It would be a shame if, while visiting Mendoza, Argentina’s most populous city in the western part of the country, you didn’t make it up to the Andes. Not only to see the border between Chile and Argentina, but most importantly, to glimpse these giants of the mountain world, including Aconcagua, which is the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere, at 6962 meters or 22,841 feet. A winding drive up from Mendoza reveals snowcapped peaks at every turn, and short turnoff brings you to a mirador, or lookout point, for Aconcagua itself.
While climbing the mountain is a serious affair, subject to permits, regulations and climbing fees, visiting the Provincial park of Aconcagua requires little more than a three-hour drive from Mendoza, and also puts you close to the Puente del Inca, a nearby natural attraction. Once at the Aconcagua Park, you have a few options for day hikes, including a one-hour loop suitable for children. Keep an eye out for the llama-like guanaco, or possibly red foxes, and overhead, it is common to see Andean condors.
Despite the usually warm weather in Mendoza, rest assured that in the shadow of Aconcagua, very cold temperatures are a real possibility. Dress warmly, protect against sun exposure, and bring a thermos of something warm to keep even more toasty.