Bolivia Climber

Three challenging climbs in Bolivia's stunning Cordillera Real

20

days

Trek

Climb

From $2,900 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Climb Pequeno Alpamayo (5370m), Huayna Potosi (6088) & Illimani (6438m)
  • Acclimatise with a stunning trek in Cordillera Real
  • Sightseeing in around La Paz, Lake Titicaca and the Isla del Sol
  • The altiplano of Bolivia, probably the wildest part of the Andes!

Arriving into the Bolivian city of La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, it is impossible to ignore the imposing white peak of Illimani (6438m) absolutely dominating the skyline. Marking both the highest point and southern extremity of the 120 kilometre-long Cordillera Real, this challenging peak will provide a fitting finale to our thrilling, 3 week, Bolivia Climber expedition. We begin with sightseeing and acclimatisation time in La Paz and beside the world famous Lake Titicaca, with visits to Inca and pre-Inca ruins and to the Isla del Sol, before beginning our 4 day trek to our first objective, the pleasing shaped Pequeno Alpamayo (5370m). This peak provides a techincally interesting snow climb via its long west-south-west ridge. Then, transferring to the basecamp for Huayna Potosi (6094m), we make a 2-day ascent of this popular mountain before returning to La Paz for a welcome day's rest, before setting out to tackle the crowning glory of Bolivian climbing, Illimani. Only suitable for those with some previous mountaineering experience, this is a superb climbing holiday to the Andes, a mountain range that is famous for reliable weather and perfect snow conditions.

Is this holiday for you?

On this superb climbing holiday in Bolivia you'll encounter a great variety of trekking conditions from easy trails to zig zag paths over scree slopes, boulder fields, and glaciers. During the 3-day approach to the first objective peak, we cross high passes that may be snow covered and at this early stage of the trip, this will be moderately challenging even for experienced hillwalkers. During the climbs, the group will usually be moving as a roped party on glaciated terrain and easy angled snow slopes using crampons. However, the group will also encounter some reasonably long sections of steep snow, which may have ice cover, as well as some short sections on rock.  It should be noted that trekking and climbing at high altitudes makes extra demands on the body.  The ascent of each of the peaks will offer a real mountaineering challenge but the technical difficulty is not high. In terms of conventional alpine grading, Huayna Potosi is PD, Pequeno Alpamayo is PD+, and Illimani is PD+/AD-. Overall, this is an extremely challenging trip and fully merits its high grade.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in La Paz (3500m). Transfers from La Paz Airport are provided.
  • Drive to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. Boat to Isla del Sol and walk to Yumani (3890m)
  • Walk across the Island's spine to the northern end and return by boat to Copacabana (3841m).
  • Walk to Via Crucis for lake views. Afternoon drive to Uros and return to Copacabana (3841m).
  • Drive across the Altiplano and via the Jichukota Valley to Kotia Lake (4420m).
  • Trek across a pass (4720m) and via Mina Ventilla, to Ajwani Lake (4610m).
  • Trek via Milluni Peak (5000m), Sistena Lake and Janchallani Pass (4850m) to Jurikhota Lake (4720m).
  • Trek across the Apacheta Pass (5150m) to Lake Chiarkhota (4682m).
  • Acclimatisation day, Skills training.
  • Climb Pequeno Alpamayo (5379m) and return to Chiarkhota (4682m).
  • Trek to to Tuni village and drive to Zongo Pass (4750m).
  • Trek to 'Campo Rocas' (5170m).
  • Climb Huayna Potosi (6088m). Descend to Zongo Pass (4750m) and drive to La Paz (3500m)
  • Contingency day for possible delays. At leisure in La Paz.
  • Drive to Pinaya (3750m) and trek to Puento Roto (4450m).
  • Trek to the 'Nido de Condores' (5450m).
  • Climb to the Pico Sur summit on Illimani (6438m) and descend to Puente Roto (4450m).
  • Trek to Pinaya (3750m) and drive to La Paz (3500m).
  • Free time in La Paz for sightseeing and/or shopping.
  • Departure day. La Paz Airport transfers provided
2016
Mon 05 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code BOC /03/16/ Adult$2,900 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Bolivia Climber
  • The departure reference for this tour is BOC /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 05 Sep and departs on Sat 24 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $955 - All group hotel and lodge nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $150
2017
Mon 03 Jul - Sat 22 Jul Code BOC /01/17/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Bolivia Climber
  • The departure reference for this tour is BOC /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Mon 03 Jul and departs on Sat 22 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $955 - All group hotel and lodge nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $150
Mon 07 Aug - Sat 26 Aug Code BOC /02/17/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Bolivia Climber
  • The departure reference for this tour is BOC /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Mon 07 Aug and departs on Sat 26 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $955 - All group hotel and lodge nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $150
Mon 04 Sep - Sat 23 Sep Code BOC /03/17/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Bolivia Climber
  • The departure reference for this tour is BOC /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Mon 04 Sep and departs on Sat 23 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $955 - All group hotel and lodge nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $150
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in La Paz. For clients making their own flight arrangements, La Paz airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • peaks
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in La Paz (3500m). Transfers from La Paz Airport are provided.

    Rendezvous at group hotel in La Paz. Complimentary transfer from La Paz airport to the hotel will be provided for clients arriving on Day 1. El Alto Airport is the highest international airport in the world, at an altitude of 4058 metres and it is with relief that we descend into the great bowl of La Paz to the group hotel. Quite obviously, we need to take it easy for the first few days of this trip, in order for the group to acclimatise to the altitude. Most people will want to rest for a few hours on arrival. In the evening there is no need to venture further than a nearby restaurant, although those who are feeling more energetic can always wander around the fascinating surrounding area. La Paz is a remarkable city, with its steep, narrow streets radiating upwards from the main thoroughfare of the Prado. There are lots of plazas and markets, and a number of museums and grand cathedrals. KE Land Only package services begin with overnight in the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Drive to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. Boat to Isla del Sol and walk to Yumani (3890m)

    Today we drive for approximately 4 hours to Copacabana (3810m) on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This is a beautiful town and a popular resort and pilgrimage area, with lots to see and several nearby hills, which offer commanding views over the lake and towards the Cordillera Real. After lunch in the town, we take a boat ride out to the Isla del Sol, where we have the chance to stretch our legs with an hour's walk to our overnight lodge accommodation. After checking in, we will visit the Indian village of Yumani and walk up to the island's highest point, at 4070 metres.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 1 hr walking

  • Walk across the Island's spine to the northern end and return by boat to Copacabana (3841m).

    Today's acclimatisation exercise takes us across the spine of the island to its extreme northern end, where we visit the Labyrinth of Chincana. These ruins include a feature known as the Palacio del Inca, a maze of stone walls and tiny doorways, within which is a small well, believed by Inca pilgrims to contain sacred water with which they would purify themselves. Close by is a ceremonial rock table, thought to have been used for animal or even human sacrifices. We return to Copacabana by boat.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • Walk to Via Crucis for lake views. Afternoon drive to Uros and return to Copacabana (3841m).

    We spend another day beside Lake Titicaca, to ensure that we are reasonably well acclimatised ahead of our trek into the mountains. A good place to start the day is with a visit to the colourful local fish market . Starting in 1939, trout were introduced into the lake and these are the most important foodfish. Then, as a useful test of our improving state of acclimatisation, we will make the hike up steep stone steps to the fantastic viewpoint on the low hill of Cerro Calvario, which rises a couple of hundred metres above the lake on the north side of town. On top of the hill is the religious site of Via Crucis, built by Franciscans and comprising 14 crosses on stone plinths. Returning to the town for lunch, we will have an afternoon excursion (a 20 minute drive) to see the floating reed islands of the Urus. This ancient race of people, still live on floating mats of dried totora (a type of papyrus reed that grows in the marshy shallows of the lake). We will be able to see these people and their boats, known as 'balsas' which are also made out of bundles of dried reeds lashed together. We return to overnight at our Copacabana hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

    • Time 1 - 2 hrs walking

  • Drive across the Altiplano and via the Jichukota Valley to Kotia Lake (4420m).

    In order to gain as much further acclimatisation as possible, prior to attempting our first climb, we have devised a brilliant 3-day walk-in to the basecamp at Chairkhota Lake. To get to the start of this trek, we use 4-wheel-drive vehicles to reach our first camp. This is a 4-hour drive, crossing the rolling plains of the altiplano, with tremendous views of the Cordillera Real. In the last hour we enter the Jichukota Valley and follow an abandoned miners road beneath Cerro Katatani to reach our campsite near Khotia Lake (4420m), the middle one of 3 lakes in this valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek across a pass (4720m) and via Mina Ventilla, to Ajwani Lake (4610m).

    We cross the river and follow a high traverse path above the lower lake (Khara Khota) to a pass at 4780 metres. We then descend steeply on scree to a river and the remains of the Mina Ventilla, an old tin mine, for lunch. (4 hours from camp). From here we head east into a small tributary valley, passing through the small settlement of Contador. We camp on the shores of Ajwani Lake (4610m) in an area where we may see Andean geese and llamas. This small and scenic mountain pool is surrounded by peaks. In this lovely spot, facing west, we can enjoy the sun till late in the afternoon.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek via Milluni Peak (5000m), Sistena Lake and Janchallani Pass (4850m) to Jurikhota Lake (4720m).

    We trek up above the lake to the road, then steeply upwards, before contouring around to a high ridge-line and the viewpoint of Milluni Peak (5000m). There are fantastic views out across the altiplano to Lake Titicaca and it is also possible to see Huayna Potosi from here. Crossing a pass, below the peak, we contour above Sistena Lake to reach the Janchallani Pass (4943m). Traversing from the pass leads to a good viewpoint for Huayna Potosi and Condoriri, before a perfect scree run takes us down to our camping place beside Jurikhota Lake (4720m)

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek across the Apacheta Pass (5150m) to Lake Chiarkhota (4682m).

    Today we cross the Apacheta Pass (one of the biggest passes on the Cordillera Real Traverse). Firstly, we contour around Jurikhota Lake and ascend to a frozen lake below Condoriri. This is an excellent photograph opportunity. We then scramble to the valley above, assisted in places by fixed rope, and reach the Apacheta Pass (5150m) after 3 to 4 hours. For those who are feeling fit, it is an easy 45 minute ascent from the pass to the summit of Apacheta, known as Pico Austria (5320m). Apacheta means 'cairn' and it is a tradition to add a stone to the cairn on the top of this viewpoint peak. The view from the summit is spectacular, the whole of the Condoriri peaks, the Cordillera Real as far back as Illampu, the altiplano and, of course, Lake Titicaca. We camp beside Chairkhota Lake, the 'black lake', at 4720 metres. At the lake we rendezvous with our mountain guides and equipment.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Acclimatisation day, Skills training.

    A rest day today, but we do take the opportunity to do some snow skills training on a conveniently located glacier an hour’s walk above our camp. Take it easy during the afternoon at camp and prepare for the following day’s climb.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Pequeno Alpamayo (5379m) and return to Chiarkhota (4682m).

    A reasonably early start today, at around 3 a.m. We trek up beyond a small lake and cross moraine and boulder fields to reach the glacier which lies beneath Pyramida Blanca. After 3 to 4 hours, our route takes us by way of the summit of the small peak of Tarija (5060m). From here, in the early morning light, there are fantastic views of Pequeno Alpamayo and its striking west-south-west ridge. We drop down slightly from Tarija to gain the base of this ridge and follow it in its entirety, a stunning climb which takes little more than an hour. The group will climb roped together, threading a route through impressive ice penitentes and overcoming a couple of steeper sections on the climb. We have time to enjoy the brilliant views of all of the peaks of the Condoriri group, before making a careful descent.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs trekking

  • Trek to to Tuni village and drive to Zongo Pass (4750m).

    Today we trek out to the village of Tuni which lies to the south. Here, we meet our transport for the drive around to Zongo Platform and the basecamp for our next objective, Huayna Potosi. We overnight in a comfortable mountain refuge. Altitude - 4700 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Trek to 'Campo Rocas' (5170m).

    The high camp on Huayna Potosi is at close to 5200 metres and can be either on rock or snow, depending on the prevailing conditions. For this camp we take only what we need for the climb, leaving the rest of the kit with the support vehicles. We will be assisted by porters who carry all the tents and food while group members carry their personal equipment. It takes 2 to 3 hours to trek up to this camp, known as 'Campo Rocas', ascending a glacial moraine to reach the first snow and ice.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs trekking

  • Climb Huayna Potosi (6088m). Descend to Zongo Pass (4750m) and drive to La Paz (3500m)

    An early start for the ascent. Two hours up a steepening slope takes us to the summit ridge. There are big crevasses and the group will rope up throughout the climb. The angle of the climb is between 25 and 40 degrees and the final part of the summit ridge is exposed. From the top, there are great views of the whole Cordillera Real, stretching away to the north. Southwards, there are equally good views of Illimani and to the south-west we can also see Bolivia’s highest peak, the volcano Sajama. It takes approximately 5 hours to descend all the way back to the Zongo Platform, where our transport will be waiting to pick us up for the return to La Paz .

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 12 - 14 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Contingency day for possible delays. At leisure in La Paz.

    A free day in La Paz, time to recharge our batteries. This can also be considered as a contingency day.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Drive to Pinaya (3750m) and trek to Puento Roto (4450m).

    Setting off from La Paz, we can clearly see our next and final objective ahead of us. With a glaciated area some 8 kilometres across, Illimani is a big and impressive mountain massif. It is accessed by way of a bumpy 4 hour drive in 4x4 vehicles from the Bolivian capital to the roadhead at Pinaya (4000m.). The walk in to the basecamp area at Puente Roto (4400m.) takes 2 hours or so, depending on how far the vehicles have been able to take us. We set up camp and have great views of Illimani, as well as of Huayna Potosi. As night begins to fall, the lights of La Paz are also prominent. Note: If there is little snow on the mountain, the conditions for climbing Illimani can be very difficult, with hard ice covering parts of our route. In this case, we may choose to climb nearby Mururata (5869m) as an alternative.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the 'Nido de Condores' (5450m).

    From our camp, we briefly follow a mining road and then head directly towards a rocky ridge which runs down from the southern summit of Illimani, Pico Sur. It is a steady 5 hour climb to reach the usual high camp on the mountain at 5500 metres. This is the camp known as the Condor’s Nest (Nido de Condores), which is located on a level rock (and sometimes snow) platform on the ridge. The bulk of Illimani rises impressively above this camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Climb to the Pico Sur summit on Illimani (6438m) and descend to Puente Roto (4450m).

    Immediately above our high camp, the ridge presents quite steep snow slopes and there can be crevasses on this section. We make an alpine (2 to 3 a.m.) start, to enable us to take advantage of nicely frozen conditions. After approximately 2 hours of climbing, the angle relents temporarily and then steepens as we gain the upper snowfields. We will probably fix rope on the steepest pitch of the climb which is at an angle of 50 degrees. Arriving at the apparent summit after 6 hours of ascent, we have, in fact, a long and quite airy traverse to reach the highest point. This takes a further hour. Summit views of the entire Cordillera Real and of the Amazon jungle to the north and east, as well as of Lake Titicaca, are exceptional. Our descent to Nido de Condores takes 2 to 3 hours, where we strip the camp and continue our descent to basecamp. Please note that an ascent of Illimani is always very cold, as it is sunless until the summit ridge.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 12 - 14 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Trek to Pinaya (3750m) and drive to La Paz (3500m).

    We make a leisurely start today and have an easy walk back down to Pinaya. From here, we drive back to La Paz and check into our hotel for a welcome shower. The rest of the day is free for relaxing or for further independent exploration of the city.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Free time in La Paz for sightseeing and/or shopping.

    This day is built into the itinerary in case we have been delayed by bad weather or other unpredictable hitches. If we have been successful, then this is a day to relax and further enjoy the delights of La Paz. There are many options for exploration in this wonderful Andean capital. We can visit the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches market) where herbs and folk-remedies are sold - including such peculiarities as llama foetus good-luck charms. Here, you can also have your fortune told by the local Indian version of Gypsy Rose Lee - providing that you have an interpreter. The food market known as Mercado Lanza is also very colourful and definitely worth a visit. Options for slightly longer excursions away from La Paz, are visits to the Vallee de la Luna, with its maze of canyons and typically desert vegetation, or to the Vallee de las Animas which affords excellent views of Illimani. This is also the time for souvenir buying and there is no shortage of local crafts and produce. In the evening, a final celebration is in order.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Departure day. La Paz Airport transfers provided

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A complimentary transfer to La Paz Airport is provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Qualified and experienced local climbing guides
  • La Paz Airport transfers (on group arrival and departure dates only)
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for trek staff
  • La Paz Airport transfers (other than on group arrival and departure dates)
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Bolivian airport departure tax
  • Personal climbing equipment
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

A wide range of restaurants is available in La Paz and in Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international dishes, cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on a high carbohydrate diet with foods which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. Breakfasts include fresh fruit, porridge, pancakes or omelette with plenty of toast and home-made jam, and tea or coffee. Lunch is normally a picnic consisting of fresh fruit, salad plus bread, cheeses, cold meats, avocado with juices, tea and coffee. Dinner will be a three-course meal of a variety of dishes using a mix of locally sourced fresh food and packaged or canned food brought with us. Meals are always freshly prepared by the trek cooks and the aim is to provide a filling and tasty dinner which provides variety.

All brerakfasts, 15 lunches and 12 dinners are included in the holiday price. Where there is a wide range of dining styles and budgets to choose from we have left this choice to you. Clients will pay for their own meals (other than breakfast) whilst staying in hotels in La Paz and Cocacabana. This amounts to 4 lunches and 7 dinners, at an average cost per meal of US $15 - $20 including wine.

All clients arriving in La Paz on day 1 will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. The first transfer usually departs from the airport at 7:45 am. Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if La Paz Airport transfers are not required. At the end of the trip airport transfers are provided on day 20 to all clients who need them. Independent La Paz Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to day 1 or departing later than day 20 at an additional cost. Please contact the KE office if you wish to arrange an independent transfer. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your confirmation of booking.
During this trip the group will spend 5 nights in a comfortable hotel in La Paz, 2 nights in hotel accommodation in Copacabana beside Lake Titicaca, 1 night in basic accommodation on the Isla del Sol and 1 night at the mountain refuge beneath Huayna Potosi.
There will also be 10 nights camping. All accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note that single tent use cannot be provided at the high camp on Illimani. Please note also that single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 8 hotel nights, single rooms are available at supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in La Paz are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.


View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

A typical day starts with an early morning tea or coffee and a bowl of hot washing water brought to your tent. After a hot breakfast (which includes fresh fruit, porridge, pancakes or omelette with plenty of toast and home-made jam) during which camp will be struck and the pack-animals will be given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. You are free to walk at your own pace, enjoying the scenery and stopping to take as many pictures as you wish. Lunch is usually a picnic - and a chance for more excellent food from our cook team - fresh fruit, salad and bread, cheeses, cold meats, avocado and plenty to drink. Lunch takes about an hour or so and offers a chance for a little siesta! We aim to pitch camp for the night by 3 or 4 p.m., i.e. well before dusk. Dinner is served in the mess tent at around 7.00 p.m. and is a three course meal. The cooks never fail to impress! During dinner is a good time to socialise and to talk over the events of the day. We are usually in bed by 9 p.m. - plenty of time to re-charge the batteries before the next day's walk. On the climbing days, you will be woken well before dawn in order to make the most of the better snow conditions. We will move together on a rope of 3 or 4 people, each rope having a guide, and we may fix a rope on any steeper sections. After the climbs, we are usually back at basecamp around midday. Given clear weather, there should be plenty of time to enjoy the summit and record the moment with lots of photographs.

This trip will be led by qualified and experienced local climbing guides. During the ascents of the 3 main peaks, the guide:client ratio is 1:2. During the trekking in the Cordillera Real the group will be supported by a full Bolivian trek crew including baggage animals and their handlers.

We estimate that $400 will be sufficient to cover your personal spending including the above-mentioned, non-included meals. This amount should also cover any incidental expenses such as airport tax and tips for the llama drivers and other trek staff. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Bolivianos) outside the country. Credit and debit cards can be used to obtain cash at ATMs in La Paz. If you are bringing your travel money this should be in the form of cash US dollars, as you will be changing the majority of your money on the day of your arrival and travellers cheques can sometimes be difficult to change. Credit cards can also be used to purchase some goods and at some restaurants in La Paz.

It is important to remember that tips do not form part of the wages of the local staff support staff and as such, tipping is entirely at your discretion. However, tipping is the accepted way of saying 'thank you' to your local crews and most people will want to give something. We recommend that tips are determined by the group as a whole and given from the group rather than from individuals. As a rough guide we suggest thast a contribution of around US$60 - $70 (in small denomination local currency) from each group member, should provide an adequate pool for these tips.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. Your mountaineering equipment including your plastic boots, will be carried separately in a communal bag and will not form part of this baggage limit. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

 

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. Once on trek, your mountaineering equipment including your plastic boots will be carried separately in a group equipment bag and will not form part of this weight limit.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots - see below

  • Ice axe (a short walking axe is best) *

  • Crampons (preferably with ‘step-in’ bindings)*

  • Mountaineering or climbing harness*

  • Screwgate karabiners x 2

  • Snapgate karabiner x 1

  • Belay device to use for abseiling

  • Climbing helmet*

  • Sling (120cm)

  • Prussik loops X 2 (5m of 6mm cord makes 2)

  • Gaiters

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)

  • T-shirts or similar

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket with hood

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses (close fitting/cat 4/glacier glasses)

  • Thermal gloves or mittens

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Daypack minimum 40 litres

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -20°C)*

  • Thermarest/Camping mat*

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Travel Towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: painkillers, altitude (Diamox), plasters, blister treatment, diarrhoea treatment and rehydration salts.

The following items are optional:

  • Trainers or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Fleece trousers

  • Shorts

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Thermarest* - recommended (a foam camping mat is provided)

  • Trekking poles

  • Swimwear

  • Travel clothes

  • Pee bottle

  • Camera

Notes

Equipment hire - *Available for hire through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note hire / rental equipment is normally issued in La Paz. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items. (note that on trek your mountaineering equipment and plastic boots will be carried separately in communal equipment bags).

Mountaineering boots - Alpine mountaineering boots are not suitable for high altitude conditions. Plastic boots with insulated inners (eg. Scarpa Vega HA, Scarpa Omega IT) and also the new generation of synthetic double boots (eg. La Sportiva Spantik, Boreal G1 light), are the best to keep your feet warm at altitude where you can encounter temperatures below -25ºC. Also, you can sleep in the removable inner boots to ensure warm toes in the morning! These boots are also designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. This combination of double boots and step-in crampons is by far the most sensible option when considering a climb at altitude. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these extremely low temperatures.

PHD Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition. >> Click here to view the PHD Gear Advisor for Bolivia Climber

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>http://www.needlesports.com/

 

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Bolivia

UK passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. You do require a return or onwards ticket.

USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is $135 and is easily obtained on arrival. Payment must be in cash.

Transit via USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. As of 1st April 2016 you will be required to have a passport with an intergrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the last 5yrs you will have to apply for a visa.

NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA 

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Zika

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, like dengue and malaria. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The symptoms are generally mild and self limiting usually lasting 2 - 7 days. 80% of people exposed to the virus for the first time experience no symptoms. Pregnant women are advised to avoid areas where the zika virus is active. For the latest information, please see our 'KE Safe' Updates

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking up to 8 or 9 hours each day. You should also have some previous mountaineering experience and must be comfortable with walking on snow slopes of 40 degrees or more and in exposed situations. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. We also recommend that you gain some experience of walking in winter conditions wearing crampons.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Bolivia’s dry and sunny winter season lasts from the end of April to October, and during this period the weather can be expected to be excellent for trekking and climbing. The days are relatively warm, up to a maximum of 20°C, although it can feel warmer than this in the strong sunlight. Night-time temperatures will drop to around freezing point above 3500 metres whilst above 4500 metres the temperature can vary from 20°C to minus 20°C during a 24 hour period.

  • Trekking and Climbing in the Andes. Val Pitkethly and Kate Harper.

  • Bolivia – A Climbing Guide. Yossi Brain.

  • Bolivia - a Travel Survival Kit. Lightbody.

  • Eight Feet in the Andes. Dervla Murphy.

  • The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist.

  • Latin America Spanish phrasebook - Lonely Planet.

BOCR Liam O’Brien

This map of the Cordillera Real at a scale of 1:135,000 can be bought in La Paz.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Peru Rainforest Extension

Visit Tambopata National Reserve, a haven of pristine Amazon wilderness where the river provides access to an uninhabited and vast 2.5 million acre area, home to the Amazon’s five top predators – Jaguar, Giant Otter, Black Caiman, Harpy Eagle and Anaconda. It is a short flight to Puerto Maldonado, and then a ride in a motorised canoe to our jungle lodge. Highlights are the macaw clay-lick, otters, monkeys and an array of colourful birds.

Peru Rainforest Extension

From $700 per person

More info

Machu Picchu and Cusco Extension

The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911, after 500 years under dense vegetation, are one of the man-made wonders of the world. This itinerary also includes time for sightseeing in and around this former Inca capital of Cusco, which is renowned for the wealth of its Inca stonework and for its extravagant Spanish Colonial architecture. We then take the scenic train to Machu Picchu for a full day guided sightseeing tour of this incredible Inca city before returning to Cusco for a final evening.

Machu Picchu and Cusco Extension

From $950 per person

More info

Lake Titicaca Extension

Forming part of the border between Peru and Bolivia, this sacred lake of the Incas at an elevation of 3830 metres was where the god Viracocha rose and created the sun, moon, stars and the first people. It is the largest navigable lake in the world. There are several islands in the lake including the ‘floating’ Uros Islands which are man-made from reeds and are home to a pre-Incan people who live a simple traditional life. Lake Titicaca is a ‘must see’ on a holiday in this region.

Lake Titicaca Extension

From $1030 per person

More info

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