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Crossing the Cordillera Real

1st day: You will be picked up at your hotel in La Paz for a 4 hours travel to Sorata. First you will pass the shore of Lake Titicaca then it goes over breath-taking mountain roads and a beautiful pass with close views to the giants Ancohuma and Illampu. Down a windy road it goes into the village of Sorata.
The guide looks for donkeys or mules to carry the luggage. An easy day so to say, tomorrow it really starts. You will spend the night in Sorata.

2nd day: You start in Sorata and have to climb from 2,700 m up to 3,900 m. Because you are well acclimatized this should not be much of a problem. The donkeys carry the heavy backpacks and you only have to carry a small daypack. You climb into the Ancohuma high valley situated near the North Eastern steep slopes of the Illampu. Here you will make your first camp of this trekking at an altitude of 3,900 m. The climb takes about 6 hours.

3rd day: After breakfast you start again with a climb this time it takes just 2 hours to get to the Kurahuasirin Pass at 4,479 m. From this altitude you will have a splendid view to the summits of the Illampu Range. Then finally it goes down to your next camp site which you will reach in approximately 4 hours. Dinner will be prepared by the cook and a lovely night in this remote area awaits you. The altitude of your campsite is the same as yesterday 3,900 m.

4th day: You will have to start with another climb! Same time schedule in about 2 hours you will be up the Sarani pass at 4,500 m. Here you will have beautiful views to the unknown, but not less impressive, Negruni Range with its icy summits above 5,000 m. Than it goes downwards in 3 hours to the campsite in the hamlet Ajolpaya at 3,900 m. What to expect in this hamlet; electricity, running water, internet of course not. But the natural scenery is what you will enjoy.

5th day: Once again climbing up to a pass in the morning, the Silsani Pass at 4,650 m is your goal. On top of this pass you will see the mighty Cordillera Real. From the Silsani Pass you continue down to the campsite which is situated at the Chacapa Stream. So finally you have the opportunity to take a bath, if you are tough enough to withstand the ice cold water. In total you will have to hike 6 hours today.

6th day: Leaving the crystal clear waters from the Chacapa Stream climbing up the Keakeani Pass at 4,650 m through untouched mountain landscapes takes about 2 hours. The surrounding mountains are hardly visited. A long downhill lies ahead of you to the hamlet of Palca at 3,900 m in the valley of Amawaya. Here is your next campsite, in total it takes 5 hours hiking time to get here. Palca is actually not even a hamlet with only 3 houses; maybe if you are very lucky you can buy something.

7th day: Today it goes a little bit higher you are heading to the Hankolacaya Pass at 4.700 m, once again with splendid views at the magnificent mountain scenery. After 6 hours you will get to your camp in the valley of Amawaya situated at a refreshing altitude of 4,450 m. The Andean sky in crystal clear and at night you can see several constellations.

8th day: You will have to climb almost up to 5,000 m to the Hanquekota Pass and from here you can see all the big ones of this range clearly. Coming down the Hanquekota Pass into the Janquequota Valley there is a picturesque lake called Quta Thiya. This will be your campsite for today at an altitude of 4,420 m.

9th day: The next pass is 'only' 4,600 m and you will be there quickly. Shortly afterwards you will come into the area around Cheqapa where you can find old and nowadays closed goldmines. Hang around a while, maybe you are lucky and find some gold?! Then it goes up again towards the campsite called Ajwani. Tonight you will sleep at 4,700 m. An incredible place to spend the night, not a sound of civilization you can hear.

10th day: Today you need 6 hours to get over two high passes, the 4.860 m high Janchallani Pass and the Juri Quta Pass which is a little bit higher: 4,900 m. You are getting closer to the more known region of the Cordillera with the steep uprising Condoriri Range. The camp is located at 4,700 m, just 200 m below the Juri Quta pass and bears the same name.

11th day: The highest point of your crossing through the Cordillera Real is waiting for you today. It is the Apacheta Pass 5,100 m right in front of the respect inspiring ice walls of the Condoriri. If you want you can go from here up to the top of a mountain called Austria 5,300 m. The summit is easy to reach, there is no mountaineering involved. Then it's time to descend to the 4,650 m high basecamp of the Condoriri Range where you will spend the night. Picturesque situated at the shore of Lake Chiara Quta. From this campsite all the climbs of the 'important' summits of the Condoriri Range start. If you are lucky you might be able to buy a beer here! And there are some wooden sheds which are toilet houses!

12th day: This beautiful spot is so nice that you will spend a day here; you can relax or wander around the lake and the campsite. An alternative is climbing one of the 'smaller' mountains in the Condoriri Range or explore the glacier, which is not dangerous at all.

13th day: Today you continue, 6 hours hiking time ahead of you. In those 6 hours you will cross 2 passes of approximately 5,000 m. After climbing the last pass you go down into the Liviaosa Valley, that's where you last campsite is. It is at only 3,750 m another picturesque place in the untouched nature.

14th day: The last day of your wonderful trekking goes mainly downhill, your goal is Chacapampa in the Zongo Valley. Here the puma and the spectacled bear still roam around. Chances are very small to see one of these magnificent but very shy animals. The vegetation for sure is very interesting.
In the Zongo Valley you will be picked up by the car that drives you over the Zongo Pass, passing the most famous mountain of Bolivia, The Huayna Potosí to La Paz where you arrive in the afternoon.

This trekking is also possible with various climbs.

  • Included:
    Spanish or basic English speaking guide, depending on your choice and availability;
    Stays overnight in tent;
    Sleeping mattress;
    All meals from lunch on the 1st day up to and including lunch on the last day;
    Cooking gear;
    Transport of tent, food, cooking gear;
    Entrance fee.
  • Not included:
    Sleeping bag;
    Self-inflating mattress/iso-mattress;
    Climbing gear (can be rented in La Paz);
    Transport/porter for your own personal items;
    All other costs that are not specifically mentioned.