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Quala Uta - Tuni

Quala Uta - Tuni

This tour offers an unforgettable encounter with the community of Uma Palca. Its people supports a sustainable tourism project and invite you in a welcoming stones refuge (Qala Uta means Stones House in Aymara).
You can enjoy the climbing routes equipped in front of the refuge or a beautiful hike to Laguna Tres Picos. Nothing like an acclimatization smoothly! We continue our trek to the village of Tuni where another encounter awaits us, the community of Tuni.
Tuni is a small Aymara village of the Cordillera, at about about 4300 m. altitude. It's a united community, proud of his Aymara culture, healthy ambitions, with which has established a real relationship of trust.
The village is at 3 hours from La Paz, located between Lake Titicaca and one of the most imposing mountains of the Cordillera: the Condoriri. It's not only to seasoned trekkers but also to a wider audience, even family.
The residents of this small community (50 people), invite us to discover their daily lives in the heart of the Cordillera, punctuated by the "pastoreo" of llamas, harvesting of medicinal plants, legends of all the surrounding peaks, traditional cooking, working in mines, etc.
Thanks to long years of friendship with members of the community (some of them are guides, mule drivers or cookers on our treks since the creation of the agency) this project aims to support Tuni community in the valuation of the traditional Andean culture, through the real practice of a responsible tourism.



  • Day 1: La Paz - Refuge Santos - La Paz - Refuge Santos - Laguna Ajwani - Refuge Santos
  • Day 2: Refuge Santos - Laguna Ajwani - Laguna Jurikhota
  • Day 3: Refuge Santos - Laguna Jurikhota - Laguna Chiarkhota
  • Day 4: Laguna Chiarkhota - Tuni
  • Day 7: Tuni
  • Day 8: Tuni
  • Day 9: Tuni - La Paz


Day 1: La Paz - Refuge Santos - La Paz - Refuge Santos - Laguna Ajwani

Transfer La Paz- Refuge Santos.

Departure from the hotel at 07:00a.m. for a 4WD trip to the Royal Cordillera (5/6-hour drive) and the laguna Kothia. We will pass the Mollo Saddle (el. 5000 m.a.s.l.) at the base of the Wila Lluxita Glacier (el. 52444 m.a.s.l.) before descending towards the Mina Fabulosa and reach the Chiqapa Jawira Valley and the Santos hut. The community of Uma Palca built this beautiful stone shelter in this superb valley. They have also bolted some climbing routes on impressive granite blocks over the valley right across form the shelter.
Cold meals. All included.

Difficulty: trek at high elevation with many passes over 5000 meters of altitude (at least one saddle a day). From 6 to 8 hours walk a day. Good fitness required.
Leaving from the mountain shelter we will gradually climb the valley by an easy and partly paved track. After a saddle at el. 5050 m.a.s.l. (2½-hour climb) we will join another valley via a steep section, leading to Mina Palcoco and the laguna Alka Quta. We will then reach the laguna Alka Quta in about 2 hours before continuing to the laguna Ajwani (2 more hours). Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 7h; Elevation gain: +890m / -650m
Included : private transport, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), guide (hiking), porters, catering

Day 2: Refuge Santos - Laguna Ajwani - Laguna Jurikhota

A full day of rock climbing with a mountain guide.
Many climbing routes are equipped right across from the shelter. The routes are all bolted with all levels (5 to 7 French grades / 5.6 to 5.12 US grades). There is also a bouldering area nearby. Cold lunch. All included.
We will start following the mountain to a first saddle at an altitude of 4920 meters (Paso Milluni / 1h45), and to the laguna Sistaña (el. 4660 m.a.s.l. / 45mn).
We will climb to a second saddle in the afternoon (Paso Janchallani, el. 4900 m.a.s.l. / 1h30), before the last descent of the day to the Laguna Jurikhota (el. 4700 m.a.s.l. / 1h).
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 5/6h; Elevation gain: +665m / -560m

Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), local guide

Day 3: Refuge Santos - Laguna Jurikhota - Laguna Chiarkhota

Difficulty: 5 to 6- hour hiking. Good fitness required.
After getting the river bellow the shelter we will start the climb towards the Wilallojje Valley across from the shelter. Going left on a steep tracks in rocks boulders we will reach a saddle at 4740 m.a.s.l. after another hour. Beautiful view over the laguna Tres Picos or the Kunuijitinta (signifying snow avalanche in Aymara) at the base of the Tres picos glacier.
We will continue on a flatter track to this beautiful laguna where we can stop for lunch.
The track will then go downhill for an hour to the laguna Khota Pata. There we can try to catch some trout. Return to the mountain hut in 2 hours from the laguna.
Cold lunch. All included.
Hiking time: 5/6h; Elevation gain: +690m / -690m

From the Laguna Jurikhota we will take a steep track to the Laguna Congelada, (with two glaciers dropping into its icy waters), a wonder at an altitude of 4900 meters at the foot of El Condoriri (el. 5650 m.a.s.l.).
From there we will keep climbing to a second saddle (Paso Austria, 5120 m.a.s.l. / one hour ascent) before descending on the other side towards El Condoriri and the El Pequeño Alpamayo base camp near the Laguna Chiarkhota (el. 4670 m.a.s.l. / 1h30 descent).
Just before the saddle we will have the option to climb to the Pico Austria (el. 5300 m.a.s.l.) and admire the amazing views over the Cordillera Real (45-minute climb, 20-minute descent)
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 6h; Elevation gain: +645m / -670m

Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), local guide

Day 4: Laguna Chiarkhota - Tuni

Leaving the Condoriri behind us we will walk on the Aguilla Negra (Black Needle) to the Jallayko saddle (el. 5025 Before climbing up the Tillipata saddle we will walk through the beautiful valley of Jistana (where we can admire a myriad of lakes). We will then descend to the Laguna Wichu Khota, at the foot of the María Lloco (el. 5522 m.a.s.l.) and continue to the the community of Tuni.
Cold lunch. All included. Night in a community Eco Lodge.
Hiking time: 7h; Elevation gain: +850m / -1250m

Day 7: Tuni

Night at the Ecolodge Tuni hotel**.
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 8: Tuni

After a traditional breakfast with buñelos (types of fritters) and api (tasty hot drinks made with purple corn), we will accompany the llamas and the alpagas to their pastures. We will then help to the traditional preparation of the huatia (stone ovens built under ground) to cook the lunch (depending of the number of people).
We will go for a few hours walk in the afternoon in the Condoriri range with the guide showing us the medicine plants used by the aymaras.
Option to visit a tin mine under exploitation, at more than 4500m of elevation (depending of the fitness conditions of the participants and the time available). We can admire the Condoririr, the mythical summit of the Cordillera Real with the shape of a condor with tucked wings.
Later in the afternoon we can join the village inhabitants to return the llamas and alpagas to the village for the night.
Traditional andean dinner and night at a local host's or at the Eco Lodge (depending of the number of people).

Included : room & breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9: Tuni - La Paz

Several activities will be proposed in the morning, depending of your interest and of the season:
- trout fishing in the lakes at the base of the Condoriri with the local guide.
- making of the chuño, a dehydrated potatoe in the ancestral tradition, very appreciated by the Aymaras (june and july).
- small trek
We will return to the village for lunch and participate to the traditional preparation, and leave late in the afternoon to return to La Paz.
Transfer to the hotel.
Lunch included. Dinner not included.

Included : room & breakfast, private transport, lunch

Hotel Ecolodge Tuni   Tuni

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

The Tuni community welcomes you in its charming ecolodge with warmth and convivialilty. Built by the community itself, with the help of Terra Andina, this ecolodge is located between the west face of the Huayna Potosi and the famous Condoriri, in the heart of the Royal Cordillera.

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