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Ansilta Mountain Range and Mercedario Mountain

San Juan

The Ansilta Mountain Range has 7 peaks over 5000 metres high. It is a mythical place for mountain climbers and hikers.

Due to the harsh weather conditions in winter, ascents are only allowed in summer. A destination for adventurous people.

What to see

In the area, there are small gorges with amazing glaciers and waterfalls that are ideal for different trekking itineraries.


For people who do not seek to reach the summit, but who want to tour the area, there are operators offering trekking tours to Blanca Lake (1-day trek) or to Turquesa Stream (2 days/1 night, medium-difficulty and 4100 MSL maximum).

Condors and petroglyphs

The Ansilta Mountain Range is part of the Frontal Mountain Range running along National Route 149 several kilometres to the west. From north to south, it stretches for 40 km, and you can see it from Barreal and other points in the Calingasta Valley.


In this mountain range, it is common to see condors, guanacos and other emblematic animals of the mountains, as well as old petroglyphs and cave paintings.

Mythical mountain

The Mercenario Mountain, in the Ramada Mountain Range, is the fourth highest peak in the Americas, measuring 6720 metres high. It is a very remote ascent only suitable for very experienced climbers as it requires acclimatisation and well-planned logistics.

Depending on the weather conditions, reaching the summit requires at least a 10-day hike among mountains and valleys of overwhelming beauty.

How to get there and move around

Tours and excursions to both mountain ranges depart from Barreal. In some cases, there are vehicle tracks that can be followed only with 4WD vehicles to go farther into the mountain, as in the case of Blanca Lake.


In most cases, common vehicles cannot go past the Los Patos River, and you need to continue on foot while transporting all the gear on mules. There is a large variety of roads to ascend to the summit, so from Barreal, there are several points that will get you close to the mountain range.

Where to stay

There is no accommodation in the area, so you will need to take a tent, equipment and supplies. The nearest town providing accommodation and services is Barreal, around 40 km away.

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