COVID-19 situation in Argentina and the 2021-22 Mt. Aconcagua climbing season
The Aconcagua Park authorities will soon officially announce that the park will allow climbers only on the normal route, and only from Jan 1st until Feb 15th (this is the exit day). Although we were aiming for a longer and normal opening of the park routes and valleys, the park management opted for a shorter, limited climbing season, due to budget and sanitary issues.
After a whole climbing season lost to COVID-19, you can trust us that we really look forward to a busy schedule of expeditions. Nonetheless, there are some interrogation marks that we think it’s fair to share with our costumers.
Borders and international flights
While the Argentine government is advancing steadily with its COVID-19 vaccination program, the fact is that the country maintains the ban on international travel that’s been in place for more than 14 months. As of September 2021, no foreign citizens can enter Argentina.
The growing pressure from the tourism industry (and some hints from the government) might help to revert this situation before December. The Mendoza government and Mt. Aconcagua State Park, for instance, have launched a promotion, with an interesting discount on pre-paid climbing permits (see below).
Another matter of concern is the evolution of the pandemic in the country, and where will Argentina stand in a couple of months, in terms of vaccination percentage.
All this said, we at Grajales Expeditions maintain an optimistic view. We think that this restrictions will gradually come to an end, allowing us to share awesome expeditions with you soon (see below):
Aconcagua Park, 25% discount on permits
– The offer is valid for those permits paid no later than September 30th, 2021.
– The permits will be issued by the Park authorities as usual, but these pre-paid permits must be processed and paid for by a local, licensed operator.
– No reimbursement.
– The park will allow the permits to be rolled over to the 2022-2023 season in case they can’t be used due to force majeure.
Even though this is promising news, Argentina does not allow tourists to enter the country. This restriction has been in place for +12 months and is uncertain when is going to end. The park opening is not guaranteed neither.
To translate this optimism into hard facts, here is our 2021-22 COVID-19 policy:
Is there a chance that my trip gets canceled or rescheduled due to COVID 19?
Due to the special challenges posed by COVID-19, and the consequent Argentine government policies, we might not be able to run all of our guided trips exactly as planned. If, due to COVID-19 or any other reason we need to cancel a trip or change its date or itinerary (i.e. the climbing route), we will let you know as soon as possible. We know that this contradicts our “if we publish a trip, we run it” policy, but we might (hopefully not) have to make an exception, in order to be able to run trips at all. We hope you will understand that it’s all about safety first and waiting for the right window (we ourselves learned the skill from our guides!).
What happens to my money if Grajales Expeditions cancels my trip?
If the trip you are registered for gets cancelled because of COVID-19, Grajales Expeditions will provide a full refund of your money. You can also transfer your booking, advanced payment or final balance to another trip, free of charge.
Once I have paid the final balance, what happens to my money if I am ordered to self-isolate?
If you have paid the final balance of your trip and you have to self-isolate, we will delay your trip to the next available expedition (once you can travel), free of charge.
Once I have paid the final balance, what happens to my money if I have to cancel my trip because I or someone in my household tests positive for COVID-19?
If you, or someone in your home, test positive for COVID-19 and have to cancel your trip, you can transfer all your payments to another expedition, in the next 24 months, with no additional changes.
Once I have paid the final balance, what happens to my money if I have to cancel my trip for a reason other than COVID-19?
If you cancel your trip for a reason other than COVID-19, our normal terms and conditions apply. We recommend getting a trip cancellation insurance.
What happens to my deposit if I cancel after I have booked?
If you have paid your deposit and decide to cancel your trip, because of COVID-19 or for any other reason, we will transfer your booking and deposit to another trip of your choice, free of charge. Deposits are valid for a lifetime.
Having paid a deposit, when is the final balance due?
Because of the special sanitary situation, we have delayed the final balance payment date as much as possible. Once you’ve made your deposit, you have time to pay the balance until 15 days prior to the expedition.