Ascent to Cerro San Francisco, Catamarca

12-day expedition to Cerro San Francisco (6016 m) in Catamarca, surrounded by the beautiful unexplored landscapes of the Andean Puna.




Trip Duration

15 days

Mountain Range


People per Guide

Trip Level


Offer Period

Oct, Nov, Dec

Type of Trip

Not specified



    At the West of the province of Catamarca, in Argentina, you can find the impressive ‘seismiles’. This is a group of more than 20 mountains above 6000 m that belong to the Andes

    Nowadays, this peaks are very popular among mountaineers all around the world. However, the place was considered a high altitude sanctuary in the past. Native people called these mountains ‘Apus’, which means ‘home of the guardian spirits’, to whom they offered gifts and sacrifices.

    This 12-day expedition in Catamarca is also a fantastic opportunity to discover the Puna, which is a large unexplored high desert.

    Salt flats, amazing lagoons and colorful mountains are part of the stunning landscapes.

    As a matter of fact, the summit of Cerro San Francisco (6016 m) offers a unique view. This volcanic mountain lies in the border between the Atacama region (Chile) and Catamarca (Argentina).

    Besides, it is in the center of a volcanoes avenue, that includes Tres Cruces, Incahuasi, El Fraile, El Muerto, Ojos del Salado, Cerro Solo and El Condor.

    Cerro San Francisco is an ideal choice for those who want to be at 6000 m for the first time.

    To start this expedition we have to travel to Fiambalá. This is actually the last Argentinian city on the 60 road that leads to Chile.

    Then, we begin our trek, and stay in mountain huts or camp for the night.

    For more details about this trip, you can check the program below.

    If you want to discover this isolated region of the Andes, please contact me. I will be happy to be your guide in this adventure.

    I also organice other mountaineering trips in Catamarca, like ascending Mount Pissis and Cerro Incahuasi

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    Price includes



      • Day 1La Rioja - Fiambalá

        Arrival to La Rioja airport. Meeting point in the airport. Transfer and night in Fiambalá.

      • Day 2Fiambalá - Hotel Cortaderas

        Transfer from Fiambalá (1.600 m) to Hotel Cortaderas (3.200 m). Acclimatization trekking around the place.

      • Day 3Hotel Cortaderas

        Trekking to Cerro Coquena (4.100 m) and Pastos Largos (4.000 m). 6/8 hours.

      • Day 4Las Grutas

        Transfer in 4WD to Las Grutas (4.050 m). Trekking around the area and thermal baths. Preparation talks for the ascents and night at mountain refuge.

      • Day 5Las Grutas

        Ascent to Falso Morocho (4.600 m). 4 hs. Night at mountain refuge in Las Grutas.

      • Day 6Las Grutas

        Ascent to Cerro Beltrán (5.275 m). 5 hs. Night at mountain refuge in Las Grutas.

      • Day 7San Francisco refuge.

        Transfer Las Grutas – San Franciso international border (4.700 m). Ascent to San Francisco refuge. Night at refuge or tent.

      • Day 8Optional resting date.
      • Day 9Summit day - Las Grutas refuge.

        Ascent to Cerro San Francisco (6.016 m). Descent to Las Grutas refuge.

      • Day 10Extra day in case of bad weather.
      • Day 11Las Grutas - Fiambalá

        Transfer Las Grutas (4.050 m) – Fiambalá (1.600 m). Afternoon in thermal baths. Farewell ‘asado’ at night.

      • Day 12Transfer Fiambalá – La Rioja.

      Other details

      Meeting point

      La Rioja.


      About the Guide


      EPGAMT Mountain Guide from Mendoza, Argentina.

      I always enjoyed the mountains, and started with mountaineering activities since a young age, so it was natural for me to become a mountain guide. I’ve been working for more than 15 seasons in Aconcagua, first as porter, then as Mountain Guide assistant, and now as Mountain Guide.

      I climbed a lot of peaks all along the Andes mountain range, in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru, including Aconcagua (6.962 mt – 27 ascents, through different routes like the North and the Polish glacier-), Co Plata (6.000 mt), Ojos del Salado (6.780 mt), Mount Pissis (6.850 m), C° LLullaillaco (6.723 m), C° Incahuasi (6.450 m), Vn Sajama (6.550 m), Vn Bonete Chico (6 750 m), Co Junción (5000 m), Toclaraju ( 6036m), Pisco (5750m), and the three summits of Tres Cruces 6.780m. I recently did my first expedition in the Himalayas, where I reached the summit of Mt Lhotse (8.516 mt).

      I usually enjoy organizing expeditions to wild, off-the-beaten-track destinations, that need a complex logistic that you won’t find easily elsewhere.

      I am fluent in Spanish, English and Italian.



      What People are Saying about Luciano Badino


      Personally, was more impressed with the road trip towards the mountain than the mountain itself, but it was definitely worth going. The lunar landscape in this remote area is absolutely awesome. The guide was well prepared, very friendly, and even a surprisingly good cook. The location is as far as you are likely to get from civilisation. The weather was also unusually good. But the mountain is tough and frustrating sliding down every step in the loose gravel and sand. Not everyone\'s cup of tea
      Read review
      Sergio Nogueira

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