Aconcagua National Park, Argentina

aconcagua national park

Parque Provincial Aconcagua (West Argentina)

Home to the western hemisphere's highest peak, this park protects 710 km sq of wild and unruly andean landscapes.

Experienced hikers will be in their element tackling the testing climb to the volcanic summit up the immense Aconcagua. The peak is found at 6958 metres above sea level and the views are spectacular. In 1985 an Incan mummy was discovered on the cliff face at a height of 5300m, which has added clues to the history of the mountain, believed to have been used in religious rituals and even sacrifice. The most popular trails are Río Horcones which goes up the Northwest face of the mountain, and the even more strenuous Ruta Galciar de los Polacos which is longer, harder and more impressive. It is reccommended that hikers spend around two weeks to complete the climb.

For those not exerienced enough to attempt the biggy there are several other routes to the base camps which take in amazing views of the mountain and make interesting treks. The most popular time to visit the park is when the weather is mildest - between the end of December and the beginning of February. It is absolutely essential you acquire a permit before heading to the park, which range in price depending on the season what you plan to do from between US$20-US$300.