The Rooftop of the Andes: Cerro Aconcagua

Looming over the picturesque vineyards of Mendoza in northwest Argentina, Cerro Aconcagua tops out at 22,841 feet. That makes it the tallest mountain in the world outside of Asia, bigger than Mount McKinley or Kilimanjaro. Only the Himalaya are higher. Best of all, Aconcagua is an easy day trip outside the wine-region hub of Mendoza.

Hardcore mountain climbers come to the Andes from around the world to attempt the 13-to-15 day trek up to Aconcagua’s snow-capped summit. Those interested must purchase a permit from the authorities in Parque Provincial Aconcagua.

Thankfully, you don’t need two weeks and advanced climbing skills to appreciate Aconcagua’s beauty. In fact, you can even catch a pain-free glimpse of what it’s like to stand on the summit here. Countless outfitters in Mendoza offer day trips from the city to the park for a close-up view of the peak, as well. Check out Mendoza’s official tourism site list for some options. It’s also possible to rent a car in Mendoza and make the three-hour drive to Aconcagua yourself.

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