Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Distance view of Lake Titicaca-Bolivia-699342_1920_p

Bolivia: Trekking in the Cordillera Real

MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek)
90%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: High intensity hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling. May experience dramatic changes in altitude. Extreme activities included. Extreme
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
15 days
From: $ 4,695 $ 313 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Hike beneath the highest peaks of Cordillera Real on this incredible mountain trek—one of the world's best!
  • Encounter remote villages and meet descendants of the Incas and Aymaras
  • Visit the impressive ruins of Tiahuanaco and beautiful Lake Titicaca, a lake of legends

Short Description

The crown jewel of the Bolivian Andes is the Cordillera Real, a superb wilderness of massive blue-white glaciers tumbling from 20,000-foot snowy peaks that hold sway over amazing alpine valleys with sparkling lakes. It’s aptly named the “royal” range due to its princely summits, and it’s one of the most isolated and unpopulated mountain regions of the world. In fact, many travelers compare it favorably with the Himalaya, high praise indeed!

On this challenging trek, led by multitalented mountain guide Sergio Fitch-Watkins, we’ll hike beneath some of the highest peaks of the Cordillera Real, including Ancohuma (21,082') and Illampu (20,873'), cross high-mountain passes of more than 16,000 feet, and encounter remote villages where you’ll meet descendants of the Incas and Aymaras who seldom see visitors from the outside world.

We’ll also visit the impressive ruins of Tiahuanaco, Bolivia’s most important archaeological site and power center of a pre-Incan empire set on vast open plains, and enormous Lake Titicaca (12,500'), the legend-filled birthplace of the first Inca king.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City La Paz
End City La Paz

Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership
  • Accommodations as noted in itinerary (or similar)
  • If applicable, tent or safari accommodations and all arrangements in the field, including camp and cook staffs,
  • Comfortable and roomy two-person tents, kitchen and dining tents, and other community equipment
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Additional guides and porters where necessary
  • Tips for lodge, hotel, or camp staff
  • Entrance fees and permits, unless noted separately in costs
  • Basic medical and evacuation insurance

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Ritz Apart Hotel

Arrive in La Paz at any time. Your trip leader or a Mountain Travel Sobek representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or she will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to rest and begin the acclimatization to La Paz’s heady altitude (as La Paz is at 12,000 feet, it is very important to take things easy on your first day!). Afternoon briefing and trip orientation with trip leader Sergio Fitch-Watkins. “ Welcome ” dinner with the group at a nearby restaurant.

Day 2: Tiahuanaco – Copacabana

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ecolodge Copacabana

Today we depart La Paz by Jeep for Copacabana on the shores of beautiful Lake Titicaca. Along the way, we’ll stop at the ancient ruins of Tiahuanaco, site of one of the oldest American cultures, dating as early as 1580 B.C. Tiahuanaco is Bolivia’s most important archaeological site. There are four main structures: the Kalasasaya compound, the Acapana pyramid, the underground temple, and the great Gate of the Sun with carved stone blocks weighing many tons. We will marvel at the impressive technical work produced by the now-vanished people whose stone carvings and hieroglyphs remain undeciphered. Little is known about the Tiahuanaco people who constructed this great ceremonial center, but evidence of their civilization has been found throughout what later became the Inca Empire. After a thorough tour of the site we’ll take a short drive to Copacabana, nestled in a small valley overlooking the lake and its islands. This small village is known for its pleasant and sunny climate, lively fiestas, and beautiful cathedrals. We’ll overnight in one of the lovely lakeside hotels.

Day 3: Copacabana

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ecolodge Copacabana

We’ll spend the day exploring and experiencing the beautiful lakeside village, steeped in religious history both for Bolivia’s Catholics and the ancient Incas that once lived here. We’ll visit Copacabana's cathedral, which holds priceless treasures and jewelry and harbors the Black Madonna, performer of miracles, and explore other interesting sites, including the Inca Observatory.

Day 4: Isla Del Sol

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After two days of acclimatization, we’ll have a chance to stretch our legs (and lungs) on a hike along the shores of Lake Titicaca to the village of Yampupata, located at the extreme point along a peninsula that juts into Lake Titicaca. From here we’ll embark on a short boat ride to Isla Del Sol (Island of the Sun) and the Inca archaeological ruins of Philco Kaima. Our camp (12,464') is set up nearby, and from here we’ll be able to enjoy an unsurpassed view of the lake and the Cordillera Real, particularly the peaks of Illampu and Jancohuma. (Hiking time: 4 hours; Distance: 7½ miles)

Day 5: Isla Del Sol

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We get an early start in our explorations of Isla Del Sol, which holds a sacred place in local folklore (ancient Incan terraces cover the landscape). Since there are no vehicles on the island, nothing will spoil this unique step back into Pre-Columbian history. We’ll first visit the springs at Fuente Del Inca, then hike over the island to the small village of Challa, where our camp is set up. We’ll continue to explore three additional archaeological sites, including the sacred rock of the puma and the Chincana ruins. As the sun sets, we’ll return to Challa and camp for the evening. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours)

Day 6: Sorata

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We depart Copacabana in the morning for the trailhead at the village of Sorata (8,840'), a lovely medieval-looking town with steep stairways and a maze of narrow cobblestone streets. Our drive takes us across the expansive high altiplano with views of snowcapped mountains, eventually culminating in the spectacular Illampu-Ancohuma massif, the northernmost section of the Cordillera Real, which looms above Sorata. We'll dine at one of the fine local restaurants in town and overnight at a small residential hotel. (Driving time: 4 hours)

Day 7: Lakatia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, we begin trekking toward the village of Lakatia (12,960'). The views are exceptional—many travelers find them similar to the Himalayas. We’ll cross the Río Lakatia and continue zigzagging uphill until we reach Lakatia, where we camp in an open meadow. (Hiking time: 5 hours)

Day 8: Aguas Calientes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Continue steadily uphill, leaving the lowland vegetation behind and entering the typical environs of the Andean cordilleras. Cross the high pass of Huila Khota (16,030') and descend to camp at 15,100', the base camp for climbs of Illampu. (Hiking time: 6-7 hours)

Day 9: Cocoyo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We continue hiking, enjoying diverse and scenic views of the Andes. After about two hours of hiking in the surroundings of Illampu we continue to Cocoyo Pass (15,720'), then descend to a beautiful plain where we will see many alpacas and llamas. Another two hours brings us to the lovely little town of Cocoyo (11,522'). Camp just above the village near a stream confluence. (Hiking time: 6-7 hours)

Day 10: Chajolpaya

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Cross Paso Sarani (15,580') while enjoying amazing views of the Cordillera Real. Descend in the direction of the valley that divides the hills of the Calzada and Umma, Jolanta, and Kairi peaks. Camp on an isolated plateau (13,214') in the middle of this splendid valley. (Hiking time: 6-7 hours)

Day 11: Laguna Cache

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We traverse the eastern massif today, moving up and across Paso La Calzada (16,552') along the Calzada Road and eventually reaching the southeast side of the Cordillera where we’ll be able to observe most of the altiplano and Lake Titicaca on the opposite side. We’ll camp close to Laguna Cacha (15,214'), our destination for the evening. (Hiking time: 6-8 hours)

Day 12: Laguna San Francisco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Cross another 16,000-foot pass and camp above Laguna San Francisco. (Hiking time: 4-5 hours)

Day 13: Alto Lohan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hike northwest toward Laguna San Francisco, cross our last pass at 15,600', and continue in the foothills of the mountain called Jankohuma. Descend to the head of the Millipaya Valley, enjoying a very colorful view of the terraces, the altiplano, and Lake Titicaca. Our destination is a campsite located just above Alto Lohena (12,770') close to Millipaya village. (Hiking time: 6 hours)

Day 14: La Paz

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ritz Apart Hotel

Today we drive back to La Paz, where we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (Driving time: 4-5 hours)

Day 15: La Paz - Fly Home

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to La Paz airport and depart on homeward-bound flights (your flight can depart at any time).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 4,695
Price Per Day: $ 313 per day
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Stride Featured in

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20 MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek) Travel Reviews & Ratings

90%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 18
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Bolivia: Trekking in the Cordillera Real

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Company Reviews

My trip with MTS was absolutely fabulous and I highly recommend this company!

5.0
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I booked a trip to Tanzania as a last hurrah before getting pregnant and it was totally the trip of a lifetime I was hoping for.

We spent a few days on safari in the Tarangire, a few days in the Serengeti, and then headed off to Zanzibar for a few days of relaxing beach time - the perfect mix of activity and rest. The sights and accommodations were unbelievable and I honestly felt like royalty the whole time! Each time we arrived a new lodge/ “camp” (more like “glamping”) the staff came out to meet us with hot towels and beverages, sometimes even singing a welcome song. In talking to other guests it became clear that our itinerary included only the top lodges, with the friendliest staff, nicest lodging, best food, and most secluded locations. One day we awoke to find a lion paw print literally six inches from our tent, and another night we were woken up by the sounds of a pack of hyena taking down an injured water buffalo that had been hanging around camp. The guides were all super knowledgeable and fun, not to mention skilled at finding all the wildlife we were interested in. There was one day that our guide spotted a cheetah from literally miles away. He tried to point it out to us, but I couldn’t make it out through the binoculars and totally thought he was full of it. Then we started driving in that direction, and lo and behold, 15 minutes later there we were, right next a gorgeous cheetah
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Plan on traveling with MTS again!

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
In the Spring of 2015, I was fortunate enough to go on the Hikers Patagonia trip through Mountain Travel Sobek. I honestly didn't know anything about this region, which is why I felt like I was in really good hands traveling with MTS. Traveling to an unknown region can be stressful (as I have experienced before), but MTS made it fun and easy! They took care of all of the paperwork in advance and even prep you on all of the gear/clothing you will need on your trip. All of the food, lodging and hiking is planned for your day, so the only think you have to do is enjoy your trip! Not only were the hikes beautiful, but the guides were extremely nice and very knowledgable. I must say, after taking this trip, I've learned that there is nothing better than going on a stunning hike and ending the day with some good food, good wine and good company. I definitely plan on traveling with MTS again!
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Family vacation

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Returned earlier this week from a trip to the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia with Mountain Travel Sobek. The unique and special attention to detail provided by our guide, Irena, on this trip was unparalleled. We were asked a few questions about food preferences and activities before the trip and it was clear throughout that every single meal and activity was planned in order to make the trip wonderful. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken as a family thanks to that thoughtful preparation. The hotels were chosen specifically for a variety of atmospheres and comfort. We travelled to several islands and locations on the mainland. Each location was very different from the last, providing both a sense of adventure and variety. The food... where to begin, it was amazing; we had several lunches at long tables under olive trees, one at an artists home, a friend of the guide, one at an island ranch, and another at an old converted home. We tried the local liquors and ate local truffles, peppers, olives, etc, from the garden. There were no other tourists at any of the locations, the meals had been set up and specifically ordered prior, by Irena - several times we were the only ones there. On several evenings, we took a boat taxi to another island for fresh seafood at a restaurant on the beach, lit by paper lanterns. We saw one of the kitchen staff go down to the dock to pull mussels and oysters out of a net tied to the dock. I can't describe the beauty of those nights. In addition, we sea-kayaked on a couple of days to pre-arranged spots where Irena prepared a picnic lunch using fresh vegetables, breads, meats, and cheeses. We kayaked past beautiful coastal villages to deserted beaches. The water I can only describe as paradise, not to cold, not too warm, clean, clear, unbelievably inviting - as were the rocky and white pebble beaches. Irena was intelligent and extremely knowledgeable about the region, it's history and politics. Another guide, Anna, joined us for the first few days and we were sorry to see her go - she was also extremely good company, smart, worldly, and knowledgeable. Travelling with Irena and Anna was as relaxed as travelling with old friends. They took care of the details seamlessly and also knew when to give us some space to enjoy our family trip. They were friendly with our teenage boys and talked to them like adults. This tour provided the perfect balance of culture, food, and activity. There is so much more I could say, this was truly a wonderful time that none of us will ever forget. Thank you MTSobek.
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Amazing trip

5.0
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I had an amazing trip with MTSobek! I went hiking through the historic villages of Portugal with some of the most knowledgeable and entertaining guides, Artur & Carla. Our group received the utmost attention from our guides as we trekked through a variety of landscapes. The local Portuguese would stop and tell our group some interesting information of the area. The cuisine was exquisite as well as some of the lodging provided. It was a very memorable trip and I would encourage anyone to make their plans to visit Portugal.
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I like MT Sobek a little bit more than A&K

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Well, since I just left my review for A&K I figured it would only be fair to do so also for MT Sobek. While A&K may dominate the very top tier of Luxury adventure travel, MT Sobek is also right up there at the top. I've travelled with them twice now and have found their guides, accommodations, general knowledge of each place to be top notch. I like MT Sobek a little bit more than A&K because MTS does seem to appeal to a slightly younger more adventurous clientele - where as A&K might be great for a honeymoon or with your parents, MTS feels better if you're NOT your parents.
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The service of this company is outstanding

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Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have done many trips with Mountain Travel Sobek in the past, most of the trips were with my dad, and a few of them with my girlfriend. The service of this company is outstanding, and the experience of each trip, is unforgettable!!!. The company itself, is truly superb!!!!.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

6-16 members

Accomodations

Ecolodge Copacabana — Copacabana

Ecolodge Copacabana is located 1 ½ miles from the town of Copacabana and 10 minutes walk from the beach along the Lake.  It is  in a cool and harmonious space where visitors can enjoy the fresh air and tranquility that characterize the area, built respecting the environment of the place, adobe and stone ground including solar energy heat the cabins. It has 8 comfortably distributed and independent cottages, all with private bathrooms. 


Ritz Apart Hotel — La Paz, Bolivia

A 5-minute walk from Parque Bolivia, this hotel offers free Wi-Fi and a central location in the heart of La Paz. Rooms are elegantly furnished and offer a seating area. All luxurious rooms of Ritz Apart Hotel are air-conditioned and include cable TV. Some rooms have balconies overlooking La Paz.

Cancellation Policy:

If written cancellation is received: Cancellation fee will be:

90 days prior to departure $150

89 to 61 days prior to departure $400

60 to 46 days prior to departure 50% of Land/Cruise Cost

45 to 0 days prior to departure 100% of Land/Cruise Cost

Trip ID#:

BolTreMou

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Meals not noted on itinerary
  • Insurance other than basic medical and evacuation insurance noted above (we strongly recommend you purchase the supplementary trip insurance offered by Mountain Travel Sobek, which includes trip cancellation insurance)
  • Optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport taxes (international—varies by location)
  • Cost of medical immunizations
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Meals Included:

14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 14 Dinners

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