Aconcagua (Vacas Route)

Aconcagua (Vacas Route)


From £5,150
Altitude 6,962m Grade: 1C

Named ‘Acconcahuac’ (the stone sentinel) by the Incas, Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Southern and Western hemispheres, the second highest of the Seven Summits and the world’s highest summit outside of the Himalaya.

Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Southern and Western hemispheres, the second highest of the Seven Summits and the world’s highest summit outside of the Himalaya.

In 2024-25 Adventure Peaks will again be offering Aconcagua climbs via the Vacas Valley Route known as the ‘False Polish Route or Aconcagua 360’ and also the ‘Horcones Valley Normal Route’.

What is the difference and how do I choose?
The Vacas Valley Route known as the False Polish Route from the east is a much less frequented and more beautiful route. The team climbs the mountain from one side of the mountain to high camp and the summit before descending the normal Horcones route on the other side of the mountain, giving you a far better experience away from the crowds. This route is worth the extra cost and provides more summit days! This gives 5 summit days.
The Horcones Route is regarded as the easiest and most straight forward route to the summit. It is the most direct and cost-effective route where the distance and times between camps are shorter and much steeper averaging 4-5 hrs. Unfortunately, it is not the most scenic route and a lot more crowded. This gives 3 summit days.

The Adventure Peaks Expeditions provides you with the very best opportunity for you to climb Aconcagua. It is well organized to give you the best chance to succeed in safety with a high level of comfort. We are high mountain specialists who have been operating Aconcagua for 24 years, hence our success levels. We do not compromise on the number of days and have a well refined program giving more summit days than most others who often fail due to bad weather on their limited summit days.

Trip Comparison - Please double check the dates and prices section for the current price

Vacas Valley False Polish Route 2024/25Horcones Valley Normal Route 2024/25

Expedition Cost (Land only/No Flight) £5,150
(early booking discount £200 = £4,950)

Permit Fee (subject to variation)
High Season Dec 15 to Jan 31 = $950 (c£760)
Low Season Nov 20th - Dec 14th / Feb 1st onwards $730 (c£590)

Expedition Cost (Land only/No Flight) £4,750
(early booking discount £200 = £4,550)

Permit Fee (subject to variation)
High Season Dec 15 to Jan 31 = $800 (c£650)
Low Season Nov 20th - Dec 14th / Feb 1st onwards $600 (c£480)

Why climb Aconcagua with Adventure Peaks

  • 24 years of guiding Aconcagua with client success close to 100%. In 2019 all 7 of our expedition reached the summit.
  • Up to 5 days for a summit attempt.
  • We use strong and specialist Expedition leaders on a high guiding ratio, 1:4 ratio between BC and C3, then 1:3 on summit Day. Maximum 12 clients.
  • Adventure Peaks plans and organises its own expeditions with a regular Adventure Peaks Leader, supported by additional local guides. Adventure Peaks are High Altitude Specialists and not just a trekking company. Unlike many we are not re-selling someone else’s trip.
  • High Quality Base camp services with exceptional food, Communal tent at camp 1 & 2 and a cook tent at camp 3.
  • Quality food. Our guides prepare meals at each camp using a variety of ingredients, avoiding the use of freeze dry food.
  • Porters for the removal of the groups rubbish and human waste.
  • High-altitude porters carry group equipment.

Previous experience/fitness

The climb up Aconcagua is non-technical. It is suitable for mountain walkers with previous winter walking experience. The route may be dry or may have a solid covering of snow and ice. Clients should have prior experience climbing to around 5500m before attempting Aconcagua. Previous experience of camping, as well as carrying loads of 14kg (or pay additional porterage), would be advantageous even though porters carry all group equipment. Summit day is long and tiring, ascending from 5950m at high camp to the 6962m summit. This could take 8-10 hours to ascend and 2-3 hours to descend. You should make sure you are fit and used to long mountain days. We offer optional pre-expedition training weekends and have a permanent UK office with staff who have climbed Aconcagua many times before and can offer on-going training advice.

Weather conditions

It can be very hot in Mendoza and on the walk in to basecamp. Wearing shorts and t-shirts with sunhats and plenty of suncream is the norm, however there can also be torrential rain on the walk in so full waterproofs are also essential. From basecamp upwards there can be heavy snowfall, and from Camp 1 up the wind can cause severe wind chill. At high camp and on summit day the temperature can drop to -20 Celsius, so down jackets, good mitts and double boots are essential.

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Dates & Prices

Show prices in
All prices in Euros are guide rates, not live rates
All prices in US Dollars are guide rates, not live rates

Availability

Dates
Flight Inclusive
AvailabilityDays
With Flight
Price
Land Only
Price
With Flight
Select
23rd Nov 2024 - 15th Dec 2024 Guaranteed23 £5,150£6,450 Book Now
14th Dec 2024 - 5th Jan 2025 Guaranteed23 £5,150£6,450 Book Now
4th Jan 2025 - 26th Jan 2025 Guaranteed23 £5,150£6,450 Book Now
25th Jan 2025 - 16th Feb 2025 Guaranteed23 £5,150£6,450 Book Now
1st Feb 2025 - 23rd Feb 2025 Spaces23 £5,150£6,450 Book Now
22nd Nov 2025 - 14th Dec 2025
£150 Early booking discount
Spaces23 £5,250
£5,100
£6,550
£6,400
Book Now
13th Dec 2025 - 4th Jan 2026
£150 Early booking discount
Spaces23 £5,250
£5,100
£6,550
£6,400
Book Now
3rd Jan 2026 - 25th Jan 2026
£150 Early booking discount
Guaranteed with Next Booking23 £5,250
£5,100
£6,550
£6,400
Book Now
24th Jan 2026 - 15th Feb 2026
£150 Early booking discount
Spaces23 £5,250
£5,100
£6,550
£6,400
Book Now
7th Feb 2026 - 1st Mar 2026
£150 Early booking discount
Spaces23 £5,250
£5,100
£6,550
£6,400
Book Now

* A deposit of £400 will be required at checkout.

Extras

Extras can be added per-person when you book onto a date

ItemPrice
Private Guide Summit Day £1,300
Aconcagua Vacas Valley Permit £695
Adventure Peaks Logoed Kit Bag (Non UK addresses + Postage) £85

* A deposit of £200 (or the full extra price, whichever is lower) will be required at checkout for each extra added per-person on this trip

What's Included

  • ATOL Bonded with a permanent UK based office for your financial security
  • Estimated International flights from London (Flight inclusive package)
  • The very best combination of Expedition leadership; A UK Expedition Leader and a regular team of local Argentinian mountain guides to give a 1:3(4) ratio for your climb. Maximum 9 or 10 clients. Groups smaller than 4 will run with a local guide only
  • 2 nights hotel acommodation in Mendoza and 1 night in Penitentes or Uspallata on a B&B basis
  • Communication equipment - Satellite telephone to maintain links with our UK office and to receive vital weather forecasts. VHF Radios to allow communication between our groups on the mountain and BC
  • Free internet at basecamp (limitations apply).
  • High quality food, our guides prepare meals above BC using a variety of ingredients, to avoid the use of freeze dried food
  • Group Dome Tent at Camp 1 and 2, cook tent at 3
  • All tents and other communal equipment necessary for the climb.
  • Medical First Aid supplies.
  • High-altitude porters carry group equipment (tents, stoves, shovels and fuel)
  • Rubbish and Human Waste taken down by Porters
  • Group Leaders and Porters position tents.
  • 3-4 days set aside for a summit attempt
  • Private road transfer Mendoza to the mountain and back
  • 2 Group Airport Transfer between Mendoza Airport and hotel (excluding if joining land only)
  • All team members will receive a free logoed trip T-Shirt with the name of your Expedition on it.
  • 15% discount off the RRP for equipment and clothing purchased at our Adventure Peaks shops and online

What's Excluded

  • Travel to and from UK airport (unless otherwise specified).
  • Personal climbing clothes and equipment.
  • National Park Permit, approx US$950 for high season.
  • Drinks and hotel or guest house meals, unless specified.
  • Personal medical supplies and personal use of communication equipment.
  • Excess baggage.
  • Tips for porters and local guides.
  • Costs associated with an expedition finishing early.
  • Costs associated with you leaving an expedition early.
  • Costs associated with extending a trip due to bad weather or other circumstances.
  • Transfers to and from Mendoza airport if flights NOT booked with Adventure Peaks

Itinerary

Days 1-2

International flight arriving day 2. (H,B on day 2)

Day 3

Wasting no time in Mendoza we complete the permit formalities before travelling overland into the mountains and to Puente del Inca, a drive of about four hours. Here you organise your gear in readiness for the mules and our walk into base camp. Camp, Puente del Inca  (C,B,D)

Day 4

The trek to Base Camp at Plaza Argentina starts today with a short drive to Punta de Vacas where the park ranger will examine the permits and issue rubbish bags, which will be checked again at the end of the expedition to ensure all rubbish is removed from the mountain.  Mules will carry all of your gear so you can enjoy the walk without heavy loads. The walk on the first day is reasonably easy although very hot and dusty and takes you through green desert valley scenery enclosed between the steep mountains of the Andes. Trekking up the west side of the Rio de las Vacas to your camp at Pampa de Lenas (2864m) is approximately 5 to 6 hours. Dinner is the famous muleteer barbeque. Camp, Pampa de Lenas.   (C,B,L,D)

Day 5

Leaving camp we cross the bridge over the Rio de las Vacas to then follow it up the beautiful valley to reach our overnight camp at Casa de Piedra (3245m), a journey of about 6 hours. From here you will get superb evening views of Aconcagua. Camp, Casa de Piedra 3245m. (C,B,L,D)

Day 6

We start the day with a river crossing to enter the Relinchos valley, initially a steep narrow canyon that eventually leads to a broader hanging valley and our Base Camp at Plaza Argentina (4198m). The campsite will be in the moraine that provides a convenient windbreak and good views of the route ahead. Base Camp, Plaza Argentina.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 7

Rest Day, acclimatisation and preparations for the climb. Base Camp, Plaza Argentina.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 8

Today we do the trek up to Camp 1 (4950m) taking most of our food (about 8kg) and some personal gear as an acclimatisation walk. Depending on conditions you could be walking on good snow, neve or scree; the altitude will make both feel much steeper. You will return to base camp to aid rest. Climbing high and sleeping low is essential for acclimatisation in these early stages; you will feel much stronger in the longer term. Base Camp, Plaza Argentina 4195m.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 9

Acclimatisation Active Rest Day and final preparation in base camp for the ascent. (C,B,L,D)

Day 10

Move to Camp 1 4950m. (C,B,L,D)

Day 11

Move food and equipment to Camp 2 at Guanacos overnight Camp 1 4950m. (C,B,L,D)

Day 12

Move to Guanacos camp, situated on a platform at 5520m with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.  Guanacos 5520m.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 13

Acclimatisation Active Rest Day at Guanacos to prepare for our summit bid. Guanacos.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 14

Move to Camp Colera when the weather forecast is favourable, our launching platform for the summit bid. When the team are ready to make their summit bid, we will move up to Colera ready to make the attempt the following day (5970m). Porters move group equipment. Camp, Colera.  (C,B,L,D)

Summit Days 15 -19

The team has five days in which to reach the summit leaving spare time in case of bad weather, however the summit will be attempted on the first day of good weather. Camp Colera.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 20

Today we descend from Camp Colera all the way to Plaza de Mulas in the Horcones valley to complete a traverse of the mountain, allowing you to fully appreciate the superior journey up the mountain via the Vacas Valley!!!.Camp, Plaza De Mulas.  (C,B,L,D)

Day 21

Descend to Road Head and transfer directly to Mendoza (H,B,L)

Days 22 - 23

Return International Flights own bed!

Kit

You will receive an Adventure Peaks 120 litre kitbag to use on your expedition and to keep afterwards. (Please buy a small padlock to lock the zips at all times). (If you are a non-UK client or have been on a trip with us before, you will receive a logoed top in lieu of a kitbag. Please let us know your top size.

Please ensure your 65-70 litre rucksack is such that equipment such as sleeping bags and mats can be placed inside, rather than hanging from the outside.

Aconcagua can be a very cold mountain therefore quality clothing, gloves and boots are essential for your own comfort and safety.

Boots – You will need double boots the best boots are the Boreal G1 Lite’s or La Sportiva G2.

Gloves – Down over-gloves/mitts with a normal glove as an inner are recommended.

Clothing – on summit day good quality insulated trousers and a down jacket are adequate. A down suit will be too warm.

All of the above items can be bought or hired from Adventure Peaks. Clients receive a 15% discount when purchasing equipment and clothing from the shop.

Insurance

It is essential for a trip of this type that you are adequately insured. When researching insurance options, please ensure the policy covers you for the following:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Helicopter rescue (most insurance companies will no longer cover for ‘search and rescue’ but providing you stay with the group, they will assist with ‘rescue’)
  • Repatriation
  • The altitude that you are expected to attain
  • The location especially when travelling to Antarctica
  • Grade of trek/climb/expedition
  • Medical cover

Adventure Peaks partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading travel protection services. Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide our clients with medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services. Without a membership, an emergency evacuation could cost over $100,000. More than one million members trust Global Rescue to get them home safely when the unexpected happens. We highly recommend our clients enroll with Global Rescue, in particular for peaks over 7000m:
https://partner.globalrescue.com/adventurepeaks/



We are aware the following provide insurance:

For UK based clients:

Expeditions and Treks under 7000m - Campbell Irvine Direct : http://www.campbellirvine.com/AdventurePeaks

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK) www.aacuk.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
Rothwell & Towler: www.world-first.co.uk Tel: 0345 908 0161 (under 6400m)
J S Insurance: www.jsinsurance.co.uk Tel: 0844 848 1500
Snowcard: www.snowcard.co.uk Tel: 01295 660836
The B.M.C.: www.thebmc.co.uk Tel: 0161 445 6111 (call and speak to Jim. Please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
Dogtag: www.dogtag.co.uk Tel: 0800 036 4824 (Check excess etc)

For non-UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK): www.aacuk.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
AXA Worldwide Travel Ins: www.axainsurance.com Tel: +44 (0)844 874 0360
Ingle International: www.ingleinternational.com Tel: (USA) 1.800.360.3234
Insure for Less: www.insure4less.com.au (Australian clients)

You do not have to use any of the above, but if you make your own insurance arrangements documentary evidence of your own policy is required.

Please forward the details of your Insurance as soon as you have it: we need the insurance company’s name, their 24 hour emergency telephone number and your insurance policy number – admin@adventurepeaks.com

Reviews

Ken · 4 years ago ·

Well organised, good guide. I could nit-pick but it was all pretty good. Great group of people. Lots of fun, all topped off by the fact that I summited.

Christine · 4 years ago ·

Aconcagua is a marathon not a sprint. Overcoming the altitude, the constant freezing winds, the curious toilet situation, and the load carrying, is worth it for the incredible views, the team spirit and cameraderie, the stars at night and the sense of achievement.

Caroline · 4 years ago ·

My overall experience was fantastic, the Vacas Valley was beautiful, quiet and we were lucky to have a really lovely (if a bit mad) group which really made the expedition! I'm really glad we carried the majority of our own kit, food and equipment (even if that included our own poo...), it felt like we did it the right way and the multiple days without wifi were liberating! I think this may be the start of a new sporting obsession ...

Brian · 4 years ago ·

Excellent guides and more natural experience. Trip leader was exceptional. Mountains, fresh air, Argentinian wine and food...

Mark · 5 years ago ·

I've had two trips with AP that have both been excellent. Phil, our leader, was tip top. This was my first true expedition and one I won't forget.

View replies (1)

Adam · 5 years ago ·

Iain is a good guy who is a good guide and made the trip enjoyable. I would happily go on another trip with Iain. A good trip with a good company, I will be using Adventure Peaks again.

Ian · 5 years ago ·

Excellent information...amazing experience. Would not hesitate to use AP again :)

Chris · 5 years ago ·

Excellent service, communication and guidance. Everything was great, especially with me booking at such a late date. Excellent leader put information across very well, very approachable with a great sense of humour.

Ian · 5 years ago ·

Enjoyed better retrospectively - it's a fantastic well organised trip. Getting to the top was very emotional. The culmination of a 25 year dream and to do it with my son was amazing. You have to work really hard on summit day. Even though the trek is a difficult walk the level of hardship is high which makes it all the more rewarding. Brilliant organisation by Adventure Peaks. Trip leader was excellent, got the balance right allowing freedom whilst remaining safe.

T&A · 5 years ago ·

Excellent organisation, excellent guide/leader and thoroughly enjoyable expedition

Fred · 6 years ago ·

Brilliant organisation, planning, and leadership on the expedition. It's a challenging environment and I think the leaders on the ground and support team did a fantastic job and gave everyone the opportunity to safely attempt the summit. I thought Carrie [leader] did such a great job on the mountain. Kept the team together and well managed while being approachable and friendly. She was fantastic!

Scott P · 6 years ago ·

Carrie [trip leader] has been the best leader I have to my previous five expeditions. Very nice, easy to talk to and knowledgeable...I dressed as Santa on Christmas Day and everyone on the mountain (including other groups) seemed to love it and bring a smile to everyone's face.

Ivar M · 6 years ago ·

The leader was excellent...Paul was exceptional, highly knowledgeable, very calm and controlled under pressure, excellent risk assessment and above all a highly positive attitude and encouraging nature. I cannot recommend him highly enough for future trips.

Ciaran · 7 years ago ·

Really great trip. We summited and made it safely down so cannot complain. Chris [trip leader]...an absolute trooper given he came down with a virus, but still managed to get us to the summit and down again safely. Really thorough when it came to briefings. Really good...It took a lot of time and effort to get up there, but the views were breathtaking.

Mark M · 7 years ago ·

Well planned, successful trip. Chris was very ill for a number of days during the trip but never let it affect the team. He's extremely professional, knowledgeable and great fun to be around. We developed as a team under his leadership and were ultimately successful because of his planning and guidance.

Claire · 8 years ago ·

We had very good guides. The lead guide Martin was absolutely lovely and very patient. The local guides Pablo and Marcos were very knowledgeable. Marco's local expertise was invaluable in modifying our schedule to use a shot at the summit.

On summit day he set a good pace and made some tough but fair decisions regarding the progress of certain team members, for their own safety.

Matt G · 9 years ago ·

Adventure Peaks are a very professional outfit, and at a very competitive price.

Adam · 10 years ago ·

The kit list could be broken down more to essential or optional, nice to have items.
Martin was excellent and so is Maxi. You guys were cheaper than jagged Globe which is why I chose Adventure Peaks. I would definitely use you again. I am looking forward to the next trip!

Anonymous · 10 years ago ·

Your Argentinian guide is excellent but his English will need to improve. Having someone to speak with local staff in Spanish was very useful and beneficial. I chose Adventure Peaks because of your advice and recommendations regarding Martin our leader.

Thomas · 10 years ago ·

Perhaps a need for more emphasis on the physical and mental toughness needed to summit Aconcagua but still all excellent.
Kiaran was an excellent leader - approachable, supportive and very well organised. An excellent trip - tough but very rewarding.

Jonathan · 10 years ago ·

I got to 6600m but it was very professional trip with very good guides so would use you again.

Mark · 11 years ago ·

Service and advice after booking plus the accuracy of your brochure was great. The kit list was a great help. No real improvements in overall grade but need to consider route options. We discussed the route options with the leader. Ultimately we decided on which was probably easier with a higher chance of success than the brochure description. I would recommend making this option more visible so that the right route can be chosen to suit the clients on the day.

Owen · 11 years ago ·

Past experience with Adventure Peaks is well organised and has good client safety measures so I would use you again due to your track record.

Richard · 11 years ago ·

I had a one to one discussion when visiting your Ambleside Shop, with personal recommendations I chose Adventure Peaks so felt confident in your organisation.

It was a very memorable trip/experience. Well organised and good attention to detail.

Tim · 12 years ago ·

I am impressed by your pre-support and commitment to the customer. Thanks.
The food was very good but more pasta at altitude was a general feeling! Service and advice before booking was very helpful and afterwards it was excellent and you give appropriate advice as I was contacting you by email and got a rapid response.

A Lewis · 12 years ago ·

Tents were new, excellent condition and the whole team was excellent! Great expertise/knowledge. The UK Guides were very organised and took time to teach me new skills etc. Both were brilliant.

The only thing that I would have liked was an extra camp site at camp 3 which would have improved my summit chance. That said, i understand the limitations of being in a large group.

Cathy S · 12 years ago ·

Overall, the trip was brilliant and very enjoyable. Mark and Kieran are superb leaders, mature and confident always putting clients first. I cannot fault them. Mark was also superb with the airlines. He led us on the mountain and also through our interesting time at the airport. I would use Adventure Peaks again with excellent organisation and superb leaders!

Karen S · 13 years ago ·

I had a good timely response to my initial enquiry with the number of summit days and the route appealed to me. Appeared professional and inclusive.

I really like the Adventure Peaks settup including shop, hire, weekends and the personal touch from Dave. Kieran worked extremely hard to sort the camping food and he did an excellent job. It was plentiful, varied and easy to manage.

The local support team were excellent with superb safety on summit day.

Nicholas R · 13 years ago ·

Over all the trip was well run and both Mark and Kieran worked hard to ensure things went well for everyone. One of the best organised on the mountain, thanks to Mark and Kieran

Paul · 13 years ago ·

Aconcagua is no trekking peak and overall my best trip yet, absolutely fulfilling my expectations. It was tough than people thought and the leaders were top class turning a large group in to a large team. They were not just great leaders but great friends. 10 out of 10. Also the local guides were spot on. I chose AP because of the people involved from the shop to the mountain!.
Thank you very much, an exceptional expedition from start to finish. Can't wait for the next one, Cheers.


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