Caravan of mules:
Trekking across the Andes
Terra bolivia

  • Caravan of mules: <br> Trekking across the Andes
  • bus
    4 to 7 hours of walking per day
  • bag
    Elevation: + 3450m / - 5810m, Level: medium, Optional: 6000m summit ascent
  • horloge
    17 to 19 days

We’ll meet at "base camp" on Calle Illampu, above the chicken vendor. Here we will find a Swiss expatriate, who long ago settled in La Paz, and who rents all kinds of mountain equipment. This shop, a veritable trekking, climbing and camping bazaar, known only to the initiated few, is a testament to trek culture and to the great adventure that lies in wait at the Cordillera Real.

Following alongside the mule drivers who lead our caravan across Andes, we move along trails which reveal wide-open spaces, unexpected meetings, and which bring us closer to discovering our surroundings and ourselves. We dare to expose ourselves to the unexpected.

The Cordillera Real is first and foremost, a territory,

people and mountains. Better than a series of sporting exploits, during this trek, you will learn the fascinating history of this mountain range.

Guided by our mule caravan, we will walk the highlands, at the foot of the snowy glaciers of the Cordillera Real. The mules are not only faithful road trip companions, but also served as ancient means of transport for the Aymaras and Incas who travelled this region to trade dried llama meat and dehydrated potatoes for fruits and other products from the Amazon. We will challenge ourselves to a 6,000 meter high peak, the Huayna Potosi, to experience the real sensation of finding ourselves at the crossroads of worlds: the Andes mountain range stretching westward as far as the eye can see, the illuminated city of La Paz to the South with the Sajama peak visible in the background on a clear day, and the beginnings of the Amazon to the North.

From here, we move towards the lush vegetation of the Yungas. As we descend, temperatures rise, the air becomes humid and the landscapes more verdant.

On the way, we will stop to share in the Andean lifestyle

We endeavor to experience and to understand this unique territory at the crossroads of the Aymara, Quechua and Spanish worlds. We are welcomed by our guides, our muleteers, and our fellow travelers. We meet the fishermen of the minor part of Lake Titicaca, who have learned to navigate their environment by crafting boats from Totora, the reeds at the lake edge. We’ll learn about cultivating the Altiplano fields and how to live at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters. Jaime and his son Denys, natives of the Cordillera, are experts in fishing with their bare hands in frozen streams and in the technique of dehydrating potatoes.

The history of the mountain range will be told to us by our guides: one region, one guide. At each place, a local will accompany us. Along the way, we invite you to discover some of their stories.

Like a meditative ritual, together we will rediscover that what surrounds us. As we walk, we will find ourselves dreaming and reinventing ourselves, as if carried by the magic of the Altiplano. We may miss out on a little sleep, but nothing else. We try to live a simpler and more sober life, centered about the Earth, and motivated by the need to rethink our environment and our daily life.

Does this trip inspire you?

Discover more