Itinerary in brief
This special trekking tour starts off in the Bolivian administrative capital Nuestra Señora de La Paz known simply as La Paz. We start our acclimatization between 3.600m/11.810ft and 4.200m/13.780ft by visiting Copacabana and going for a trek on the banks of the lake before sailing on the Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world. We visit the famous Sun Island where we also trek from the south to the north to the Inca labyrinth. Our tour continues to Sorata from where we start our 12 day trekking adventure between 4.000m/13.120ft and 5.000m/16.400ft across the Royal Cordillera and we admire the grandeur of the scenery, the numerous lakes, the impressive mountains and summits like the Illampu, Ancohuma, Chachacomani, the Condoriri and the Huayna Potosi. We discover the uses and customs of the inhabitants of the region and we appreciate the local fauna. After this Andean adventure we return to La Paz for a farewell dinner with our guide.
Today you arrive in La Paz. Flying into La Paz is always an experience; if you arrive at night you can admire the lights of the city between the mountains or during the day you might get a view of the Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. Once arrived in the International Airport of El Alto which is also the highest commercial airport in the world our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing there are no more activities planned and you can take the time to acclimatize to the altitude and explore La Paz on foot.
2. La Paz – Copacabana
We leave the hotel at 07h30 and after approximately 3½ hours we arrive in Copacabana. After getting installed in the hotel we leave to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana which is a 16th century church that houses the image of the patron saint of Bolivia. The church attracts thousands of local tourists throughout the year and it remains one of the two principal sacred places both for indigenous people and Catholics. After lunch we have the option to climb to the Calvario from where we have a beautiful view over the lake and the village or climb to Intiwatana or Horca del Inca which is believed to have been an astronomical observatory. If time permits we can visit both the Calvario and the Horca del Inca and the rest of the day is free to enjoy Copacabana.
3. Copacabana – Trek Yampupata – Isla del Sol (Sun Island)
In the morning a boat brings us to the Lourdes cave from where our trek on the Yampupata peninsula starts. We pass the lost village of Zampaya where time seems to have come to a halt and we also follow the Copacabana peninsula (4 – 5 hours trek) until we reach Yampupata where a boat brings us the south of the Sun Island to Yumani. We get off at the inca ruins of Pilkokaina which is an old Inca palace and from here another 30-40 minutes on foot bring us to the village where we spend the night in an eco-lodge.
4. Trek Isla del Sol (Sun Island) – Copacabana – La Paz
After breakfast we start a trek that brings us from the south to the north of the island by following the crest all the way to Challapampa. During our trek we have an unobstructed view of the sacred Lake Titicaca and if the weather permits in the background the Royal Cordillera with its snow-capped peaks. We visit the archaeological ruins of Chincana also called the Inca Labyrinth as well as the museum at Challapampa before heading back to Copacabana by boat. Upon arrival in Copacabana we return to La Paz and the evening is free.
5. La Paz - Sorata (2.700m/8.858ft)
We leave La Paz in a private vehicle around 08h00. Our destination is the small village of Sorata situated at the bottom of a green valley at the foot of the imposing Illampu Massif (6368m/20.892ft). If the weather permits we can see its snow clad peak from the main square in Sorata.
6. Sorata - Laguna Chilata (4.200m/13.780ft)
We get up early to meet our team of mule drivers and their animals because we have a long trekking day ahead of us (5-7 hours). We encounter a few obstacles on our way like small climbs on the slopes of the Illampu. After passing by an inca cemetery surrounded by Chullpares (pre-Colombian burial chamber) we arrive at the Laguna Chilata where we set up camp for the night.
7. Laguna Chilata - Lacatiya - Paso Illampu - Utjaña Pampa
We start early by climbing to the Paso Illampu (4.750m/15.580ft) from where we can see the Pico Norte (north peak) of the Illampu and the Pico Schulze (5.950m/19.520). We walk down the north-east slope of the Illampu until we reach the Estancia Utjaña Pampa an area in which we can find many gold mines still being exploited.
8. Estancia Utjaña Pampa - Jiska Cocoyo (3.600m/11.811ft)
We start our hike after breakfast, around 8h00, by passing the Khorvasini mountain pass (4.475m/14.682ft). From here we descend to the village of Cocoyo close to the Candelaria mines, from where we can see the Sarani valley to the east. To reach our camp we have to ascend another 400m/1.312ft. before we can relax.
9. Jiska Cocoyo - Paso Sarani - Valle Negruni (4350m/14.272ft)
After breakfast we start by passing the Sarani mountain pass (4.520m/14.829ft) on the slopes of Wiluyu Janq’uma. From here our descend takes us through a large valley to reach the village Chajolpaya from where we continue through the valley of Negruni, deeply embanked between the massifs Warawarani (5.390m/17.684ft) and Filo Rumca (5.510m/18.077ft), to finally arrive at our campsite in the middle of the valley.
10. Valle Negruni - Paso Negruni - Palca (3.985m/13.074ft)
After breakfast we start by passing the Negruni mountain pass (4930m/16.175ft), covered in snow 9 months out of 12. From here a long descend along the rivers Chiquini and Waraco awaits us until we reach our campsite on the river bank.
11. Palca - Paso Waraco - Vinuara (4.540m/14.895ft)
In the morning we leave for the small lake Cotapata (4.685m/15.371ft), before making a small detour to see the Laguna Leche (the milk lake) and the majestic Chachacomani (6.047m/19.839ft). Before we walk down the road to Jankho Laya (3.380m/11.089ft) we pass the Waraco mountain pass at 4.775m/15.666ft. We walk up the valley until we reach our campsite, in front of the Ankhohoyo (white wall) at the foot of the massif Jankho Laya.
12. Vinuara - Paso Moro Khala - Laguna Kotia (4.540m/14.895ft)
A new ascend is waiting for us and after breakfast we climb to the Paso Moro Khala (5.000m/16.404ft), to cut across the Cordillera between Cerro Jankho Laya and Cerro Mullu Apachita. We continue on the south-west mountainside and start descending in an area filled with small lakes until we reach the Laguna Kotia.
13. Laguna Kotia - Laguna Sistaña (4.660m/15.092ft)
After breakfast we start by passing the mountain pass Contador (4.660m/15.289ft) before we enter a muddy zone between the Lagunas Sorakhota and Ajwani. Later we pass a second mountain pass (Milluni 4.920m/16.142ft) before arriving at the Laguna Sistaña where we install our camp on the banks.
14. Laguna Sistaña - Laguna Jurikhota - Laguna Chiar Khota (4.670m/15.322ft)
Today we also pass two mountain passes and the first is the Janchallani mountain pass (4.910m/16.109ft), that we cross in order to reach the Laguna Jurikhota. A steep slope brings us to the small Laguna Congelada at the foot of the Condoriri and we pass the second mountain pass of the day, the Austria mountain pass (5.160m/16.929ft), before we walk down to the Condoriri base camp by the Laguna Chiar Khota.
15. Laguna Chiar Khota - Laguna Wichu Khota
We leave the surroundings of the Condoriri and walk to the foot of the Aguja Negra crossing the mountain pass Jallayko (5025m/16.486ft). In the Jistaña valley we change mountainside and we climb to the Thipala mountain pass (5000m/16.404ft). After having enjoyed the wonderful view of the lakes we walk down to the Laguna Wichu Khota where we set up camp in front of the Maria Lloco (5522m/18.117ft).
16. Laguna Wichu Khota - Cerro Santa Fe – Maria Lloco
We advance in between the lakes until the old campsite for the Santa Fe mine, at the foot of the Imilla Apachita (5184m/17.008ft). From the headland above the abandoned mine we have a wonderful view of the lakes, and from here we walk down to our campsite at the feet of the summits Imilla Apachita, Maria Lloco and Huayna Potosi.
17. Maria Lloco – Huayna Potosi Shelter – La Paz
In the morning we go to the glacier lake of Huayna Potosi. The trail leading there is a dried out canal on the mountain slope, and it is one long viewpoint (2½ hrs return). We then return to the path that brings us to the Milluni mountain pass (5000m/16.404ft) and from here we walk down to the valley which we follow to the Huayna Potosi shelter. From here we can see how the river literally falls into the green and tropical Yungas. This is also where our trek ends. A car will be waiting for us to take us back to La Paz in the afternoon and the evening is free to relax after our long trek.
Optional: Climb of the Huayna Potosi
For the participants that have chosen the extra option to climb the Huayna Potosi you will continue to the high camp where you spend the night and get ready to attempt to reach the summit of the Huayna Potosi.
18. La Paz Leisure Day and Farewell Dinner "Despedida"
The day is free to discover La Paz and in the evening we meet with the rest of the group and our guide for a farewell dinner in one of the best restaurants in La Paz.
For those that have chosen the option to climb of the Huayna Potosi: High Camp – Summit attempt Huayna Potosi – La Paz
We get up very early to attempt to reach the summit at 6.088m/19.973ft. After reaching the summit the descend takes approximately 6 hours to the Huayna Potosi shelter where the car will be waiting to bring us back to La Paz. In the evening we meet with the rest of our group and our guide for a farewell dinner in one of the best restaurants in La Paz.
19. La Paz Departure
According to your time of departure you are transferred from the hotel to the airport in El Alto. For international flights it is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure.End of our services