This geothermal area in Bolivia is located on the other side of the Mountains from the Geysers del Tatio of Chile. They are located at an elevation of approximately 4905m, according to the sign up there. I had no way to verify this elevation at the time. The "geyser basin" is primarily a collection of mud pots. Some are wetter that others and are constantly spouting muddy water to a height of approximately 3 meters. Some of them have lava flow deppending of the month, should be quite a site!
Most tourists arrive early in the morning to enjoy the abundant steam in the cold air. We arrived in late morning which in my opinion was better as you could easily see the boiling mud without the interference of steam clouds. This was an uncontrolled area and we could walk anywhere we wanted. As we got out of the truck our guide merely said "Don't fall in or you will die!".
Every now and then someone fall into one hole and never get out alive.
The collection of mud pots was extremely impressive. The blend of water and mud was nearly perfect.
This area is characterized by intense volcanic activity and the geyser field is full of mud lakes and steam pools with boiling lava with little protection from the 200ºC to 250°C heat. The hot steam of the geyser can reach heights of between 10 to 50 meters, depending on the pressure.
Getting ThereIt's not easy to get there to see just that spot. Probably you'll have to set up the salar de uyuni tour (3 days ride) to see it. It is close to the Laguna Colorada and San Cristobal Village, you'll pass bythe geysers in the second morning and should be very cold, with temperatures around 0ºC to 5°C at summer time and between -5°C to -20°C at winter time, so be prepared.
Don't try to be a smart ass and get to close to the holes, if you fall into one of them, you'll be cooked in 3 minutes. No question about that!
CampingCamping is not allowed anywhere at this place. Not even possible since it is a volcano crater and very dangerous, certain death in case of an eruption.
DefinitionsHow and Why are Geysers Formed?
Geysers are formed as a form of outlet for the pressure build-up underneath the Earth’s crust, we should also make it clear that geysers do not just erupt at will or at random places. The steam pressure has to reach groundwater level and get trapped between the ground surface and the Earth’s layers.
However, there are fissures or narrow shafts existing in between the Earth’s layers and they will serve like exhaust systems for the hot steam pressures. Meanwhile, the water reservoir underneath the groundwater surface and layers of land will reach its boiling hot stage as it comes in contact with the hot rocks. The heat and steam pressure created will escape through the fissures until it reaches the groundwater level.
As the heat reaches groundwater, the latter will also boil creating more heat and steam pressure but is already trapped just below the Earth’s crust. Due to this, pressures of great magnitude build up, and can only find release once the amount of pressure is enough to create ground eruption. Once eruption takes place, the trapped steam pressure will spew several thousands of gallons of boiling hot water, thrusting it many hundreds of feet above the ground.
Thus, a geyser has formed and soon after, regular eruptions of steaming and boiling hot water will be released. This is a natural occurrence in order to lessen the steam pressure that builds up near the Earth’s core, since there are hot rocks or magma that keep the water reservoir boiling.
Geyser eruptions can be quite a spectacle. In fact, the “Old Faithful Geyser” has become a regular attraction at Yellowstone National Park. Most of those who visit the national park go out of their way just to see “Old Faithful” spew out gigantic fountains of steaming hot water, mud or even lava flow.
Certain facts on geysers are basic, but still important to know. There are approximately 1,000 geysers throughout the world and they are considered extremely rare features. Most of the world's geysers are located in Yellowstone National Park. The geysers in Yellowstone National Park were created long ago by volcanic eruption.
The name “geyser” originated in Iceland and in Icelandic it means “to gush or rush forth”. The first geyser was discovered in Iceland in 1294 and called “The Great Geysir”.
Many geysers erupt straight up into the air. However, some geysers, referred to as Ledge geysers, erupt out of a hillside at an angle.
Many geysers erupt due to the boiling of water. However, some geysers are powered by gas pressure and erupt from warm or cold springs.
Some geysers erupt at regular intervals and others only erupt on rare occasions. Only six of the geysers located in Yellowstone National Park erupt regularly and their eruptions are predicted by the park's rangers. These six geysers include Old Faithful, Great Fountain, Riverside, Castle, Daisy, and Grand.
All hydrothermal features are called geysers once they erupt. Once a geyser has been named a geyser, it is always called a geyser even if they no longer erupt. Other hydrothermal features include mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles. There is one significant difference between hot springs and geysers: steam and water cannot flow through the cracks in a geyser's rock because these cracks are too narrow.
To hike/ climb is a dangerous activity and requires proper equipment and clothing, the owner of this page cannot be blamed by injuries caused to anyone who read this page for its info about the mountain, and eventually got hurt by doing so with reckless behaviour or bad weather conditions.
Paulo Roberto Felipe Schmidt – AKA: PAROFES
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