3 hours. It is another hard day as our packs are heavy and we are tired from the summit day, but the joy of having reached the summit and being back down safely is overwhelming. Back in the base camp, we celebrate a bit, have lunch, get some rest and prepare tomorrow’s mule packs. Dinner.
Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
18 PLAZA DE MULAS – PUENTE DEL INCA
We leave the base camp just after breakfast as we need 7 to 9 hours to get back to the road. It is a long but pleasant walk. The warm air feels amazing and you will look at everything quite differently now. At the ranger station we show the permits, then drive 5 minutes to our hotel nearby. Rest and dinner.
Hotel Breakfast & Lunch
19 PUENTE DEL INCA – MENDOZA
Drive back to Mendoza and transfer to the hotel.
Hotel Breakfast
20 MENDOZA OUT
Transfer to the airport. End of our services.
Hotel Breakfast

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