OBJECTIVE VOLCANOES

  • Mountaineering
  • 21 days
  • March to November
  • Bolivia

 

Along the way

The most fabulous of all cordilleras, the Cordillera of the Andes, traverses South America from one end to the other. In Southern Peru and Bolivia, the cordillera splits in two, forming the depression of the Altiplano between the two ranges.
The Cordillera Occidental, at the frontier with Chili, is entirely volcanic with numerous active volcanoes (Guallatiri, Ollagüe…), geysers, hot springs… a real gem sheltering an exceptional fauna.
The objective of this expedition is the ascent of four of the most beautiful volcanoes of the region, reaching an altitude of over 6000 meters and located nearby in Sajama National Park. Highlight of our adventure: the ascent of the Sajama Volcano, Bolivia’s highest peak with its elevation of 6542 meters above sea level!

Warning: even though the technical level is accessible, this expedition is reserved to trekkers in good physical condition.

 

Program

Day 1: LA PAZ - ARRIVAL

Pick up at the airport (flight number and arrival time to be confirmed) and transfer to hotel (check in time 12 p.m.; if you wish to have a room upon arrival, it is possible to pay for one extra night, check with us).
Rest of the day open.
Lunch and dinner open. Hotel.

Day 2: LA PAZ / PANORAMIC TOUR – VALLEY OF THE MOON

Meeting in the hotel hall at 9 a.m. for a discovery, in private transportation, of the most spectacular viewpoint over the city, unbelievably located at the bottom of the Choqueyapu river canyon, with the Royal Mountain Range “Giants” as the background: Huayna Potosi, Mururata and Illimani.
This tour, particularly designed for photo lovers, first takes us to the K´Illi K´Illi Mirador and to the Laykakota Park (closed on Mondays), on the Northwestern side of the city. Afterwards, we cross the Americas Bridge to go to the “Plaza de España” Mirador, in the colonial neighborhood of Sopocachi.
From there, an abrupt descent takes us to the “South Zone”, passing through Llojeta and the “Garden Cemetery”, and finally to the Valley of the Moon, a place where we will be able to walk between psychedelic looking sandstone formations.
Return to the center at lunchtime. Afternoon open.
Lunch and dinner open. Hotel.

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Day 3: LA PAZ – TIWANAKU - TITICACA LAKE – PACHA AYMARA

Departure from the hotel at 7:30 a.m. in a private vehicle for the archaeological site of Tiwanaku (1h30). Guided tour of the pre-Colombian vestiges counting amongst the most important of the continent. Then we drive along the Altiplano to the Chojasivi community to have lunch. ADETUR has developed a community tourism project named Pacha Aymara (Aymara Times). Their eco-lodge is made with local materials as totora, stone or adobe.
After an andean lunch we go with peasants from the community to walk around the lake Titicaca shores. Then we visit a local handicraft workshop and finish our day with traditional dances.
All included. Night at the eco-lodge (limited to 8 persons).

Day 4: PACHA AYMARA – PARITI’S ISLAND – TIQUINA - COPACABANA

Early in the morning we start with a sailing boat trip in the minor lake. We follow local people who work collecting totora for their animals and their houses. Swept by wind we arrive to Pariti’s island at the end of the morning. This is an original island where traditions are very well preserved. There is an interesting little museum with the most beautiful ceramic exhibits of Tiwanaku’s culture.
Crossing towards Tiquina’s strait that divides Minor and Major part of the lake. After 3 or 4 hours navigation (outboard motor) we arrive near the little village of Tikina to join our private vehicle and drive to Copacabana (45 mns).
We can climb the Way of the Cross to view the sunset (remember to bring a headlamp for the descent).
Cold lunch. Dinner open. Hotel / lake view.

Day 5: COPACABANA - ISLAND OF THE SUN – YUMANI

In the morning, a motorboat takes us to the cave of Lourdes. Our trek on the Yampupata peninsula starts from there.The trek goes along the crest of the Yampupata Peninsula. We cross the timeless village of Zampaya. We reach Yampupata after a 4/5-hour walk.
Our boat takes us to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), where we disembark at the old Inca Palace of Pilkokaina. A 30 to 40-minute walk brings us to the village of Yumani, from where there is a magnificent view of the lake.
Cold lunch. All included. Lodging at María and Ismael’s house (basic comfort).
Note: During 2 days a boat will be at our disposal to transport the group as well as the gear during the walks.
Hiking time: 4h; Elevation gain/loss: +550m/-350m

Day 6: YUMANI – ISLAND OF THE SUN TREK – COPACABANA – LA PAZ

From Yumani, we start the trek by following the crest of the Island to the North where we find the vestiges of the Inca ruins of Chincana, the labyrinth in Aymara (3 to 4-hour walk).
We walk down to the village of Challapampa where our boat is waiting for us. Crossing back to Copacabana after lunch. Return to La Paz in private transport (3 to 4h).
Cold lunch (included). Dinner open. Hotel.
Hiking time: 4h; Elevation gain/loss: +300m/-450m

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Day 7: LA PAZ – TOMARAPI - SAJAMA

Departure from the hotel at 9 a.m. in a private vehicle for the beautiful traverse of the altiplano until we reach the entrance of Sajama National Park (around 4 hours) via the village of Curahuara de Carangas, with its colonial church known as the Sixteen chapel of the Altiplano (because of it’s perfectly preserved intricate frescoes).
On the way, we stop at the chullpas (Carangas burials) empty today after their systematic pillaging. We enter the park by a dirt road taking us to the village of Tomarapi. The fauna is abundant and varied: alpacas. Vicuñas and ñandus (a parent of the ostrich) if we are lucky, as well as some flamingos on Laguna Huaña Khota that we skirt before arriving at the Hot Springs, at the base of the volcano Sajama.
Lunch on the way. All included. Night at Doña Teodora’s near the Hot Springs (Basic comfort

Day 8: SAJAMA – GEYSERS – TREK – LAGUNA SORAPATA (el. 4960 m.a.s.l.)

In the morning, we head to the geysers in our 4WD. This particularly active area offers a unique display of bubbling baths spread over hundreds of square meters. We can try cooking eggs in their slightly sulfuric water.
From there we follow the valley upriver until we reach Laguna Khasiri Kota (el. 5050 m.a.s.l.). After a 2 ½-hour hike. During our lunch break we will be able to observe different aquatic bird species, notably the Andean geese (Huallata in Aymara) that never go very far from their characteristic nest (large floating platforms made out of algae and grass.)
One more hour is necessary to reach the plateau where is nestled the beautiful Laguna Sorapata. This magical place, surrounded by impressive copper colored mountains, is conducive to contemplation and makes a suitable camp for the ascent of the surrounding peaks.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Note: during the hike, mules do the portage of the bags.
Hiking time: 4h; Elevation gain: +600m

Day 9: LAGUNA SORAPATA – TREK – HOT SPRINGS - SAJAMA

We circumnavigate Laguna Sorapata in the direction of the pass as we spot numerous viscachas (interesting rabbit/squirrel like Andean creatures) as well as medicinal plants still used by the park’s inhabitants. After an hour climb we reach a lunar landscape, the highest point of our trek (el. 5065 m.a.s.l.). With the help of our guide and if we are lucky, we may be able to spot some Andean Puma prints on the volcanic ground.
After a short descent we arrive at the last laguna on the trek, Laguna Chiar Khota (el. 5000 m.a.s.l.) that we skirt while enjoying the amazing view of volcano Sajama it offers. We then begin the long descent through impressive colonies of yaretas (plants thousands of years old growing very slowly (1 mm/year)).
We return to our 4WD and take the direction of the hot springs to enjoy a relaxing and well-deserved bath.
Cold lunch. All included. Night at Doña Isabel and Don Marcelo’s (basic comfort).
Hiking time: 5/6h; Elevation gain/loss: +100m/-700m

Day 10: SAJAMA - CHULLPAS OF RÍO LAUCA – ACOTANGO (Day 1 /el 5200 m.a.s.l.)

We take the direction of the South to enter the country of Urus following sandy and treacherous dirt roads. After crossing Río Lauca, appear some polychromatic chullpas, the most beautiful of Bolivia (chullpas were tombs of the Aymara lords; pre-Inca time). We can take a walk through this site between lagunas and volcanoes.
After lunch we get back to our vehicle. The road climbs the hillside of volcano Acotango, to an abandoned sulfur mine, located at 4800 m.a.s.l. We keep on going on a rocky track until we reach our camp.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.

Day 11: ASCENT OF VOLCANO ACOTANGO (Day 2 / el. 6052 m.a.s.l.)


Grade II/AD, Max 40° - with mountain guide
Start at around 2 to 3 a.m. We follow the crest along a rocky trail, before reaching snow line. We rope up until we arrive at the crater. This is not the end of our efforts; the summit is actually located on the other side of the crater (6/7 h of hiking).
The view from the top is magnificent; we are surrounded by the most beautiful volcanoes of the Cordillera Occidental: volcano Guallatiri, active and blowing sulfuric fumes, Parinacota, Pomerape and Sajama while shimmer on the Chilean side, the turquoise lagunas of Cota-Cotani and Chungara.
Return to Sajama in the afternoon to enjoy a relaxing bath in the hot springs.
All included. Night at Doña Teodora’s near the Hot Springs (Basic comfort)
Ascent time: 10h; Elevation gain/loss: +850m/-850m

Day 12: SAJAMA – POMERAPE BASE CAMP (el. 5000 m.a.s.l.)

In the morning, trip to the geysers. This particularly active area offers a unique display of bubbling baths spread over hundreds of square meters. We can try cooking eggs in their slightly sulfuric water.
We meet our team of porters in the middle of the day.
A 2-hour walk enables us to reach the base camp at 5000 m.a.s.l.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.

Day 13: ASCENT OF POMERAPE (el. 6280 m.a.s.l.)


Grade II/AD, Max 40° - with mountain guide
Early departure for a tentative ascent of the summit.
No technical difficulty but specific equipment is required (ropes / crampons / ice axe).
Approximately 8-hour round-trip, depending on weather and physical condition of each participant.
From the base camp, it is a 45-minute walk with porters to return to the vehicle.
At the end of the day, return to the village of Sajama by 4WD for a well-deserved bath in the hot springs.
Cold lunch. All included. Lodging in Doña Isabel et Don Marcelo’s house, in the village of Sajama (basic comfort).
Ascent time: 8 h; Elevation gain/loss: +1090m/-1540m
Note: Possibility to stay at the Pomerape and Parinacota base camp.

Day 14: SAJAMA – PARINACOTA BASE CAMP (el. 5200 m.a.s.l.)

Morning open. In the middle of the day, we arrive at a place called Inkamarka, at 4750 m.a.s.l.
We meet our team of porters. A 2-hour walk enables us to reach the base camp at 5200 m.a.s.l.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 2h; Elevation gain: +450m

Day 15: ASCENT OF PARINACOTA (el. 6340 m.a.s.l.)

Grade II/AD, Max 40° - with mountain guide
Early departure for a tentative ascent of the summit. No technical difficulty but specific equipment is required (ropes / crampons / ice axe).
6 to 8-hour round-trip, depending on weather and physical condition of each participant.
From the base camp, it is a 45-minute walk with porters to reach our vehicle in Inkamarka.
Descent to the village of Sajama by 4WD for a well-deserved bath in the local hot springs.
Cold lunch. All included. Lodging in Doña Teodora’s house near the hot springs (basic comfort).
Ascent time: 8 h; Elevation gain/loss: +1150m/-1600m

Day 16: ASCENT OF SAJAMA / DAY 1 (el. 4800 m.a.s.l.)

Grade II/AD, Max 50° - with mountain guide - normal route
Rest in the morning. In the afternoon, we perform our equipment check then walk about 2 hours on easy ground to reach the base camp (el.4800 m.a.s.l.). Mules carry our gear.
All included. Bivouac.
Ascent time: 2 h; Elevation gain: +450m
Note: mules and porters for the 3 days of the ascent.

Day 17: ASCENT OF SAJAMA / DAY 2 (el. 5450 m.a.s.l.)

Very early in the morning and with the help of porters, we begin our ascent to the high altitude camp of Sajama (el.5450 m.a.s.l.). Five hours walk on volcanic screes on the North side of the valley. Once we reach the Northwest crest we follow a passageway between two former lava streams. From there we reach the high altitude camp, behind a rock pinnacle.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac at times in snow.
Ascent time: 5 h; Elevation gain: +650m

Day 18: ASCENT OF SAJAMA / DAY 3 (el. 6542 m.a.s.l.) - TOMARAPI

We wake up at 4 a.m. and leave our camp for a tentative ascent of the summit (approximately 6h/7h). We follow the arête on snow or scree. We end up on the glacier and head for the summit. After a descent of about 5 hours we reach our vehicle and head for the local Hot Springs where we take a well-deserved bath before driving to the village of Tomarapi, where we spend the night.
Cold lunch. All included. Lodging Ecolodge of Tomarapi (comfort of a 2 stars hotel).
Ascent time: 12 h; Elevation gain/loss: +1090m/-2190m

Day 19: TOMARAPI – LA PAZ

Return to La Paz in the morning (3/4h trip). Afternoon open.
Lunch and dinner open. Hotel.

Day 20: LA PAZ

Day open. Lunch and dinner open. Hotel.

Day 21: DEPARTURE

Pick up at our hotel in a private vehicle, 3 hours prior to flight departure time, for transfer to airport / international flight number and time to be confirmed.

 

Included

- Local Spanish guide in La Paz and Lake Titicaca
- Entrance to parks and cultural places mentioned in program
- Private transport / Spanish - speaking driver
- 3-star hotels in twin room including breakfast
- Night with local hosts
- Meals mentioned
- Trekking guide
- Mountain guide (one for 3 people max)
- Cook for groups of more than 4 people (for groups smaller than 4, the guide will be the cook)
- Collective equipment for trekking and mountaineering (tents, cooking gear, ropes, etc…)
- Portage of luggage (high altitude porters/ mules / llamas)

Not included

- International flight round trip
- Airport taxes (about $ 2 US per person for national flights and $ 25 US per person for international flights)
- Individual equipment (for camping we provide the sleeping pads)
- Mandatory travel insurance
- Drinks
- Tips

General sales conditions

Your trip will be confirmed once we receive a deposit of 30% of the total amount on our Bolivian account or on our web site (Visa card icon on the top right; enter your name as the reference). The balance must be paid upon arrival in Bolivia in American dollars or Euros.

Prepare for your trip

Travel advice Bolivia
General Sales Conditions
Equipment

Emergencies

In case of major problem during your stay (delay, strike, traffic accident…), an emergency contact will be at your disposal to reach a member of our team:
(010) 712 57 378

Important

- As a security measure, each traveler needs to provide photocopies of passport and individual insurance documentation.
- If you are planning to travel to Brazil, please note that the Brazilian authorities request the yellow fever vaccine certificate to all travelers coming from Bolivia. If you do not leave the transit zone at the airport, it is not required.

Contact us to get the fares

 

 

 


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