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Mountains & Rocks



Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Bolivia, South America

Object Title: Uturuncu

Elevation: 19750 ft / 6020 m


Page By: CBakwin

Created/Edited: Mar 1, 2005 / Mar 2, 2005

Object ID: 153750

Hits: 12124 

Page Score: 79.77%  - 11 Votes 

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The tallest Volcano on the South West Antiplano of Bolivia, Uturuncu sits quietly above the hills behind Quentano Chico on the road from Laguna Verde to Tupiza. It is somewhat "out of the way" and as is the case with most of the peaks on the antiplano, a bit hard to get to. Possibly a car could be hired in Tupiza. You could include this on a custom antiplano/Salar de Uyuni tour, and there is a bus and Camions that go to Quentano Chico, but you'd have to hike in, which would involve camping.

Getting There

Assuming you can get to Quetano Chico (an uneventful mining and lama herding town west of the VERY spectacular Cordillera de Lipez, Uturuncu is not in this Cordillera), there is a road that goes to an old sulphur mine on the mountain. Ask anyone, the road winds out of town southwards and is very probably the highest motorable road IN THE WORLD. It goes up to 5,900 meters but the last parts are often drifted over with snow and not passable. Warning - Roads in this part of Bolivia, and especially this one to Tupiza, are pretty rough and can become impassable when wet.

Red Tape

No red tape, just the usual difficulty traveling on rough roads with no infastructure in a remote part of the world.

When To Climb

Year round, summer (Dec-Mar) is the wet season, but that doesn't mean much on the high antiplano. Colder in winter.


You can do this about anywhere but the refugios are so cheap, why put yourself through this. Cough up the one to three bucks for a bed and a roof.

Mountain Conditions

I'm sorry, as with most mountains, you will have to check locally. Ofcourse we all know weather can change quickly and very dramaticlly at high altitudes.

External Links

  • Cycling up to 5900m
    Not a mountaineering page, but lots of useful information about the area, interesting storys and some nice photos. In Italian.

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-3 of 3    
pbakwinUntitled Comment

Hasn't voted

More photos from this trip on my website at:



Posted Mar 24, 2005 4:16 pm
AlpinistPossible volcanic activity


Hasn't voted

Posted Oct 24, 2011 2:28 pm
matthias.pabstFrom Tupiza


Voted 7/10

I did it in January 2014 as part of a Tour from Tupiza. The regular tour visits the national park Eduardo Averoa (where Uturuncu and Licancabur are situated) and the saltflats in Uyuni. The normal trip takes 4 days when starting in Tupiza and ends in Uyuni on the last day.

With 4 friends we got a tour to include Uturuncu and Licancabur, with an extra day for each of them. For Uturuncu the driver also figured as our "guide". That said he wanted to take as to the lower east summit and didn't have shoes to continue when walking through a little snow... Anyway the climb is not technical and route finding was not very hard neither.

We started at roughly 5200m at 7am and reached the top at 11am roughly. Another group took approximately an hour more. Back to the starting point is then 90 minutes to two hours. As we were not that tired at that point we decided to walk back to Quetano Chico (25km according to the guide) where we arrived at 6:30pm.

Climbing this mountain as part of an Uyuni tour is in my opinion the easiest way, as the distances are pretty big and all of it has to be covered on dirt roads, which can be a problem in rainy season. The cost is also moderate at roughly 260USD for 6 days all included in 2014.
Posted Apr 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Viewing: 1-3 of 3    


Up the ridge to the top 1/25/05Uturuncu after snow storm,..."Roll \'em Down"Uturuncu from downtown...My brother, Peter Bakwin,...Uturuncu summitCerro Soniquera from Uturuncu
View from UturuncuCerro SoniqueraUturuncu from Quetena Chico, (4150 m)In the saddle, UturuncuSulphuric vapour venting, UturuncuUturuncu, final summit approach from the saddleCerro Soniquera and San Antonio from near the saddle
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