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17-day Aconcagua ascent via the normal route (with optional porters)

Climb Aconcagua
Aconcagua climb 2

Join Rodrigo, an IFMGA-certified mountain guide, for a 17-day expedition to the summit of Aconcagua via the iconic normal route! Porter assistance optional.



17 Days

Jan, Feb, Dec

Very high



* Conquer an iconic mountaineering goal - the tallest mountain outside of Asia

* As much - or as little - porter assistance as you'd like

* Enjoy a lively basecamp atmosphere and make friends with climbers from all over


Join me for a summit of South America’s highest peak – the iconic Aconcagua!  During this 17-day porter assisted journey, you will enjoy incredible panoramic vistas from the highest points in the continent as we we summit this impressive mountain via the normal route.

Aconcagua is a peak that needs no introduction: at 6,959 m (22,834 ft), it the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres, and also the tallest mountain anywhere outside of Asia.  The normal route was first pioneered in 1897 by the great Swiss mountain guide Matthias Zurbriggen.  While mountaineers today  may choose from a few different known routes, the normal route is still considered the most popular.  Experienced mountaineers from all over the world journey to the mountain to test themselves with a tough high altitude ascent in extreme and unpredictable weather conditions.

During this 17-day expedition style trip, we will journey up the normal route with the optional assistance of porters.  While this route is typically more crowded than others on Aconcagua, it is perfect for those who love social basecamps with lively atmospheres and who may not be able to carry a load of 45-50 lbs up the mountain.  During this program, you will have the flexibility to choose when you want the aid of a porter, whether it’s every day, alternating days, or on an as needed basis.  Note that porter fees are extra and not included in the cost of this trip.

While the exact itinerary is subject to the weather conditions on the mountain and a summit is never guaranteed, I’ve included a day-bay-day outline of the route below, so you can get a sense of the journey we must endure before we take in the view from the top of two hemispheres.

Book now to achieve your goal and complete an iconic high altitude ascent of one of the most famous mountains on earth!

Check out my other mountaineering trips in South America, including ascents of Aconcagua via different routes: 20-day Aconcagua Summit through Ameghino Valley, Polish Glacier Route to Aconcagua, or Tupungato Volcano Climb Expedition!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Mules and horses

- Camping equipment tents

- Camping equipment cooking utensils

Price details

Price for an individual to join a group departure. Not included: Porter fees, flights to/from Mendoza, Aconcagua climbing permit; meals in Mendoza; personal gear and equipment; personal items and services; rescue/early departure expenses; Satellite phone charges.


Day 1: Mendoza

Group meets at the hotel in Mendoza for gear check and briefing.  Then, we enjoy a delicious dinner in the city of Mendoza.

Day 2: Penitentes

We drive to the area around Penitentes (8,500 ft), which is a ski area during the winter months.  Optional afternoon hike to help you acclimatize.

Day 3: Confluencia

We begin the approach to base camp (total 25 mile trek) with the assistance of mules.

Today we trek through the Horcones Valley until we stop to camp at Confluencia (10,900 ft).

Day 4: Acclimatization Day around Confluencia

We hike in the area around Confluencia to acclimatize.  Our high point will be 13,000 ft.  We spend another night at the campsite in Confluencia.

Day 5: Basecamp - Plaza de Mulas

We hike to our basecamp, Plaza de Mulas, at 13,800 ft.

Day 6: Rest day at basecamp

Today is a rest and acclimatization day at base camp.  We have the opportunity to practice snow/ice mountaineering techniques on Nieve Penitentes.

Day 7: Establish Camp 1 - Plaza Canada

We take a load to Camp 1, called Plaza Canada at 16,170 ft.  After we admire the views of Aconcagua and Cerro Cuerno, we return to basecamp for the night.

Day 8: Camp 1

We return to Camp 1 for the night.

Day 9: Establish Camp 2, Nido de Condores

Take a load to Camp 2, called Nido de Condores at 17,820 ft, returning to Camp 1 at the end of the day.

Day 10: Camp 2

Ascend to Camp 2 to spend the night there.

Day 11: Establish Camp 3, Piedras Blancas

Carry a load to Camp 3, Piedras Blancas at 19,200 ft.  Return to Camp 2.

Day 12: Camp 3

Ascend to Camp 3, our high camp.

Day 13 to 15: Summit Window

Our opportunity for a summit push will occur during these days, weather permitting.  If necessary, this would also give us additional time to acclimatize.

Day 16: Basecamp

Descend from Camp 3 back to basecamp.

Day 17: Return to Mendoza

We hike back down through the Horcones Valley with the assistance of mules.  We reach Penitentes in the afternoon, where a vehicle takes us back to the Park Hyatt in Mendoza for our farewell dinner.

Day 18: Departure

Following breakfast, program ends.  You may return home or continue your travels in Argentina.



More info


From London to Buenos Aires:

  • Airline: Norwegian Air UK LGW-EZE (13 h 40 m) US$774 round trip
  • Airline: British Airways LHR-EZE (13 h 50 m) US$1,216 round trip

From Buenos Aires to Mendoza:

  • Airline: Aerolineas Argentinas AEP–MDZ (1 h 55 m) US$115 round trip
  • Airline: LATAM Operated by Latam Airlines Argentina AEP–MDZ (1 h 52 m) US$117 round trip

From New York to Buenos Aires:

-Airline: United EWR–EZE (11 h 5 m) US$1,005 round trip

  • Airline: American - LATAM Operated by American Airlines for Latam Airlines Argentina JFK–EZE (10 h 44 m) US$1,083 round trip
  • Airline: Aerolineas Argentinas - Delta JFK–EZE (10 h 55 m) US$1,270 round trip

From Buenos Aires to Mendoza:

  • Airline: Aerolineas Argentinas AEP–MDZ (1 h 55 m) US$115 round trip
  • Airline: LATAM Operated by Latam Airlines Argentina AEP–MDZ (1 h 52 m) US$117 round trip

(*) Total price includes taxes + fees for 1 adult. Additional bag fees and other fees may apply.

Meeting point

We will meet in Mendoza at the Park Hyatt

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

An Internationally Certified UIAGM / IFMGA Mountain Guide, Rodrigo has been a guide for 30 years. He has led 24 expeditions to Denali and 28 expeditions to Aconcagua — the highest peaks in North and South America, respectively. He has been a member of expeditions to Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu in the Himalaya, and his climbs in Patagonia include the North and Central Towers of Paine, Agujas Guillaumet and Poincenot, as well as Cerro Torre attempts. He’s made Patagonian Ice Cap explorations including the first east-west traverse of the northern Ice Cap. He holds first ascents in Antarctica, the Andes and Alaska; speed ascents of Denali, Aconcagua, and Juncal. He’s guided the Ellsworth Mountains and Mt. Vinson in Antarctica and has extensive climbing and guiding experience in Yosemite and the Alps, including Frendo Spur and the Grand Jorasses. He’s a former Technical Committee member for the American Mountain Guides Association and a Senior Guide at Exum Mountain Guides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rodrigo speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.



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What people are saying about this trip



From the start Aventuras Patagonicas was welcoming, which set the trip up on the right foot. The guides, Wes, Lucia and Sebastian were all excellent and worked very hard to get the group of climbers safely up and down the mountain. The food was excellent and well organized. The gear provided on the mountain (tents) were also of good quality. I would climb again with Patagonicas.

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