6959 m. - is
biggest in the
southern and western
hemisphere, the 332. biggest peak in the world, something quite
Safe in infrastructure and crowds of people, unpredictable in weather
I can confirm absolutely. It needs a special
aproach and photos.
for that and account on my succes I give 11 form 10.
NP Huerquehue –
gem of IX. region of Chile. Park is quite similar to NP Lanin in
Arqentina, but it´s absolutely worth to visit when you
haven´t seen the Monkey
Puzzle Trees (Aracarias). Except that, there are truly bueatiful
emeraldine water, steep cliffs and marvelous forest with outlook to
volcano Villarica. I spent there just one day, but 2 days are
when you don´t have time like me, one afternoon is better
then nothing. But go
at least until second lagoon (600-800
meters of elveation difference), where are the
first araucarias. Bus
goes from Pucón 6-7 times in a day, drive takes 1
hour and bus stops just
at the entrance of park. There are more hiker trails. To cross NP and
do a circle
are possible. Entrance fee is 7 US$,
with camping more. See the photos and map.
9 of 10 when you
haven´t been in araucaria forest.
East of Puerto Montt in Chile - you can see here the rest of once
Fitzorya Cuppressoides or shortly Alerce. But you have to search for
them. The forest due to the plenty of rain-fall is very dense and the
tree-tops are blending together in the sky. Bus from Puerto Montt to
turn-off to NP (Chaica part) near the village Lenca goes 5-6 times a
day (the first one at 8 o´clock). But the entrance is still
7-8 km up the road. Chance to get a lift is higher in early afternoon.
First alerce is next 3 km farther, the lagoon 5,5 farther, and last
lagoon 8 km from entrance. I walked about 30 km and the half of that is
just walking in not very interesting valley. May be there are some
alerce better to access in Argentina (NP Alerce). The weather is quite
colder, the rain can occur whenever and lagoons are not so provoking to
bath like those in NP Huerquehue. Crossing to north part of park I
don´t reccomend, there´s no trail, just wall of
mountainan. Otherwise the trail is in a good condition, but hardly
marked, but every important crossing is marked clearly. See the photos
and map. Just 4 of 10
account on such a long walk, although having quite a good weather.
Puyehue - is
situated in IX. region of Chile near the border with Argentina. I was
in the part with the volcano of the same name (2236 m), where I spent
the night. The weather is very instable there and the rain-fall or
rain-shover are present more time a day, humidity is very high, but
it´s quite colder. Buses heading to/from Argentina (there are
about 4 buses per day from Osorno also) stop just at the entrance of
NP. The superelevation of Puyehue is 1800 m. Half of the way you go in
dense, humid, always-green forest, the footpath is marked in the
begining with wooden sticks red in colour. At the margin of the forest
there is a cottage. From there you can go to geyser, lava fields,
lagoons (7-8 hours). I went to Puyehue´s summit. There are
many foot and horse steps, but no clear way, no trees or other
orientation point – pay attention in bad weather. And the
weather changes here very fast, therefore you need to do your own clear
footpath. It´s quite exhausting. Outlook from the top is
beautiful, also the crater full of snow is big and majestic. There are
just a few of turist (I met 15 people). I slept on the summit, the
night was quite cold, but the morning unforgetable. The entrance fee je
quite high – 14 US$, you can hire a horse to do a trip (to
qeysers, to summit). You can buy some basic food and take water at the
entrance, because the spring near the cottage I haven´t
found. I spent in NP 24 hours as stopover on my way from Argentina.
See the photos and map. 8 of 10 when you
hold on on summit until the morning comes.
very nice archeological place north of Santiago with the most famous
Chilean petroglyphs (fee 1 US$). They are drawn on the big stones
dispersed among the trees and cacti in hot valley. Sometimes
it´s hard to identify them, it depends on the angle of view,
the best time is in afternoon, but it works in the morning also. There
are many buses from Ovale that pass the turn-off to Vale Encanto, you
can take the long distance buses to Santiago as well. It is another 4-5
km from turn-off, bigger chance to get lift is in the afternoon. There
is no food or safe water service. Socos Termas few kilometers south of
Vale is not a thermal bath, but nice hotel with smal pool with partialy
mineralised water – more cold than warm. But the surrounding
is nice. NP Fray Jorge is quite off the way (40 km), and you are not
allowed to go there to spend the night. See the photos.
It´s amasing but I give 6 of 10 when comparing with other
locations and when I take into account the walk.
gorgeous volcano (2840 m) in volcanic chain in middle Chile near town
Temuco. You can observe magma-eruption in crater. From Pucón
to ski resort, where the slope and the trail begin it is about 14 km.
Taxi costs 16 US$, but many people go there in the evening to see the
sun-set. But in the middle of way there is a ranger´s house,
but the fee of 10 US$ you can pay on your return. When people are
present, the chair lift starts in the morning. But there are overmuch
people because of easy climb and number of agencies in Pucón
to buy the trip. First part of ascent is on rocks, then about 700
meters of elevation on snowy slope – footpath in switchbacks.
You can slip on melting snow (but the weather on Villarica is much
better than more in south), you should have piolet (ice axe) or
crampons. Night trip or sleeping on summit could be possible. There are
more chairlifts. You have to find that about 500 meters behind big
sandwich-haus on the road behind the big sharp curve. From the top
station of chair lift the trail goes uphill to the left on rocks, then
on switchbacks directly to summit. I was told there are no crevasses on
this way – the are in the other partes of
Villarica´s slope (
mostly in the north and east – see from the summit). Return
is very fast – at first in snowy canal on your hams (very
funny!), then directly sliding in the small rocks. Ascent takes 4-5
hours, descent 1-2 hours, fee is 6 US$. Then you can rest in one of
many thermal baht (See LP). It´s hard to get there without
agency, the trip for whole evening (from 20,00 to 01,00) costs 21 US$.
See the photos. And the outlook
from Villarica? Let´s try it! 9 of 10.
NP Lircay -
the best one-day trek between Santiago and Temuco (LP). Park
is not so
like the others, but very nice, more similar to European mountains, but
hot and dry. There ase some volcanos, but not so symetric like Osorno.
two-day stop is very good choice – night spent on
Enladrillado (12-13 km from
entrance) has to be marvelous. There are 6-7 buses a day from
from Talca –
first goes at 7 o´clock, drive takes 1,5 hours until the
camping where you can leave
your luggage. The trail is badly marked, go directly until the sign
direction. At the entrance you get rough plan of treks – see
the photos and map. I give 7 of 10.
desert town on the narrow strip of shore. Behind Iquique the great
platform sharply rise up to about 600 m of elevation, the huge sand
just behind the last dusty street of city and farther nothing more then
and sand of Atacama – the driest desert in the world.
Atmosphere is great –
when you bath in the ocean in 2-3 m high water-waves and you look at
wall. Water is quite cold, but waves are perfect, only few of people
of them just sit in chair on the beach. See
the photos. Archeo-historical
hereunder you can visit by agency (look LP), but you can´t do
all three in one
day. The best way is to rent the car. Like in other places in Chile,
cars are not so expensive to rent, but they are sold out or booked for
advance. Toyota Corola is about 50 US$ per
day. 8 of 10 when you do the whole circle.
of many mining towns where the Chile-saltpetre was processed. Now it is
a ghost town. Houses, hospital, market, saloon, church, theater and
iron pool with dedans are the silent witnesses of the past. It is very
impressive. Life conditions are horrible, gloominess of surrounding is
tremendous – absolutely no plants, just barren land.
Humberstone is like wild-western village and is worth to visit for at
least 3-4 hours, acces is very simple. It is just at the turn-off from
Panamericana to Iquique. Santa Laura (manufacture) is about 2 km more
remote. Fee is optional (2 US$). When you have little of time,
it´s pity not to visit. See the photos.
7 of 10.
Gigante de Atacama -
giant is the biggest human image in the world. Lonesome old-timer looks
from the slope with his rectangle eyes. The feeling is strange, like
the visit of Abu Simbel. Not having the car or buyed the agency trip,
t could be difficult. May be there are som buses, but from turn-off it
is about 2 km to the hill (then go left!!, i tis on its west side). The
best is to be there without the crowds. See the photo.
When you see his
rectangular head, body and alien eyes, you have the feeleing, that
Deniken was right. 6 of 10.
archeological place is also not visited frequently. There are 4 hills
with about 350 perfect geoglyphs in lenght of 2 km. Lokality is about
4-5 km from turn-off from Panamericana. The visit as walking-tour is
surely exhausting the the heat of day, and I doubt about the presence
of water. LP´s characterisation is exact. Best time to see
the pictures and get a lift is in the later morning. Disposing of car
don´t hasitate about the visit, and you can fully enjoy the
spirit of the past. See the photos.
7 of 10.
Osorno (2661 m) is absolutely suggestiv and inevitably attracting. You
can look at Osorno over the Lago LLanquihue or you can try to stand on
its summit under the blue sky. I had the perfect weather to climb it
(what is rare because of 300 rainy days per year), but the guide costs
330 US$ for one-day trip!! Disregarding the equipment. And I was the
only one in the whole Puerto Varas with intention to do it
. Trek takes 12-14 hours of marching and the trail begins at the end of
chair lift in 1500 m. See the map.
No point to deal the price! I am not
mountaineerer and I haven´t had experiences to climb Osorno
alone. There is no clear pathway
, the slope in some parts has 60 grades of inclination. Simple trip to
chair lift costs 25 US$. When you succes on summit under blue sky,
surely 10 of 10 - see the photos.
m. - is said to be the easiest six thousand mountain in Peru. But
don´t be mistaken when it´s your first six
thousand. Base camp is in 5200 m, but it requires much more than 850
meters of efort to stand on summit. There is a great traverse, which is
exhausting mostly on return. You need crampones and ice axe for sure
and to do it on your own can be dangerous in bad weather, if you are
not experienced climber. There are plenty of agencies in Arequipa
– opened until 21,00-22,00 (look LP). Buy the food befor you
step into the jeep, because they do the shop-stop in the very very
expensive shop – there are many tourist, but no locals. Trip
begins in the morning about 8-10. After one and half hour of drive you
ascent to base camp. It takes only less then one hour. Next day we got
up at 2 o´clock and at eight we stood on the summit. The best
climbers do it in one and half hour to the top. To get to base camp
without agency on your own is very difficult, the way I can´t
describe, it´s impossible to remmember. From the base camp
the trail goes firstly to south to the saddle (uphill left) and then on
southern slope in traverse of Fatima under the next sadle. Then uphill
on Angel, but in the middle of ascent there is another traverse to
saddle under Chachani. Then straight forward. El Misty is other good
choice – there is not so much of snow, but the journey is
much longer in exhausting sandy terrain. Colca canyon is possible to
visit only in two days. In Arequipa I visited sauna and Museum of
Huanita de Ampato. Both are very worth to visit. Main square and old
town of Arequipa are very beatiful. I spent 2 days in Chachani and
, but it is worth more. See the photos.
Chachani – when you
are aclimatized and not cursing the oxygen concentration like those
Dutchmen - then 9 of 10.
need any introduction. When you want to visit the Isla del Sol from
Copacobana, there are many agencies. The price is about 1,5 US$, but
all agiencies leave at 8 in ihe morning to Challapampa and after one
hour they go back. Then all agencies leave at 13,00 o´clock,
but they go just to the Escalera del Inca. At 17,00 o´clock
you are back in Copacobana. There is no exception. Last bus to La Paz
goes at 18,00 o´clock. Private trip to the Escalera del Inca
costs 22 US$ together. Taxi to Yampupata you can deal for 14 US$
together. Boat from Yampupata to Escalera del Inca costs 7.5 US$
together, but this charge you can´t bargin. I visited during
one hour that I spent on the island Escalera del Inca, the hill above
and Pilko Kaina. But don´t try it not beeing well
aclimatised, you will have a bad flashback for such a magical place.
For Isla del Sol is optimum one and half day. There are beatifull
beaches, spots, ruins to be alone. The charge from Copacobana to the
Peruvian border is 2 US$ for 7 km, border and officers are
trouble-free. Then taxi to Yunguyo (2 km) costs 1/3 US$, from Yunguyo
to Puno about 1,5 US$, but takes 1,5 hour by local bus. Long-distance
bus is much more slower at border (1 hour), but faster on road, more
expensive, but more comfortable. Trips from Puno to Sillustani by
agency are only from afternoon until the evening – nothing in
. Private taxi tour costs 20 US$ together. By local bus look LP
. The first boat from Puno to Islas Floatantes goes at 8,00 in the
morning, private sail is for 13 US$ (together, but you have to bargin).
For 3 U$ together you can sail on reed-boat from island to island with
Aymar sailor. See the photos.
Titicaca is famous and great, when you
have more time than me, then 8 of 10.
plain with lines, pictures and graves of old. strange
civilisation - well-known because of Deniken´s books. I met
Dutchmen, who had paid for Inca trail astronomical price, but then
they have to be satisfied with tower outlook instead of flight because
of saving the money. You don´t need to vomit (like me) to
consider the flight over the pictures an unforgetable experience
. There are many agencies, try to negotiate about the price. Off-season
you don´t need to book it day earlier. Off-season price is 40
US$ for direct flight
, 45 for flight with two turns over every picture. Both prices incud
air-port tax. Sometimes you have to wait for take-off little longer
than you are said. I recommend not to eat the breakfast and to take
some prokinetics. Cementario Chauchilla is also worth to visit, but
after the flight it may be quite exhausting. The price is 10 US$ with
the visit of pottery-show and exhibition of minerals. See the photos.
give „only“ 8 of 10 due to the dizzy feelings still
longer time after the flight.
no need to introduce closer this world-known town.
All important is written in LP, here I say just that sometimes the
open-hours and close-hours of churches may vary; the visit of the ruins
behind the Cuzco is possible to manage on horse-back (27 US$ when
you´re alone); later you can avoid the controls because on
Sunday you can´t buy the touristic ticket in office; in the
evening the town is overcrowded with gringos calling themselves
travellers and the athmosphere is quite simmilar to London´s
bars (but the food is great). Boiled Indian corn (maize) you have to
salt properly, fort Sacsayhuamán is very atractive also in
the evening by arteficial lighting. See the photos.
Also in the case
you don´t have enough time to make Machu Picchu
it´s 7 of 10.
the usual city but the surroundings are magic. The coloured
mountains are beutifull and the trips to neigbourhood are
must-to–do-it. You can walk (
to canyon El Caňon) or go by jeep, but best and most practised way is
horse-back riding. There are many agencies – see the LP. The
horses are slim, but good tempered (but pay attention! our young guide
holded the seat of horse most of the time – and he was very
good horse rider). Hilly land is full of colours and you´ll
see the Bolivia´s country-side. There are one to four days
trips, but when you are not accused to ride, the optimum is two days.
But when you gallop on the dusty village roads passing the sitting
provincials, you give 8 of 10. See the photos.
NP Lauca -
time to climb volcanos Parinacota and Pomerape is from juni
to september. In the time of my visit we were said, that there was too
much of snow and high risk of unstable weather, snowy storm and
lighting. There is only one company from Terminal rural of Arica that
gives you fine price to NP (12 US$) and you don´t need to pay
the whole charge to La Paz (20 US$). All buses leave in the morning,
there is no exception in afternoon. From turn-off to beautiful hamlet
Parinacota it is 4 km, there are no cars to hitch-hike. In village I
recommend the visit of small church with pictures of Spaniards crossing
the Jesus (LP). Ask the children for the key a buy some plants from
them. The hill behind the village is possible to climb in 3-4 hours
beeing acclimatised already. The border is opened until 22
,00, but don´t rely on hitch-hike the trucks, they are very
reluctant to take any passenger
. See the photos.
Maybe there is any trail from Chilean side to
Payachates, but nearly everyone goes from village of Sajama
of the same name. There are only two cars in the village, so
don´t try to hitch hike. You can call to the village for
van (taxi) with young driver César, but I miss the number.
other case you have to walk 7 km from crossing Lagunas. The charge for
taxi is fixed and is paid together. To Sajama 5 US$, to themal bath 3
US$ (very recommended – you sit in the hot wather with legs
dipped into the mud, there are lamas everywhere on the green bofedalos
and you look at six and half thousand meters high volcanos with snow
under the blue sky). When you want to climb Parincota, the charge for
taxi is 80 US$. Caesar will wait for you under the mountain (I was said
so). Many people don´t use the guide fo Parinacota, but you
to have some equipment (crampones, ice axe, warm cloth). Vn. Sajama is
not much more dificult, you don´t need to be mountaineerer to
climb it, but it´s better to go with guide not to loose the
(then it´s very dangorous!). I don´t know the
price, but it
can´t be very expensiv. I gues 100 US$ together. Both
are small, dreaming, with dusty roads, white churches
, lamas, simple restaurants and very pleasent people. 7 of 10 also for
both NP. See the photos and map.
m. - When I was first time in Chile three years ago, I was fascinted by
Licancabur. One glimpse is enough to inscribe it into the deepest part
of your brain. That time I didn´t know, that it is not so
difficult to climb it. It is the hight-light of Atacama and beeing
acclimatised and going very very slow, it can be climbed nearly by
everyone. You can buy the trip in San Pedro de Atacama, but it is very
expensive (150 US$ pays everyone, not together). Other volcanos are in
the same style – Lascar: 160 US$ for one day, vn. San Pedro:
for three days and Llullaillaco costs about 450 US$. But try Eusebio
Saires in new pension on Laguna Verda. He is perfect guy –
sympathic, friendly, smiling and chewing the koka all the time. His
charge is 70 US$ together (1-6 people) and in the afternoon or in the
evening he is waiting for possible clients in old or new pension (they
are 700 m apart). Adventure usualy begins at 4,00 (wake up an hour
earlier). Ascent time is 6-8 hours, descent is very fast: 2
-3 hours in slope covered by small rocks. Outlook doesn´t
be decribed – see the photos. You need only
warm cloth and
boots. But wife of Eusebio´s driver, who climbed with us,
three stocks, three skirts, three sweaters, small hat and old sandals.
The heavy rain can occur in the afternoon on Laguna Verde, but
there´s good weather nearly every morning. Two weeks after my
visit was Licancabur and other mountains covered by snow. It can
happen. You can climb Licancabur on your own as well – without
the guide – but I don´t think
from Laguna Verde to San Pedro de Atacama can be problem, because all
the jeeps go in 2-3 days intervals, Eusebio´s driver can pick
to the border only (about 4 km), but the principal road from Argentina
(where is the big traffic) is another 7 km. Although the Licancabur has
not six thousand, the scenery, blue lagoon in the crater and Eusebio
deserve 10 of 10.