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Uspallata Travel Guide

Hiking and Mountaineering

November through March are the best months for hiking and climbing. You can arrange day hikes with area tour operators. Of the longer treks, the most popular lasts four to seven days and begins at Puente del Inca, at 2,950 meters (9,680 feet), where you spend a night to get acclimated, and then set out for Aconcagua's base camp. On the first day, a steady climb takes you to Confluencia, where most people spend two nights and enjoy a day hike to the south wall and its incredible glacier. The hike continues to the Plaza de Mulas (4,260 meters/13,976 feet) and ends at the base camp for climbers making a final ascent on Cerro Aconcagua.

Fernando Grajales. Guiding since 1976, Fernando Grajales is a veteran of many Aconcagua ascents. His company leads 18-day excursions to the summit in season. 261/15–658–8855 cell; 800/516–6962. www.grajales.net.

Inka Expeditions. This outfit has 20 years of experience leading tours both to the base camp and to Aconcagua's summit. Other treks in the area can also be organized. 261/425–0871. www.inka.com.ar.

Termas Cacheuta. Locals have been soaking in the natural hot springs here for centuries; these days they’re joined by day-tripping tourists, who come to enjoy both the thermal waters and an attractive spa. The latter features hot and cool indoor and outdoor pools, a steamy grotto sauna, a thermal mud bath, and high-powered showers. Day passes include a huge lunch buffet, with countless salads and all the cuts of a traditional Argentine asado. Dedicated spa-goers can spend the night in one of the 16 all-inclusive rooms at Hotel Termas Cacheuta ($$$). Unlike the Parque de Agua next door, this is a child-free zone. RP82, Km 38, 24 km (15 miles) west of Luján de Cuyo, Cacheuta, Mendoza, 5549. 261/490–153 or. www.termascacheuta.com. From $40. Daily 10–6. Daily 10–6:30.

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