Highlights of the Bolivian Andes

Highlights of Bolivia, we have a lot! We start from the highest govermental seat of the wolrd, La Paz, watch out the coloured markets and colonial buildings. Than we visit the most famous inke ruins of Bolivie, the impressive Tiwanaku. Our next aim isn`t less famous, the deep blue titicaca lake. We strat from Copacabana with a boot to the origin of the inka state, the island of sun, where we do a small hike. The next day we hike up a smaller mountain around copacabana crossing fields and origin houses. Don`t miss the trout in Copacabana!

After going back to La Paz we take a bus to Uyuni and take a trip around the graetest Salt Flat of the World. It`s white like a glacier. Later the landscape changes again and we cross high Volcanos, coloured lakes with a lot of Flamingos. Also Viscachas and andean Foxes should be on our way.
Potosi is famous for its silver mines. We will go inside, later we hike up the silver mountain Cerro Rico. For the other day we have a day trip to the Kari Kari Mountains.

The last akklamising point for el gigantic Huayna Potosi Mountain is the highest skiing area in the world, Chacaltya. In the end the try one of the most beautyfull mountains of the whole andes.

Highlights

  • La Paz
  • Tiwanaku
  • Lake Titicaca
  • Copacabana
  • Cerro Ceroka
  • Salar de Uyuni
  • Laguna colorada
  • Potosi
  • Kari Kari
  • Chacaltaya
  • Huyana Potosi

Dates and prices

  • Travel time: 16 days
  • Price: 1.295 Euro
  • Dates: From 3th to 18th september 2009
  • Ask for other possible dates.

Our services

  • Transfer from the airport
  • Journeys through the country with busses and taxis
  • Accommodation in simple hotels or tents
  • Mountain tours inclusive organization, tour guide and leased equipment
  • Entrance fee national park
  • Travel guide on location
  • Guided mountain tours
  • Food during the guided tours
  • Mountain guide for the high mountains

Not included services

  • Travel accident and sickness insurance
  • Luggage and cancellation insurance
  • Not advertised meals and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Expenditure of personal needs

Number of participants

  • Minimum: 2
  • High: 10

Tour overview

Day 1: Arrivel in La Paz

Our guide will take you from the Airport, who no needs a rest can look around a bit in the city.

Day 2: Tiwanaku

The Tiwanaku empire ruled around about 1000 AD and, it is believed, was the foundation of the Inca civilisation which followed it. This tour through some of the more impressive fortifications and religious sites from that age gives a fascinating insight into pre-hispanic Andean cultures and traditions. We Depart from La Paz in private vehicle and drive across the altiplano (enjoying unspoilt views of the cordillera real mountain range, including the peaks of Huayna Potosi and Illampu) to the religious site of Tiwanaku. Here we have a guidet tour, before lunch and returning to La Paz.

Day 3: Copacabana

Today we take a tourist bus from La Paz to Copacabana, crossing the phantastic scenery of the Real Mountain Range. In Copacabana itself we will have a bit time, for example for a trout on the lakeside. Than we take a boat to the sun island, where we hike up the ridge,about 200 meters difference phantastic views over the lake. Then we going back to Copacabana by boat. in the evening we can climb the calvarien Mountain for the sundown.

Day 4: Cerro Ceroka

Its time to get a bit higher up, so we hiking for a pretty nice mountain over the lakeside. Our destino is called Cerro Ceroka and about 4300m high. We crossing green fields with varies animals and fruits. There are a few little houses and stony walls. Our hike goes step to the top where we find antennas and a starting place for Paragliders. We go down on the other side on a small street with still interesting views. Back in Copacabana we take the next disponibel bus back to La Paz.

Day 5: La Paz, Nightdrive to Uyuni

Today we have time to see a bit more of the incredible diversity of La Paz. Latr we can also visit the near by Moon Valley with its bizzar erosion figures. Our bus ti Uyuni starts in the evening and we have to pend the night in the bus.

Day 6: Salar de Uyuni

Our Departure from Uyuni is at 09:00 am. We going to visit Colchani town, where we can see

Salt processing and refining. They create salt blocks and salt handicrafts. Later followed by a visit of the Salt Hotel. The first Highlight of this tour is the Incahuasi or fish Island with the Cactus Valleys.

We spend the night in San Juan.

Day 7: Laguna Colorado

We start from San Juan at 08:00 am. On the way we pass the active Ollagüe Volcano, witch normaly smokes. Later we visit a view lakes like Cañapa Lagoon, Hedionda Lagoon, Honda Lagoon, Chiarcota Lagoon. Siloli pampa is our next stop, later the famous Stone tree is on our way. We spend the night near by the Colorada Lagoon.

Day 8: Geysers

Our Departure from Colorada Lagoon is at 05:00 am, really early, but5 nessecary because our progrmm is large. First we see the zone of "Sol de Mañana", a visit to the geysers in the volcano zone.

Later we see the Chalviri Salt Flats and the Polkes Lagoon. Befote or alter the breakfast we can take a bath in the Warm Water springs, more hot than warm.

A last we Hill visit the Laguna Verde with its phantastic views to the famous volcan Licancabur. Later we return to Uyuni.

Day 9: Drive to Potosí

Today we spend about 6 hours in the bus, but the landscape is worth it. In the morning we take a bus from Uyuni to the old miners city Potsi, with 162.000 inhabbitants the highest City in the World. We crosing interesting dessert areas, gorges covert with high mountains and some surprisingly green parts.

Day  10: Mines and Cerro Rico

In the morning we visit the famous mine s of Potosí the reason why this city was one of the richest in the wolrd one time. But now the mines ar naerly completely exploited and they make more Money ith tourism than with mining. We visit the narrow inner parts and see the miners still working. Take coca leafs and snaps for them and they will like you. Alter this we certainly need ome fresh air, so we clima up the Cerro Rico mountain to 4839 Meters. The ascend is quite easy, only the last part is a bit steep. At the top we have en incredible view over the Potosí Region, the City itself and the Kari Kari massiv on the other side. We spend a second night in Potosí.

Day 11: Kari Kari

Today we hve another hike, this time we explore en area naerly nobody knows. The wild and dark Kari kari massiv is an interesting mountin region with nice coloured lakes, bizzar rocky mountains and lots of Llamas. We going up from the end of town, walking to the first lakes where the collect the drinking water for Potosí. Than we clima a smaller, more or less easy mountain about 5000 Meters. The views are ecellent and impressiv. Alter going back to Potosí we can take a shower in our hotel. Our bus to La paz leaves in the night again, but this time the bus has comfortale bed seats where we have a real chanca te get some sleep.

Day 12: Chacaltaya

Today we rest from the exhausting last days. Despite this we feel attracted by the height yet. A tour into the highest situated skiing area of the world, the Chacaltaya, waits on the program. First we pass El Alto, were we put one intermediate stop, to shop food. Then we move on a gravel track further and further up. Populated areas we find here few, only sometimes we see some very simple huts. In exchange cross llamas the road. Narrow serpentines direct into the height, impressive views down and into the distance are here clearly not missing. We see even the white cap of the Sajama, in some hundred kilometers of distance naturally, additionally insights into the, much nearer located, Titicaca Lake and rocks in tremendously many colors from green to orange. The high concentration of iron in the ground provides a reddish coloration of many fields of broken rock and even lakes.

In a height of 5100 meters, the air is already quite thin. We find here a shack of the Austrian Alpine Association with accommodation for the night. A little below is a ski lift, a single slope and a drag lift. But despite skiing, we climb onto the Chacaltaya’s 5300 m high top. Here in this extreme height we come forward only slowly. It is certainly not very healthy to move 1500 meters of altitude up with the bus and to do then additionally sports on that altitude. Despite this, there are always some guests on the summit. We go ahead to climb another top nearby.

Finally we visit dal Valle de Luna, the moon valley, situated directly on the outskirts to the lower South of La Paz. Yellowish gray pyramids of earth can be found here. If the landscape would not be full off paths, one could think, that he is indeed on the moon.

Respectively early we go to bed then, because tomorrow we want to move at one of the most interesting Andes Mountains generally.

Day 13: High Camp Huayna Potosi

Now, our acclimatization should be sufficient for the Huayna Potosie (6.088 m), one among the nicest Andes Mountains at all and local mountain of La Paz, where to we return then. In a tour of two days we get nearer to the ice covered Andes giant, whose climbing is everything else than simple, controversial to other, differing statements. A very steep icy passage we have to cross, before facing on the last 200 - 250 meters of altitude difference a 45 up to 50 degree steep ice field, and this in a height of 5.900 meters. Solid alpine experiences and adequately sure skill with ice pick and climbing iron must here in every case be present, an extremely good condition not to mention.

We start accordingly early and drive with the all-terrain vehicle to the Zongo Pass. Already the Mont Blanc’s height we are here now nearly up to, but there wait yet 600 steep meters of altitude with heavy backpacks. But the paths are very good visible and also passable, so that we reach our camp place soon, where we can expect a sparse dinner and a cold night. Quasi as compensation we find here an unforgettable Andes panorama too.

Day 14: Huayna Potosí Summit

The ‚summit day’: things become serious now. In the middle of the night we will be woken up (if this should be necessary at all) and after breakfast we start immediately. Direct in front of the tents we might equip the climbing irons now. After climbing exhaustingly the glacier, a steep ice passage of 60 to 70 degree ascending slope follows, being very strenuous in this height and reserved exclusively for experienced ice alpinists. However, the terrain is simpler again after about 50 meters and we approach across a slightly sloped ice ridge towards the summit’s ice wall. Additionally, this wall is nearly 250 meters of altitude great and quite steep too (circa 50 degree). Reward of these efforts is a breathtaking panorama with a view onto the Titicaca Lake, La Paz and countless firn summits of the Andes. If we were fast enough, we see all this in the changing sunrise light. But we should not stay too long, because we have to climb downhill again, before the ice gets to soft. After the camp has been broken down and put away, we move down to the pass, where our taxi awaits us.

Day 15: Return Flight

Unfortunately, the tour comes to an end today. The only remaining point on the program is the return flight to La Paz. So we fly again over the grand Andes mountain chain, directly past Huyna Potosi and Condoriri. This is the best time to think of new plans to climb mountains.

Additional information