Trekking Bolivia's Cordillera Real

Overview

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

  • Arrive: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Depart: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Group Size: 4-16 Guests
  • Minimum Age: 17 Years Old

Itinerary

  • Day01

    Arrive in La Paz

    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.

  • Day02

    Hike to Cañón de Palca

    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.

    • Accommodation: La Casona Hotel Boutique
    • Activity: 3 hours/6 miles hiking with 1,640' elevation loss
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day03

    Visit Ruins & Sacred Lake Titicaca

    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.

    • Accommodation: Ecolodge La Estancia
    • Activity: 45 minutes/1 mile hiking with 524' elevation gain
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer & 1-hour boat ride
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day04

    Explore the Sun & Moon Islands

    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.

    • Accommodation: Ecolodge La Estancia
    • Activity: 2.5 hours/1 mile hiking with 524' elevation gain
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour boat transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day05

    Journey Across the Altiplano

    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').

    • Accommodation: Hotel Altai Oasis
    • Activity: 45 minutes/1.5 miles hiking with 524' elevation loss
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour boat transfer & 6-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day06

    Hike to Lakatia

    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.

  • Day07

    Hike to Aguas Calientes

    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.

  • Day08

    Hike to Cocoyo

    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.

  • Day09

    Hike to 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.

  • Day10

    Hike to Laguna Chaca

    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.

  • Day11

    Hike to Laguna San Francisco

    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.

  • Day12

    Hike to Alto Lohena

    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.

  • Day13

    Transfer to La Paz

    Take a 4-hour drive to La Paz, where a festive and well-deserved farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant.

  • Day14

    Depart from La Paz

    Transfer to La Paz airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.

    • Meals: Breakfast
Want to extend your adventure?
Contact our Regional Specialists for more travel ideas!

Upcoming Departures

  • AvailableAug 25 - Sep 07, 2019
View More Departure Dates
From: $5,895.00 What's Included?
14 Days
Book This Trip Build your own

Got Questions?
Speak with an expert.

Tanya Rao

MT Sobek Regional Specialist

1.888.831.7526CallEmail

Trekking Bolivia's Cordillera Real Map

Open Map

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been designing pioneering high-altitude trekking adventures across the globe for 50 years and is a trusted leader in mountain exploration.

Reason #02

This ultimate challenge adventure has been carefully designed to test your mettle in one of South America's most beautiful and unexplored mountain ranges.

Reason #03

We work with expert local guiding teams who have over 45 years' experience leading groups through the Cordillera Real.

Meet Our Guides

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.

What To Expect

  • Activities

    Strenuous high-altitude hiking between 6 to 8 hours a day, plus boat rides to the islands of Lake Titicaca.

  • Lodging

    Enjoy seven nights in comfortable camps with spacious tents and sleeping pads, bookended by stays in charming, comfortable hotels.

  • Climate

    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.

FAQ

  • Is this trek supported or do I have to carry all my gear?

    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.

  • When is the best time to go and what is the weather like?

    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!

  • What are the MT Sobek camps like and will there be toilets?

    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.

  • What happens if I get altitude sickness?

    We design our treks to maximize altitude conditioning in the early part of the trek.

  • Can I have a single tent?

    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.

  • Do I need visa to travel to Bolivia?

    Yes, all US travelers are required to apply for a visa online.

Dates & Pricing

Pricing Dates

Scheduled Dates

  • Available
    Aug 25 - Sep 07, 2019

Customize Your Trip

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!

Book This Trip Customize A Trip
2019
$5,895.00 Price per person

Additional Cost

  • $500.00 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner (hotels only)
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary specialty camping gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • 1 dinner on Day 2
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of the group transfer
  • Optional travel protection

Testimonials

  • "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."

    Dennis G.

    MT Sobek Guest

Newsletter Sign-Up

Be the first to hear about exciting new adventures, last minute trip opportunities, special events and more.

Sign Up

Contact a Regional Specialist

Do you have any questions? Need help picking your next adventure? An expert is always here to help.

1.888.831.7526 Live Chat
sharebed twinbed fullsizebed