Venture deep into the Cordillera Real, one of the most isolated, unpopulated mountain ranges in the world. Explore the ruins of Tiwanaku, a pre-Columbian city inhabited by an advanced civilization. Travel on to Lake Titicaca, one of the most sacred places in Andean culture. Then, climb above the ruins into the clouds, where you'll cross six mountain passes up to 16,552' and spend seven nights camping under the stars. Experience nature's grandeur and civilization's sacred sites on this unforgettable Andean adventure.
Trek beneath breathtaking 20,000-foot peaks in one of the world's most unexplored mountain regions
Discover a pristine wilderness of translucent glaciers, tranquil alpine valleys, and sparkling glacial lakes
Visit Tiwanaku, Bolivia's most important archaeological site and the heart of a pre-Inca empire
Meet your MT Sobek representative at El Alto airport and transfer to your hotel. Later, take a walking tour that starts with a short visit to the cemetery and continues on to several local markets. The tour concludes at San Pedro Square, where the well-known San Pedro prison is located. Afterwards, take an unforgettable ride on the Teleférico cable car for an eagle-eye view of the city.
Transfer to Valle de Las Ánimas, or "Valley of the Spirits," and 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.
Witness the highlands and the Aymaran way of life during your drive from La Paz to Tiwanaku, Bolivia's most important archaeological site and the heart of a pre-Inca empire. Visit the fascinating ruins there, including Kalasasaya Temple, Ponce and Fraile monoliths, and Akapana pyramid. Continue driving to Copacabana, a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Visit the church - a Catholic pilgrimage site - and the famous Virgen Morena. Afterwards, boat to the Island of the Sun and see the ruins of Pilkokaina, an Inca temple. Finally, hike to La Estancia with a wonderful view of Lake Titicaca.
Hike to the village of Yumani and catch a boat to the Island of the Moon - believed to be where the deity Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon - and visit the ruins of Iñak Uyu. Continue by boat 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. Roam La Chinkana ruins and take a short hike to Challapampa, then travel by boat to Challa. After visiting a cultural museum, hike uphill to our unique ecolodge. Spend the afternoon enjoying the peace and beauty of this mystical place.
Hike to the village of Yumani. From here, take a 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. Explore Sorata's steep stairways and quaint cobblestone streets, all in the shadow of Illampu (20,892').
After a hearty breakfast, begin a 5-hour trek toward the village of Lakatia (12,960'). The views here are exceptional, and many travelers find them similar to the Himalayas. Cross the Rio Lakatia and continue zigzagging uphill to Lakatia, where you will camp under the stars in an open meadow.
Leaving the lowland vegetation behind, hike steadily uphill and enter the typical environs of the Andean cordilleras. Cross the high pass of Huila Khota (16,030') and descend to camp at 15,100', the base camp for Illampu ascents.
Enjoy diverse scenic views of the Andes. After about two hours of hiking in the surroundings of Illampu, continue on to Cocoyo Pass (15,720'), then descend to a beautiful plain above the village near a stream confluence.
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.
Traverse the eastern massif, moving up and across Paso La Calzada (16,552') along the Calzada Road. When you reach the southeast side of the Cordillera, take in 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.
Enjoy breathtaking lake and mountain views as we cross another challenging 16,000-foot pass and set up camp above Laguna San Francisco, a beautiful lake near Rinconada and Condor Jahuira. After today's tough hike, Laguna San Francisco is the perfect spot to rest our tired feet.
Trek northwest toward Laguna San Francisco, cross your last pass at 15,600', and continue in the foothills of the mountain called Jankohuma. Descend to the head of the Millipaya Valley, enjoying a colorful view of the terraces, the altiplano, and Lake Titicaca. Arrive at your campsite located just above Alto Lohena (12,770'), close to Millipaya village.
Take a 4-hour drive to La Paz, where a festive and well-deserved farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant.
Transfer to La Paz airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.
15% Early Bird Savings?
MT Sobek has been designing pioneering high-altitude trekking adventures across the globe for 50 years and is a trusted leader in mountain exploration.
This ultimate challenge adventure has been carefully designed to test your mettle in one of South America's most beautiful and unexplored mountain ranges.
We work with expert local guiding teams who have over 45 years' experience leading groups through the Cordillera Real.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Strenuous high-altitude hiking between 6 to 8 hours a day, plus boat rides to the islands of Lake Titicaca.
Enjoy seven nights in comfortable camps with spacious tents and sleeping pads, bookended by stays in charming, comfortable hotels.
Summer temperatures are moderate, but it will be cooler higher with potential snow above 13,000'. Daytime temperatures are between 40°F-65°F with nighttime temperatures below 32°F.
This trek is supported! We have pack animals and porters to transport our gear so all you'll need to hike with is a daypack.
Trekking or dry season in Bolivia is May-September. Temperatures don't fluctuate much throughout the year, but rain and snowfall does. The fluctuations in temperatures are more closely tied to the elevations — the higher you hike, the cooler it gets!
We will be tent camping in roomy but basic 3-person tents, and will also have a dining tent and a toilet tent set up at each site.
We design our treks to maximize altitude conditioning in the early part of the trek.
It is based on availability - the sooner we know, the more likely we are able to confirm the single tent. There will be an additional cost.
Yes, all US travelers are required to apply for a visa online.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."
Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guests
"We have traveled throughout the world, but never experienced a level of service and attention to detail as we did with MT Sobek."
MT Sobek Guest