TREKKING IN BOLIVIA
Bolivia offers more adventurous and authentic trekking tours than any other country in Southamerica. Numerous treks in the cordilleras, Yungas (cloud forest) and around Lake Titicaca make this andean country to a real paradise for trekking fans. Most of the treks were pre-Inca or Inca paved trade routes. The various categorization, length and degrees of difficulty allow each one a unique and unforgetable trekking experience. Herr you will be able to find everything beginning from 2-day tours up to extreme 2-3 weeks tours.
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This massif is 200 km long and the biggest in Bolivia. Here you will find over 600 peaks. The snow line is located at about 5.200 meter and the most famous peaks in this area are Illampu, Huayna Potosi and Illimani. On five points this huge massif is penetrated through valleys. The routes in the vales are historic and the Incas used them as trade routes to the amazon. The mountain village of Sorata, located in a valley beneath the snowcapped peak of the Illampu (6.380m) used to be Southamericas most important base camp for hikers and mountaineers until a few years ago social tensions in Sorata and the surroundings damaged the image of the town as hiking capital. Nowadays the town is recovering and again a popular and developing hiking base camp for trekking trips for one or more day tours in the cordillera real.
The cordilleras Apolobamba are located in the very north of Bolivia, on the border to Peru. In the north of the cordilleras the mountain range descends in the amazon basin. The treks in this region are real authentic and original tours through unpopulated regions and impressive mountain scenery on more than 4000m. The Incas used the trails here as an important trading route due to the gold mining activity in this area. The routes serve nowadays as trekking routes along the old mining route. The Ulla Ulla National Parc is alsolocated in the Cordillera Apolobamba.
The Yungas region is located in the north of the department La Paz. A significant number of treks are situated in this suptropical region, also referred to as the cloud forest. A number of treks with begin in the cordilleras end here. These treks are especially rich in contrasts and lead through various vegetation zones and let you notice a significant climate change. In the Yungas you will be able to enjoy vegetated tropical landscapes, canyons and steep slopes as well as dense cloud forest.
Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, is a wonderful location for easy trekking routes. Sun Island and the peninsula of Copacabana offer trekking routes for 1-3 days with the possibility to combine these two treeking routes in a 3-day tour. Starting point is Copacabana, a beautiful lakeside town with an ornate church of great religious significance.
Famous Treks near La Paz:
- Choro-Trek (3 days), cordillera real
- Takesi-Trek (2 days), cordillera real
- Curva-Pelechuco-Trek (4-5 days)
- Camino del Oro-Trek (5-6 days)
- Illampu-Roundtrek (7 days)
- Mapiri-Trek (ca.7-8 days)
- Trans-Cordillera-Trek (10-21 days)
This trek, also called Inka-trek is one of the most famous treks in Southamerica. The route leads along an old trade channel, which existed long before the Inka period. This route is one of the best precolumbian roads in the Andes.
Starting point is the village Ventilla, which can be reached in about 1.5 hrs. by minibus from La Paz.
The trek tooks two days and the distance is about 40 km and you will hike through the different vegetation zones. Half the way you will walk on plastered roads. At the begin you have to walk uphill to Apacheta pass (4.650 meter), while passing a huge monolith. After the pass the road goes down to the Yungas. You will find camping facilities at 4.500 meter after Apacheta pass.
On the scond day you will pass the village Takesi (3.800 meter). After Takesi the climate will be much more warmer, because the Yungas come closer and closer. When you come to the river Takesi you will continue descending to the samll village Chojilla.
From here you can return to La Paz with a bus or minibus.
Beside the Takesi trek there is also a very popular route, called Choro trek. This trek will take you between 3 or 4 days, depending on your constitution.
This tour goes like the takesi trek also from the Altiplano to the Yungas and you will walk through the very different vegetation zones.
The trek starts at La Cumbre (4.725 meter), a pass which can be reached by minibus in 2 hrs. from La Paz.
From here you have to walk uphill to about 4.860 meter,which is the highest point of the route. Most of the time, Choro trek goes downhill, but there are several passages where it goes uphill. Therefor it is necessary to acclimate before doing the trek. On your way you will pass Estancia Samana Pampa and walk on to Achura "Chucura", about 13 km.
On the second day you will hike from village Achura to Choro. This stage is about 16 km and after the village you will walk on a beautiful plastered way which was built in the period of the Tiwanaku culture.
On the last day the way goes from Choro to Chairo (23 km). You will pass several settlements like Kussillonani, Bella Vista and Sandillani.
From there it is possible to take a bus to Coroico. It will be a good ending to spend one night in Coroico enjoying the Yungas and relaxing from the trek.
From Coroico will drive every day minibusses and busses to La Paz on the so called "worlds most dangerous road", a gravel road where you have to drive on the left side.
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In Bolivia most of the trekking routes are still very original, away from mass tourism and totally uncontrolled. Most routes have only few or no infrastructure at all, neither accommodation nor restaurants or shops. Therefore you should make sure to take a tent, sleeping bag and sufficient food and water with you. Due to the fact that most treks are only few or not organized at all it often takes a long time to access the trek. We therefore recommend to bring enough time and to plan the trip in advance.
The bolivian trekking season runs from May to September, through the dry season. The best and most stable weather is from June to August. In the rain season from November to March the weather varies a lot and it is recommendable to take appropriate clothes with you (appropriate shoes, rain protection, etc.)
Check out our Checklist for more details on what to bring on your trekking tour.
Most travel agencies in La Paz offer organized tours of the Choro-Trail and the Takeshi - Trail. Some also offer tours to the Yunga Cruz Trek.
For more information and reservations on the treks contact us per Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.