Cicerone Aconcagua and the Southern Andes

Horcones Valley (Normal) and Vacas Valley (Polish Glacier) ascent routes
Weighs 230g
Code: AW181396
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Guidebook to climbing Aconcagua in Argentina. With descriptions for the Normal route (taking 12 days) or the Vacas Valley route (14 days). The treks cover difficult mountain terrain up to 6962m and are suitable for experienced walkers and mountaineers. Also features other treks in the southern Andes, including the Vallecitos and Tupungato ranges

Cicerone says:

The definitive guidebook to climbing Aconcagua in South America. At 6962m, Aconcagua is the highest peak outside the Himalayas and is accessible to both trekkers and mountaineers. The book covers two popular trekking routes: the Normal (Horcones Valley) route and the Vacas Valley (Polish Glacier) route. It also includes trekking routes up Tupungato, the Maipo Volcano, and other acclimatisation treks, with suggestions for things to see and do around Mendoza and Santiago City.

The guide provides a wealth of practical and indispensable information for those taking on the challenge of Aconcagua. There is information on travel to South America and to the start of the trek, and essential know-how on preparing for high-altitude mountaineering, including advice on equipment, coping with altitude, and strategies for acclimatisation. It gives expert advice on permits, food and water, hiring guides and mules, and staying healthy.

With maps and colour photos and supplemented by background information on the mountain, its history, geology, wildlife and local culture, this is a comprehensive and must-read guide for anyone considering tackling Aconcagua.




For nearly 50 years Cicerone have been producing guidebooks on recognised treks, regions, areas and general tips for hikers.

We have used them countless times and they've always provided excellent insight and knowledge that you only get through experience, giving you the edge to make your trip a success and more enjoyable too.

If you're a gram counter you can easily remove sections of the book to take with you making your own ultra-lightweight guidebook with only the essential sections that you require.

- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear



possible mid-November to mid-March; high season is December/January; weather is best mid-December to mid-February


Santiago, Mendoza, Puente del Inca, Los Penitentes, Tupungato


the highest trek in the world, the climb of Aconcagua is a mountaineering route that requires relatively little technical expertise, but climbers must acclimatise to the altitude and to the cold

Must See

Aconcagua, highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, summit of the Americas; Tupungato and El Plomo; Maipo volcano; Santiago City


  • Edition: Third
  • Number of pages: 184
  • Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Weighs 230g


 Index of maps and illustrations
Map key
Map of South America
Area maps in this guide
Aconcagua – Normal and Vacas Valley Routes
Routes to the summit
Summary of camps
Summary comparison of Normal and Vacas Valley Routes
Table of co-ordinates and elevations
Foreword by Sebastian Tetilla
A note on the third edition


The mountain in context
Two trekking routes
Maps and co-ordinates
Climbing history
Trekker/climber profiles
When to go
Getting there
Guides and trekking companies

 Part 1 The ascent of Aconcagua
Mendoza to Puente del Inca
The road to Puente del Inca
Aconcagua routes
The Normal Route
The Vacas Valley Route
Summit day
The long walk out
Other routes

 Part 2 Acclimatisation near Aconcagua, Vallecitos and the Maipo Volcano
Treks in the Aconcagua area
Puente del Inca and Los Penitentes
A walk to the Statue of Cristo Redentor
Horcones Valley to Plaza Francia
Routes at Vallecitos
Vallecitos Ski and Mountain Lodge
Lomas Blancas (3850m)
Cerro Vallecitos (5770m)
The Maipo Volcano

 Part 3 The Tupungato area
The Andes’ Great Mountain
Tupungato routes
Tupungato via Chile and Rio Colorado
Tupungato Provincial Park
Wilderness Trek to Friar’s Col

 Part 4 The Santiago area
Santiago City
In and around Santiago
Routes near Santiago
El Morado Valley
La Campana National Park
El Plomo (5430m)
Provincia and San Roman

Appendix A    Maps, guidebooks and further reading
Appendix B    Checklist of essential gear
Appendix C    Guides and mountain services
Appendix D    Accommodation and local facilities
Appendix E    South American cuisine
Appendix F    Wine tasting in Argentina and Chile
Appendix G    Spanish–English language notes

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