Bolivia Trek - La Paz and Cordillera Real Overview
Bolivia is among the world's most varied countries, and in its highlands alone it encompasses some of the Western Hemisphere's most impressive alpine peaks and traditional Indian peoples, as well as intriguing sites of Aymara, Inca, and pre-Inca civilizations.
Local villagers with alpacas entering Aymara village. Dunham Gooding
No countries in the world have greater geographical diversity than Bolivia and its neighbor Peru. Lying within their borders are deserts, lush jungles, dry altiplano, fertile valleys, and numerous glaciated mountain ranges. But while the scenery is spectacular, the startling physical contrasts of each area have put different requirements upon humanity and have offered varied possibilities for life. While geographical differences and physical barriers normally isolate civil groups, develop in each distinct cultural characteristics, and make them independent if not hostile to one another, in Bolivia and Peru their challenge to humanity brought development of one of the world's most sophisticated civilizations.
In contrast, modern times have been typified by a complexity of political problems. In 15 to 20-year cycles we see South American countries that were thought of as stable fall to the trials of hyper-inflation and to ruling bodies that are either too laissez-faire or too heavy handed in their government, while at the same time we see countries that seemed condemned to insurmountable problems make remarkable progress and install governments of fairness and foresight.
The regularity of change in Bolivian governments used to make that country the butt of jokes and earned for it the informal designation as the world's least stable political arena. Military coups d'etat occurred on an average of every 11 months, and while they were almost always peaceful, they nonetheless prevented any long-term policy planning to be put in place and never fostered the development of any visionary government. Since 1982, however, the country has been governed by a multi-party democracy, and it now enjoys its highest degree of stability in this century.
Bolivia Trek - La Paz and Cordillera Real Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive this day (Saturday) or very early the next morning.
Day 2: La Paz exploration and city tour, 12,500 feet.
The Takesi trek takes us through traditional Aymara Villages.
Day 3: We leave La Paz early in the morning and head to the Cordillera Real. The trek starts by hiking up to a high plateau with amazing views of the antiplano and distant views of Lake Titicaca. From here we drop down into an alpine valley where we camp for the night. Approximately a 4 hours trek.
Day 4: We climb out of the valley and over a 15,000 foot pass with views of Huayna Potosi and the peaks of the Condoriri region of the Cordillera Real. We stop for lunch at an alpine lake, and then continue down to our next camp. Approximately a 6-hour trek.
Day 5: Trek over several beautiful mountain passes and past another alpine lake to a camp very close to the Condoriri camp.
Day 6: We walk for a few hours to the Plaza de Lama where we meet the bus for the ride back to La Paz.
Day 7: Day in La Paz to prepare for the mountains.
This program can be taken by itself as an introduction to one of South America's most remarkable historic, cultural, and geographical regions, or it can be used as preparation for
Bolivia - Huayna Potosi Skills Expedition, or for the Bolivia - Ancohuma and Illampu Expedition. It may also be preceded immediately by a tour of Cuzco and Machu Picchu in Peru. Bolivia Trek - La Paz and Cordillera Real Our Route
La Paz is the highest capital in the world (12,300'/3750m), and
we keep our pace moderate on our first day of activity, visiting
historical sites and the city's busy traditional markets, run by
bowler-hatted Aymara women. Native handicrafts, especially weaving,
are the finest of their type in South America.
The next morning we head north to the central part of the
Cordillera Real. As we start our trek we can see distant view of
Lake Titicaca and native flora and fauna including condors, gulls,
and the large Andean geese. On our trek we move through a series of
valleys and over several passes, each of which reveals a new group
of amazing Cordillera Real peaks. From here, we drop down into an
alpine valley where we camp for the night.
The city of La Paz, the highest capital city in the world at around
Into the Bolivian Highlands
We use mules burros and horses to carry most of the load. Having
adjusted to La Paz's altitude, on this trek we are able to sleep
comfortably at altitudes up to 14,500 feet (4420m), while in the
day we cross passes up to 15,500 feet (4725m).
Some of the world class, close-up views we enjoy include the
Condirori group and the amazing West Face of Huayna Potosi. We meet
our vehicle at the end of another road on our last day, and then
make the drive back across the Altiplano to La Paz for a hot shower
and a festive meal in the city.
On our way into the Cordillera Real, we gain tremendous views of
- Huayna Potosi Skills Expedition: Those
participating only in the trek can elect to join us for the first
spectacular day of our Huayna Potosi Skills Expedition during which
we make a trip by motor launch on Lake Titicaca and drive up into
the mountains to our trailhead. Bolivia Trek - La Paz and Cordillera Real Program Combinations
Here is a quick overview of our programs in Bolivia and
Peru and how you can combine them to create the trip you
Bowler-hatted Aymara women are a common site at Bolivian markets.
You can begin your program with either a three-day visit to the
high mountain valleys and spectacular Inca sites in and around
Machu Picchu in Peru, or our seven-day Bolivia
Join our Bolivia program to visit the heartland of South
America's most traditional country, have direct contact with its
Aymara people, trek amidst the vestiges of the Inca Empire, and
climb some of the most beautiful peaks on the continent.
Outside magazine says, 'AAI's combined trekking and climbing
program in Bolivia is the perfect introduction to high altitude'.
We agree, and having guided here since 1977, we believe it provides
the richest cultural experience and highest quality glacier
climbing in the entire range.
After spending a day in La Paz, we drive east into the Cordillera
Real, gaining beautiful views of Illimani. Andrew Wexler
The program has three parts, and you can join us for one, two,
or all three parts. The first part,
Bolivia Trek - La
Paz and Cordillera Real, is a great mountain trip in itself as
well as perfect preparation for the climbing in the second part, Bolivia - Huayna
Potosi Skills Expedition, and optional final part, Bolivia - Illimani
Expedition. If you have family members or friends who aren't
climbers but who love to hike or trek, consider inviting them to
join you for explorations in La Paz and the outstanding trekking in
this seven-day program.
The Institute also offers expeditions for experienced alpinists
to four of the most important summits on the continent. The
Illampu Expedition in Bolivia runs simultaneously with Bolivia
- Huayna Potosi Skills Expedition and can also be preceded
by the Cuzco/Machu
Picchu trip and the Bolivia Trek - La
Paz and Cordillera Real. Expeditions to Huascaran and Alpamayo in
Peru follow the Cuzco/Machu
Picchu tour. AAI
also leads two-week trips of first ascents and new routes for
experienced climbers in remote areas of Bolivia's Cordillera
Real. Bolivia Trek - La Paz and Cordillera Real Cost and Dates
1430 - Part 1 only
1330 ($100 discount), if combined with Bolivia - Huayna Potosi Expedition.
Climbers who register for Parts 1 and 2 will receive a $100 discount on
both courses for a total discount of $200! The price for Parts 1 and 2 together is $4470.
Total tuition for all three Bolivia Expedition parts:
Prices are based on a minimum of 4 people per trip part. Contact the AAI office at 360-671-1505 (Toll Free: 1-800-424-2249) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing on smaller groups.
Max Ratio - 8:1 (Climber:Guide)
Capacity - 14 Program Cost Inclusions and Exclusions
Inclusions: Land transportation; hotel in La Paz and Cuzco and tents while trekking - all on a shared basis (available on a private basis, subject to availability and at added cost); meals while trekking; admissions to archaeological zones; group cooking equipment; group trekking equipment.
Exclusions: Airfare; personal equipment; meals except while trekking; gratuities to guides; insurance; expenses incurred because of late arrival or early departure; evacuation costs; government and airport taxes; inoculations; excess baggage. 2017 La Paz and Cordillera Real Trek Dates
Part 1 – May 20 - 26, 2017
Part 1 – June 17 - 23, 2017
Part 1 – July 15 - 21, 2017
Part 1 – Aug 12 - 18, 2017
( Filling ) 2017 Dates for Parts 1 - 3
Good general physical fitness is required as well as previous experience camping in the backcountry, and experience hiking in the mountains.
Flight arrangements should be scheduled so that you arrive in La Paz on the first scheduled day of the trip. Please schedule your departure so that you leave the day after the last scheduled day of the trip. Please contact our
Travel Coordinator, Lisa Grief, if you need assistance with travel arrangements.
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