Day 0. Getting to know each other and finalizing preparations for Aconcagua expedition
Our guide will visit you at the hotel to introduce himself to the whole group and check the necessary equipment. In addition, he will answer any questions that may arise, so that you can feel safe and secure. And the night before we will organize a group dinner, in order to start the expedition with good energy (this dinner is optional and its cost is not included).
Day 1. Towards Villa Las Cuevas. The adventure begins
First of all, in Mendoza, we will pick you up at the hotel to go together to rent the required equipment. We will arrive in the afternoon at Villa las Cuevas, where we will spend the night in a comfortable mountain lodge.
This will be the beginning of our acclimatization, as the key is not to ascend to high altitude suddenly: the first night will be in a nice accommodation at low altitude.
Max. altitude: 3.100 masl. / 10,200 ft. Night in: Villa las Cuevas.
Day 2. Let’s get moving…
We begin to acclimatize: we will make the ascent to Cristo Redentor, walking 10 miles / 16 km in total, to get to know the environment and get used to the altitude. We will sleep again at the lodge.
Max. altitude: 3.850 masl. / 12,500 ft. Night in: Villa las Cuevas.
Day 3. Necessary rest
Day 3 will be for resting and preparing ourselves physically and mentally for the entrance to Aconcagua. Depending on how we feel, we will be able to do some short hikes around Las Cuevas.
Altitude: 3.100 masl / 10,200 ft. Night in: Villa las Cuevas.
Day 4. First camp: Confluencia, we have already entered Aconcagua!
Finally the time has come: we will move to Aconcagua Provincial Park, where we will check-in. And in front of the first views of the great mountains we will walk between 4 and 5 hours: from the entrance -by Laguna de Horcones-, to Confluencia -the first base camp-.
Altitude: 3.450 masl. / 11,320 ft. Night in: Confluencia.
Day 5. We ascend to Plaza de Mulas. We increase the demand
We will be climbing and feeling the altitude on our Mount Aconcagua Ascent. This day will be the most demanding after the summit attempt. We will hike for 8-9 hours from Confluencia to Plaza de Mulas. We will cross the famous Playa Ancha and Cuesta Brava: let’s pick up the pace.
Altitude: 4.300 masl. / 14,100 ft. Night in: Plaza de Mulas.
Day 6. A well-deserved rest in Plaza de Mulas.
This day we will stay in Plaza de Mulas to replenish our energy, nourish, hydrate and continue to get our bodies used to the altitude. To achieve optimal performance, taking breaks is as important as pushing ourselves: the important thing is to be consistent.
Altitude: 4.300 masl. / 14,100 ft. Night in: Plaza de Mulas.
Day 7. Portering challenge to Canadá.
On day 7 we will walk with weight, to strengthen our body a little more: this will help us a lot to acclimatize. We will carry part of our equipment to Plaza Canadá, the first high altitude camp. Then we will return to Plaza de Mulas to spend the night there. It will be between 6 and 8 hours of walking.
Altitude: 4.950 masl. / 16,240 ft. Night in: Plaza de Mulas.
Day 8. From Plaza de Mulas to Canadá. First night in a high altitude camp.
We are ascending towards the goal! We will move from Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas) to Plaza Canadá, Camp 1: our first high altitude camp. It will be approximately 5 hours of walking.
Altitude: 4.950 masl. / 16,240 ft. Night in: Plaza Canadá.
Day 9. Moving to Nido de Cóndores. Getting closer and closer.
On to our second high altitude camp! We will ascend from Plaza Canadá to Nido de Cóndores, to spend the night there.
Altitude: 5.500 masl. / 18,050 ft. Night in: Nido de Cóndores.
Day 10. Rest to recover.
It will again be time to replenish energy. This day we will stay at Nido de Cóndores, and we will take it easy. We will rest to recharge our batteries and begin to prepare for our summit attempt. We will already feel the excitement of getting closer to our goal!
Altitude: 5,500 masl. / 18,050 ft. Night in: Nido de Cóndores.
Day 11. Portering challenge to Cólera
Another “portering” effort: this day we will ascend carrying some weight up to Cólera, to acclimatize and have lunch at the top. We will reach an altitude of 6,000 masl. / 19,685 ft., enjoy the incredible panoramic views, and then return to Nido de Cóndores.
Altitude: 6,000 masl. / 19,685 ft. Night in: Nido de Cóndores.
Day 12. Towards the goal. Cólera.
We’ve come a long way! We have almost reached the milestone. We will move on to Camp 3: Cólera, on the north ridge of Aconcagua. It is our last high altitude camp, which is located at 6,000 masl. / 19,685 ft. We will pitch our tents and prepare for the next day: our summit attempt.
Altitude: 6,000 masl. / 19,685 ft. Night in: Cólera.
Day 13. To the summit. The milestone of the expedition.
Finally, with much excitement, weather permitting, we will ascend to the summit. After taking pictures (and sometimes shedding some tears), with the incredible sensation of having reached our goal, we will conclude the day resting at our camp in Cólera.
Altitude: 6,962 masl. / 22,841 ft. Night in: Cólera.
Days 14 and 15. Spare days for Aconcagua expedition.
Days 15 and 16 will be extra days to attempt the summit. In case of bad weather on the previous days, we will have these 2 days as a “back-up” to increase our chances of reaching the summit. We want everyone to achieve the goal of climbing Mount Aconcagua!
Day 16. We made it! Time to start the descent.
After the intense summit day, with a sense of fulfillment, we will have breakfast and walk to Plaza de Mulas to celebrate with a great meal and a good rest. We will deserve it.
Altitude: 6,000 masl. / 19,685 ft. Night in: Plaza de Mulas.
From Plaza de Mulas to Mendoza City. End of our Aconcagua expedition.
We have reached the end of our expedition. We will descend from Plaza de Mulas after breakfast, and after a 7-9 hour hike we will arrive at Laguna Horcones, the entrance to the Park. There we will travel to Mendoza City, we will be exhausted but we will also take unforgettable memories with us.
We will say goodbye until the next adventure!
Altitude: 4,300 masl. / 14,100 ft. Night in: your lodging.
What does the full board include?
Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and walking snacks for the 17 days of the Aconcagua expedition. The food will be nutritious and healthy, taking into account the energetic needs of each day. We provide the best possible elaboration according to the conditions of the environment.
- At Villa Las Cuevas lodge (days 1, 2 and 3) meals will be prepared “restaurant” style (with only one menu option).
- In Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas, meals will be provided by a local Aconcagua caterer, in domes.
- All walking meals are sandwiches, fruit, nuts, etc.
- From Plaza de Mulas onwards, lunch and dinner (which are not walking meals) will be in tents.
Menus will be defined according to the logistics of each day, but some meals that could be included are:
- Risotto with bacon.
- Noodles with meat sauce.
- Pasta with mushrooms.
- Sandwich with homemade bread, cold meat, tomato and avocado.
- Rice with sautéed vegetables.
- Fresh fruit, nuts, cereal bars, oatmeal cookies, etc.
Important: in case you are vegetarian, or have any food preference/restriction, we will adapt the menu without any problem. Just let us know upon booking.
How do I get my equipment?
We provide you with a complete list of what you will need, and our advice. It is important that you bring certain items on your own. But there are others that you can rent in Mendoza, and we will accompany you in the process: the guide will check your equipment the day before the expedition. Before leaving, we will stop by the rental house to get what you need.
How are the loads carried?
At the beginning, up to the lodge in Villa Las Cuevas, the loads will be transported by vehicle. Then, from Horcones to Confluencia, and from Confluencia to Plaza de Mulas, they will be carried by mules (100% of the general equipment and up to 15 kg/33pounds of personal equipment is included).
From then on, there are no mules and the transfer of personal equipment is not included (the 5 kg/11pounds. of general equipment per participant are). The itinerary is designed for us to do ” portering”: we will carry the weight distributed over many times. However, you will have the possibility of hiring additional porters to reduce your load. We recommend it for a better expedition, since your equipment will weigh around 15 kg/11pounds..
Important: it is quite possible that the 5 kg/11 pounds of load included per person will not cover 100% of the general equipment, so the remaining weight will have to be shared among all participants (who may choose to hire an additional porter).
What do I do if I do not wish to carry my load or part of it?
In this case, you can hire porters as an additional service. In order to do so, we will need you to let us know in advance.
The price for hiring a porter to lighten your load for full rounds (the whole expedition, round trip) is 900 USD.
How many people sleep in each tent?
Although they are 3-person tents, only 2 people will sleep in each one, for greater comfort. The model is North Face’s VE25.
Are base camp services included?
In Confluencia, lunch, dinner and breakfast are included, and in Plaza de Mulas, lunch, dinner, breakfast, bathroom and two showers. If you need any additional service in these camps, the cost will be covered by you.
Is it necessary to have experience?
Yes, experience at high altitude is necessary, as well as an excellent physical condition.. If you have climbed at least two mountains over 6,000 meters above sea level, and you have done regular mountaineering or other cardiovascular and strength training activities in the last year, then you are able to do Aconcagua expedition.