Although Aconcagua has a volcanic background, it is not currently active. The mountain consists of Aconcagua’s two faces, each in the north and south, which are joined by a ridge. The valleys to the north and east are called Valle de las Vacas and Valle de Los Horcones Inferior, respectively. Located in the Andes, the peak is a component of a provincial park called Aconcagua, formed in 1983.
One of the shorter hikes on Aconcagua will give you a taste of the mountains in just a few days. This Aconcagua hike
will lead you up the Standard Route to Confluencia Falls (3320 m). The route then takes a sharp right onto Plaza Francia Way, leading to breathtaking vistas of the city below and the surrounding mountains. Then, after traversing a wide variety of landscapes—rivers, glaciers, valleys, and so on—you’ll reach Plaza Francia, at an altitude of 4,000 meters, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the Aconcagua’s South Face.
South Face Trekking Itinerary
- DAY 1 – MENDOZA – PENITENTES
Our flight lands in Mendoza, and we are greeted there. We start our trip with a ride to the trekking permit office in Mendoza. From there, it takes us almost three hours to get to our fancy hotel in Penitentes. The rest of the day is at your leisure, and tonight we’ll have supper Aconcagua expedition
leader and the other participants. You may try some authentic regional cuisine from Argentina.
- DAY 2 – PENITENTES – CONFLUENCIA
To go to the Confluencia camp, we must first transfer to the South Face Trekking Aconcagua
entry at 2820m, where our permits will be examined and our gear loaded onto mules. We leave our motorized transport behind and begin our hike, which will take us 2.5–3.5 hours to reach our first camp at Confluencia, 3320 m, where the Horcones and Lower Horcones Rivers converge. Our first night is spent at a campsite en route to Aconcagua.
- DAY 3 – CONFLUENCIA – PLAZA FRANCIA
Following our departure from Confluencia, we embark on a journey to Plaza Francia, 4,200 meters in altitude. Following the Horcones Glacier will take around 7 to 8 hours; when we reach higher elevations, the valley opens up, and the remaining flora is wiped off. We can take shots of the majestic South Face of Aconcagua as we go up to it. Get back to the Confluencia base camp at 3320 meters.
The day is spent relaxing and exploring the surrounding area. If we choose to, we can return to the Horcones Glacier after retracing our steps back to the bridge across the Lower Horcones River. This day is perfect for photographing the Aconcagua South Face.
- DAY 5 – CONFLUENCIA – PENITENTES
We reload the mules with our gear and send them on their way. After confirming the route, we headed down to Puente del Inca. The trip down should take us about three hours. After the mules have carried our gear the final distance down to the park gate, we are brought back to our cozy hotel in Los Penitentes, where we celebrate our ascent with lunch before being driven to our hotel in Mendoza.
- DAY 6 – ARRIVAL AT MENDOZA
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we set out on a sightseeing adventure in Mendoza. The transfer to B, L International Airport marks the end of our tour.