On the way to three beautiful lagoons
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 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.
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.
Moreover you can observe here sunbathing plains vizcacha – typical rodent in Altiplano.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunset over Sajama
Especially the sunset over Sajama is impressive.
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