jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015

Chacaltaya & Moon Valley

The 5395 m-high Cerro Chacaltaya peak atop a former glacier (it diminished over several decades and, tragically, had melted completely by 2009), is a popular day trip. Until the big melt , it was the world's highest developed ski area. It's a steep 90-minute ride from central La Paz, and the accessible summit is an easy 200m ascent from there.
You can get your thrills, spills (well, hopefully not) and great views on a 60Km-plus mountain-bike trip from chacaltaya to Zongo and beyond at descents of up to 4100m (vertical drop).
For visitors and hikers, Chacaltaya offers spectacular views of La Paz, Illimani, Mururata and 6088m Huayna Potosí. It's a high altitude, relatively easy (but steep) 100m or so climb from the lodge to the summit of Chacaltaya. Remember to carry warm clothing and water, and take plenty of rests - say a 30-second stop every 10 steps or so, and longer stops if needed - even if you don't feel tired. If you start to feel light-headed, sit down and rest until the feeling passes. If it doesn't, you may be suffering from mild altitude sickness; the only remedy is to descend.
From Chacaltaya it's possible to walk to Refugio Huayna Potosí, at the base of Huayna Potosí, in half a day. Before you set out, you must obtain maps from Instituto Geog´rafico Militar (p60) and instructions.

If it's open, snacks and hot drinks are available at Club Andino's lodge; if you want anything more substantial, bring it from town. Also bring warm (and windproof) clothing, sunglasses (100% UV proof) and sunscreen.
For overnight stays at Chacaltaya, you can crash in Club Andino's ski lodge, a '50s-style stone ski lodge. A warm sleeping bag, food and lots of water are essential for an over night stay.
Those who fly into La Paz from the lowlands will want to wait a few days before visiting Chacaltaya or other high-altitude places.

Moon Valley
About 10km down the canyon of the Rio Choqueyapu from the city center, Valle de la Luna is a slightly overhyped place, though it's a pleasant break from urban La Paz. It's the most accesible hiking spot near the city, with signed trails and regular patrols. It could be easily visited in a morning or combined with another outing such as a hike to Muela del Diablo to fill an entire day. It actually isn't a valley at all, but a bizarre, eroded hillside maze of canyons and pinnacles technically known as badlands. 
Several species of cactus grow here, including the hallucinogenic choma (San pedro catus). Unfotunatelly, urban growth has caught up to the area, making it less of a viewpoint than it otherwise might have been. On your way here, take a pit-stop at the Sendero del Aguila, a 1,7km trail just up from the Rios Selva hotel.

Our Company
Our company offers you a full day tour visiting both attractions, it consists of the following program:
Pick up from your hostel between 8:45 to 09:15 to go to Chacaltaya where we will walk for 2 hours approximately, you will see a beautiful landscape with the mountains of the Cordillera Real and you can take amazing photos. Then our private transport will take us to the Moon Valley to see a place completely different with astonishing stone formations that give the visitor the sensation of having discovered an unknown world, there we’ll have a short trekking to discover the place and take photos. After the visit, we’ll come back to La Paz.

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