Chile
Parinacota

Here you’ll find travel reports about Parinacota. Discover travel destinations in Chile of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

4 travelers at this place:

  • Day151

    C'est le jour J! Départ à 3h du matin... 1h30 de route jusqu'au point de départ. Au programme : 6h de montée pour 3 kms et 1200m de dénivelés (de 5100m aux fameux 6300m). On espère y arriver!

    Pour rendre les choses encore plus difficiles nous avançons sur du sable volcanique avec quelques endroits rocailleux tout de même... Sur le chemin nous passons également entre des "penitentes" (sorte de bloc de glace de 30cm mais qui peuvent atteindre 2m au mois de Juin). Ils donnent au paysage un relief magnifique! Et tout au long de la montée nous avons un paysage superbe avec le Pomerape (montagne d'à côté), le Sajama au loin, la vallée chilienne d'un côté et les plaines boliviennes de l'autre.

    On attaque la rando avec notre guide Rodrigo à 5h à la frontale. Ça pèle mais on est bien équipés. Vers 6h on assiste au lever du soleil derrière la montagne Sajama, splendide! La montée se passe sans encombre jusqu'à 5800m, altitude à laquelle Greg commence à avoir un léger mal de tête. Passés les 6000m on se transforme en zombie : dur de trouver l'oxygène et chaque pas nous paraît impossible. A certains moments nous n'y croyons même plus... mais nous y voilà : le cratère à 6300m!!! On l'a fait!

    Mais c'est pas la grande forme : gros maux de tête et nausées pour tous les deux. Du coup on ne s'attarde pas là haut. Rodrigo nous conseille de vite redescendre pour calmer tout ça. On est tellement fatigués que même la descente sur le sable fin nous paraît compliquée. 1h30 et quelques chutes plus tard nous voilà enfin à la voiture avec Gary, le fils d'Ana et Mario, qui nous attend. Il nous faudra quelques heures pour être remis à 100% de cette aventure mais on est fiers de nous! On a réussi notre challenge!
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  • Day57

    Cotacotani viewpoint

    November 25, 2017 in Chile

    After all that drama, we tried to take some pictures of the reflection of the Parinacota volcano in the Cotacotani lake but it was quite windy and we couldn't see the reflection. After that, we drove back to the main road towards the viewpoint. Here, again, we had to join the queue off the trucks waiting for the road repair. Luckily, the queue started in a few minutes and then a km away, we were able to drive off the road for a few meters to the view point. The views were amazing. We spent a few minutes taking pictures and enjoying the view and then were able to get back to the end of the truck queue and continued further along the road.Read more

  • Day57

    Vicuñas near Cotacotani lake

    November 25, 2017 in Chile

    After we parked at the lookout we had been trying to reach from the Parinacota village end, we tried to climb a lava hill next to the lake for better views. The air was very rarefied and after climbing about halfway, we realized its the same view we had seen earlier plus we were getting late with a long distance still to go before sunset so we decided to go back and continue further.
    As we were driving back near the lake shore, we stopped to take a picture of the reflection of the Cotacotani volcano in the lake water. I walked back to that point along the shore while Hristo drove the vehicle along the track. A herd of vicuñas was trying to come towards the direction we were coming from and got trapped between the lava hills on one side with our vehicle just below and the lake with me standing near the shore. It was total panic chaos after that. Most of the herd ran past me while i prepared my cameras to take pictures and videos while one of them was too scared and started running towards the vehicle. Here, Hristo came out and started running after it 😄😄😄 Both kept running towards amd away from each other for about a minute before Hristo got totally out of breath due to the altitude and the vicuña decided that going around the lake was a safer option 😁😁😁
    Finally, it ran around the lake and the rest of the herd that had stopped and was looking back at the circus happening behind, too ran and joined it at the opposite end of the lake.
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  • Day57

    Parinacota village

    November 25, 2017 in Chile

    Our initial plan was to park at Parinacota village and then trek to the Cotacotani lake viewpoint. We were at a pretty high altitude now and climbing just a few steps to the viewpoint made us breathless. At the viewpoint, we realized that the distance to the lookout was about 4.5 kms. This would take us about 2.5 hrs to go and come back in the searing heat of the high altitude sun and with no trees or any shade anywhere. We came down into the village to ask around if we could take our 4x4 vehicle all the way. As usual in Bolivia, Peru and now in Chile, the tourist office was closed. We've not even once found any of them open at any hour in any of the 3 countries we have visited till now.
    The office was closed. The staff was sitting in a jeep outside but made no effort to indicate that they worked there. We actually thought they were some local tourists. We walked to the lake at the end of the village and it was only when we were returning we saw one of them go into the office. We managed to get a few seconds with him but we were told that the office was closed and that we could take our vehicle to the lookout point.
    We started the drive and had to use the 4x4 at a few places. At one point our gravel track ended and there were small sand hills formed by another gravel track running perpendicular to our road. There was a board indicating entry for authorized persons only. We had no where else to turn to so we drove on over these sand hills onto the other track and started driving in one of the directions which we felt was almost towards the direction we wanted to go to. After driving for a few seconds, we realized we were going perpendicular and away from our marked track on the map. There was no one else on this road and we ended up 2 kms away from the village with another board indicating that we had been in a forbidden zome again. (As with every trip of ours this has to happen 😉).
    We drove back to the village, now on the legal road amd decided to continue further on the main road to the roadside viewpoint of the same lake.
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  • Day57

    Missed Cotacotani Lake

    November 25, 2017 in Chile

    On the way out of the Parinacota village we saw a forked road, both leading to the main road. There was a board indicating that the road to the right was for authorized personnel only and we realized that we had used that one when going towards the village. 😜😜😜 That made it twice in half a day when we had been driving on unauthorized roads. In any case no one had stopped us and neither of us had seen the no entry sign when going towards the village.
    Once back on the main road, Hristo set up the Cotacotani viewpoint on the gps and we continued on our journey. A few kms away, we saw a huge que of trucks on the road. We were not sure about the reason but presumed it to be the checkpoint for trucks on the Bolivia border with Chile. We drove past them and after driving 2-3 kms found out that the trucks had been stopped due to road repair work and the que would open on our side in about 10-15 min.
    After a few minutes, the road opened and we continued further along with the trucks. We saw some views of Cotacotani lake on the left of the road but continued driving to the point marked in the gps. After a few kms we could see the lake no more and Hristo realized that the gps had not been working properly and that we had missed the lake altogether.
    Just at that point, we saw a track going down to the left and back towards the lake's direction. We turned around there and started downwards on the rough gravel road.
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Parinacota

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