Seven kilometers west of Penitentes , Puente del Inka takes its name from the natural bridge over the Río Mendoza that once held a rustic hot springs. Since detection of a fissure in the bridge, though, it’s closed to the public except for photographs—from a distance, for safety reasons.
It’s also notable for the Cementerio de los Andinistas, the climbers’ cemetery that reminds visitors that Cerro Aconcagua  demands the respect—and sometimes the lives—of intending summiteers (not all those buried here died on the mountain, though—some chose this as their final resting place). At 2,720 meters above sea level and 177 kilometers west of Mendoza , it’s the closest settlement to the Horcones entrance to Parque Provincial Aconcagua , but Penitentes  has more abundant and better accommodations and food.
Puente del Inka enjoys spectacular panoramas of the mountains surrounding Aconcagua and south to the 6,650-meter massif of Cerro Tupungato, also part of a provincial park; most easily accessible from Tunuyán, its summit route is a technical climb suitable for accomplished snow-and-ice mountaineers only.
Chile-bound travelers, especially those in private vehicles, should note that all border formalities—immigration and customs—take place on the Chilean side; those coming from Chile complete formalities at Los Horcones, immediately west of Penitentes on the Argentine side. Penitentes has the last gas station before the border; the next one is some 50 kilometers west at Río Blanco, Chile.
Shoestring travelers can pitch their tents at Camping Los Puquios, on the north side of the highway, but it’s a barren, exposed site.
Built for the climate, with smallish bedroom windows that minimize heat loss in winter but also reduce the natural light, Hostería Puente del Inka (RN 7 Km 175, tel. 02624/42-0266, US$38 s, US$45 d, with breakfast) is a mountain lodge with multibed rooms. Its so-so restaurant serves lunch and dinner.