Terra Bolivia » Mountaineering » Rope fun in the heart of the Cordillera Royale

Rope fun in the heart of the Cordillera Royale

This itinerary caters to the mountain enthusiasts, aiming to combine, in two weeks, the pleasures of mountaineering to those of trekking.
On the menu, three ascents: el Pequeño Alpamayo (el. 5410 m.a.s.l.) and La Cabeza de Condor (el. 5700 m.a.s.l.) in the Condoriri mountain range, then, the highlight of the trip, the ascent of Huayna Potosí culminating at 6088 meter above sea levels.

Climbing, Hiking
14 Days




El Alto Airport - La Paz

Meeting with your mountain guide: trek and climbing explanations, safety tips and equipment rental if needed.


La Paz - Copacabana - Yumani


By motorboat, we reach the cave of Lourdes. Our trek on the Yampupata peninsula starts from there. We cross the timeless village of Zampaya...

Later on we reach the village of Yampupata. A boat takes us to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), where we disembark at the old Inca Palace of Pilkokaina. A 1h15 walk brings us to the village of Yumani, from where there is a magnificent view of the lake.

Hiking time: 5h; Elevation gain: +550m/-350m
Note: During 2 days, a boat will be at our disposal to transport the group as well as the bags during the walks.
Night at the Ecologe La Estancia hotel***.


Copacabana - Tuni - Yumani

Departure from Copacabana with a private 4WD. We will follow the Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Real all the way to Tuni (4 hours).
From Yumani, we start the trek by following the crest of the Island to the North where we find the vestiges of the Inca ruins of Chincana, the labyrinth in Aymara (3 to 4-hour walk).
Our boat takes us back to Copacabana after lunch.
Night at the Ecolodge Tuni hotel**.


Tuni - Laguna Khotia - Laguna Ajwani

Transport Tuni-Laguna Khotia. Approx.2h00
Difficulty: trek in altitude with one or more passes at 5000 meters of elevation each day. 4 to 6-hour of walking a day. Good fitness required.
Departure from the hotel at 8:30 a.m. by private vehicle to the Cordillera Real (a 3-hour trip) and the laguna Kothia, the start of our trek (el. 4470 m.a.s.l.).
We will meet our team of muleteers and start hiking on the right side of the lake, on the Southwest slopes of the Cordillera. We will pass the first saddle (Paso Contador, el. 4760 m.a.s.l.) before crossing a swampy area, near the laguna Surakhota. Alter walking for 4 hours, we will arrive to the laguna Ajwani (“lagoon of the birds”, el. 4720 m.a.s.l.).
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 4/5h; Elevation gain: +500m / -300m
Ajwani hut.


Laguna Ajwani - Laguna Jurikhota

We will continue by following the hillside, reaching a first pass at an altitude of 4920 meters (Paso Milluni / 1h45), then to the laguna Sistaña (el. 4660 m.a.s.l. / 45mn).
After a second pass in ther afternoon (Paso Janchallani, el. 4900 m.a.s.l. / 1h30), the last descent of the day will take us to the Laguna Jurikhota (el. 4700 m.a.s.l. / 1h).
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 5/6h; Elevation gain: +665m / -560m


Laguna Jurikhota - Laguna Chiarkhota

From the Laguna Jurikhota we will climb up a steep slope to the Laguna Congelada, (with two glaciers falling into its icy water), a wonder at an altitude of 4900 meters at the base of El Condoriri (el. 5650 m.a.s.l.).
From there we will keep climbing to a second pass (Paso Austria, 5120 m.a.s.l. / one hour ascent) before descending to 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 reaching the pass, we will have the opportunity to climb the Pico Austria (el. 5300 m.a.s.l.) and admire the incredible views over the Cordillera Real (45-minute climb, 20-minute descent)
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 6h; Elevation gain: +645m / -670m


Laguna Chiarkhota - Pequeño Alpamayo - Tuni

Ascent of the Pequeno Alpamayo

Grade III/AD+, Max 55° - with a mountain guide

Start at 03:00am for the climb to the summit (5 to 7 hrs) by the superb intermediate summit of the Tarija, then walk down to the Tuni community. There is a 45 minutes walk to reach the glacier at 4,850m elevation.

We will gradually climb the dome before reaching the saddle at 5,245m after 3 hours waling from the camp. From there a steep track leads to the Tarija peak (5335m). The view from the summit arete is just amazing and will be accessed by rappelling down.

It will be then a last effort to finish the climb and arrive to the Pequeno Alpamayo summit at 5,410m (5 to 7 hours from the base camp to the summit).

Walk down to the camp in approximately 3 hours.
An english speaking guide is accompanying the group.
Walk down to the tuni community (approx. 2 hours).
Night at the Ecolodge Tuni hotel**.


Tuni - Laguna Chiarkhota

Leaving behind us the charming village of Tuni, we will follow the Tuni lake under the guard of the Condoriri and arrive just below it after walking through the bofedal ( type of andean swamps), pastures for the llamas, mules and sheep.

We will find our mules again to carry the equipment to the base camp for the ascent, at the heart of the Cordillera Real and of the Condoriri range.


Laguna Chiarkhota - Condoriri (Head)

Grade III/AD+, Max 55° - with a mountain guide

Start at 04:00 a.m. for the summit attempt by the normal route (5-6 hours) then descent to the Laguna Chiar Kota.

Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.

Ascent time: 8h; Elevation gain: +1030m / -1030m
An english speaking guide is accompanying the group.


Laguna Chiarkhota - Laguna Wichu Khota

Leaving the Condoriri behind, we will pass at the base of the Black Needle to reach the Jallayko Pass (el. 5025 m.a.s.l.). We will then drop into the very beautiful and steep Jistaña Valley, before ascending the Tillipata Pass (el. 5000 m.a.s.l.). The spectacular scenery over the myriad of lagoons will be a great reward for our efforts. Walk down to Laguna Wichu Khota, where we will set up the camp, at the base of María Lloco (el. 5522 m.a.s.l.).

Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac

Hiking time: 7h.


Laguna Wichu Khota - Campo Canal

Walking amongst the lagoonas, until the old camp of the Santa Fe mine. A short detour to a small summit over the camp will give us a nice view over all the lagoons. We will then climb up to our camp, surrounded by the summits of Imilla Apachita, Maria Lloco and Huayna Potosi (el. 6088 m.a.s.l.). The view is superb (4/5-walk).

The bravest will be able to hike over to Laguna Glacial of the Huayna Potosi. The trail, an former stone channel dried out on the hillside, offers wonderful scenery (2-hour round trip).


Hiking time: 6h.


Campo Canal - Huayna Potosi Shelter - Refuge Camp des Roches

After loading the gear on our llamas, we will head to the Milluni pass which we will reach in the morning (el. 5000 m.a.s.l). From there, we can look over the Milluni Valley. We will continue the trek to the shelter by passing the Huayna Potosi on the left. At this point the Andes abruptly drop into the Yungas, a green and tropical area. This marks the end of the trek

Hiking time: 4h.
Ascent of the Huayana Potosi:

Beginner guide to the Equipment: Ice axe and crampons on the old glaciar. We will climb to the “Rocks Camp” (base camp – el. 5160 m.a.s.l.) on the edge of the glacier in approximately 2 hours.

cold meal on half day and hot meal on end day.

time to go up: + 400 m.a.sl.


Refuge Camp des Roches - Huayna Potosi Shelter - La Paz

Ascent of the Huayana Potosi, Day 2:
Grade II/AD, Max 50°;
Start at 02:00 a.m. for a tentative ascent to the summit. Then descent to the hut (approximately 10 hours return) where we will arrive in the afternoon. Stay in the hut.
Transport Huayna Potosí (Shelter) - La Paz


La Paz - El Alto Airport