Conquer the Bolivian Mountains

Cordillera Real

Cordillera Real, also known as the “New world´s Himalaya” by some mountaineers, its located north of the city of La Paz. With a great variety of peaks ranging from 5000 to more than 6000m, Cordillera real is a trekking and climbing paradise. Not surprisingly this Bolivian wonder is frequented by mountaineers and hikers of all levels driven by their desire to explore in expeditions taking only one day up to 2 weeks. We offer a wide selection of mountaineering programs from the city of La Paz to multiple peaks in the region. For those wishing to go above the 6000m mark, we recommend at least 4 to 5 days of acclimatization below 5000m to increase your chances of summiting.

Ancohuma

6,426 m

Located in the northern section of “Cordillera Real”, Ancohuma is part of what is known as the Illampu massif. Despite being technically much easier than its neighbor (Illampu) the altitude and the very long approaches make Ancohuma a strenuous physical challenge recommended to those mountaineers who are well acclimatized and physically fit.

DID YOU KNOW?

It is possible to climb both Ancohuma and Illampu in one expedition given their proximity. For those physically fit and experienced mountaineers looking for a challenge an 8 to 9 day expedition can make it true. In the local aimara language, Ancohuma or Janc´o uma translates to “white water”.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz towards Sorata (2700m) where we will spend the night. This small town with a subtropical climate will offer us the opportunity to visit San Pedro caves during the afternoon and to do short hikes and enjoy the wonderful Andean landscape for which Sorata is known.

DAY 2

After having breakfast we start to get ready for our approach to Laguna Chijllata (4800m) which will serve as our first camp. We will be accompanied by mules carrying our gear and camping equipment.

DAY 3

Our goal for this day will be reaching Laguna Glaciar (5040m) where we will establish our base camp. The route taking us there is characterize for its rocky terrain and granite slabs. The work done for the day is well paid by the great views from camp.

DAY 4

Our day will start with a walk over a fairly steep moraine where rocky terrain will present a bit of a challenge at this elevation. Our route will go above a small lagoon which indicates the start of the glacier where we will set our next camp.

DAY 5

Once we get all of our gear ready we leave our highest camp at 1 am for our summit push. Throughout the route we will come across multiple crevasses and sections with an inclination of approximating 50°. After 4 to 5 hours gaining elevation, our target, Ancohuma´s summit at 6427m is reached marking the start of our long descend until we reach Laguna Grande.

DAY 6

For our final day we will be walking from Laguna Grande all the way to Sorata where our transport will be ready to take us back to La Paz.

Huayna Potosi 

6,088 m.

For its proximity to the city of La Paz (25km from it), Huayna Potosi is the most popular climb in the Cordillera Real among experts and amateur mountaineers. A moderate level of fitness as well as a good acclimatization will be decisive for those summiting through the normal route which presents no technical difficulties. Nevertheless “RutaFrancesa” (French Route) presents a more challenging and technical route for those more experienced looking to reach Huayna Potosi´s summit.

Our 3 day program is designed to get our body well acclimatized and work on our ice climbing skills in order to improve our chances of reaching Huayna Potosi´s highest point.

DID YOU KNOW?

Huayna Potosi can be climbed all year round even during the snowy months! For being the most popular climb in the country, its normal route remains open and well traced to all climbers.

For those well acclimatized and with some basic mountaineering experience, a 2-day expedition to Huayna Potosi can be arranged.

A summit push starting at base camp is possible. Only recommended to those with basic experience in mountaineering and in very good shape and well acclimatized.

DAY 1

We depart the city of La Paz towards “Laguna Zongo” at 4730m, where the refuge will serve as our base camp for the day. After having a generous lunch and getting our technical gear ready, we leave towards the base of the glacier 45 minutes away from the hut where we will learn some of the basics on ice climbing for what is left of the afternoon. Once we are back, we will get a well-deserved dinner and tea before going to bed.

DAY 2

Having had a good breakfast, we start our hike to our refuge “MOUNTAINEERS HOUSE” at 5130m. Our approach from Laguna Zongo will take us between 2 to 3 hours. We will spend the rest of the day resting for our summit push.

DAY 3

At 1 am after we get all of our equipment ready, a hefty breakfast will mark the start of our ascension to the summit (6088m) which will takes us between 5 to 6 hours. The views of Lake Titicaca, the Altiplano and Cordillera Real will welcome us at the very top of Huayna Potosi. After getting back to high camp we will get some rest and our gear ready to be lowered to base camp and start our walk down to Laguna Zongo where our vehicle will take us back to La Paz.

PEQUEÑO ALPAMAYO

5,410 m.

This amazing peak located in the Condoriri massif is part of a group of mountains under the 6000m mark. Its beauty and moderate difficulty make it a very popular summit among climbers. PequeñoAlpamayo is a great choice for those wanting to be introduced to mountaineering.

DID YOU KNOW?

- PequeñoAlpamayo is the second most popular climb in the Cordillera Real.

- For those well acclimatized and with basic mountaineering knowledge, PequeñoAlpamayo can be climbed in 2 days.

- The direct route on PequeñoAlpamayo, is a great choice for more experienced mountaineers who are well acclimatized.

DAY 1

After a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from La Paz we arrive to LA RINCONADA where there will be mules waiting to take our gear up to LAGUNA CHIAR KHOTA which is an hour away hiking. This lagoon at 4620m will serve as our base camp for the expedition. For this location we can either set our tents or chose to stay at a small refuge known as “THE FISHERMANS HOUSE”. We will spend the rest of the day admiring the landscape and helping our acclimatization process through short hikes.

DAY 2

After waking up and having breakfast we depart towards the base of the glacier with the aim of practicing and refining our mountaineering skills.

DAY 3

We set off very early after a hefty breakfast (2 am) to start our approach to the base of the glacier. For this part of our push no technical gear will be required. Having reached the glacier, our ascension will take us to Pico Tarija (5300m) where we will get a wonderful sight of PequeñoAlpamayo. From this point we descend 70m to the base of the peak and begin our final push to the top of “El Pequeño” at 5370m. We return to Laguna ChiarKhota to get our equipment packed and get some rest and FOR LATER walk back to LA RINCONADA where our vehicle will be waiting for us.

CABEZA DE CONDOR

5,648 m.

Cabeza Del Condor at 5700m is one of the most imposing peaks in the Condoriri massif. As the highest and one of the most technically difficult in the area, Cabeza Del Condor is usually compared to the world famous Matterhorn in Switzerland. The variety of scenarios and the skills needed to climb it make it an exciting challenged to many mountaineers. Not recommended to beginners.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cabeza Del Condor is the highest peak in the Condoriri area. The peak representing the head of a Condor and the neighboring mountains being its open wings.

DAY 1

After a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from La Paz we arrive to LA RINCONADA where there will be mules waiting to take our gear up to LAGUNA CHIAR KHOTA which is an hour away hiking. This lagoon at 4620m will serve as our base camp for the expedition. For this location we can either set our tents or chose to stay at a small refuge known as “THE FISHERMANS HOUSE”. We will spend the rest of the day admiring the landscape and helping our acclimatization process through short hikes.

DAY 2

We leave very early after having a good breakfast for our initial walk which will take us through a moraine and rocky terrain. Having reached the base of the glacier we get all of our technical gear ready and start climbing on slopes between 40 to 45 degrees of inclination. Once we get to the base of the mountain we will enter a narrow cannon with a mix of technical ice/rock climbing. Past this we encounter the crest leading to top of Cabeza Del Condor.

We return through the same route but being very precautious for its difficulty until the base of the glacier where we will rest for a while. Continuing our descent we arrive to base camp. The total time spent ranges between 10 to 13 hours.

DAY 3

We pack up all of our camping gear and start our way back to LA RINCONADA where our vehicle will be waiting for us to drive back to La Paz.

ILLIMANI

6,442 m.

Guarding the city of La Paz from the south. Illimani rises above the clouds making its imposing figure visible from any point in the city. This enormous massif over 8km long has 4 peaks over the 6000m mark being the southern summit its highest one at a staggering altitude of 6442m.

For being a mountain of difficult access, and its technical difficulty, Illimani is only recommended to those with a broad experience in mountaineering and very well acclimatized.

DID YOU KNOW?

- Due to climate change Illimani has lost a lot of its glacier making its ascension harder with the years.

- Illimani is considered the guardian of the city of La Paz. During the month of August offerings and gifts are given to PACHA MAMA (Mother´s nature) in the base of the mountain as part of Aymara tradition.

- Illimani has witness a high number of accidents during the past years. That´s why we recommend hiring certified and professional guides.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz for a 3-hour drive to our destination, Pinaya (3800m). There, a local team of muleteers will help us carrying our camping and climbing gear to Illimani´s base camp at 4600m after a 3-hour hike.

DAY 2

After breakfast we organize our equipment for the local porters. Today´s hike to Nido de Condores, our high camp (5550m) will take us around 5 hours through a moraine and rocky paths after which we will get some rest.

DAY 3

We will wake up at midnight to get our equipment ready and have some breakfast to start our ascension at 1:00 am. Our summit push will take anything from 6 to 7 hours through a broken glacier with inclinations up to 50°. Before reaching the summit we will be walking on a crest leading to the very top of Cordillera Real at 6442m. Returning the same way we arrive to Nido de Condores to get some rest and have our equipment packed and start our way down to base camp.

DAY 4

Once we get a hefty breakfast and our equipment packed and ready, we start our walk to Pinaya where the vehicle will be waiting for us to take us to La Paz.

CHARQUINI

5,420 m.

Charquini is a mountain near the Huayn Potosi massif. From of the top of this peak we get some staggering views of Huayna Potosi, the Altiplano and the Zongo Valley´s. This is a great summit for acclimatization purposes.

Full Day

We leave the city of La Paz early in the morning for a 1.5-hour drive towards Zongo´s pass (Huayna Potosi´s base camp). From this point we start walking on the side of the mountain following a creek until the border of the glacier. On this point we need to get our gear ready to continue our ascension through a safe route without major difficulties which in 2 to 3 hours will take us to Charquini´s summit at 5420m where we will enjoy the landscape. We return to where our transport is waiting to take us back to La Paz.

CHACHACOMANI

6,070 m.

We are excited to present this new route for this mountain which is slowly becoming a popular destination among mountaineers in Bolivia. It was around 2010 when Gregorio Mamani and Pedro Luis made the first attempts to the summit but only until the second expedition lead by Gregorio, the top of Chachacomani was reached.

Chachacomani has a privileged position within the Cordillera Real as it is in the middle of it. Today´s route has no technical difficulties, it follows a relatively flat glacier trail never exceeding 50° of inclination.

DID YOU KNOW?

- Chachacomani refers to the name of a local plant used in infusions with the property of “cleaning” the body of men.

- Gregorio Mamani was the first local guide to organize an expedition through the new route on this mountain.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz early in the day to Copacabana where we will take the exit heading to Peñas. Our drive will finish by the time we reach a small community known as Alto Cruz Pampa where there will be mules waiting to take care of our equipment. We will be walking along a picturesque valley until we reach base camp at 4650m.

DAY 2

On this day we will be walking to the base of the glacier where we set high camp 5200m. Local porters will help us with our gear and equipment.

DAY 3

We leave very early high camp following the route on a glacier plateau surrounding “Pico Centinela” which will take us to the summit at 6070m. Our descent to high camp will take us through the same route, once there we get all of our gear ready to go back to base camp and spend the night there.

DAY 4

We make our way back to Alto Cruz Pampa where our vehicle will be waiting for us to drive back to La Paz.

ILLAMPU

6,362 m.

At 6362m Illampu isn´t the highest mountain in Bolivia but it´s reputation as the hardest climb in the cordillera makes it a destination on its own. This an endeavor reserved to those astute and physically fit mountaineers, not surprisingly this is one of the least visited of the major Bolivian peaks. Illampu still represents that wild and indomitable spirit that many mountaineers are looking for.

DID YOU KNOW?

- Illampu is considered the most important god in Aymara culture.

- The first expeditions to Illampu date back to 1902 (Annie Smith Peck) and 1919 (Sir Martin Conway) without success. After many attempts by multiple groups a German/Polish expedition reached the summit on July 27th 1928.

DAY 1

We leave early in the morning the city of La Paz heading to the small town of Sorata (2700m) where we will take a short break and lunch before continuing to our first camp in the community of Ancoma at 4200m.

DAY 2

Our day will start with a hefty breakfast after which we will start our 3 to 4-hour hike to our next camp in AguasCalientes at 4850m. Mules will be taking care of our luggage and equipment.

DAY 3

On this day porters will be carrying our equipment and luggage to the next camp. The trail ahead is a mix of moraine and rocky terrain which will take us to the base of the mountain at 5600m in 3 to 4 hours. Once there we will set high camp.

DAY 4

We will have an early start to tackle our first challenge, a 60° wall which will move up our altimeter a further 400m after which we encounter the crest taking us to Illampu´s summit at 6362m. Our descent through the same route will be slow and precautions until we reach high camp.

DAY 5

After breakfast we make our way down to AguasCalientes.

DAY 6

We return to Ancoma where our vehicle will be waiting for us for the drive back to La Paz.