Active Volcanoes

In the extreme north of Chile the driest desert in the world, the Pacific Ocean with its cold water currents, fertile valleys, the Andes Mountain Range with peaks of over 6,000 metres and the vast and silent Andean Altiplano come together. In this scenery active volcanoes with craters full of sulphurous activity rise and emerge from the bottom of the earth. During the first part of the XX century, they were exploited intensely to extract sulphur from their core. At present we can get to know their history and beauty by ascending and enjoying them. Technically easy, good acclimatisation and a good physical condition are enough to live the experience of feeling the heartbeats of the Earth at more than 5,000 metres above sea level, in a geographical and human environment characterised by the presence of the Aymara culture.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 3 active volcanoes (2 of 5,000 m, 1 of 6,000 m).
  • Isluga Vol National Park.
  • Lauca Biosphere Reserve.

PROGRAMME LEVEL

IRRUPUTUNCU AND ISLUGA VNS. INTERMEDIATE. Programme aimed at people with certain experience in the mountains, who are physically prepared for steady efforts. Walks of between 4/7 hours and 15/20 km. Differences in altitude of between 600 and 800 m. Summits of 5,000 metres without any technical complications.

GUALLATIRE VN: ADVANCED. Programme aimed at people with experience in the mountains, who are physically prepared for intense efforts. Walks of between 6/9 hours. Gradients on some days may reach between 1,000 and 1,200 metres. Summits of 6,000 metres without great technical complications with use of crampons and ice axe. Progression on slopes between 30/40°.

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Transfer from airport – Iquique. Hotel. City tour.

Day 2: Iquique-Pica. Visit former Humberstone nitrate mining office, Pintados geoglyphs, Matilla, Pica. Night at hotel.

Day 3: Pica – Altos de Pica. Acclimatisation trekking of between 2,800-3,200 m. Night at camp.

Day 4: Altos de Pica – Salar del Huasco salt flat. Transfer to the salt flat. Trekking in Salt flat surroundings. Night at family hostel.

Day 5: Salar del Huasco salt flat. Acclimatisation day and trekking in the surroundings of the salt flat. Night at family hostel.

Day 6: Salar de Huasco salt falt –Irruputuncu Vol – Salar de Huasco salt flat. Ascent Irruputuncu volcano. Impressive active crater with sulphurous fumaroles. Use of anti-gas masks. Night at family hostel.

Day 7: Salar de Huasco salt flat – Colchane. Transfer over the Sillajuay pass (5,070 masl). Night at family hostel.

Day 8: Colchane. Visit to Isluga Volcano National Park, Mauque and Puchuldiza. Night at family hostel.

Day 9: Colchane –Isluga Volcano – Colchane. Ascent to Isluga volcano (4,000 > 5,350 m, 7 hrs there and back). Night at family hostel.

Day 10: Colchane – Salar de Surire salt flat. Transfer. Polloquere hot springs. Night at camp.

Day 11: Salar de Surire salt flat. Trekking along the shore of the salt flat. Hot springs. Night at camp.

Day 12: Salar de Surire salt flat – Guallatire. Transfer to Guallatire. Night at family hostel, with impressive view of Guallatire Vol.

Day 13: Guallatire – BC Guallatire Volcano. Transfer to base camp at 5,100 masl.

Day 14: Ascent of Guallatire Volcano (6,100 masl, 8 hrs there and back). Impressive view of the Andean Altiplano. Descent. Transfer to Parinacota. Night at family hostel.

Day 15: Parinacota-Putre. Visit Lauca Biosphere Reserve, Cotacotani Lagoons, Chungará Lake. Transfer to Putre.

Day 16: Putre – Arica. Visit of the Aymara community of Socoroma. Archaeological Museum in Azapa. Hotel.

Day 17: Transfer out Arica-airport.