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Argentina Expedition: Aconcagua Base & Mt Bonete


Argentina Expedition: Aconcagua Base & Mt Bonete

Glacier hiking
Start: Mendoza
End: Mendoza

Trek the upper reaches of the Southern Hemisphere and fall in love with Argentina’s vinous heartland

Duration10 days
Start / EndMendoza / Mendoza
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel


Argentina Expedition: Aconcagua Base & Mt Bonete

Glacier hiking·
10 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Mendoza
End: Mendoza


Trek to the base camp of Aconcagua, the Southern Hemisphere's highest mountain, during this 10-day trip. Begin in Mendoza, the home of malbec, and learn about its production while touring wineries with a local wine expert before heading into the mountains proper for an expedition through the beautiful Andean ranges. Interact with climbers and trekkers from around the world at base camp then ret...

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Day 1Mendoza
Welcome to Mendoza, the heart of Argentinean wine country and perhaps the most beautiful setting for a city anywhere. Having grown up under the watchful gaze of the Andes, Mendoza is a popular stop for adventure enthusiasts thanks to the nearby mountains and, of course, a seemingly endless supply of delicious malbec wine. Mendoza is the largest wine-producing region in Latin America, so why not share a bottle when you meet your fellow travellers this evening.
Day 2Mendoza - Wineries
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Mendoza, drink wine (but remember, this is a trekking trip). This morning you’ll meet a wine expert who’ll take the group to the heart of the winemaking region. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about Mendoza’s traditional and industrial wineries. Visit three wineries and learn about the local soil, regional production and the different varietals and most importantly, you’ll be tasting some straight-up Andes juice from its heavenly source. Return to Mendoza in the afternoon to explore the city or, if you’ve indulged in the lion’s share of malbec, maybe take an afternoon nap because tomorrow we start trekking.
Day 3Penitentes/Confluencias
It’s time to walk off that malbec. Drive from Mendoza through Villa de Penitentes, a ski resort, and onwards to Laguna de los Horcones and the entrance to the Parque Provincial Aconcagua. Permits will be checked at the ranger station then you’ll begin your trek by walking 4-5 hours to Confluencia, Aconcagua’s first camp which sits at 3400 metres. Tents, group gear and any base camp extras will be transported by mules so you’ll only be carrying your personal equipment each day. On arrival in camp, enjoy a cup of tea and a meal prepared by the cooks. All meals are included during the trekking element of your trip and will include fresh fruit, meat, vegetables, eggs and bread among other things to keep your energy levels up.
Day 4Plaza Francia
Our goal today is Plaza Francia, which sits below the intimidating south wall of Aconcagua at 4200 metres. It’s a 6-8 hour journey and you’ll likely feel out of breath because of the high altitude, but your body will acclimatise as you sleep so rest up and eat lots (like we need to tell you twice). Aconcagua is not-so-affectionately known as the Death Mountain, more because of the poor preparation of climbers rather than technical difficulty, and the south wall is perhaps the most dangerous of all the approaches. While you’ll neither be climbing the south wall nor summiting Aconcagua, today you’ll see both Aconcagua for the first time and the south wall in its entirety – a breathtaking moment, and not just because of the altitude.
Day 5Plaza de Mulas
Greet the day with a steaming mug of tea looking over the mountains before breakfast. Today you’ll trek 8–10 hours to Plaza de Mulas base camp at 4250 metres, starting by crossing Playa Ancha – though it may not be the kind of ‘playa’ you’re used to – before gaining altitude up to the Horcones Superior Valley. You’ll be walking at a slow pace due to the altitude, and after climbing the steep Cuesta Brava (Rugged Slope) you’ll reach Plaza de Mulas. Keep your eyes peeled for the mighty Andean Condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world, circling overheard as you walk.
Day 6Plaza de Mulas
Today is a much-needed rest day before tomorrow’s ascent of Mt Bonete. The Plaza de Mulas, or Place of Mules, is the most populated base camp at Aconcagua and the point where many expeditions will begin their attempt on the summit. You’ll get together with your guides and talk all things medical while reviewing the equipment needed for tomorrow’s ascent. Resting at base camp provides a fantastic opportunity to talk and share stories with mountaineers and trekkers from all over the world, so take it easy and take it all in.
Day 7Mt Bonete
The ultimate goal of this trek, Mt Bonete, rises 5000 metres with expansive views over the surrounding valleys and peaks. Begin trekking after breakfast and, all things permitting, make your way to the summit from which you’ll see Aconcagua’s western face and look down on the huge Plaza de Mulas base camp from where you came. Make your way back to the base camp after taking some obligatory snaps of the snow-capped mountains, deep valleys and, of course, a very happy trekker.
Day 8Plaza de Mulas
After yesterday’s effort of 1500 metres ascent and descent, today is another well-earned rest day at base camp. Explore the surrounding area including the Horcones Superior Glacier, which has an incredible sunset view of Aconcagua’s west wall, and catch up with your old friends at base camp while making some new ones.
Day 9Mendoza
This is your last day in the mountains proper. You’ll organise your pack after breakfast and head back down to Horcones. A private van will be waiting to transport you and your fellow trekkers to Penitentes, where you’ll wait for your equipment to be delivered by the mules. There may be time to visit the Puente de Inca, a beautiful natural bridge over the Vacas River, before returning to Mendoza. Time for a glass or two of malbec, si?
Day 10Mendoza
Your trip will end after breakfast and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.

More info

Trip title

Argentina Expedition: Aconcagua Base & Mt Bonete

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019


Trek to the base camp of Aconcagua, the Southern Hemisphere's highest mountain, during this 10-day trip. Begin in Mendoza, the home of malbec, and learn about its production while touring wineries with a local wine expert before heading into the mountains proper for an expedition through the beautiful Andean ranges. Interact with climbers and trekkers from around the world at base camp then return... Read more




Expedition,Walking & Trekking



Physical Rating


Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

Joining point

Argentino Hotel

Joining point description

Argentino hotel is a small comfortable hotel located across the road from Independencia square - the heart of Mendoza city - making it a great base from where to explore the city. Its 46 rooms are equipped with safe box and WIFI.

Finish point

Argentino Hotel

Important information

1. The Aconcagua National Park entrance fee must be purchased by trekkers in person. This fee is not included in the price of the trip as disclosed under pricing information. NEW TRIP Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. ... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


It is recommended that you download WhatsApp prior to departure; please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. WhatsApp is usually the preferred method for your leader to be in contact with you and the rest of the group while on tour. It is also good for sharing information and photos with th... Read more


PASSPORT: Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or frie... Read more

Why we love it

Explore the Mendoza wine region and sample South America's favourite wine, malbec.

Is this trip right for you

This trip involves a 7-day trek that reaches an altitude of 5000 metres Depending on the day, we can trek between 4-10 hours so a good level of fitness is required Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not... Read more


All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While camping, all meals are included. Meals are prepared daily by the expedition's cook. Meals will include pastas, rice, fresh meat, eggs, dried fruits, etc. If requested in advanced, more restrictive diet requirements can be catered for (vegans, celiac, vegetarian, etc.) but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own su... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in ... Read more

What to take

Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible.While you are trekking in Aconcagua, you will be able to leave a suitcase at the base hotel in Mendoza with your non-hiking gear (if required). The bulk of your hiking luggage will be carried by mules from campsite to campsite and you will walk with a smaller backpack carrying your camera, water, snacks and warm clothing as required.... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more


Hotel (3 nights),Camping [with basic facilities] (5 nights)
€2,371per person
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Nov 23
Dec 2
Seats left: 12
Dec 28
Jan 6
Seats left: 12