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The Mount Chacaltaya (5,421 meters or 17,785 ft), the Cordillera Real, Bolívia, South America. Former Sky Resort. Going up. "The other places, the higher, the less security they have, and their height is the sure prognosis of their ruin." - Father Antônio Vieira
The Mount Chacaltaya (5,421 meters or 17,785 ft), the Cordillera Real, Bolívia, South America. The glacier on Chacaltaya served as Bolivia's only ski resort. It was the world's highest lift-served ski area and the northernmost in South America as well as the world's second most equatorial after Maoke, Indonesia. The rope tow, the very first in South America, was built in 1939 using an automobile engine; it was housed in the site's original clapboard lodge, and is now inoperable. The road to the base of the 200-meter (660 ft) drop is reached by a narrow road, also built in the 1930s. Traditionally, due to the extreme cold weather, the lift operated exclusively on weekends from November to March. Since 2009, skiing is restricted to a 600-foot (180 m) stretch that sometimes receives sufficient snowfall for a run during the winter. The mountain is also popular with amateur mountaineers, as the road stops only 200 metres (660 ft) from the summit. Guinness World Records considers the ski resort restaurant to be the highest restaurant in the world.
Huayna Potosí (6.088m. or 19,974 ft), the Cordillera Real, Bolívia, South America. Huayna Potosí is the closest high mountain to La Paz. Surrounded by high mountains, it is roughly 15 miles due north of the city, which makes this mountain the most popular climb in Bolivia. The normal ascent route is a fairly straightforward glacier climb, with some crevasses and a steep climb to the summit. However, the other side of the mountain -- Huayna Potosí West Face -- is the biggest face in Bolivia. Several difficult snow and ice routes ascend this 1000 meter high face.
Huayna Potosí (6.088m. or 19,974 ft), the Cordillera Real, Bolívia, South America. The Cerro Chacaltaya peak, 5395 meters high, on top of an ancient glacier (decreased over several decades and, tragically, completely melted in 2009). Chacaltaya offers spectacular views of La Paz, Illimani, Mururata and Huayna Potosí 6088 meters above sea level.
The Devil's Tooth (Muella del Diablo) on the right, from the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), La Paz, Bolivia. Take some time off from the hustle and bustle of the city and visit Muela del Diablo, a distinct rock formation formed by an extinct volcano plug. Translated as the ‘Devil’s Molar’ in English, the formation was named due to its peculiar shape when viewed from certain vantage points. You can walk to the attraction in no more than half a day, regardless of your trekking experience. Enjoy the rewards of your efforts with awe-inspiring views of La Paz and the surrounding valleys. A visit to Muela del Diablo represents just the start of the adventure when you use our La Paz sightseeing website to plot your vacation.
The Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), La Paz, Bolivia. Drove us crazy. Twice there. There are two paths, a 45-m and 15-m walk-path.
The Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), La Paz, Bolivia.
The Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), La Paz, Bolivia.
The Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), La Paz, Bolivia. "Each of us is a moon and has a dark side that never shows anyone." Mark Twain
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, Copacabana, Bolivia. Statue of the sculptor Francisco Tito Yupanqui. *** Francisco Tito Yupanqui, an amateur sculptor, a descendant of the Inca Huayna Capac, and a member of the Anansayas, did not abandon the idea. He decided to create an image of the Madonna, believing it would influence the local people. Using clay, and assisted by his brother Philip, Francisco Tito created the image of the Virgin. The sculpture was placed at the side of the altar by the pastor, Father Antonio de Almedio. After Father Antonio left Copacabana, the priest Don Antonio Montoro took over. Unhappy with the look of the coarse and disproportionate sculpture, he ordered that it be removed from the altar and be placed in a corner of the sacristy. Francisco Tito was humbled by this setback. Advised by relatives, he went to Potosi which had outstanding teachers of sacred image sculpting. While studying in the workshop of Maestro Diego Ortiz, Francisco Tito gained expertise in sculpture and in wood carving. With this skill, he resolved to create an improved image of the Candelaria. He looked through the churches of Potosí for an image of the Virgin which could serve as a model, finally finding the best one in the Convent of Santo Domingo to the Virgen del Rosario. He studied it closely to remember it before starting his new piece and held a Mass in honor of the Holy Trinity as a divine blessing for his work. The Urinsayas accepted the establishment of the Virgin Mary confraternity, but they did not accept Francisco Tito's carving, and decided to sell it. In La Paz, the picture reached the priest of Copacabana who decided he would bring the image to the people. On 2 February 1583, the image of Mary was brought to the hills of Guaçu. A series of miracles attributed to the icon made it one of the oldest Marian shrines in the Americas, along with Guadalupe in Mexico. On August 1, 1925, during the Papal visit of Pope Pius XI to Bolivia, the image of the Virgin of Copacabana was blessed and granted a canonical coronation.Attending the coronation were three Bolivian bishops, President Bautista Saavedra and ambassadors representing Argentina and Peru. PS Pictures are NOT allowed inside the church, but we saw it.
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, Copacabana, Bolivia. From its beginning, the image gained a reputation for being a miracle. The Augustinians built their first chapel between the 1614 and 1618, and later, the Viceroy of Lima, Conde de Lemos, morally and financially supported the construction of a basilica to honor the Virgin. Construction of the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana began in 1668, was inaugurated in 1678, and was completed by 1805. Subsequently, the faithful donated embellishments to the image, including valuable jewels, and the temple was filled with gifts and treasures. In 1825, when Bolivia gained independence, it was attributed to the faith of the population through the Virgin of Copacabana. However, in 1826, Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, the President of the Republic of Bolivia, expropriated all the jewels and colonial treasures at the Shrine of the Virgin, using them to create the first coins from Bolivia.
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, Copacabana, Bolivia. The sparkling white mudéjar (Moorish–style) cathedral, with its domes and colorful azulejos (blue Portuguese-style ceramic tiles), dominates the town. Check the noticeboard in front of the entrance for the mass schedule. The cathedral’s black Virgen de Candelaria statue, Camarín de la Virgen de Candelaria, carved by Inca Emperor Tupac-Yupanqui’s grandson, Francisco Yupanqui, is encased above the altar upstairs in the camarín (shrine); visiting hours can be unreliable. The statue is never moved from the cathedral, as superstition suggests that its disturbance would precipitate a devastating flood of Lake Titicaca. Museo de la Catedral contains some interesting religious art.
The Island of the Moon (Isla de la Luna), 3,812 meters, lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Isla de la Luna is situated east from the bigger Isla del Sol. Both islands belong to the La Paz Department of Bolivia. According to legends that refer to Inca mythology Isla de la Luna (Spanish for "island of the moon") is where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon. Ruins of a supposed Inca nunnery (Mamakuna) occupy the oriental shore. Archaeological excavations indicate that the Tiwanaku peoples (around 650-1000 AD) built a major temple on the Island of the Moon. Pottery vessels of local dignitaries dating from this period have been excavated on islands in Lake Titicaca. Two of them were found in the 19th century and are now in the British Museum in London. The structures seen on the island today were built by the Inca (circa 1450–1532) directly over the earlier Tiwanaku ones. *** Lake Titikaka: Elevation to surface: 3,812 m (12,500 ft) Area: 8,372 km² Maximum depth: 281 m (922 ft) At 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world. It's also the largest lake in South America by volume of water. Lake Titicaca has a maximum length of 118 miles and a maximum width of 50 miles. The average depth of the lake is 351 feet, although some parts of the lake are over 900 feet deep. Lake Titicaca boasts a rich cultural history that spans thousands of years. Incan mythology claims that the lake was the site where civilization first began. It was here that the first Inca king, Manco Capac, is said to have been born of the sun god. The gods later created a wife for him, and together they founded a tribe that would eventually grow into the Inca Empire that dominated much of South America before the arrival of Europeans in colonial times. More than 180 ruins and monuments remain in the area as testaments to the architectural prowess and cultural beliefs of the ancient groups of indigenous people that inhabited the region long ago.
Pilcocaina or Palacio del Sol (the Palace of the Sun), the Island of the Sun, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Incas are learning how to work on stones. First stone palaces
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. 3,820 meters above sea.
Ruta 2, from San Pedro de Tuquina to Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Copacabana is down there. This important tourist center of Bolivia is located next to two twin hills that are introduced peacefully into the lake. The Copacabana peninsula was considered a sacred area, that is why archaeological remains scattered in it have been found. 200 m. is the temple of Intikala (stone of the Sun), with a series of seats sculpted in large stones that are known as the "Court of the Inca". On Kesanani Hill (400 m from the town) is one of the most beautiful and oldest astronomical observatories in the world, known as "Horca del Inca"; even today the equinoxes and solstices are recorded. The hacienda of Kusijata, located 2 km. to the north, it proposes to travel pre-Columbian roads and cultivation platforms, there is a vase sculpted in andesite stone (1.10 meters high) known as "Baño del Inca" and a filtering gallery achieved in pre-Columbian times to obtain drinking water.
Ruta 2, from San Pedro de Tuquina to Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. "Turtles know the roads better than rabbits." Khalil Gibran
Ruta 2 (3,812m.), from San Pedro de Tuquina to Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Lake Titicaca has a surface elevation of 3,812 m (12,507 ft). Bordering Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America. Incans, as well as a number of other native peoples, are thought to have originated in the region. Near the south-eastern shore of the lake lies Tiwanaku, ruins of an ancient city state that scholars believe was a precursor of the Inca Empire. Lake Titicaca is a popular vacation destination. The original Copacabana is a favorite resort for both tourists and locals.
Ruta 2 (Tiquina Strait), from La Paz - Tiquina - Copacabana - Isla del Sol by bus, Bolivia and Peru. 7:00 am: Shared private and confy bus to Copacabana. Tour starts in La Paz city; at 11,942 ft. above sea level. Then after crossing the high plains you reach the Titicaca lakefront (12,500 ft.). You will cruise Tiquina Strait on a motorboat; which is the narrowest part of the lake dividing the Minor Lake (Wiñaymarka) from the Mayor Lake (Chucuito), to keep traveling on a road that was built above pre-Columbian agriculture terraces from Chiripa and Tiwanaku cultures, and later used by Incas. Arrival to Copacabana: Lunch is include at the Costazul Coffee Restaurant. Departure on motorboat towards Sun Island to visit the island’s south shore. Explore the most important attractions, like Pilkocaina, with the Sacred Staircase and the Incas’ Sacred Fountain. Visit to the island ends, return to Copacabana. Arrival to Copacabana: Short visit to the local market and to the impressive renaissance church to meet the Patroness of Bolivian nation: Our Lady of Copacabana. Return to La Paz on a private confy bus. 22:30 pm: End of Services (approximately). Tour Includes: * Shared transportation La Paz-Copacabana-La Paz * Shared motorboat * Private bilingual guide (English-Spanish) * Lunch * Entrance fees
Llamas, the Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada) at 4,278m. (14,035 ft.), Altiplanos Bolivianos (Bolivian Highlands) at 4,300., Potosí, Bolivia. 4,300 meters above sea. Summer in Bolivia and snowstorm.
The Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada) at 4,278m. (14,035 ft.), Altiplanos Bolivianos (Bolivian Highlands), Potosí, Bolivia. We arrived at Laguna Colorada already at sunset, so the waters are not as red as they usually are, they tell us. Even so, we caught thousands of flamingos, well merry, eating at the edge of the pond. It's a wonderful image. We spent more than an hour wandering around the side, photographing the flamingos, listening to the Andean wind, or, standing there, just looking! According to Poli, our coveted guide, the reddish color of the lagoon is due to sediments deposited by a kind of seaweed. He also told us that flamingos feeding on these waters will also get a reddish hue, since when they are born they are grayish. And speaking of flamingos, from the photos you can see that they abound here. There are James Flamingos, Andean flamingos and Chilean flamingos. The color of the pond looks more brick color than bright red, alive as the red of many photos that circulate on the net. The end of day light also does not help anything besides the rains and snow in the summer! There is a bit of disappointment in our countenance. The lagoon contains some islands of borax salt, whose white color contrasts with the reddish color of the waters. Laguna Colorada is one of the Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention.
The Honda Lagoon at 4,114m. (13,497.38 ft.), Altiplanos Bolivianos (Bolivian Highlands), Potosí, Bolivia.
Pink Flamingos, the Laguna Chiar Kota at 4,201m. (13,783 ft.), Altiplanos Bolivianos, Potosí, Bolivia. The altiplano, in this case Bolivian, is a plateau that rises in the central-southern part of the Andean Cordillera, with average altitude above 3,000 meters. To the west the Altiplano is bordered by the Western Cordillera, consisting of a series of volcanoes and to the east by the Eastern Cordillera, a belt of bent and failed rocks. We return to what has brought us here. The altiplanic lagoons, both on the Bolivian side and the Chilean side, in the Atacama desert are one of the highlights of these arid lands and the places most desired by all the travelers that roam around. There are many ways to get to the lagoons that, as a rule, are more than 4 thousand meters high: either through Uyuni in Bolivia (usually through a tour lasting between 1 and several days) or through San Pedro do Atacama (the gateway to the desert with the same name). To imagine an inhospitable place, dry, desert, thousands of meters high, without trees, with nothing and suddenly, out of nowhere, dazzling lagoons appear, colorful waters and pink flamingos in flush flights, is not at all easy, but there is Such a place! The altiplano is even so!
The Stinking Lake (Laguna Hedionda) at 4,121m. (13,520.34 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. Hunter gatherers of the paleo-ceramic or Paleo-Indian period (8,000 BC) lived in the vicinity of the lake. Between 10,000 BC and 2500 BC, the languages spoken in the area were Uru and Choquela. *** Specifically, the catchment of Laguna Hedionda borders with Chile and Argentina. It is located just north of lake Ch'iyar Quta in the central Andes mountains at an elevation of 4,121 metres (13,520 ft). There are several mountains within 44 kilometres (27 mi) including Michincha, Cerro Volcanes, Cerro de Pajonal, Cerro de Tatio, Pabellón and Tocorpuri. Laguna Hedionda has a water surface area of 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi). It is one of the four blue lakes that are seen on the way from the southern road that leads through Ollagüe volcano (elevation 5,865 metres (19,242 ft)), the only active volcano in Bolivia; the other three lakes are Cañapa, Ramaditas and Ch'iyar Quta. All the lakes are sourced by springs and have high sulphur content. The peripheral area of the lake is strewn with black volcanic rocks. Coal deposits are found near the lake. The catchment area of the lake is primarily covered with semi-desert steppe and dwarf scrub. Access to the lake is from San Juan via Chiguana which is a rail head and military post.
The Stinking Lake (Laguna Hedionda) at 4,121m. (13,520.34 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. Laguna Hedionda is a Bolivian saltwater lagoon located in the department of Potosí, near the border with Chile. It has an approximate surface of 4.5 km² and is at 4,100 meters of altitude.
The Stinking Lake (Laguna Hedionda) at 4,121m. (13,520.34 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. Laguna Hedionda (Spanish for "stinking lake") is a saline lake in the Nor Lípez Province, Potosí Department in Bolivia. It is notable for various migratory species of pink and white flamingos. Laguna Hedionda is one of the nine small saline lakes in the Andean Altiplano. It lies at an altitude of 4,121 metres (13,520 ft), with an area of 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi). Salt flats and bofedales (wetlands) are spread over the periphery of the lake. It is in a very remote area where human habitation is negligible. However, llamas and alpacas are seen grazing in the area.
Vicuñas, the Cañapa Lagoon (Laguna Cañapa) at 4,140m. (13,582.68 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. Canapa is a salt water lagoon situated in Sud Liez province of the Potosi department, close to the Hedionda (smelly) Lagoon. The Canapa Lagoon is a beautiful water mirror of a greeny tint surrounded by Andean flora and it is possible to observe some flamingoes, wild vicunas and some Andean geese. Canapa has an approximate surface area of 1.42 square kilometers and its located at 4140 m.a.s.l. Canapa Lagoon is surrounded by three volcanoes: Caquena, Tapaquillcha and Canapa. *** In terms of wildlife, it is home to a unique set of organisms particular to the alpine regions of the Andes. Plants and animals must be able to handle high altitudes with less available oxygen, cold nightly temperatures and frosts well into the spring, little shade or protection from the elements, and arid, dry conditions. One example of unique wildlife in the park is the vicuña, a species of camelid related to the llama and the alpaca. These animals are prized because of their soft and warm, but extremely lightweight fur.
The Lipez Desert at 5,400m. (17,716.50 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. Sur Lípez is one of sixteen provinces in the Potosí Department. Also the southwesternmost point of Bolivia is located here, at an elevation of approximately 5,400 m on the northeastern slope of the Licancabur volcano.
The Lipez Desert at 5,400m. (17,716.50 ft.), Bolivian Highlands (Altiplanos Boliviano), Potosí, Bolivia. "There is no real road to happiness, but different paths. There are those who are happy without anything, while others are unhappy possessing everything." Luigi Pirandello

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