La Paz to La Paz via Peru & Chile
February 20 – April 7
Route | Map | Conditions of Participation | Résumé | Participants
“Two weeks of riding in little-visited corners of Bolivia and Chile covered a wide spectrum of physical discomforts and absolute pleasures. Scraped, chafed, burned, steamed, scratched, sore, parched, blistered, windswept – and yet at the same time mud-bathed, elated, relaxed and awed; we enjoyed every minute of cycling in this remote and epic landscape.” (from travelers’ blog)
After finishing BC Olympic expedition in Rio de Janeiro, we got an idea to continue exploring South American countries. The next destination is Bolivia, the country with the largest population of indigenous people in all Latin America. You can feel the pulse of Andean culture on every corner of a street in big towns and small villages.
However, Bolivia also attracts for its unspoiled natural beauty. Stretching from the Amazon basin jungles to the Andes it has amazing diversity of landscapes offering challenging opportunities for cycling. High altitude cold plain, the Altiplano, located between Andean ridges contains a dozen of 6000 m volcanic cones; the highest in the world navigable Lake Titicaca; the largest salt flat Salar de Uyuni, as well as many other natural wonders, like hot springs, geysers, incredible rock formations, and colourful lagoons, which are paradise for thousands of graceful flamingos. Completely different world appears going down the Easter Andean slopes. The Yungas, a narrow band of forests between 1000 m and 3500 m, in contrast to barren Altiplano, is covered by lush vegetation; and the terrain, formed by deep steep subtropical valleys, is extremely rugged. Here the infamous “Death Road” every year magnetizes thousands of adventure seekers.
We will start our expedition from La Paz, the highest (administrative) capital in the world at 3640 m. The route is planned of two parts. The first part, the main part, will take 38 days. After 3 days for arrival, acclimatisation and visiting top sights in La Paz, the route will entirely wind across the Altiplano finishing in the south Bolivian town Tupiza. At first, we will cycle to the Lake Titicaca to meet the remains of ancient civilizations at Isla de Sol and Tiwanaku archeological sites. Then we will direct our bikes southwest, and enter for a few days into Chile to enjoy the attractions of the Lauca National Park with marvellous Contacotani and Chungara lakes at foothills of the snow-capped Parinacota volcano. Returning to Bolivia, we will take a look at the Nevado Sayama, the highest peak of Bolivia (6542 m). Continue cycling south and southeast, we will approach the utmost attractions on the route – desert-like salt flats, the Salar de Coipasa and the Salar de Uyuni. After cycling through salts, the route will take us to the Eduardo Avaroa National Park with erupting volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and the Salvador Dali desert. At the end, we will climb the Licancabur volcano 5920 m, and cycle up the highest road in the world to the altitude 5768 m at the saddle between two summits of the Uturuncu volcano. From the saddle, only a few hundred meters up to the top of volcano 6008 m. In 4 days after reaching our highest destination, we will finish in Tupiza.
The second part will take 9 days. After transfer from Tupiza to Oruro by night train and from Oruro to La Paz by bus we will cycle the South Yungas route, including the Death Road, and celebrate Easter in Coroico (Bolivia is famous for its religious traditions).
It will be extremely wild and challenging route but with life lasting memories. Almost the whole route going on unpaved roads. Before signing to the expedition read carefully Conditions of participation.
Sigitas Kučas, GMPR Lithuanian Fund, +37068659375, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Maryla Zielińska, CROTOS – Travellers’ Association: +48 663 266 553, email@example.com;
Rolandas Liutika and Edvinas Kudrevičius.