Bolivia

Hike to Quebrada Palala

Valley of rock formations

Petr Liška
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Hike to Quebrada Palala
Inserted: 03.02.2014
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

One of the most popular trips from Tupiza is a hike to the valley quebrada Palala in the northwest of the town. You will see here an incredible number of different weathered rock towers rising above the wide rocky river bottom. A number of other smaller valleys turn from the valley, so there is countless number of possibilities for exploring the local area. Just be sure to take plenty of water and food with you as there will definitely not be any food stalls along the way.

Gateway to the valley Palala

It is about three kilometers walk through the suburbs of Tupiza from the town center – by road or on track torso – to the place where the river Palala broke its way through red rock ridge. From here slowly begins the interesting part of this trip.

Gateway to the valley Palala
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Surrounding of the gateway to the valley

You can see rock towers around you. From here you will walk only about a kilometer along a dusty road leading to Altiplano before this road turns sharply left and begins to rise along the surrounding ridges.

Surrounding of the gateway to the valley
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Rock cathedral

Along the way you will pass „rock cathedral“ with perpendicular rock wall, which is a few tens of meters high. Even here you can see the beginning of erosion. There will be just a group of isolated towers from stronger material in a few thousand years.

Rock cathedral
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Walk in semi-desert landscape

The walk leads through half-deserted landscape, but it is fortunately not so hot here thanks to the altitude of almost 3,100 meters above sea level. On the horizon is already visible the first destination of this trip – rocky towns in the hillside of much higher hills.

Walk in semi-desert landscape
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Altiplano donkeys

You will probably not meet anyone in the remote parts of  quebrada. But there will be a lot of half-wild animals – altiplano donkeys, llamas, dogs, goats…

Altiplano donkeys
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Rock towers above quebrada

It's eight kilometers of walking from the red rock arches to the rock towns, so this trip is not very short and you also need to count with the way back. Some people come here in jeeps or on horseback, but they cannot enjoy possible ascents to worse accessible outlooks then.

Rock towers above quebrada
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Rock town El Silar

The closer you are to the end of the valley, the more impressive are the rock formations around you.

Rock town El Silar
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Junction at the rock castle

After more than two hours walk from Tupiza you come to the junction of valleys below another impressive rock castle at about (3 350 m asl). If you turn left, you will reach the starting point – so-called „Tube Sillar trek“ – the way to breathtaking outlooks of El Sillar and to forgotten valleys. To the right is a small rock town, which is also worth a visit.

Junction at the rock castle
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Rock needle

If you turn right at the crossroads, you will come to the amazing rock needle having height more than twenty meters. But compared to the neighboring rock castle it looks like a little crumb.

Rock needle
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Rock walls

It is almost impossible to ascent to most local hills due to rock towns. If you want get to an outlook point, you need to get further and deeper into the side valleys.

Rock walls
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Practical information

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