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La Paz - Lagunillas - Mil Curvas - Pelecucho
Description: This trek will take you to the splendid Apolobamba mountain range, at the territory of the Kallawayas, the last ethnical trace of the landlords of Tiwanaku, whose language, the Pukina, is still spoken.
Traversing the Apolobamba mountain range, between 4000 and 5000m in altitude, the western side of the trek will show permanent snows whilst to the east the deep valleys descend into the Amazon basin.
Departure from the hotel in a private 4x4 vehicle where we shall pass along the mythical Titicaca Lake route before going across numerous villages of the altiplano. We shall be able to visit the chapels at the villages of Carabuco and Escoma, described as the Bolivian «Sixtines». Then, after a stop for lunch, several gorges and hairpin turns, we will reach the summit, to admire the Apolobamba mountain range and its imposing peak, the Akamani (5666m).
At mid afternoon we reach the locality of Charazani, where we can enjoy its hot springs. After some additional hours in 4x4 and from one village to another, we arrive to the small town of Lagunillas.
Lunch on our way before spending the night in the comfortable lodging at Lagunillas (showers, fire place ).
This is from where the altitude trek starts with passage by several gorges between 4500 and 5000m (at least two gorges per day). From 5 to 7 hours trekking per day. Good physical condition indispensable.
After breakfast, departure from the lodge for a walk towards Curva (3780m). The village remains the most typical site of the region; with stone houses, local Indians in traditional garments. We shall visit the medicasters' hospital, where practitioners always heal using the plants of the region. A two hour's stroll take us to the site called Jatunpampa, where we shall have our lunch, accompanied by the murmur of the brook nearby, and by abundant fauna (llamas, viscachas etc). Our road continues with the ascent of two gorges; the Moyokaka (4500m) and the Tambillo (4700m) which we shall climb respectively in 2 and 3 hours. In the distance, we shall see the Royal Mountain Range. We descend to the valley where we shall set up our first camp (Incacancha 4100m).
After breakfast, we depart from our camp for an abrupt ascent of about 2 hours (Mil Curvas gorge- 4585m). We arrive to a small altitude lagoon, where the silence of the mountains nearby is incredible.
We shall have lunch in the valley at the foot of gold mines, and at the beginning of the afternoon we shall be engaged with the second gorge of the day (Viscachani gorge, 4825m). The summit of the Huayna Sunchulli will slowly appear in front of us.
After an hour's descent, we shall reach the gold mine «the Virgin of the Rosary» where we can find miners in their environment, and eventually buy some nuggets of the precious metal. Finally, a promenade at the end of the day by the «pueblo perdido» (lost town) near the mine where the Spaniards built their lodgings. Camp.
From here we climb along a steep hill to reach the Sunchulli gorge (4905m) in about 2 hours time. A small lagoon appears like a picture before us, at the foot of an imposing snow mountain. Once more, we discover gold miners.
A slight descent, and it's time for lunch. Early in the afternoon, after a two hour trek which will lead us to the Koppe gorge (4930m) where we shall be delighted with the lunar landscapes of the valley of Azanjoce and a superb panorama of the Andes. Pauchi Cocho camp at 3700m is reached after a descent of 2 hours.
Today, three successive gorges await us; Pichuara 4370m, Quimza Cruz 4550m, and Pelechuco 4700 m. We descend to the valley of the Hilo Hilo River to start a nearly 5 hours ascent, at the end of which we shall attain the culminating point of the day (the Pelechuco gorge). We traverse across picturesque villages with small huts that have straw roofs and, if we are lucky, we shall perhaps see the flight of a condor.
After a long descent towards Pelechuco (2 hours), now we can see the imposing Katantica. At 5560m the mountain dominates the valley wherein we penetrate. Arrival to Pelechuco at the end of the afternoon.
We spend the night at a basic lodge.
Departure from Pelechuco for our return in private 4x4 to La Paz, passing by the National Park of Ulla-Ulla and the Cololo Lake (a 9 hrs journey).
We shall appreciate the fauna and specially hundreds of vicunas, llamas and other camelids. Lunch on our way before arriving to La Paz.