Bolivia

Ascent to Licancabur Volcano

The most beautiful volcano far and wide

Petr Liška
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Ascent to Licancabur Volcano
Inserted: 04.09.2013
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Everyone who stops at the famous lookout over Laguna Verde admires the reflection of the beautiful volcano Licancabur on its amazingly colored surface. Some of them then desire to ascent to the volcano and have a look far and wide around volcanic Southwest Altiplano. In addition, the ascent is not technically difficult, but at first you need to acclimate well as the peak reaches nearly 6,000 meters above sea level. This ascend needs to be arranged before the start of the salar tour.

Sairecabur

Day of ascent to Licancabur usually begins with wake-up at about two o'clock in the morning in the hostel over Laguna Blanca. For breakfast is usually served maté de coca + cacti broth for easier overcoming of altitude. Then follows about 11 kilometers long jeep ride around both lagoons Blanca and Verde to the road leading to the pass between Licancabur and Juriques. Jeep ends its journey in front of a small cleft at a height of 4,628 meters above sea level, so there are still 1300 altitude meters to the top. Around 3:30 begins the ascent itself along relatively well-beaten path without technical passages. The way in the dark passes well, it is slowly starting to dawn and there are views of the surrounding volcanoes and lagoons. The first lights up neighboring volcano Sairecabur, which is „small“ peak towering above ancient gigantic caldera. It may not look so, but this peak is a few meters higher than Licancabur.

Sairecabur
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

Sunrise at Laguna Verde

Later on begins to open a beautiful view of the surrounding volcanic world.

Sunrise at Laguna Verde
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

The massif of Sairecabur

The standard time for the ascent is about 5 hours, which can be very easily managed. From the top, already at a daylight, you can clearly see the whole massif of Sairecabur together with „smugglers“ path connecting Chile with Bolivia and jeep road leading from Chile up to the caldera of the volcano and further into the pass below the peak up to a height of 5,750 meters above sea level – so the ascent itself would not need to be very difficult :-)

The massif of Sairecabur
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

Laguna Verde and Blanca from the top

  Laguna Verde gets its classic color with the rising sun. From the top you can see the far on the horizon also the highest mountain in the whole area – Volcano Uturuncu. Quite interesting are views of the clouds of dust rising from the jeeps that set off so early in the morning from Laguna Verde to the landscape Salvator Dali.

Laguna Verde and Blanca from the top
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

The lake in the crater

  The lake in the crater of Licancabur (5 916 m above sea level) is considered as one of the highest in the world at all and can be only rarely seen unfrozen.

The lake in the crater
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

Volcano Juriques

Right next is another interesting volcano with "shoot-off“peak – Juriques volcano ( 5704 m asl). Were it not for the explosion, it would probably be much higher than Licancabur. Not it is in its significant shadow.

Volcano Juriques
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

Descent with views

Descend through scree glen is very fast. It takes only about an hour before tourist „runs down“ back to the jeep. But even so, you must be very careful, especially during south american winter, when there are snow fields and icy cairns. Because even here there have been fatalities.

Descent with views
Author: Lukáš Hůlka © gigaplaces.com

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