Chile

Hike Lagunas de Altura

On the way to three beautiful lagoons

Petr Liška
Wrote 1365 articles and follows him / her 37 travelers
Hike Lagunas de Altura
Inserted: 31.03.2014
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

This beautiful and surprisingly not frequently walked hike around high-lying altiplano lagoons leads on both sides of the border between Bolivia and Chile. During this hike you will enjoy not only the beautiful lagoons, but also amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes with impressive Sajama at the forefront. This description follows on the trip /way/ leading from the village of Sajama to fumaroles.

The outlook of Sajama

From the fumaroles you will ascend through the small valley. In the place where the valley seems to be divided into two parts, walk on the left side. The path will gradually begin to rise into the pass, over which leads state border. It is definitely worth to turn back during the ascent, because ice peak of the highest mountain in Bolivia – Nevado Sajama is visible again.

The outlook of Sajama
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Lagoon Khasira

The path continues to rise to the small pass (4 870 m asl), where border post is staked. Below you is beautiful lagoon Khasira (4 844 m asl) lying already in Chile. The descent to it is really short.

Lagoon Khasira
Author: Jan Miklín © gigaplaces.com

At lagoon Khasira

Lagoon Khasira is suitable watching altiplano flora – around you are marshy bofedals, fortunately still frozen in the morning, green Llaret and yellow grass.

At lagoon Khasira
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Plains vizcacha

Moreover you can observe here sunbathing plains vizcacha – typical rodent in Altiplano.

Plains vizcacha
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Above Khasira

At lagoon Khasira you must be well oriented – the main "smugglers' trail leads further along the lagoon towards the interior of Chile. But you have to ascend up along a small stream, which supplies water to the lagoon.

Above Khasira
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Lagoon Sorapata

From the lagoon Khasira it's only a short ascent (about 90 altitude meters) to the next lagoon Sorapata (4 930 m asl). The surrounding area is picturesque, but very bofedaly. So you have to be careful, where you step. Looking back you can see the volcano Pomerape again.

Lagoon Sorapata
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

View to the pass

The way around the lagoon Sorapata continues to the highest pass on this hike, which is nicely visible from the lake.

View to the pass
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Volcanoes and lagoons

After you ascend to the pass (5 040 m asl), over which leads the border (so you get back to Bolivia again), it is worth not to descend right away to the last lagoon Chiar Khota, but ascend along the ridge to a great outlook point of the surrounding volcanic area. You can ascend along comfortable path to more than 5 150 meters above sea level. From there you will see not only both lagoons, around which you walked a moment ago, but also Pomerape and Parinacota volcanoes in the distance.

Volcanoes and lagoons
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

The descent to the lagoon Chiar Khota

Then awaits you only a descent through barren moonscape to the lagoon Chiar Khota. The horizon is lined by Patilla Pata mountain in pastel colors.

The descent to the lagoon Chiar Khota
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Chiar Khota and Sajama

Once you come to the lagoon Chiar Khota (4 998 m asl), you will be captivated by beautiful view of the highest mountain in Bolivia – volcano Sajama, which seems to be towering directly across the lake. In fact, it is almost 20 kilometers away as the crow flies. This is the last big attraction on this hike, so if you have some time, enjoy it here before you set out for the final descent and return to the village of Sajama.

Chiar Khota and Sajama
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

The descent through the valley

The way back looks very simple at first glance – only descend through the canyon back to the upland plain and get back to the village. But there is virtually no well-trodden path down at Chiar Khota and you will have to overcome some easy climbing passages. The path finally appears down in the valley, as well as the constant view of the volcano Sajama.

The descent through the valley
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Evening below the volcanoes

After you descend to the upland plain, a few tiring kilometers on the way back will be waiting for you. If you don´t happen to hitchhike a jeep, you will probably arrive very late. At least you will be able to enjoy the sunset over the volcanoes.

Evening below the volcanoes
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Sunset over Sajama

Especially the sunset over Sajama is impressive.

Sunset over Sajama
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

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Practical information

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