Bolivia – Chile : Acotango , Parinacota and Sajama

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Mountain tour from Chile over the Salar de Uyuni to three 6000m peaks and the highest peak in Bolivia.

From the Chilean Pacific coast you dive into the breathtaking and little-visited Andean highlands of northern Chile and western Bolivia with its deep blue lagoons, endless white salt deserts and impressive volcanic cones.

Altitude adjustment in the Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni

The gradual ascent from the coast up into the grandiose mountain world of the Bolivian Cordillera Occidental enables optimal altitude adjustment. At the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt lake in the world, the Tunupa volcano is your first summit destination of the tour and an unforgettable night in a tent in the middle of the endless salt desert under what is probably the clearest starry sky in the world.

Magnificent summit destinations without long journeys

You will find an ideal base camp in the small mountaineering village of Sajama, which is literally surrounded by majestic volcanic peaks, as are your three major summit destinations. This phenomenal mountain tour is crowned with the ascent of Sajama, the “king of the Bolivian mountains”. And after a successful expedition, hot springs with a fantastic mountain panorama invite you to take a relaxing bath.

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Travel Program

Flight to Chile.

Arrive in Santiago de Chile in the morning. Welcome to South America! Your local guide will greet you at the airport and drive you to the hotel in the center of the capital. In the afternoon, explore the pulsating metropolis on a guided stroll through the city. Overnight at hotel.

Early in the morning transfer to the airport and onward flight to Arica in northern Chile. Here you will meet your expedition leader and your escort team. After loading the luggage onto the four-wheel drive vehicles, after a short detour to the Pacific coast, you drive into the mountains of the Andes to Socoroma, where the first hike awaits you. An old Inca trail leads from Socoroma (3085 m) up to Putre. The city is already at 3500 m, so the important acclimatization phase starts quickly and your body can adapt well. Over dinner you will get to know all of the expedition members. Overnight at hotel. (Travel time approx. 2 hours, walking time approx. 5 hours, 700 m↑, 150 m↓, sleeping height approx. 3500 m).

On the scenic route through the Lauca National Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), following the main route to Bolivia, take a morning excursion to the village of Parinacota. The town’s tranquil church is known far beyond the borders of Chile for its frescoes from the 18th century. During the subsequent hike at the Laguna Cotacotani (4550 m) you have a fantastic view of the snow-covered volcanic giants of the region, some of which are reflected in the deep blue lake: Parinacota, Guallatire, Acotango, Umurata, Capurata and even Sajama im not too distant Bolivia appears. With a bit of luck you will also see flamingos, llamas or vicuñas on the shore. After the hike you will visit the largest highest lake in the world, Lake Chungara. In the afternoon you drive back to Putre, which is about 1000 m below. Overnight stay as the day before. (journey time approx. 2 hours). (Walking time approx. 3 hours, 250 m↑, 50 m↓).

For further altitude adjustment, take a hike in the colorful volcanic area of Suriplaza, crossing the 5000 meter mark for the first time on the tour. When the sun is shining, the entire mountain range shines in red and yellow tones, a particularly impressive natural spectacle. Then you drive back to Putre to take a relaxing bath in the Jurasi thermal baths not far from the village. Overnight stay as the day before. (journey time approx. 4 hours). (walking time approx. 4h, 300m↑↓).

From Putre, drive past the village of Guallatire to the gleaming white Salar de Surire in Las Vicuñas Nature Reserve. The route heads south along the Chilean-Bolivian border, seemingly within reach of the volcanic cones that mark the border. During the trip you will have beautiful views of the Acotango and the fumarole of the active Guallatiri volcano. Arriving at the salt lake, you will discover the impressive landscape and wildlife, such as the shy vicuñas or flamingos, on a short hike along the shore. In the thermal springs of Polloquere, a natural pool with sky-blue water invites you to rest and relax. In the afternoon continue south to the border town of Colchane. Overnight stay in the guest house. (Travel time approx. 7-8 hours, walking time approx. 1.5 hours, 100 m↑↓, sleeping height approx. 3700 m).

You cross the border to Bolivia on foot. After border formalities drive into the Altiplano, a vast plateau in the central Andes. In the afternoon you will reach the largest salt lake on our planet, the Salar de Uyuni, which stretches out in front of you like a white sea. You set up your tent camp directly on the shore of Isla Pescado in the middle of the salt lake, a unique and magical place, especially at sunset. Overnight in tent. (Travel time approx. 6 hours plus border crossing, sleeping height approx. 3650 m).

After dismantling your tent camp, hike across Isla Pescado. Climb the highest point above the salar and marvel at the meter-high cacti that reach up to 12 meters into the sky. Through the almost endless white of the salt lake, you will then reach the islands of Pia Pia and Incahuasi in the middle of the salt lake in a 4×4 vehicle. In the afternoon visit the mummies of Coquesa at the foot of the Tunupa volcano. Overnight stay in the guest house. (journey time approx. 3 hours). (walking time approx. 3 hours, 250 m↑↓). (sleeping altitude approx. 3650 m).

Climb up to the Tahua Viewpoint (4450 m) before continuing on foot to the sub-summit of the Tunupa Volcano (5150 m). The white expanse of the Salar de Uyuni lies at your feet. Descent and overnight stay as on the previous day. (journey time approx. 2 hours). (walking time approx. 6 hours, 750 m↑↓).

On a scenic drive, you will pass the small town of Colchani, where salt is still processed using traditional methods. Via Oruro you reach the Sajama National Park. In the afternoon you will reach the small village of Sajama at the foot of your next summit destination. Overnight stay in the guest house. (Travel time approx. 9 hours, sleeping height approx. 4300 m).

With the Acotango (6052 m) the first 6000er of your trip is on the program. While it’s still dark, you drive with the four-wheel drive vehicles up to approx. 5000 m, where you start the ascent in the glow of your headlamps. The last stretch on the ridge is often icy, but not very steep, so that the promising summit is soon reached. The fantastic summit panorama with Sajama, Parinacota and the steaming cone of Guallatiri is worth the effort of the climb. Overnight stay as the day before. (walking time approx. 6-8 hours, 1050 m↑↓).

You can use today’s rest day to relax in the nearby thermal springs and gather strength for the next summit stages. Even from the hot water you have a magnificent view of the highest mountain in Bolivia, the Sajama. Overnight stay as the day before.

The ascent of Parinacota is imminent, the higher of the two twin volcanoes Parinacota (6342 m) and Pomerape (6282 m). While it’s still dark you have a hearty breakfast before you bring the four-wheel drive vehicles up to approx. 5000 m, depending on the condition of the road. In the light of the headlamps, it goes over fine volcanic sand, boulders and, depending on the season, sometimes unpleasant “penitentes” (penitent ice or snow) to the crater rim and highest point of the Parinacota. The view from 6342 m above the bizarre landscape with the surrounding volcanoes and the huge crater is the well-deserved reward for the strenuous ascent. The descent back to the vehicles is quick. Return to your accommodation in Sajama. Overnight stay as the day before. (Walking time approx. 12h, 1350 m↑ 1350 m↓, driving time approx. 3-4h).

On today’s rest day, you can recharge your batteries to successfully conquer your last summit. A visit to the hot springs is an experience even the second time. Overnight stay as the day before.

From the village of Sajama you climb to the base camp at approx. 4800 m at the foot of the mountain of the same name and the highest peak in Bolivia. Your luggage with the equipment will be transported by mules, so that you can always enjoy wonderful views of your summit destination directly in front of you with a light backpack. Overnight in tent. (walking time approx. 3-4 hours, 500 m↑, sleeping height approx. 4800 m).

Over steep scree fields and, depending on the conditions, also snowfields, you climb further up to the high camp, which is exposed in a small saddle next to a prominent rock, with a magnificent view of the opposite twin volcanoes Parinacota and Pomerape on an easily recognizable path. Overnight in tent. (Walking time approx. 4-5 h, 800 m↑, sleeping height approx. 5600 m).

Over steep scree fields and, depending on the conditions, also snowfields, you climb further up to the high camp, which is exposed in a small saddle next to a prominent rock, with a magnificent view of the opposite twin volcanoes Parinacota and Pomerape on an easily recognizable path. Overnight in tent. (Walking time approx. 4-5 h, 800 m↑, sleeping height approx. 5600 m).

Summit day at Sajama. After an early start, the route initially climbs quite steeply over loose scree and easy rock steps, until shortly after the high camp you reach a steep ice gully with an incline of around 50°, which requires the use of crampons and ice axes and, depending on the conditions, is secured with a fixed rope becomes. The further ascent over the stepped glacier, which is mostly decorated with penitential ice, only requires easier climbing and allows faster progress. Just below the summit, only a few crevasses separate you from your destination, but these can easily be avoided before you reach the highest point in Bolivia. From the huge summit plateau you can enjoy an overwhelming all-round view. Descend to base camp on the same day. Overnight in tent. (walking time approx. 10-12 hours, 950 m↑, 1750 m↓).

Reserve day for climbing Sajama. If everything has already gone according to plan, descend back down to the village. A final visit to the nearby hot springs is a great way to rid yourself of the dust and sweat of the summit ascent. What could be nicer than relaxing in the hot water and looking up at the snow-capped peak of Sajama, where you stood the day before? In the afternoon you continue your journey to the lively metropolis of La Paz. Overnight stay in the hotel. (walking time approx. 2-3h, 500 m↓, travel time approx. 4-5h).

You explore La Paz on a city tour and visit the Plaza Murillo with the government palace, the Convento San Francisco and the world’s only coca museum. The boulevard of the Prado and the famous Calle Linares, a tranquil alley that is practically a single market square, are also on the program. In the evening you can watch the hustle and bustle in the streets and celebrate your summit success. Overnight at hotel.

Transfer to airport and return flight to Germany.

Arrival in Germany.

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • English-speaking expedition leader from Arica
  • English speaking guide in Santiago de Chile
  • Additional English speaking local mountain guides
  • Domestic flight Santiago de Chile – Arica in economy class
  • All trips in private vehicles
  • Expedition tents
  • Local cooking team
  • Pack animals for max. 15 kg luggage/person to Sajama base camp and back
  • All entrance fees and fees according to the program
  • 6 nights: Hotel in a double room
  • 5 nights: cabin in a double room
  • 4 nights: tent
  • 3 nights: guest house in a double room
  • Meals: 18×B, 3×L, 10×L (LB), 12×A

Not included:

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • Scheduled flight from/to Frankfurt (other departure airports on request) to Santiago de Chile and back from La Paz with LATAM or another airline in economy class
  • Any required rapid PCR or antigen tests; meals and drinks not mentioned; optional excursions; personal mountaineering equipment; tips; personal
  • airport taxes and departure taxes
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Personal expenses, tips

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» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

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Deposit for reservations: * — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!
Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►PE-404
Duration: 21 days
Participants: Minimal: 2 Maximal: 15
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Bolivia
Mountain Guide: Eric Raul Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

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Eric Raul Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
General Sales Manager of Peru Expeditions

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