Hike The Bolivian Andes
A visit in La Paz will definitely get you in the mood to hike or climb. You’ll find the right equipment and cheap tours to reconnect to nature. If you like hiking more than real ice-climbing and mountaineering I would recommend you to do the Condoriri-Trek which takes three days. The Condoriri Group with peaks over 17.000 ft is a national reserve, two hours up north from La Paz. You can reach it by taxi or get a professional driver from a travel agency which is more expensive and costs around $40 but they will pick you up after finishing the trek.
What you should know
There are some tips and tricks you should know about hiking the Condoriri-Trek:
- Prices for a taxi roundtrip shouldn’t be over 380 Bolivianos.
- Equipment like a tent or sleeping bag for renting is possible. Ask for a shop called Basecamp. The owner is a swiss guy called Christian. It’s cheap and the equipment is in a good condition.
- Navigation essentials like a compass, maps and a gps device is also for rent at Basecamp.
- Outdoor clothing is really cheap. Buy whatever you want. It won’t be expensive.
- Food for trekking is easy in La Paz. On the local markets you can find for example quinoa, rice, vegetables, tea and lots of spices.
What we did
There was that german trekking book about the bolivian Andes laying around in a hostel in Cusco. It seemed like the Condoriri-Trek was perfect for us. You hike just three days in heights over 17.000 ft and neither you have to climb nor bring professional equipment for ice-climbing. The trek is rich in variety and offers alternatives for advanced hiking. Our decision was final. We had already some equipment like air-mattresses, sleeping bags, gas cooker and warm jackets. But we had to organize a lot.
Here is what we packed:
- Tent for two persons (rented)
- Warm sleeping bags + inlet (rented)
- Thick air-mattresses
- Warm jackets
- Long underwear pants + longsleeve
- Waterproof pants (bought)
- Warm trekking socks
- Trekking boots
- Warm beanies
- Gloves made of alpaca wool (bought)
- Gas cooker
- 1x large gas cartridge (bought)
- 1x small gas cartridge (bought)
- 1x pan and 2x pots (rented)
- Oat flakes
- Strawberry jam
- 3x soups
- 6x bananas
- 1x box of coca tea
- Different spices
The Condoriri-Trek is perfect for people who love hiking instead of mountain climbing. The way guides you between the impressing mountain peaks. Advanced hikers can climb mountains like the Cerro Austria while doing the trek. If you want to hike in the mountains of the Andes you should definitely do it there or elsewhere around La Paz. There will be no cheaper place to get equipment and get to the mountains in South America.
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