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Aconcagua: Punta de Vacas to Base Camp Plaza Argentina

Mount Aconcagua's base camp approach route.

Hiking Moderate

38 km
2.1 km
307 m
1 day +
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
4.2 km
Aconcagua: Punta de Vacas to Base Camp Plaza Argentina Map

Ever wanted to climb one of the highest mountains in the world? Maybe you are planning on climbing the seven summits? Or do you simply just love being outdoors, hiking long trips, and challenging yourself at high altitude? No matter what your motivation is to try to conquer South America’s highest mountain, it will undoubtedly be an experience you will never forget.


Aconcagua can be approached by several different routes, but the 360 route gives you an unforgettable trip, as it takes you all the way around the mountain and does not lead you back on the same trail you hiked in.

The approach to Plaza Argentina (Base Camp on the eastern side) is normally divided into three pleasant and interesting days, preparing you for the rest of the expedition. These will be the warmest days of your trip, ranging up to temperatures as high as 30 degrees Celsius. Do not forget to put on sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a cap to be protected from the sun!

That said, you'll already notice the colder nights here as soon as the sun sets behind the enormous surrounding mountains. Not only will this approach prepare you for the cold, but it is also highly appreciated to get your legs started before a steeper and more demanding trip further on.

All three days of the approach are generally quite similar, with a few river crossings, mules passing by carrying your bags, and beautiful scenery all around. The trail is a very good one, with typical characteristics of a normal day hike trail: dry gravel with an inclined—but not too steep—of a slope.

However, the great highlight is without doubt when you finally get a glimpse of your final goal of this trip; the majestic peak of Aconcagua, 6962 m.a.s.l.

After three days of approach, most people will appreciate a rest day at Base Camp. Maybe you will also consider taking a shower (expensive!) or try the low-speed internet the camp has to offer.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between December and February


  • Picturesque

Guidebooks in this area