- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
Nicknamed "the Himalayas of the New World", the Cordillera Real is an impressive mountain range located to the east of the Bolivian capital, La Paz. Its highest peaks like Huayna Potosi, Illampu and also Ancohuma, culminate at an altitude of over 19 000 ft above the Altiplano and Lake Titicaca.
Depending on the trek, Mina Susana, an abandoned old mine , situated at about 13 000 ft high on the western slope of Ancohuma, a few hours walk from Laguna Glaciar might be the first stop. From here you will see some old miners' shelters.
Before you up and venture off, it is vital that certain essential conditions be met for your trip to run smoothly:
1. A trek in the Cordillera Real requires excellent physical fitness and a good tolerance of high altitudes.
2. Bolivia is crawling with unreliable travel agencies. keep informed and ask travellers returning from expeditions for advice. It is not uncommon for some Bolivian guides not to stick to the programme and take some initiatives that are... distasteful. Of course, one should not generalise and there are excellent Bolivian mountain guides who show proof of professionalism and goodwill.
3. A trek in the Cordillera Real requires time and a certain budget. Be aware that it takes at least 20 days to travel across the entire mountain range. No need to panic, there are many trekking alternatives that last 3 days, 6 days, 10 days... Look it up!