New! Trekking Bolivia's Cordillera Real | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New! Trekking Bolivia's Cordillera Real

Trip Length 14 days

From $5,595

  • Trek beneath breathtaking 20,000-foot snowy peaks in the Andes’ “Royal” range, one of the world’s most unexplored mountain regions, on this Ultimate Challenge adventure
  • Discover a pristine wilderness of translucent glaciers, tranquil alpine valleys with sparkling lakes, and stunning views of sacred Lake Titicaca
  • Visit La Paz, the world’s highest capital city, and Tiwanaku, Bolivia’s most important archaeological site and the heart of a pre-Inca empire

Venture deep into the Cordillera Real—South America’s royal range of 600 princely summits and one of the most isolated, unpopulated mountain ranges in the world. We begin in La Paz, which offers a fascinating blend of Latin flavors and cultures. From there, explore Tiwanaku—dating back to 1580BC—among the most important and advanced civilizations of the ancient world. Travel on to Lake Titicaca, where the world was created, according to Incan mythology. Then climb above the ruins into the clouds. On this 14-day trip, we cross six mountain passes up to 16,552 feet and spend seven nights camping under the stars at up to 15,214 feet. Experience nature’s grandeur and civilization’s sacred sites on this unforgettable Andean adventure.

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

A representative will meet you at El Alto airport, the world’s highest international airport at 13,115 feet above sea level. Enjoy beautiful views of the city on our short drive to the hotel.

After settling into the hotel, we'll set off on a unique visit to the popular neighborhoods and markets of La Paz, guided by a “lustra bota,” or “shoeshiner,” who will provide rare insight into this fascinating city. The walking tour starts with a short visit to the cemetery, continuing on to the Fish Street Market, the Flower Market and the Uruguay Market, where we'll see various species of birds and animals—and, of course, amazing local food. The tour continues to Eloy Salmón Street lined with shops and stalls selling the latest technology and to the Cholitas Market, where indigenous women can be seen shopping for traditional skirts and blankets. Next, we visit the popular Belen Dining Room and Rodriguez Market. The tour concludes at San Pedro Square, where the well-known San Pedro prison is located. Following the tour is a Teleférico (cable car) ride—the highest in the world—for an unforgettable eagle-eye view of the city!

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 2: “Valley of the Spirits” and Palca Canyon

Transfer to Valle de Las Ánimas, or “Valley of the Spirits,” where we begin a 3-hour hike among the eerily eroded canyons and fantastic organ-pipe spires to the Cañón de Palca. The scenery resembles that of Valley of the Moon, but on a larger scale. Lush oases spring up among the dramatic rock formations, adding to this unique landscape.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 3: Tiwanaku – Copacabana – Sun Island

Today we'll drive 1½ hours (45 miles) from La Paz to Tiwanaku, witnessing the highlands and the Aymaran way of life. Dating back to 1580BC—1200AC, Tiwanaku was one of the most important pre-Inca civilizations and among the most advanced at the time. The main ruins we’ll visit are Kalasasaya Temple and the Gate of the Sun, Ponce and Fraile monoliths, Akapana pyramid and a semi-underground temple.

Next we'll continue driving through the highlands, traveling parallel to the Andes Royal Range until reaching Copacabana, a beautiful town in the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is South America’s largest lake and the center of the Andes’ most important pre-Hispanic cultures. We’ll visit the church, well known as a Catholic pilgrimage site, and the famous Virgen Morena. Afterwards, we'll travel by motor boat to the legendary Island of the Sun and the ruins of Pilkokaina, an Inca temple. Finally we hike to La Estancia with a wonderful view of Lake Titicaca.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ecolodge La Estancia

Day 4: Moon Island – Sun Island

This morning we'll take a beautiful sunrise boat ride to the Island of the Moon. We’ll explore the Iñak Uyu ruins, then continue by boat north to Sun Island, the largest of Lake Titcaca's islands. The Incas believed the sun god was born here, and modern life still eludes the island. The rocky hills have eucalyptus trees, but no cars or paved roads. Most of the more than eighty ruins are from the 15th century AD. We’ll roam La Chinkana ruins, and take a short hike to Challapampa, then travel by boat to Challa. After visiting a cultural museum, we hike uphill to our unique ecolodge. This afternoon you’re free to enjoy the peace and beauty of this mystical place.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ecolodge La Estancia

Day 5: Sun Island – Moon Island – Copacabana – Sorata

Today begins with a hike down through the village of Yumani, from where'll take at boat to the Island of the Moon. Legends in Inca mythology refer to the island as the location where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon and the highlight of our visit will be a trip to visit the ruins of Iñak Uyu Inca temple. Afterwards we'll take a 1½-hour boat ride to Copacabana and then drive for 6 hours across the expansive high altiplano with views of snowcapped mountains, eventually culminating in the spectacular Illampu-Ancohuma massif (the northernmost section of the Cordillera Real), which looms above Sorata (8,840'). Explore Sorata's steep stairways and quaint cobblestone streets, all in the shadow of Illampu (20,892’).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Altai Oasis

Day 6: Sorata – Lakatia

After a hearty breakfast, we'll begin our 5-hour trek toward the village of Lakatia (12,960’). The views here are exceptional and many travelers find them similar to the Himalayas. We will cross the Rio Lakatia and continue zigzagging uphill until we reach Lakatia, where we camp under the stars in an open meadow.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 7: Lakatia – Aguas Calientes

Today we'll continue steadily uphill, leaving the lowland vegetation behind and entering the typical environs of the Andean cordilleras. Cross the high pass of Huila Khota (16,030’) and descend to camp at 15,100 feet, the base camp for Illampu ascents.

(Hiking time: 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Cocoyo

Our hike continues as we enjoy diverse scenic views of the Andes. After about two hours of hiking in the surroundings of Illampu, we continue on to Cocoyo Pass (15,720’), then descend to a beautiful plain above the village near a stream confluence.

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 9: Cocoyo - Chajolpaya

Cross Paso Sarani (15,580’) while enjoying amazing views of the Cordillera Real. Descend in the direction of the valley that divides the hills of the Calzada and Umma, Jalanta, and Kasiri peaks. Camp on an isolated plateau (13,214’) in the middle of this splendid valley.

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 10: Chajolpaya – Laguna Chaca

Traverse the eastern massif today, moving up and across Paso La Calzada (16,552’) along the Calzada Road. We eventually reach the southeast side of the Cordillera, where we have a spectacular view of most of the altiplano and Lake Titicaca on the opposite side. We'll camp close to Laguna Cacha (15,214’), our destination for the evening.

(Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 11: Laguna Chaca – Laguna San Francisco

Enjoy wonderful lake and mountain views as we cross another 16,000-foot pass and camp above Laguna San Francisco.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 12: Laguna San Francisco – Alto Lohena

We trek northwest toward Laguna San Francisco, cross our last pass at 15,600 feet, and continue in the foothills of the mountain called Jankohuma. Descend to the head of the Millipaya Valley, enjoying a very colorful view of the terraces, the altiplano and Lake Titicaca. Our destination is a campsite located just above Alto Lohena (12,770’), close to Millipaya village.

(Hiking time: 6 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 13: Alto Lohena – La Paz

This morning we'll take a 4½-hour drive to La Paz, where a festive and well-deserved farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 14: Depart from La Paz

Transfer to La Paz airport and depart on homeward-bound flights (your flight can depart at any time).

  • Breakfast

Jun 02 - 15, 2018

Aug 25, 2018 - Sep 07, 2018

pricing

Land Cost
$5,595 (5-12 members)
$300 single supplement

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Ecolodge La Estancia — Lake Titicaca

La Estancia is a unique ecolodge on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca. It combines Andean architecture with modern comforts while respecting the harmony of the environment and indigenous people. Fifteen cabins were constructed with adobe brick and thatch roofs, and use only solar power. Set between pre-Inca agricultural terraces, they offer spectacular views of the lake, Moon Island, and the Andes range. The lodge has a restaurant and bar, where you can savor local dishes and drinks while basking in the wonder of one of the most sacred places in Andean culture.

Hotel Altai Oasis — Sorata

The Altai is a family-owned eco lodge offering charming architecture and amazing views of snowcapped Illampu. The onsite restaurant is renowned for its delicious cuisine—including home-made jam and T-bone steaks—sourced mostly from the lodge’s own organic farm. Relax in a hammock or in the bar/lounge, swim in the pool or stroll the beautiful grounds. The worries of modern civilization seem a world away in this secluded, peaceful oasis!

La Casona Hotel Boutique — La Paz

Set in a colonial-style mansion only 50 feet from San Francisco Square, La Casona places you right in the heart of La Paz. From here it’s an easy walk to the cathedral, markets, and hip cafes. But the hotel itself is an experience. Gabled roofs, grotto-like rooms, a courtyard, and warm Spanish décor add to the historic charm. The excellent restaurant specializes in Mediterranean and regional dishes, and the rooftop terrace is the perfect setting for relaxing with a drink above the bustling city streets.

MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Trekking Bolivia’s Cordillera Real means discovering a pristine wilderness, complete with gorgeous alpine valleys and translucent glaciers. During the course of the trek MTS guests have the ability to trek off the beaten path and enjoy camps set up each night below the Andes' Royal Range—one of Bolivia's least explored areas. Utilizing spacious Timberline SQ tents, sleeping pads, and a tranquil setting, adventurers enjoy a comfortable camping experience. Delicious food is served each night, as guests can enjoy a selection of authentic Bolivian food and drink before retiring to their tents for a good night’s rest, far from civilization.

  • Trek beneath breathtaking 20,000-foot snowy peaks in the Andes’ “Royal” range, one of the world’s most unexplored mountain regions, on this Ultimate Challenge adventure
  • Discover a pristine wilderness of translucent glaciers, tranquil alpine valleys with sparkling lakes, and stunning views of sacred Lake Titicaca
  • Visit La Paz, the world’s highest capital city, and Tiwanaku, Bolivia’s most important archaeological site and the heart of a pre-Inca empire

Venture deep into the Cordillera Real—South America’s royal range of 600 princely summits and one of the most isolated, unpopulated mountain ranges in the world. We begin in La Paz, which offers a fascinating blend of Latin flavors and cultures. From there, explore Tiwanaku—dating back to 1580BC—among the most important and advanced civilizations of the ancient world. Travel on to Lake Titicaca, where the world was created, according to Incan mythology. Then climb above the ruins into the clouds. On this 14-day trip, we cross six mountain passes up to 16,552 feet and spend seven nights camping under the stars at up to 15,214 feet. Experience nature’s grandeur and civilization’s sacred sites on this unforgettable Andean adventure.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

A representative will meet you at El Alto airport, the world’s highest international airport at 13,115 feet above sea level. Enjoy beautiful views of the city on our short drive to the hotel.

After settling into the hotel, we'll set off on a unique visit to the popular neighborhoods and markets of La Paz, guided by a “lustra bota,” or “shoeshiner,” who will provide rare insight into this fascinating city. The walking tour starts with a short visit to the cemetery, continuing on to the Fish Street Market, the Flower Market and the Uruguay Market, where we'll see various species of birds and animals—and, of course, amazing local food. The tour continues to Eloy Salmón Street lined with shops and stalls selling the latest technology and to the Cholitas Market, where indigenous women can be seen shopping for traditional skirts and blankets. Next, we visit the popular Belen Dining Room and Rodriguez Market. The tour concludes at San Pedro Square, where the well-known San Pedro prison is located. Following the tour is a Teleférico (cable car) ride—the highest in the world—for an unforgettable eagle-eye view of the city!

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 2: “Valley of the Spirits” and Palca Canyon

Transfer to Valle de Las Ánimas, or “Valley of the Spirits,” where we begin a 3-hour hike among the eerily eroded canyons and fantastic organ-pipe spires to the Cañón de Palca. The scenery resembles that of Valley of the Moon, but on a larger scale. Lush oases spring up among the dramatic rock formations, adding to this unique landscape.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 3: Tiwanaku – Copacabana – Sun Island

Today we'll drive 1½ hours (45 miles) from La Paz to Tiwanaku, witnessing the highlands and the Aymaran way of life. Dating back to 1580BC—1200AC, Tiwanaku was one of the most important pre-Inca civilizations and among the most advanced at the time. The main ruins we’ll visit are Kalasasaya Temple and the Gate of the Sun, Ponce and Fraile monoliths, Akapana pyramid and a semi-underground temple.

Next we'll continue driving through the highlands, traveling parallel to the Andes Royal Range until reaching Copacabana, a beautiful town in the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is South America’s largest lake and the center of the Andes’ most important pre-Hispanic cultures. We’ll visit the church, well known as a Catholic pilgrimage site, and the famous Virgen Morena. Afterwards, we'll travel by motor boat to the legendary Island of the Sun and the ruins of Pilkokaina, an Inca temple. Finally we hike to La Estancia with a wonderful view of Lake Titicaca.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ecolodge La Estancia

Day 4: Moon Island – Sun Island

This morning we'll take a beautiful sunrise boat ride to the Island of the Moon. We’ll explore the Iñak Uyu ruins, then continue by boat north to Sun Island, the largest of Lake Titcaca's islands. The Incas believed the sun god was born here, and modern life still eludes the island. The rocky hills have eucalyptus trees, but no cars or paved roads. Most of the more than eighty ruins are from the 15th century AD. We’ll roam La Chinkana ruins, and take a short hike to Challapampa, then travel by boat to Challa. After visiting a cultural museum, we hike uphill to our unique ecolodge. This afternoon you’re free to enjoy the peace and beauty of this mystical place.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ecolodge La Estancia

Day 5: Sun Island – Moon Island – Copacabana – Sorata

Today begins with a hike down through the village of Yumani, from where'll take at boat to the Island of the Moon. Legends in Inca mythology refer to the island as the location where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon and the highlight of our visit will be a trip to visit the ruins of Iñak Uyu Inca temple. Afterwards we'll take a 1½-hour boat ride to Copacabana and then drive for 6 hours across the expansive high altiplano with views of snowcapped mountains, eventually culminating in the spectacular Illampu-Ancohuma massif (the northernmost section of the Cordillera Real), which looms above Sorata (8,840'). Explore Sorata's steep stairways and quaint cobblestone streets, all in the shadow of Illampu (20,892’).

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Altai Oasis

Day 6: Sorata – Lakatia

After a hearty breakfast, we'll begin our 5-hour trek toward the village of Lakatia (12,960’). The views here are exceptional and many travelers find them similar to the Himalayas. We will cross the Rio Lakatia and continue zigzagging uphill until we reach Lakatia, where we camp under the stars in an open meadow.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 7: Lakatia – Aguas Calientes

Today we'll continue steadily uphill, leaving the lowland vegetation behind and entering the typical environs of the Andean cordilleras. Cross the high pass of Huila Khota (16,030’) and descend to camp at 15,100 feet, the base camp for Illampu ascents.

(Hiking time: 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Cocoyo

Our hike continues as we enjoy diverse scenic views of the Andes. After about two hours of hiking in the surroundings of Illampu, we continue on to Cocoyo Pass (15,720’), then descend to a beautiful plain above the village near a stream confluence.

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 9: Cocoyo - Chajolpaya

Cross Paso Sarani (15,580’) while enjoying amazing views of the Cordillera Real. Descend in the direction of the valley that divides the hills of the Calzada and Umma, Jalanta, and Kasiri peaks. Camp on an isolated plateau (13,214’) in the middle of this splendid valley.

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 10: Chajolpaya – Laguna Chaca

Traverse the eastern massif today, moving up and across Paso La Calzada (16,552’) along the Calzada Road. We eventually reach the southeast side of the Cordillera, where we have a spectacular view of most of the altiplano and Lake Titicaca on the opposite side. We'll camp close to Laguna Cacha (15,214’), our destination for the evening.

(Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 11: Laguna Chaca – Laguna San Francisco

Enjoy wonderful lake and mountain views as we cross another 16,000-foot pass and camp above Laguna San Francisco.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 12: Laguna San Francisco – Alto Lohena

We trek northwest toward Laguna San Francisco, cross our last pass at 15,600 feet, and continue in the foothills of the mountain called Jankohuma. Descend to the head of the Millipaya Valley, enjoying a very colorful view of the terraces, the altiplano and Lake Titicaca. Our destination is a campsite located just above Alto Lohena (12,770’), close to Millipaya village.

(Hiking time: 6 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Day 13: Alto Lohena – La Paz

This morning we'll take a 4½-hour drive to La Paz, where a festive and well-deserved farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Casona Hotel Boutique

Day 14: Depart from La Paz

Transfer to La Paz airport and depart on homeward-bound flights (your flight can depart at any time).

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Ecolodge La Estancia — Lake Titicaca

La Estancia is a unique ecolodge on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca. It combines Andean architecture with modern comforts while respecting the harmony of the environment and indigenous people. Fifteen cabins were constructed with adobe brick and thatch roofs, and use only solar power. Set between pre-Inca agricultural terraces, they offer spectacular views of the lake, Moon Island, and the Andes range. The lodge has a restaurant and bar, where you can savor local dishes and drinks while basking in the wonder of one of the most sacred places in Andean culture.

Hotel Altai Oasis — Sorata

The Altai is a family-owned eco lodge offering charming architecture and amazing views of snowcapped Illampu. The onsite restaurant is renowned for its delicious cuisine—including home-made jam and T-bone steaks—sourced mostly from the lodge’s own organic farm. Relax in a hammock or in the bar/lounge, swim in the pool or stroll the beautiful grounds. The worries of modern civilization seem a world away in this secluded, peaceful oasis!

La Casona Hotel Boutique — La Paz

Set in a colonial-style mansion only 50 feet from San Francisco Square, La Casona places you right in the heart of La Paz. From here it’s an easy walk to the cathedral, markets, and hip cafes. But the hotel itself is an experience. Gabled roofs, grotto-like rooms, a courtyard, and warm Spanish décor add to the historic charm. The excellent restaurant specializes in Mediterranean and regional dishes, and the rooftop terrace is the perfect setting for relaxing with a drink above the bustling city streets.

MTS Camp — Cordillera Real

Trekking Bolivia’s Cordillera Real means discovering a pristine wilderness, complete with gorgeous alpine valleys and translucent glaciers. During the course of the trek MTS guests have the ability to trek off the beaten path and enjoy camps set up each night below the Andes' Royal Range—one of Bolivia's least explored areas. Utilizing spacious Timberline SQ tents, sleeping pads, and a tranquil setting, adventurers enjoy a comfortable camping experience. Delicious food is served each night, as guests can enjoy a selection of authentic Bolivian food and drink before retiring to their tents for a good night’s rest, far from civilization.

Dates and Pricing

Jun 02 - 15, 2018

Aug 25, 2018 - Sep 07, 2018

pricing

Land Cost
$5,595 (5-12 members)
$300 single supplement

Activity Level Ultimate Challenge
Trip Length 14 days

From $5,595

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