Chile: Llullaillaco Volcano and Ojos del Salado

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The destination of the expedition are the two technically easy parade mountains Ojos del Salado, 6893 m, and Llullaillaco, 6723 m, which rise into the blue sky of the Andes on the border between the Argentine Puna (Quechua for “high land”) and the Chilean Atacama desert. While the “Ojos” after the Aconcagua is the second highest peak in South America, thus a second seven summit and at the same time the highest volcano on earth, the Llullaillaco as the second highest volcano is culturally extremely important. Already 500 years ago the summit area of ​​the Llullaillaco served the Incas as a place of ceremonies and sacrifices. In 1958 the well-known Austrian mountaineer Matthias Rebitsch discovered ruins in the summit area and undertook the first excavations. Then, in March 1999, American archaeologists uncovered three child mummies and numerous grave goods, which can be seen today in the museum in Salta. Introductory tours to three five-thousanders enable very good altitude adjustment, the glacier-free normal routes on all mountains do not pose any particular technical difficulties. Another advantage: Since both six-thousanders are climbed via the (little frequented) Argentine east side, the sun warms up pleasantly early on Morning. An expedition trip for mountaineers who want to reach great heights on technically easy, glacier-free climbs. The beautiful, largely unknown high mountain landscape in north-west Argentina will fascinate you. Another advantage: Since both six-thousanders are climbed via the (little frequented) Argentine east side, the sun already warms you up pleasantly early in the morning. An expedition trip for mountaineers who want to reach great heights on technically easy, glacier-free climbs. The beautiful, largely unknown high mountain landscape in north-west Argentina will fascinate you. Another advantage: Since both six-thousanders are climbed via the (little frequented) Argentine east side, the sun already warms you up pleasantly early in the morning. An expedition trip for mountaineers who want to reach great heights on technically easy, glacier-free climbs. The beautiful, largely unknown high mountain landscape in north-west Argentina will fascinate you.

Travel Program

Individual flight via Buenos Aires to Salta in the northwest of Argentina. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel. Meeting with your mountain guide and information about the progress of the expedition plus equipment check. Take a stroll through the colonial city, which is well worth seeing and is one of the most beautiful cities in Argentina.

Overnight Hotel (-/-/-)

Drive from the foothills of the Andes to the Puna plateau to San Antonio de los Cobres at 3700 m. The extensive mining settlement is ideally located for adapting to the altitude and for acclimatization tours to do the surrounding five-thousanders.
Drive approx. 160 km/3 hrs, local hotel (-)

You take it easy to get used to the altitude. A stroll through the city, eating, drinking and resting are the main program items. Hotel (-)

Early in the morning drive to the foot of the mountain up to around 4600 m. Then a leisurely ascent to the summit of the volcanic cone, from where there is a wide view over the Puna plateau. Back to the hotel.
Walking time 4-5 hours, ascent/descent 800 m, hotel (lunch box)

The second five-thousander. Again early drive to the base of the volcano at 4700m and climb to the summit. Back to San Antonio.
Walking time 5-6 hours, ascent/descent 1050 m, hotel (lunch box)

The intensive play of colors on the puna is always fascinating. The surreal-looking landscape is predominantly red, brown and ocher, with radiant white salars embedded in it, and the intense blue of the sky arches above. In the middle is the small mining settlement of Tolar Grande.
Drive approx. 190 km/4 hours, Guesthouse (A)

With the Cerro Macom, the third five-thousander is on the program. The vehicle takes you up to the 5000 meter limit, then on foot to the highest point. View across the huge Salar Arizaro to the mighty six-thousander Llullaillaco. Back to Tolar. The previous acclimatization process should now make it possible to climb the two high expedition mountains.
Walking time 3-4 hours, ascent/descent 600 m, guesthouse (F, lunch box, A)

drive to the base camp at Llullaillaco. Cross the Salar Arizaro, stop at the abandoned Mina La Casualidad and visit the ghost town where life used to flourish. There was a school, a supermarket, a church, houses… with the end of mining, the entire population left the city in a very short time. The base camp is set up at 4900 m at the foot of Llullaillaco.
Tent (F, Lunch Box, A)

Rest day, small excursions around the base camp, preparation of the equipment for the summit.
Tent (FMA)

Slowly, in even steps you climb to the high camp at 5800 m. You have everything you need for a night or two in the high camp and for the ascent to the summit.
Walking time 4 hours, ascent 900 m, tent (F, lunch box, A)

Early in the morning the sun on the east side of the mountain warms you up. Climbing tracks give way to boulders and snowfields. Gradually you gain altitude. The Llullaillaco Volcano is a mountain of archaeological importance. Three Inca mummies were found in the summit area, which were probably sacrificed in a ceremony after a march of more than 3000 kilometers from the center of the Inca Empire in Peru/Cusco. The Llullaillaco has a lot of history. Remains of the installations in the summit area, rock walls, wooden remains of the protective roof and the place of sacrifice can still be seen. Descent, usually quite easy “downhill” over loose scree, to the high camp, in good conditions even further to the base camp.
Walking time 7-9/9-12 hours, ascent 830 m, descent 830/1730 m, tent (F, lunch box, A)

If the weather wasn’t right the day before, you can start again towards the summit today.
Base Camp, Tent (B, Lunch Box, A)

You drive down towards Tolar, then continue south to the next village, Antofalla at 3300 m. You are on the way to Ojos del Salado.
Guesthouse (F)

The long journey continues south to Fiambala Catamarca, the last village before Ojos Base Camp and only 1500 m above sea level. Driving time approx. 8 hours, 500 km, Guesthouse (-)

After about 60 km of normal dirt road, the next 90 km to the base camp are covered with 4×4 conditions, a quite demanding driving day. Set up the base camp, a short photo walk and dinner in the group tent.
Driving time approx. 5 hours, 150 km, tent (A)

The stage to the high camp at 5860 m is relatively short. You’ll carry up some of the necessary gear and then descend back to the BC where a delicious dinner will be prepared.
Walking time approx. 5 hours, ascent/descent almost 500 m, tent (F, lunch box, A)

Change over the known route to the high camp and set up the tents.
Walking time approx. 3 hours, ascent almost 500 m, tent (F, lunch box, A)

Early start to the second highest peak in the Americas. Again, the warming rays of the sun come early in the morning on the south-east side of the mountain. In the footsteps of your mountain guide, you will ascend at a leisurely pace and gain altitude. As on the Lluaillaco, the Ojos also alternates climbing tracks with boulders and snow fields. And then it’s done, you’re standing on the summit of the Ojos del Salado, 6893 m high, a proud height. Return to the high camp Decision as to whether to continue descending to the base camp. Definitely an intense, long day.
Tent (F, Lunch Box, A)

If the weather wasn’t right the day before, you can start again towards the summit today.
Base Camp, Tent (B, Lunch Box, A)

The base camp is dismantled and everything is loaded onto the vehicles. Return to Fiambala where you will enjoy the amenities at the Guesthouse.
Driving time approx. 6 hours, 150 km, Guesthouse (-)

The destination is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, the capital of the province of Catamarca and only about 600 m high. Night in the hotel
Travel time approx. 5 hours, 300 km, hotel (-)

Airport transfer and individual return flight via Buenos Aires to your destination airport …, or an extension program according to your wishes. (-)

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

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Organization of the entire expedition from Salta to San Fernando Catamarca
  • Transfers according to the program in private vehicles
  • Full board in BC and high camp at Llullaillanco and Ojos del Salado (lunch box)
  • 1x hotel 4-star in double room in Catamarca City (without meals)
  • 1x hotel 4-star in a double room in Salta (without meals)
  • 4x hotel in double room in San Antonio de lo Cobres (without meals)
  • 2x Guesthouse in a double room in Tolar Grande (F, lunch box, A)
  • 2x guesthouse in double room in Fiambala Catamarca (without meals)
  • 10x tent at Llullaillanco and Ojos del Salado
  • Group tent in the base camp
  • Satellite phone for emergencies
  • Oxygen tank for emergencies in the two base camps
  • Expedition lead by local mountain guides (1 mountain guide per 3-5 participants)
  • a gift of your choice from the TOP MOUNTAIN TOURS shop

Not included:

  • Drinks (hotels)
  • Meals if not mentioned in the daily program, permits
  • Individual excursions and visits as well as expenses of a personal nature, tips approx. € 200.00, flights from approx. € 900.00 to € 1500.00 ,– depending on the date and time of booking.

Prices & Dates

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28 ENE 2023 / 18 FEB 2023

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11 NOV 2023 / 02 DIC 2023

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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: 22 days
Participants: 6-8 participants
max. 5 participants per mountain guide
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Chile
Mountain Guide: Eric Raul Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

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

Legend Booking-information:
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Eric Raul Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
General Sales Manager of Peru Expeditions

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