Daily Tours around La Paz

Sacred Mountains of the Inca

Mount Llullaillaco belongs to the holiest mountains of the Inca Empire. With its 6740 meters tallness it is one of the highest mountains in South America and also one of the highest volcanos worldwide. It is truly a dream destination but not easy to reach.

But in the beginning this tour will start calmly: La  Paz, Muela de Diablo and some walking tours around Titicaca Lake will be our starting points for the acclimatization for Mount Llullaillaco. We walk across Isla de Sol, in Inka mythology their empire has its origin in this island. Across the Cumbre Pass to Coroico we can also find evidence of the indigenous people. Indeed Salar de Uyuni was here before civilization but also at volcano Tunupa we can find mummies.

???

(also dieser satz macht im Deutschen schon keinen Sinn. Aber wurscht einfach übersetzen hab ich mir gedacht).

Still higher is Mount Licancabur, a symmetric formed volcanic cone with a small crater lake and it is also a sacred mountain of the Inca. Here also some ruins and sacrificial offerings can be found. At the nearby Uturuncu this is not entirely sure but instead here it’s possible to see yellow sulfurous vapors which escape from the crater. But most of the mummies were found at Llullaillaco itself, not less than three.

The tour

Our tour “Sacred Mountains of the Inca” will start in Bolivia, more precisely in La Paz the seat of the Bolivian government. The first destination for the day is the picturesque Mount Muela de Diablo before we continue our tour to the deep blue Titicaca Lake also known as South American Sea. By boat we are going to Isla de Sol, the origin of the Inca Empire, and after that we will ascend Mount Calvario and Cerro Ceroka.

Our next destination will be Uyuni, respectively the surrounding area of Uyuni. Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt lake may not be missed in the program as well as a visit to the numerous multicolored lagoons with its quantities of flamingos.

The tour is rounded off with hot springs, sparkling geysers and legendary volcanos like the multicolored 5205m tall Tunupa which offers an incomparable panoramic view. Here we can also find ancient mummies. With its 5919m obviously taller is the Licancabur the show-piece volcano

par excellence. Underneath the peak we can explore a crater lake and additionally semiderelict buildings of the Inca. Also human sacrifices had been taken place here. A real six-thousander, the Uturuncu, will be our next ambition. We can go high up on this mountain by car and from there we will be able to ascend its two high summits.

After crossing the Chilean border, coming from San Pedro de Atacama we will set about Mount Llullaillaco. In return for the long journey which isn’t easy to find, the Conaf-refuge offers us a comfortable shelter.

From the high-camp, ascending over steep rock stones, we try to cope with Mount Llullaillaco. We drive back to Antofagasta and from there the return flights will leave.

Puya Raimondy

Walking tour to Puya Raimondy plant in the Comnache National Park

Although this National Park can be reached from La Paz in a 3 hours drive, there are not much visitors. And yet this is the only place in Bolivia where you can see the huge Puya Raimondy bromeliad. The next possibility to look at this plant would be in Huaraz Peru.

All plants are located directly above the town on a massive, granite rock hump, called Cerro Comanche. Locals say that this ridge must be a meteorite, because it is so clearly different from the reddish sandstone rocks that surround it. That is certainly debatable but in any case, additionally to the endangered Puya Raimondy bromeliad,several animals, such as eagles, viscachas, Andean foxes and storks can be admired at this unique place.

We walk from the main road directly to the Cerro Comanche and climb up by using interesting stone stairs. At this point we will have a great panoramic view of the Cordillera Real. We can completely climb to the stony head of the mountain, but the last 100 meters are pathless.

Dates: Tours can be started daily on request

Prices:

  • 1 Person 100 Euros
  • 2 Persons 60 Euros
  • 4 or more persons 50 Euros

 

Maria Lloco

Maria Lloco (5000m) in the Cordillera Real

In front of the dominating Huayna Potosí, there is another impressive mountain massif which is adorned by a respectable ice wall. With a height of “only” 5522 m, Cerro Maria Lloco indeed is in Huayna Potosi´s shadow, but at close range the mountain looks fantastic. Needless to say that the panoramic view from Maria Lloco is also something special, surely not only for those who want to enjoy Huayna Potosi from a short distance.

The ascent of mount Maria Lloco isn’t too difficult, but steep and exhausting. But the lovely landscape during the whole tour is absolutely worth the effort!

Walking time: 7 hours

Starting point: High Valley near Tuni

Altitude difference: approx. 700 m

Dates: anytime, on request

Price: from 50 euros

Requirements: In the upper part, a short, moderate ascent leads through a frozen surface without gaps. But crampons, ice axes and a rope are recommended. Slippery and very steep debris-covered areas below the glacier must be climbed. A good physical condition and sure-footedness are absolutely necessary. However, no real technical challenges are waiting for you.

 

Walking tour to Laguna Tilata

Walking tour to Laguna Tilata (Esmeralda) above the Yungas

The area around the mountain village Unduave is definitely one of the most untouched regions in the popular Cordillera Real, hardly ever a wanderer finds this place. And yet there is quite a lot to discover, such as formidable black rock formations, crystal clear lagoons, steep abysses and even some small glaciers. A very impressive circular hike leads to an almost completely unknown lagoon named Esmeralda, a small hidden mountain lake beneath mighty precipices. Exceptionally, this part of the hike offers good trails.

Dates: Tours can be started daily on request

Prices:

  • 1 Person 100 Euros
  • 2 Persons 60 Euros
  • 4 or more persons 40 Euros

Japa Japani

Japa Japani (5000m), also known as Doublehorn, in the Hampaturi mountain range

The Cerro Japa Japani or Doublehorn belongs to the quite unknown but also to the most interesting high summits of Bolivia. It offers an incomparable panoramic view of Cerro Sajama, Lake Titicaca and  the wide area of the Cordillera Real. Furthermore, breathtaking views of El Alto´s sea of houses and the high-rise buildings of La Paz will surely impress you. Palkoma Valley is one of Bolivia´s most beautiful valleys and it is richly blessed by nature with its Lakes, Canyons and Cascades.

Walking time: 5-7 hours

Starting point: Ajua Khota reservoir (4400m)

Altitude difference: approx. 1000m

Prices:

  • 1 Person: 100 Euros
  • 2 Persons: 60 Euros
  • 4 or more persons: 50 Euros

Requirements: Long and exhausting hike on a magnificent summit lookout. The ascent leads partially through pathless debris areas and short, easy rock passages. Sure-footedness and a good head for heights are indispensable for a hiking in this mountain. Because of the mountain’s height, only sufficiently fit and acclimatized mountaineers should start this tour.

Condoriri Cerro Thipala

The Condoriri mountain range is covered by glaciers and therefore counts to one of the most interesting areas for ambitious climbers in Bolivia. But also mountain hikers will find some interesting routes here.

For unexpected mountaineers, stunning passages and the smaller ones of the 5000s, such as Cerro Thipala, offer spectacular Andean adventures and great panoramic views as well.

Walking time: 4 - 6 hours

Starting point: Mountain village Tuni at Tuni reservoir (4438m)

Altitude difference: approx. 800 m

Price: from 50 euros

Requirements:

Although most of the terrain is pathless, the debris parts aren’t too slippery and well walkable. The last part is a bit breezy but not too difficult. Sure-Footedness and a good head for heights would be advantageous.

Cerro Charkini at the Zongopass

The at least 5392 meters tall Cerro Charkini is definitely one of the most eye-catching high summits of the Cordillera Real. Its glaciation is remarkable, too. Nevertheless, this well-shaped Andean giant is surprisingly easy to ascend. Its tame north face is suitable for those who would like to gain first experiences with crampons. Fortunately, this mountain is situated in the middle of the Cordillera Real and can be reached quickly from La Paz.

Walking time: 5 - 6 hours

Starting point: Zongo - hut (4700m)

Altitude difference: approx. 700 m

Dates: anytime, on request

Price: from 60 Euros

Requirements: The hike is rising moderately and nearly without crevasse. But crampons, ice axes and a rope are recommended. The last part of the hike requires sure-footedness and experiences in finding the right trail.

Condoriri Cerro Austria

In front of the high summits of the Condoriri mountain range, Cerro Austria offers an impressive sight from a distance. For those who catch sight of it for the first time from Lake Tuni, it may be hard to believe that this at least 5328 meters tall rocky pyramid can be ascended on quite easy trails. Cerro Austria is also a good starting point for other mountain hikes in this region and it is often used for acclimatization tours to the more challenging ones, such as Pequenio Alpamayo or Condoriri itself.

As the starting point is already located at a rather high altitude, you only have to ascend 700 meters which will take about 3 hours. You continue over quite good trails, broad debris areas and green lands into a small saddle. Here you have a wide view to the gigantic ice areas underneath the Condoriri and the daunting icy wall of the A la Izquierda. You climb further up on a broad ridge. From up there, you will be overwhelmed by the gorgeous view: almost the entire Cordillera Real can be seen and on clear days even the Titicaca Lake.

Walking time: 7 - 8 hours, but also 2 day tours possible

Altitude difference: approx. 850 m

Starting point: Tuni or Palcoco

Dates: anytime, on request

Price: from 50 euros

Cerro Wila Manquilizani

 

Tour information

Time to walk: 5-6 hours

Starting point: Cumbre Coroico Passhoehe

Altitude difference: Approx. 700 m.

Requirements

Steep icy flanks between 40 and 50 degrees. Alpinist knowledge and a good handling with crampons are preconditions for this tour.

Dates and prices

Dates: anytime, on request
Price: 1 Person 100 Euro, from 2 Persons on: 50 Euro

The Icewall of Cerro Manquilizani

While crossing the Cumbre Pass to Coroico the Wila Maquilizani is all but omnipresent. Its shiny white icy flank directly catches your eye during the bus trip or the lake round trip. A fantastic trip for experienced mountinerees, it isn’t too difficult but offers beautiful, totally untouched nature. Also appropriate for acclimatization or first experiences on ice.

Description:

Early in the morning we drive from La Paz to the Cumbre Pass by car and approach the pass above a bumpy trail towards the mountain. Now we have to manage a slight up and down through a debris area. Soon this is over and we have to fasten our crampons, in the best case before sunrise in order to catch the best ice conditions. Now we carry on uphill, on a wonderful compact firn we advance very well. After having managed 100 height meters we finally reach the view full saddle from where on we can approach the summit. Also this we reach soon and here we enjoy a terrific view on to the ice giants of the king cordillera. The image is dominated by the symmetric trapeze of the Huayna Potosi, but also its neighbor the Cerro Charkini and the enormous Tiquimani leave a strong mark. The Serkhe Khollo departs more and more, the Mururata and Illimanica can still be seen. On the right wall side we find a less steep descend that easily leads us to our starting point. We take a rest at on of the numerous mountain lakes and drive back to La Paz.

Muela Diablo

Indeed the Muela de Diablo is only 3995 meters high, however this wild rock can be seen from almost every where in the southern part of La Paz. This giant appears steep und unapproachable right within its bizarrely shaped erosion landscape and green lands. Sporty climbers can find a worthwhile site here.

 

Time to walk:

3-4 hours

Altitude difference:
approx. 600 height meters

Starting and ending point:
Pedregal (3350m)

Requirements:
The first part can be overcome on broad roads, later on we have to cope with narrow trails. The superior part leads above a steep debris. Surefootedness and no head for height are definitely necessary.

Dates:
anytime, on request

Price:
1 Person 60 Euros, from 2 persons on: 30 Euros

Indeed the Muela de Diablo is only 3995 meters high, however this wild rock can be seen from almost every where in the southern part of La Paz. This giant appears steep und unapproachable right within its bizarrely shaped erosion landscape and green lands. Sporty climbers can find a worthwhile site here.

Description:

The bus ends in Pedegral, just in front of a tiny shop. From here on a broad trail leads us up to the mountain Firstly,we pass by at some houses and a small grave yard, than we have to hike up higher on narrow serpentines. Soon the view gets wider and we can see the surrounding ice giants like the Huayna Potosi, Mururata and of course the out performing Illimani. Only the Mururata cannot be seen yet, but also this is changing as soon as we reach the pass. All of a sudden this the enormous rock appears, directly in front of us. Our walk leads us through an impressively green landscape into a small village. Cows, pigs and dogs accompany us on the way, while on the left side the Muela, a gigantic red-colored mountain attracts our attention. After reaching the village we carry on to the right and climb down a small creek, that we have to climb up a gain on the other side. Narrow trails lead us to the summit, on a steep but well arranged track. After two very short rocky ports we have to conquer a very exhausting debris part and finally arrange the grout. On the left side a easy trail leads us to the viewpoint between the both summits. A few minutes later we have reached the summit and enjoy terrific deep views into the steep rock walls and above the metropolis La Paz. Unfortunately both summit rocks can only be overcome by hard climbing, so that this is r3eserved for real experienced climbers. For the descend we take a different way in between the bizarre and colorful rock constructions.

From the Cacaltaya to the Zongopass

The Chacaltaya shelters with its 5300 meters, the highest ski region worldwide. Nowadays, however a large part of the glacier melted and the solely small ski lift laments. Nevertheless the crossing of the Chacaltaya chain offers a fantastic panorama over almost the entire Cordillera Real, including a terrific deep view above La Paz. After driving up to a height of 5100 meters by mini bus, we first of all have to pay 10 Bolivianos for the Club Boliviano for passing its hut. Then the ascend trail follows, directly behind the rear exit.

Time to walk:
5 to 6 hours

Starting pointy:
Ski hut at the Chacaltaya

Ending point:
Farming house at the Zongo pass street (4550m)

Altitude difference: approx.
500m (ascend) and 900m (descend)

Requirements:
Partly the area is without trails, underneath the summit climbing is necessary (1. degree). This small part is a bit exposed. Otherwise the trails are well arranged and easy to find.

Dates:
anytime, on request

Price:
1 person 100 Euro, from 2 persons on: 50 Euros

The Chacaltaya shelters with its 5300 meters, the highest ski region worldwide. Nowadays, however a large part of the glacier melted and the solely small ski lift laments. Nevertheless the crossing of the Chacaltaya chain offers a fantastic panorama over almost the entire Cordillera Real, including a terrific deep view above La Paz. After driving up to a height of 5100 meters by mini bus, we first of all have to pay 10 Bolivianos for the Club Boliviano for passing its hut. Then the ascend trail follows, directly behind the rear exit.

Description:

Almost straight ahead we climb towards the first of the numerous Cacaltaya massives This is done quite easily, after 15 minutes we have already reached the summit. A short contra descend is following, before hiking around the highest point of the Cacaltaya chain, this time we have to cross a harmless icy bit of grout. Here the view is absolutely free on an endless seeming ocean of summits: Now we cross the left, view full grout back until the trails lead us further down to a debris area. Over a boulders area we reach the saddle of the next summit. Further accompanied by marvelous views, especially over the gigantic Illimani, we overcome another harmless grout until reaching a small steep wall. But it looks worse than it really is. Who looks to the right will immediately see the helpful climbing leads. At the next ascend we overcome a broad debris grout towards a colorful rock formation until reaching the summit after 15 minutes. This is the second highest point of the whole chain. The unusual silence, combined with the superb view puts us into a totally different world. From here on we climb up a broad valley underneath glaciered areas of the Cerro Charkini. Now only not more than half an hour is missing until reaching the Zongo pass, where our vehicle should be waiting for us.

Serranias Allmanillas

Requirements: Firstly we climb up a small track, on narrow trails up to a steep willows hillside. The hillsides are easy, although there is no clear track. At the last 100 height meters underneath the summit the trails become difficult and now and then we will have to use our hands. Stony men facilitate the orientation. Surefootedness and experiences concerning the search for the tracks are indispensable premises.

Time to walk : 5-6 hours

Altitude difference: approx. 700 Hm in ascend and descend

Starting point:: Masonry dam of the Inkachaka dam at the road from La Paz to Coroico

Requirements: Firstly we climb up a small track, on narrow trails up to a steep willows hillside. The hillsides are easy, although there is no clear track. At the last 100 height meters underneath the summit the trails become difficult and now and then we will have to use our hands. Stony men facilitate the orientation. Surefootedness and experiences concerning the search for the tracks are indispensable premises.

Dates: anytime, on request

Price: person: 60 Euro, from 2 persons on: 30 Euros

A few well known mountains appear directly above the Bolivian metropolis and most of them can be approached easily. If you think about the famous Huayana Potosi with its firn that is perfect in form, or the enormous icy giant of the Illimani. Also other destinations that are less exponent like the Cerro Charkini at the Zongo Pass or the skiing mountain Chacaltaya are located in the direct catchments area of this huge city. The clostest 5000er lies on the way to the Abra de Cumbre pass. Unfortunately it is yet not mentioned on any map, only its height is indicated with 5108 meters. The view from the top is terrific.

Description: On the left hand side right at the Cumbre pass we can discover some tracks. Here is our starting point. Straight away the trail gets really steep, firstly on a well arranged track, that shortly after ends up into narrow trails. Quickly the first mountains appear with its interesting, wild rock formations. Those are not our main destination; so we turn left towards a black pyramid and climb up a very broad saddle. Suddenly the dark main summit can be seen. While enjoying marvelous deep views onto a scenery mountain lake we draw nearer the mountain. The last part leads us through steep debris parts towards a saddle. There we can overview all well known summits like Huayna Potosi, Illimani, Charkini, Manquilizani, Tiquimani and loads of others. Not long after, all difficulties of the ascend are forgotten, now the way is easy to find. The trails turn into the right and loop through the rock formations. A narrow band leads us to a grout from where on we will carry onto the grout height, managing the last meters up to the summit. After having enjoyed the enormous view from the top we climb down again and carry on until reaching the lake. From here on we can climb down the valley until arriving at the control station near by.

Cerro Japa Japani

The Cerro Japa (5300m) belongs to one of the better known high summits of Bolivia, and also to one of the most interesting ones. It offers a incomparable round view up to the far away Sajama, the Titicacalake and of course above many parts of the Cordillera Real. Besides we enjoy a terrific deep view on to the bunch of houses of El Alto. On top of that, the Palkoma valley belongs to the prettiest of Bolivia and offers several lakes, canyons and waterfalls. A few small Shepard’s colonies are also present and several, partly closed mines show the immense wealth of minerals.

Time to walk: 5-7 hours

Altitude difference: approx. 1000m.

Requirements: The ascend is long and exhausting but leads us to a summit with a glorious view. The ascend partly leads us through a debris area without a clear trail, through short, very easy rock passages. Therefore, surefootedness and to be free from giddiness are indispensible premises for this mountain. Besides, due to its height this tour should be started only by fit and acclimatized mountain hikers.

Price: 1 Person: 100 Euro, from 2 persons on: 50 Euros

Dates: anytime, on request

The Cerro Japa (5300m) belongs to one of the better known high summits of Bolivia, and also to one of the most interesting ones. It offers a incomparable round view up to the far away Sajama, the Titicacalake and of course above many parts of the Cordillera Real. Besides we enjoy a terrific deep view on to the bunch of houses of El Alto. On top of that, the Palkoma valley belongs to the prettiest of Bolivia and offers several lakes, canyons and waterfalls. A few small Shepard’s colonies are also present and several, partly closed mines show the immense wealth of minerals.

Description: From La Paz on we head off to the south of the city: Crossing Irpavi we reach the mountain village Palkoma: the lndscape is rural but by the time it gets more and more barren. We pass bu few mines and approach the gigantic high summits of the Andes. At a small square our drive ends and we have to carry on by foot. The first highlight is waiting for us, after a few minutes we pass a beautiful waterfall. After having managed this rocky step we reach the Hampaturi valley. A pretty green high land with several small creeks and a steep icy flnc appears in front of us, all of this outperformed by the Serkhe Khollo. Through this valet we approach a doble horn and climb up a soft green flanc of gras and later on even debris areas. Arriving at the summit we can overview the smargad green mountain lake eye, underneath a wild rockkmountain. The next grout is easily ascendible. The scenery view from here can hardly be exceeded, the high summits of the Hampaturichain seem to be unbelievably close; the enormous icy giant Mururata ans the Illamni can also be seen. Major parts of La Paz and EL Alto can also be overviewed from here, as well as the distanced Titicaca lake and the Illimani.

Cerro Kinkillosa

Above the frequently used Abra deCumbre Pass between La Paz and Coroico there are several easy ascendable summits around 500 meters. Surely one of the nicest ones is the Cerro Kinkillosa (5008m ), whose striking summit appears elegantly out of a long row of similar formed summits. Due to its free standing position we enjoy a breathtaking view above the Sherke Khollo group. How lucky we are that this fantastic mountain is also easy to ascend!

Time to walk: 4-5 hours

Starting point: The pass road up to Coroico, route above the second artificial lake (4500m)

Altitude difference: approx. 550 m ascend and 600m descend

Requirements: The upper part of the mountain has no clear trails, however this part can be managed without great difficulties. The right way is indicated all the time by geomorphologic conditions. However surefootedness is required.

Dates: anytime, on request

Price: 1 person: 60 Euros, from 2 Persons on: 30 Euros.

Above the frequently used Abra deCumbre Pass between La Paz and Coroico there are several easy ascendable summits around 500 meters. Surely one of the nicest ones is the Cerro Kinkillosa (5008m ), whose striking summit appears elegantly out of a long row of similar formed summits. Due to its free standing position we enjoy a breathtaking view above the Sherke Khollo group. How lucky we are that this fantastic mountain is also easy to ascend!

Description: Depending on your individual preferences or the size of our group we head off by a private vehicle or a public minibus from the district Villa Fatima up to the Cumbre Coroico Pass. Underneath the pass we turn into a small road towards the mountain. Firstly we hike on even trails up to the Cerro Kinkilloas, before looping up its steep hills. Later on we have to overcome a debris area, where we can find interesting perforated stones. Quite steep, the summit grout appears in front of us. This we will climb up, with every step further the enormous summit panorama gets wider and wider. Especially the symmetric icy giant, the Huayana Potosi offers us unforgettable impressions. Even more concisely the 5528meters high Cerro Serkhe Khollo with its neighbor summits appear. We cross the mountain and conquer a way through a steep debris field. The rest of the descend leads us through a stone construction underneath a small rocky mountain towards the Inkachaca dam. After descending to the lake we will surround a part of the lake and return to the pass road.

Additional information