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Ansilta Mountain Range and Mercedario Mountain

San Juan

Starting from the town of Barreal, you can discover the Ansilta mountain range, a mythical place for lovers of mountaineering and high altitude hiking: it has seven peaks over 5000 meters. You can also reach Cerro Mercedario, the fourth highest peak in Argentina and the second in importance in the region. Both places are great destinations for those looking to live an adventure in the Andes.

Due to the harsh weather conditions in winter, ascents are only allowed in summer.

What to see
Trekking trails

In this area there are small gorges with incredible glaciers and waterfalls. They can be discovered in the company of qualified guides who offer different trekking itineraries, such as the one that reaches the Laguna Blanca (only one day) and the Turquesa stream (two days and one night, and with a maximum altitude of 4100 meters above sea level).

Ansilta Mountain Range

The Ansilta mountain range is part of the frontal mountain range that runs parallel to National Route 149. With 40 km in length, it has seven peaks between 5100 and 5900 meters above sea level that can be ascended by routes of different levels of physical demand and technical difficulty (from rock to ice). To live this experience it is necessary to have experience and good physical condition.

Cerro Mercedario

Cerro Mercedario, on the Ramada mountain range, is the fourth highest peak in America at 6,720 meters above sea level. Ascending to its summit is only for very experienced climbers: it requires acclimatization and well-planned logistics, since its access is very remote. Depending on weather conditions, reaching the summit takes at least ten days.

El Leoncito National Park and Pampa del Leoncito

A visit to this area can be combined with other attractions. 31 km from the town of Barreal is the El Leoncito National Park, one of the main astrotourism destinations in the country. It has two international-level observatories that offer day and night visits. Another place is Pampa del Leoncito, a large plain more than 10 km long that captivates along with the immensity of the Andes mountain range. It is located on National Route 149, in front of the entrance to the national park. More information in the must-see El Leoncito National Park.

How to get there and move around

Trekking and expeditions to the Ansilta mountain range and Cerro Mercedario depart from the town of Barreal.

From the city of San Juan it is reached by national routes 40 and 149 (241 km); and from Mendoza capital, along national routes 7 and 149, passing through Uspallata (219 km).

There are buses from the city of San Juan to Barreal. In the capitals of San Juan and Mendoza you can rent cars and hire excursions.

Where to stay

The closest town with accommodation, gastronomy and services is Barreal, located 210 km from the city of San Juan.

More information