So You’re Planning on Climbing Aconcagua?

We want to provide you with information that will help you prepare for your climb, and set you up for success. Any expedition is challenging and stressful, and international climbs add a whole new level of logistics and potential headaches.  We’d like to help familiarize you with some of the nuances of various stages of your trip you will encounter along the way in the hopes that we can remove some potential stresses and let you enjoy your journey.

Flights and Logistics

We will meet in the beautiful town of Mendoza, Argentina for this expedition.  Mendoza is in the heart of Argentine wine country, and it is well worth planning on spending an extra couple of days for touring wineries, whitewater rafting, or enjoying the bustling sidewalk cafés and parks.

We will be staying in the Amerian Executive Hotel which is in convenient walking distance to downtown Mendoza and the popular “Sarmiento” district.   The hotel is very comfortable and while you will find prices in Mendoza are reasonable compared to the US and Europe; unfortunately, the days of Argentine bargains are in the past.  Expect warm to hot comfortable spring temperatures in Mendoza.  Flip-flops are recommended!

Most flights to Mendoza will pass through the airport in Santiago, Chile.   If you have a long layover and would like to visit this beautiful, colonial city, you will need to pay for a Chilean Entry Visa.  If you remain “in transit” (En Transito) you do not need a visa.  When requesting a seat assignment, consider asking for an “A” seat, as this window should afford a nice view of Aconcagua as you fly in (or Seat F or equivalent for outbound flights).

You’ll want to check your baggage all the way to Mendoza (your final destination).  Even if you have multiple airline tickets, make sure your gear is checked to your final destination (unless you are planning to spend a night somewhere in transit before arriving to Mendoza).

GUIDES’ TIP: Consider flying with your mountain boots as part of your carry-on baggage.  If your luggage does become lost or delayed along the way, we can probably find enough gear to outfit you for the expedition, but boots are the most challenging (and potentially expensive and ill-fitting) element of your kit to find in Mendoza.

It is important to have a current passport that will not expire within six months of your arrival.   If you are close to the expiration date on your passport we recommend updating that as soon as possible.  There are currently no mandatory vaccinations for Chile or Argentina, but it is never a bad idea to visit your doctor and update any vaccinations they may recommend.

Currently, Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee to enter Argentina. Please be aware that you CAN NOT pay this fee at the airport! You must complete an on-line process. Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can assist you with this process.

If you are delayed or have any problems with your travel to Argentina please let us know immediately at info@dev.mountaintrip.com or call the office +1-970-369-1153.  We can pass this info on to the guides in country so they can make any necessary accommodations to our schedule.

When you arrive in Mendoza, Argentina a Mountain Trip representative will be waiting for you at the airport. Your guide will be wearing a Mountain Trip shirt and will be actively looking for climbers with large duffel bags.

If for any reason you do not connect with our representative due to flight delays, etc. please take a taxi or airport shuttle to your hotel which is the Amerian Executive Hotel, located on Calle San Lorenzo 660.  The phone for the hotel is +54 – 261 – 5245000.  They will be expecting you (we have made reservations for you under “Mountain Trip — your last name”). If you need to take the shuttle they will accept US Dollars. It should cost about $10 USD and only takes about 10-15 minutes. If for any reason our guide does not meet you at the airport, they will meet you at the hotel.  Please leave a message for Mountain Trip at the front desk that you have arrived.

Planning Post-Expedition Travel

If you spend any time in Chile before your trip, keep the piece of white and/or pink and blue paper you received from customs upon entering Chile, folded inside your passport. You will need your passport and this piece of paper when leaving Chile again. It costs $180 USD for a visa for most visitors. If you remain IN TRANSIT in Santiago on your way to Mendoza, you can ignore these pearls of wisdom.

If you do stop over in Chile, do not bring any meat or other food products into the country, as they are very strict in what foods they will allow to enter and dole out hefty fines for any violations.

GUIDES’ TIP: There is a Starbucks Coffee shop in the Santiago airport, which is a treat for flights arriving early in the morning!

Beach time on the beautiful Chilean playas makes for a really nice way to provide balance after shivering on a cold mountain for a couple of weeks!  We like the funky town of Renaca, located just north of Vina Del Mar.

 

Mendoza steak

Big cuts of meat and delicious, full-bodied local wine are some of the niceties of the Mendoza experience!

 

Meals and drinks beyond the Welcome Dinner are not covered in Mendoza, although the Executive Hotel does provide a nice breakfast with our rooms.  Dinner is covered in Penitentes and the hotel provides breakfast.  We provide all meals at both the Plaza Argentina and the Plaza de Mulas base camps, but if you might want a cold, carbonated beverage or two, bring some cash ($5 per can – beers and sodas alike).

You can use US dollars in Argentina without problem pretty much anywhere, which makes it simpler, as it limits the need to deal with money exchangers, etc.  Debit Cards or Credit Cards with a PIN number work great at most ATMs around Mendoza; this is a great way to get cash, and you’ll need to have some way to access cash–just in case.

Please remember that you will need cash to purchase a climbing permit.  Your guide will help handle the logistics of going to the park office and obtaining a permit.

Lastly, we recommend bringing  $100 or more, in addition to the amount mentioned above in cash to carry with you on the expedition in case of an emergency. A couple of times this has come in handy to climbers in various situations.