Planning an Aconcagua climbing expedition in Argentina? Read our guide for the important facts & information you need…
Aconcagua Expeditions: Treks and Ascents
There are dozens of guided expedition businesses located in the Aconcagua area and the rates vary depending on the services and size of the groups they handle. The type of expedition also has a bearing on the price. Ascents are more expensive than treks and different ascents require different skill levels and equipment. Expedition prices reflect these variables.
Rates for Ascent Expeditions
The average price for an expedition on the Normal Route is about $4000 USD. This route is great for beginner level mountaineers and requires no equipment. The trip takes about 20 days. Rates for the Polish Glacier Traverse route are higher at about $4300 since this route requires a higher skill level although it is still a relatively easy climb. These prices reflect the cost of personal porters which cost about $700 per expedition. The average cost of an expedition on the Polish Direct Route is $4700 and climbers must have experience in climbing ice.
Although some expedition companies still offer rates for the popular Guanacos Route, these expeditions are no longer available since the route has been closed for environmental reasons. It is not expected to be reopened.
Rates for Trekking Expeditions
Rates for private trekking expeditions to Plaza Franzia and Plaza de Mulas on the south face run from $1560 for a single person to $960 each for parties of four or more. Open treks with 3 more participants start at about $815 (USD). The duration is about 7 days. Private treks to Plaza Francia start at about $835 for a private single and cost as little as $360 for an open trek with 3 or more participants. Only IMG offers a trek around the mountain and the cost is $4700 per person. This trek takes significantly more time and may require a climbing permit.
The cost of expeditions do not include permits, admittance to the park, personal porters unless otherwise indicated, or hotel accommodations and meals in Mendoza.
Considerations for Expeditions
Some expedition companies use environmentally friendly practices for waste disposal, although this practice may not be used by all the companies. Visitors with environmental concerns should ask about eco-friendly practices. In most cases, tourists are required to secure their own permits since foreign nationals are required to appear in person for permits which are required for climbing and treks. Expeditions are not available between April 1st and November 14th which is the winter season when weather conditions represent a serious threat. Rescue and ranger services are also not available during winter months although the park remains open.
Finding expeditions for climbing or trekking Aconcagua is not difficult, but these expeditions can be expensive. Rates may be lower during the medium and low seasons (February 15th to March 15th and November 15th to December 14th) when fewer tourists visit the area.