Aconcagua Normal Route – Stand Atop The Roof Of The Americas


On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Aconcagua Normal Route - also known as the roof of the Americas.

Aconcagua Normal Route


Mount Aconcagua, the Stone Sentinel, is most worthy of your attention, being the second highest of the Seven Summits. The summits of the surrounding peaks are about 4,000 feet lower.

Aconcagua’s altitude and temperature – high and low, respectively – make it arduous. The latter necessitates high quality clothing and equipment.

The Aconcagua Normal Route is the most popular, presenting as it does no technical difficulty – there is no need for years of experience of climbing on rocks or ice. It is the route used by the first expedition to scale the mountain in 1897, led by Matthias Zurbriggen after Edward Fitzgerald withdrew due to altitude sickness.

Please Note: Around 3,500 people attempt to reach the summit every year, with about 40 percent succeeding. It is a much greater undertaking than other mountains such as Kilimanjaro. You will require crampons, an ice axe and good backpacking skills, but not rope.

Aconcagua Regional Map

The Aconcagua Normal Route is a non-technical route and follows the mountain’s north-west ridge all the way to the summit.


Normal Route Itinerary

Below is a detailed Aconcagua Normal Route itinerary. Please note that route itineraries vary slightly depending on what operator you use and time of year you climb.


Day 1: Make your way to Mendoza

Day 2: Transfer to Penitentes Ski Area

Day 3: Hike to Camp at Plaza Francia

Day 4: Acclimatisation Hikes

Day 5: Hike to Normal Route Base Camp

Day 6: Acclimatisation Day

Day 7: Carry load to Camp I and return to Base Camp

Day 8: Hike to Camp I

Day 9: Hike to Camp II and return to Camp I

Day 10: Hike to Camp II

Day 11: Hike to Camp III

Day 12: Acclimatisation day at Camp III

Day 13-15: Summit Window

Day 16: Descend from High Camp to Base Camp

Day 17: Hike out of the Horcones Valley

Recommended Guidebook

Aconcagua- Summit of South America by Harry Kikstra

We recommend Aconcagua: Summit of South America by Harry Kikstra.

For more Aconcagua guidebook recommendations and literature check out our Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Normal Route cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Aconcagua Insurance


Climbing insurance is vital for Aconcagua.

If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance on Aconcagua. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you need.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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  1. Hi
    Please be careful with images – the image on “aconcagua climbing permit” is actually mine, taken from camp colera (showing our red hilleberg tent and our tnf ve-25, and one guy in our team that year 🙂
    Please add a reference
    Cheers jonn

    1. Hey John, thanks for the heads up! I have updated the photo to attribute it to you. I’m not sure how we got this image, so will check with my editor. All the best!

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