Now that Aconcagua has become almost a victim of its own success, anyone looking for a challenging mountain trek with fewer people crowding the trails and paths should head for the better-kept secret of Cerro Tupungato, an extinct volcano peaking at 6570m. Its hulking cone dominates the PARQUE PROVINCIAL TUPUNGATO, which stretches along the Chilean border to the south of the RN-7 at Puente del Inca. The virgin countryside within the park is utterly breathtaking, completely unspoilt and unremittingly stark. The park is most accessible from the town of TUPUNGATO, reached from Mendoza via the RN-40 and the RP-86. There’s little to see in the small market town, but this is where you can contract guides to take you to the top of the mighty volcano; you’ll need plenty of time as the treks last between three and fifteen days, depending on how long you’re given to acclimatize at each level – the longer the better. Calculate on US$1000 per person.

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