Trekking in Cordillera Real and La Paz
This 10 day tour is ideal for nature and great outdoors lovers.
You will start with an acclimatization trek on the shores of Lake Titicaca, before taking a tour of the most beautiful lagoons of the Cordillera Real. You will end the circuit in beauty by a spectacular road off beaten tracks where you will discover exceptional points of view of La Paz.
PROGRAMME DAY TO DAY
El Alto Airport - La Paz
Our guide will pick you up at 09:00 am at the hotel lobby. Today you will discover the most traditional side of the city, walking into the day-to-day life of the “paceños” (inhabitants of La Paz).
You will first enter the indoor market of the Plaza San Francisco (Mercado Lanza) where many workers have breakfast. You will then take the cable car going up to El Alto and enjoy a unexpected view over the city and the mountains that surround it. You will fly over different neighborhoods and the general cemetery, in which you will then enter to discover the Andean post-mortem traditions: here the families leave elaborated offerings on the graves. Walking from the cemetery down to the historical center you will walk through the traditions of clothing and traditional celebrations of the city.
In the Los Andes Street you will feel like carnival is coming. It is the tailor’s street and every shop is filed with colorful costumes and masks. You will end our tour in the Witches Market (“Mercado de las Brujas”) where the locals buy all the necessary artifacts for ceremonial offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth): coca leaves and other medicinal plants, miniature figurines in sugar and lama fetuses.
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 30 to 40-minute walk brings us to the village of Yumani, from where there is a magnificent view of the lake.
Cold lunch and dinner.
Note: During the following 2 days a boat will be at our disposal to transport the group as well as the gear during the walks.
Hiking time: 5h; Elevation gain: +550m/-350m
For lunch we will share a traditional meal called “Apthapi”. This tradition of the Aymara people probably takes its source into the Tiwanaku pre-Inca culture.
It is a moment of sharing within the community: everyone brings some products of it land or livestock to the "table" and the meal is shared around a piece of traditional cloth (Aguayo) laid on the floor. Traditionally you will find corn, cheese, fish, fried or dried meat, quinoa and a great variety of potatoes from the Altiplano.
After our lunch, a traditional healer (“Yatiri”) will realize a ceremony dedicated to Mother Earth (“Pachamama”). We will enjoy these unique moments in the heart of the pre-Inca and Inca traditions: the Isla del Sol (“Island of the Sun”) owes its name to its important role in the cult to the Sun God “Inti” during the Inca Empire area. Here the people care about preserving the nature and their traditions.
Copacabana - Chuñavi - Yumani
Transport Copacabana-Chuñavi. View on the Royal Cordillera.
In the morning, a short hop by motorboat first takes us to Pilkokaina temple, south of the island. This palace was built by Inca Tupac Yupanqui for its pilgrimages on the island. We then head to Isla de la Luna where we visit the temple of the Ñustas, The Inca virgins. We then come back to Copacabana.
Cold lunch (included). Dinner open.
Here we share an aymaran dinner and discover local habits of the inhabitants of the Royal Cordillera.
Homestay overnight. Basic comfort.
Traditional musical band during dinner.
Chuñavi - Tuni - Laguna Khotia - Laguna Ajwani
Transport Chuñavi-Tuni. Approx.1h00
Transport Tuni-Laguna Khotia. Approx.2h00
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
Laguna Ajwani - Laguna Jurikhota
After climbing to a first pass at 4920 meters (Paso Milluni / 1h45), we will walk to the laguna Sistaña (el. 4660 m.a.s.l. / 45mn).
Another saddle will wait for us in the afternoon (Paso Janchallani, el. 4900 m.a.s.l. / 1h30), before our last descent of the day towards the Laguna Jurikhota (el. 4700 m.a.s.l. / 1h).
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Hiking time: 5/6h; Elevation gain: +665m / -560m.
Tuni - Laguna Jurikhota
Night at the Ecolodge Tuni hotel**.
From the lagoon, we climb to reach the Laguna Congelada (two glaciers literally fall into its icy waters) after 1:30, nested at 4900 meters near to the Condoriri (5650 m alt.). Passage of a new collar (Austria, 5120 masl.) Before descending to Laguna Chiarkhota (4670 m alt., 1 hour descent), base camp of the ascent Condoriri and Pequeno Alpamayo. Descending to the community of Tuni. About 3 hours away.
Hiking time: 6 / 7h; Elevation gain: + 645m / -670m
Tuni - Chacaltaya - Huayna Potosi Shelter - La Paz
Transport Tuni - Chacaltaya
Difficulty: 5 hours of walking. Good physical condition. Departure from the hotel at 08:30 in private vehicle for Chacaltaya and its refuge (1h drive), incredibly hanging on a rocky spur at 5250 meters altitude starting point of our trek. It is the oldest ski resort in the world, but the melting of glaciers has put an end to this glorious past. A skilful of the beginning of the century to the abandonment, that is what one finds there! We catch our breath to climb the snow-capped pass with positive drop of +100 mts. From the summit, the view over La Paz and the altiplano is impregnable, with the majestic Huayna Potosí as the backdrop, breaking the peaks at more than 6,000 meters. We take the snowy ridge of the summit to undertake a gradual descent, after 2 hours we find a small rock that we cross with the help of our guide. On our arrival, we find a pretty bofedal where a stream flows and where llamas come to pasture. We find our vehicle which takes us back to La Paz (1 hour drive). Walking time: 5h; Difference in altitude: +130 m / -1610 m
Transport Huayna Potosí (Shelter) - La Paz
Departure at 8:30 am from our hotel. Our driver rides across the entire southern area to take us up to the Ovejuyo district, at the entrance of the city of La Paz.
We are on the beginning of a ridge between La Paz and the Valley of Illimani, a sacred mountain 6439 meters. We start our walk at 3850 meters along the ridge between the two valleys. The we can observe the Bolivian capital from the top. In the middle of our walk, we meet a "apacheta" a sacred monument, dedicated to the "Pachamama" the mother earth, and gods from the mountains. We can also observe the fantastic "Valle de las Animas" the valley of souls.
After reaching the highest point of our day (4220 meters), we descend towards the "Muela del Diablo" (4220 meters) huge rock formation about 300 meters whose shape looks like a human molar. Opportunity to practice climbing on tracks equipped.
Return to La Paz in private transport in the afternoon. (4-hours walk / 4.5 km).
Hiking time: 4-5h;
Elevation gain/loss: +350m / -350m