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Huayna Potosi is a beginner level mountain climb over a 3 day period including basic training, equipment and a rare chance to get over 6000 meters without being an experienced climber. Highly recommended. This is one of the most popular climbs in South America.


Huayna Potosí is a beginner level climb over a 3 day period including basic training, equipment and a rare chance to get over 6000 meters without being an experienced climber. Highly recommended.

Don’t believe how easy the guidebooks make this climb seem! Anything over 6000 meters is difficult and climbing for 7 or 8 hours is tiring for anyone at high altitude. That said if you are well acclimatized, quite fit and very determined then there is a good chance you will make it and have an unforgettable experience of a lifetime - you do not need to have experience. If you underestimate  the climb, have not spent at least several days at altitude, try to save a few dollars by attempting a  2 day trip when not acclimatized– then you will likely not make it to the top (its possible but your chances are slimmer). Make no mistake – you need determination to climb this mountain and although physically demanding the mental challenge is just as tough if not tougher!

There is a 2 day option of this climb that does not include the practice day that we can arrange for well acclimatized if they wish although you will have less time to get acclimatized to the higher altitude of the mountain.

DAY 1 – Climbing school and acclimatization
Set off from La Paz around 9.00 am you will head off towards the mountain range but first with a stop off at the equipment store to try on boots, jackets and trousers etc. that you will need on the climb. Arrive after 2 hours or so driving to the refuge and have some lunch before heading off for some practice / training on the lower glacier. You will learn how to fall correctly with an ice axe, climb / walk using crampons and general mountain safety. Guides are Spanish-speaking only so it is advisable to have some Spanish to get the best from this but they can instruct you in these techniques visually to some degree.

DAY 2 – The High Camp
A simple day that involves a short trek of 2 or 3 hours up to the high camp at 5200 meters. You eat around 5 or 6 pm here and then sleep early before the early start for the climb.
DAY 3  The Ascent
Wake up around 1am and start the climb. It is cold, dark and slow progress but you will experience some great moments along the way including seeing the night lights of El Alto and La Paz from above, climbing a 30 meter ice wall, jumping over a crevasse or two. The last 200 meters involve forcing yourself up a 45 degree wall of compressed snow which will be tough going after the climb up and the altitude effects – this is where you need your mental toughness but it will be rewarded by incredible views of the Cordillera mountain range and a sense of achievement you will never forget.

  • Private transportation to and from the climb 
  • Qualified mountain guide, Spanish-speaking 
  • Equipment - climbing boots, crampons, ice axe, mountain jacket and trousers, harness, rope etc.
  • Meals and accommodation in refuges – both low camp and high camp in refuges
  • Souvenir poster (collect from out office quoting your booking number)
  • Head torch (one can be provided if you supply batteries though)
  • Sleeping bag (quality mountain sleeping bags can be rented from us - a basic one can be provided free upon request, whereas  a -18c mountain sleeping bag can be rented from us for 10$ plus deposit for value of bag)
  • Thermal under trousers (optional), fleece jacket and thermal upper body wear
  • Water (2 to 4 liters - refills available in refuges), chocolate or high calorie sweets /snacks
  • Warm gloves for wearing inside mountain gloves, warm hat
  • Sunglasses, sun cream and lip balm - essential
  • Travel insurance - recommended


The group climb requires a minimum of 2 people  in order to leave although we often have groups leaving but this frequency varies with the season. There is one guide for 2 people, 2 guides for 3/4 people, 3 guides for 5/6 people. Larger group sizes are better as they provide more flexibility. For example if there are just 2 people and one guide and one person cannot continue the climb then both climbers must return with the guide and no refunds will be given. If there is a larger group one guide can bring 1 or 2 people down whilst others continue.

SINGLE PERSON CLIMB - It is also possible to do the climb with just one person as a private departure but there is an additional cost for this service - please choose the Private Single Person Tour option below when booking.

The following is the operator`s cancellation policy for this tour. Please note that we can only process changes and cancellations during office hours , so please try to give us as much notice as possible. 
For example you might e-mail us asking for a change or cancellation with more than 48 hours notice but we might not be able to process it on time (we work limited hours during weekends, holidays etc.) - we strongly advise our custumers to always give us more than the 48 hours notice - at least 24 hours more. For example, if you email us at 18.00 Bolivian time on a Saturday we will not process this until Monday 10.00 am when we open as our office closes at 17.00 on a Saturday and is closed Sundays. The notice period will be calculated from 10.00 am Monday morning.
  • 8+ days notice: full refund
  • 2 to 7 days notice: 50% penalty applies
  • 48 hours or less notice: No refund

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