Western Cordillera of Bolivia

brave

courage

adrenaline

passion

Western Cordillera

Marking the border between Bolivia and Chile, the Western Cordillera is a chain of volcanoes, many above 6000m. The region offers spectacular views of a dry and deserted landscape where SAJAMA (6540m) Bolivia´s highest point dominates the Altiplano.

ACOTANGO

6,052 m.

As part of the QuimsaChatas (3 brothers), this volcano is located on the border between Bolivia and Chile within the grounds of Sajama and Lauca national parks. Apart of having a good acclimatization prior to any summit attempt Acotango does not demand any technical abilities, which makes it an appropriate choice for those looking to be introduced to high altitude mountaineering.

DID YOU KNOW?

Acotango is considered the easiest and most accessible mountain over 6000m in Bolivia

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz for a drive through the Altiplano which will allows us to admire the landscape as well as ruins and tombs from the “Chipayas” culture. As we get closer to our destination we start to encounter a more arid environment. Once we reach the town of Sajama where we drop our luggage at the hostel we get ready for a short walk in order to help our acclimatization process.

DAY 2

Having an early start, our transportation will take us higher than most would ever think. We get off the car at 5500m and get ready for our ascension to the summit which will takes us between 3 to 4 hours. Depending on snow conditions we may need to use crampons as our only technical equipment. Nevertheless, the use of walking sticks is recommended. Once we reach the summit and admire the breathtaking view we return through the same route to the car to drive back to our hostel and get a well-deserved rest in one of the hot springs overlooking Nevado Sajama.

DAY 3

After having a hefty breakfast, we make a quick visit to the geysers located inside the park. We finish our expedition driving back to La Paz.

PARINACOTA

6,348 m.

Parinacota, an almost perfect cone shaped volcano has its crater on the border between Bolivia and Chile, with Pomerape it is part of a group of mountains known as Payachatas meaning “The Twins”. Although it is a technically easy climb being well acclimatized is highly recommended.

DID YOU KNOW?

Parinacota´s crater is over 700m long and it´s 240m deep. It is bigger than Cotopaxi´s crater in Ecuador.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz for a drive through the Altiplano which will allows us to admire the landscape as well as ruins and tombs from the “Chipayas” culture. As we get closer to our destination we start to encounter a more arid environment. Once we reach the town of Sajama where we drop our luggage at the hostel we get ready for a short walk in order to help our acclimatization process.

DAY 2

On this day our transportation will take us to the base of the volcano at 5100m. From there we will start our ascension through a terrain of volcanic rocks and sand until the base of the glacier. We get our crampons and walking sticks ready for this stretch of the route which will take us 6 to 7 hours on slopes between 40 to 45 degrees. Once on the top we will have the privilege of seeing its crater along with the other volcanoes in the Sajama region. We then begging our way down to the vehicles for a drive to the hot springs and get some well deserved rest.

DAY 3

We make a quick visit to the geysers after a good breakfast. After this we will leave towards the city of La Paz.

POMERAPE

6,282 m.

Pomerape along with Parinacota form what is known as the Payachatas meaning “the twins”. It is important to note that Pomerape doesn’t have a nearly perfect volcanic shape like its twin but the technical difficulties associated with its ascension are certainly bigger. However, the normal route which we recommend is certainly achievable for a well acclimatized group.

DID YOU KNOW?

The first successful expedition to Pomerape was done by a Bolivian team formed by Rene Zalles and Edmundo Garcia.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz for a drive through the Altiplano which will allows us to admire the landscape as well as ruins and tombs from the “Chipayas” culture. As we get closer to our destination we start to encounter a more arid environment. Once we reach the town of Sajama where we drop our luggage at the hostel we get ready for a short walk in order to help our acclimatization process.

DAY 2

Just like it is the case for Parinacota and Acotango we leave the town of Sajama in our all-terrain vehicles for a 1 hour and a half drive towards the base of the mountain. Our ascension begins on a terrain of volcanic rock and sand until the start of the glacier. From that point onwards we will get incredible views from both the Bolivian and Chilean sides until we reach Pomerape´s summit. After descending to the vehicle we leave to Sajama and then enjoy a bath at the hot springs of the park.

DAY 3

After having a hefty breakfast, we make a quick visit to the geysers located inside the park. We finish our expedition driving back to La Paz.

SAJAMA

6,540 m.

Standing on the Altiplano at 6540m, Sajama is Bolivia´s highest mountain and one of the major peaks in the Bolivian Andes, its imposing size visible from peaks in the Cordillera Real have inspired stories and respect not only among locals (who know it by the name TATA SAJAMA) but also to anyone hypnotized by the magnitude of its beauty and the desire to reach the top of Bolivia.

DID YOU KNOW?

Due to a controversy started by the AFA (ARGENTINIAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION) regarding games at the city of La Paz and the effects of altitude on its players, a group of guides and porters with the aid of the Club Andino Boliviano headed to Sajama´s summit to held what has been the highest football match in history and prove their slogan “Football is played where you are born”.

DAY 1

We leave the city of La Paz for a drive through the Altiplano which will allows us to admire the landscape, Sajama son the distance as well as ruins and tombs from the “Chipayas” culture. As we get closer to our destination we start to encounter a more arid environment. After taking a short break at the town of Sajama we will continue our drive to WINCURATA valley where there will be mules waiting to take our gear and equipment and start our 3 to 4-hour hike towards base camp.

DAY 2

On this day our expedition heads to high camp at 5700m through a rocky and sandy trail. Local porters will take care of our luggage on what will be a 4 to 5 hours’ approach.

DAY 3

We have an early start at 1am for our summit push. The first stretch of our route is a mix of ice and rocks with an inclination of up to 50° until we reach an altitude of 6000m, from this point onwards the inclination of our route moderates and we are faced with a long walk over the glacier which takes us to Sajama´s top at 6540m. Having returned through the same route to high camp we have a short break which is followed by our walk down to base camp where we will spend the night.

DAY 4

After getting all of our gear ready, we get back to WINCURATA valley where our vehicle will be waiting to take us to the hot springs in the park and then finish our journey to La Paz.