Top Ten Argentina Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Climb Aconcagua

You say you want something big to climb? How about the highest peak on the continent? In the highest Andes, west of the city of Mendoza and near the Chilean border, 22,864-foot Aconcagua is the beast you're searching for. The standard northwest route up the Rio Horcones valley requires acclimatization, stamina, and a willingness to recognize when it's dangerous to continue; the longer, more scenic Polish Glacier route requires technical climbing skills as well. Needless to say, reaching the summit is arduous (though not technically difficult). Not a climber? Not a problem. You can trek 25 miles up the Horcones Valley to the climbers' base camp at Plaza de Mulas, where there's also a hotel. Numerous outfitters in Mendoza organize treks to base camp and rent mules to carry climbers' gear to Plaza de Mulas, starting from the roadside settlement of Puente del Inca where, ominously, there's a climbers' cemetery. On the way up to Puente del Inca, try white-water rafting on the Rio Mendoza.


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