Trekking Cordillera Apolobamba


Total Rate:
Rate is including hotels in budget range: in DWB accommodation
Single accommodation is an additional 25 US dollars per night

DESCRIPTION: This is a magnificent trek in the southern part of the Cordillera Apolobamba, perhaps the best Bolivia has to offer. The area is rarely visited by tourists.

You will have the opportunity to explore uninhabited wilderness, and scenery which is the best of the Andes, with views of Ancohuma, Illimani, the Cordillera Real and Sunchuli. There will be many opportunities to observe Andean wildlife, including llamas, alpacas, condors, viscachas, vicuñas and if you’re really lucky, the spectacled bear.

This enchanting trek through isolated villages, beautiful rolling hills sparkling with streams and the occasional waterfall and goldmines is mostly above 4,000m and crosses a number of high passes. With the highest at 5,100m, this is challenging trekking and an incredible and rewarding trip. The last days of the trip offer the opportunity to bump into a Kallawaya (travelling doctor) from the village of Curva, Inca ruins and a community visit to experience local traditions.

We start this trip after a scheduled rest day in La Paz . This is the day of the El Gran Poder festival, with an all day street parade of mythical and indigenous costume and dance, as always accompanied by municipal bands.

Difficulty: very good fitness required; rated hard due to altitude and steep passes.
Note: if you are starting the trip at this point, the first day’s walk is a solid 1,100 metre climb to almost 4,800m.

Travel Program


Early departure in private transport, driving through the highlands to Huarina, a small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The trip continues along the eastern part of the lake, passing the villages of Achacachi and Escoma. We continue through the Ulla Ulla National Park, where you can see vicuñas and alpacas and the Apolobamba range. It finishes with a descent to the village of Pelechuco, an old Spanish colonial town.
No trekking (8-9 hours driving).
MEALS: Lunch, Dinner
ACCOM: Hostel: Aguas Blancas community lodge (3600 masl)

We start the day with a long climb towards the Katantica Pass ( 4750m). After 4 hours, we stop for lunch near Lake Kucha Muyurina, just before the pass. From there we can see the summits of Palomani (5770m) and Azucarani (5580m). If we are lucky, we may see the famous Andean Condor flying overhead.
After a 40 minute descent we reach our camp on a nice grassy spot on the shore of Rio Hilo Hilo, in the place called Atacuani.
MEALS: Breakfast, cold lunch, dinner.
ACCOM: camping 4150 masl).
Hiking time: 6hrs30; Elevation gain/loss: +1150m/-600m

We hike around the mountain located at the end of the valley for about 1 ½ hours to the picturesque village of Hilo Hilo and its thatched roof homes. We then follow a colonial trail to lunch at Piedra Grande, an estancia where a few families raising alpacas still live in a traditional fashion. We continue on to a pretty waterfall (Pajtcha Pata, 4600 masl) before ending the day with a hard ascent to the grassy flats of Liriuni, just before the Sunchuli Pass.
We should spot numerous viscachas as well as some Andean geese (huayatas).
MEALS: Breakfast, cold lunch, dinner.
ACCOM: camping (4850masl).
Hiking time: 6h; Elevation gain: +700m

We start the day with a one-hour ascent to Sunchuli Pass (5100m). From the pass, we will have impressive views of several mountains - Cololo (5915m), Katantica (5610m) and Cuchillo (the knife, 5655m). After performing the appropriate ceremony (ch’alla) consisting of offering coca leaves and alcohol to ask for the protection of the mountain’s spirits (Apus), we start our descent.
We arrive at a bofedal (wetland, 4750m), which we skirt following the hillsides to quickly reach Viscachani Pass (4850m). The pass offers beautiful views of Acamani ( 5666m) and the Cordillera Real. We then descend and cross “pueblo perdido”, an ancient gold mining camp built by the Spanish. We stop for lunch on the shores of the beautiful Laguna Kellua Kota.
After a 40-minute walk we’ll reach the Mirador de las mil curvas (Lookout of the Thousand Curves”, 4590m), from which we can contemplate the impressive Acamani (5666m).
After a short one-hour descent we arrive at our camp at Incacancha (Inca ruins, 4100m), on the shores of a river where they used to rest their llamas. MEALS: Breakfast, cold lunch, dinner.
ACCOM: camping (4,100m).
Hiking time: 6hrs; Elevation gain/loss: +350m/-1000m.

We start the day by the long ascent (2 hrs 40) to Tombillo Pass ( 4700m), a sacred place where Bolivians come to make their offerings to the gods during the Carnival in February.
After a descent for about 1½ hours we arrive at an immense plain, Jatunpampa. We take our mid-day break and lunch here, near a river. There is abundant animal life here, including llamas, viscachas, etc. Less than an hour later we reach the “Pajtcha Pata” camp, at 3600m, where three Kallawayas families live. We see the traditional potato fields and the water holes used for the transformation of the oca into kaya (by a dehydration process). MEALS: Breakfast, cold lunch, dinner.
ACCOM: camping (3,600m).
Hiking time: 5hrs ; Elevation gain/loss: +600m/-1100m

Short morning hike (2½ hours - moderate elevation gain) to reach the charming village of Curva (3800m): stone houses, Indians in traditional dress (option to purchase magnificent fabric, traditional clothes and ornaments). We visit the healer’s hospital where the practitioners still treat with local plants.
Our 4WD then takes us to the authentic Kallawaya village of Upinuaya (50 minutes away on a dirt track). We take a traditional lunch in the company of the community and then attend some healing ceremonies and dances typical of this ancestral culture. After these celebrations we travel to the Hot Springs of Charazani and enjoy a well-deserved bath.
MEALS: Breakfast, cold lunch, dinner.
ACCOM: guesthouse.
Hiking time: 2hrs 30; Elevation gain: +200m

Departure from Charazani at 8 a.m. for our return in our prívate 4WD vehicle to La Paz via the national park of Ulla-Ulla and Lake Cololo (9-hour drive). On the road we can stop to visit the chapels of the villages of Carabuco and of Escoma, described as the “Sistine” of Bolivia. Breakfast, cold lunch on the road and celebration dinner in La Paz. Hotel.

What’s included

What's included

Services included in the prices:
  • Hostels in La Paz and Charazani.
  • Once on trek, a full service, including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment) is included in the trek price.
  • Dining Tent; Camp Tables & Chairs; Cooking Tent; Cooking & Eating Utensils; Toilet Tent
  • All food while on trek, including snacks for trekking. (Vegetarian meals are available)
  • Boiled water on all days for your bottles
  • Last night celebration dinner in a La Paz restaurant.
  • Professional guide who speaks English, Spanish and Quechua
  • Assistant Guide (for 9+ PAX); Cook; Assistant Cook (for 7+ PAX);
  • Mule Drivers to take care of the pack animals
  • Pack animals (mules and horses) to carry the baggage and equipment
  • Emergency Horse with Saddle
  • First aid equipment and oxygen tank
  • Camping tents for 2 and 4 persons depending on the requirements (single tent for a small supplementary charge); foam mattresses
  • Duffle bag for your trekking clothing, sleeping bag, mattress and other personal equipment
  • Warm water for washing

Not Included:
  • International flights to/from La Paz
  • Travel insurance
  • All food during in-town days with the exception of the Celebration Banquet and some breakfasts
  • Incidental personal expenditures, including emergency evacuations and medical expenditures
  • Sleeping Bag (can be rented)
  • Tips to Staff
  • Hotels & meals in La Paz
  • Alcoholic Drinks, laundry and any other Personal Expenses
  • Personal clothing and equipment

The time of hiking will depend on the group. The guide can change the places for having lunch and camping according to the physical condition of the group.
Each guide has his own way of leading his groups but always his decisions will be for the benefit of the tourists.

• Please limit the weight to be carried in your duffle to 10-11kg.
• 1 backpack of around 30kg capacity to carry the things you need for the trek (camera, drinks, jacket, wet weather gear etc.) and a cover for rain
• 1 large backpack or suitcase to keep the things you don‘t need in your hotel until you return from your trek
• Waterproof liner or two for your duffle bag (an overnight packliner should do it – 60/65 litres – or strong garbage bags)
• Sleeping bag good for -10°C (which can be rented in Cuzco or Huaraz)
• Small flashlight and extra batteries
• Water bottle (1 litre, plastic eg, Nalgene) or a plastic throw away bottle, total capacity for 2 litres
• Hiking boots
• Walking shoes (Crocs are also recommended for around campsites)
• 1 jacket (of nylon or Gortex with hood and water and wind resistant)
• 1 Fleece Jacket (fleece jackets can be rented) can these be rented too?
• 1 Down jacket (down jackets can be rented)
• 1 pair of gloves and hat of wool (they can be bought during your trip)
• 3 or 4 short sleeved shirts (preferably “dryfit” that don’t retain water)
• 2 pairs of walking shorts and long pants (zip off)
• Socks: 4 pairs of wool and 4 of fibre (coolmax) for the trek (avoid cotton as these can retain water)
• 1 sun hat and sunglasses
• Personal medications and toiletries in small containers
• Sunscreen for your skin and lips
• Insect repellent
• Moisturizer lotion to avoid drying out of the skin
• Bathing suit for the hot springs
• Extra camera batteries

• Heated sleeping mat, or you might want to bring your own camping mattress.
• Sleeping bags which can be rented in the office for $5 per day and good for – 10°C.
• Professional walking sticks can be rented in the office for $ 4 per day per pair
• Energy foods: chocolates, granola bars, dried fruits, etc. (they can be purchased in La Paz)

The reservation payments must be made by cash in United States Dollars to our Bank Account in Huaraz – Peru to Maruja Colonia Lazaro. The deposit can also be paid by Moneygram.

* A 50% deposit is required to hold your reservation + USD 50/70 for bank transfer fees (not including the fees charged by your bank).
* Within two months of your trip’s start dates this deposit in non- refundable.
* The remaining balance is due on arrival in la Paz. Please pay cash with US dollars as we do not accept credit cards.

* If the trip has to be cancelled 30 days prior to your start date we will refund 40% of the total balance.
* If the trip has to be cancelled 20 days prior to your start date we will refund 30% of the total balance.
* If the trip has to be cancelled 10 days prior to your start date there will be no refund.

If you want to change programs once the reservation is made the fee will be 10% of the total amount.

All guests, including tour leaders and other internationals, are required to carry their trip insurance documents on their person at all times.
Acceptance of Risk Statement:
Hospital facilities for serious problems are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Colonia adventures E.I.R.L
Company assumes only personal and basic medical care. Trip members will receive appropriate health information prior to departure.


Trekking Cordillera Apolobamba

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Price based on 2 participants

  • Duration: 07 Days
  • Season: All Year
  • Difficulty: Moderate

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