Sajama (6.543 m / 21.467 ft)

Sajama Mountain:

The Sajama summit is with 6.543 meters or 21.467 feet the highest mountain and extinct volcano in Bolivia. It is located in the Sajama national park in the west of Bolivia. The boarder to Chile is just a couple of kilometers away.  An uncountable number of alpacas, llamas and vicuñas can be seen around the mountain and the national park.

The tour:

Depending on the fitness of the climbers, the peak can be reached in three or four days. The first day is used to travel from La Paz to the village of Sajama and to hike to the base camp. On the second day the ascend to the high camp will take place. After some rest at about 5.600 m / 18.373 ft, the third day will be used to climb to the summit. Furthermore, the return to the high camp is necessary. The fourth day continues with the descent and the return to La Paz. Sajama mountain has a second degree difficulty of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) norm and the glacier has slopes up to 50°. Nevertheless, the conditions are described fair and the mountain is relatively easy to climb, which makes it a popular spot for mountaineers.

The dry season from April to November is the best time to climb Sajama. The weather is dry, and roads and paths are less muddy. Yet it can be very windy and cold – temperatures often fall to -20 / -4°F degrees.  Appropriate and warm equipment is necessary and required to be successful. The annual average temperatures lies by 10° C / 50° F.

Fun fact:

In 2001 some guides and villagers played football on the peak of Sajama mountain. This was a protest against the international Football Federation (FIFA), which doesn’t use La Paz as location for international matches due to its high altitude.


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