21,120 ft/6,439 m

Tour Overview

Illimani is the highest peak in the Cordillera Real, rising to 6,439 m. It is a massive mountain with three summits over 6,000 m and with a profile visible from hundreds of kms out on the Altiplano to the west and from far out into the Amazon Basin on the east. Nearly a four hundred m higher than Mt. McKinley, Illimani offers a serious, high altitude challenge without the continuous hardships of extremely low temperatures. Illimani is a demanding high-altitude mountaineering challenge in the Bolivian Mountains. This wonderful climb will give you the chance to stand over 21,000 feet.


  • The highest peak in the Cordillera Real.
  • The most representative mountain in the Bolivian Andes.
  • Beautiful views over the City of La Paz and Lake Titikaka.
  • Plenty of photo opportunities.
  • High altitude challenge.
  • Suitable for:

  • Average fitness.
  • Acclimatized and determined people.
  • Beginners to experienced climbers.

    Land costs include:

  • Transportation. Bolivian Journeys has a private driver to provide in country transport, thus ensuring our safety and facilitating an independent schedule that does not depend on public transportation.
  • Food. We eat high quality meals using fresh local ingredients.
  • All group climbing gear.
  • Mules.
  • Professional mountain guide.
  • Land costs do not include:

  • Meals except while climbing.
  • Park fee .
  • Gratuities to guides and staff.
  • Insurance.
  • Rescue or medical expenses that may occur during the trip.
  • Day 1

    Departure 8:00. We leave the city travelling southeast over very rugged roads to a small settlement where we meet our arriero and his mules. With our gear loaded on his animals, we climb gradually higher while enjoying brilliant views of Illimani, and eventually pass through the isolated village where he and his family live. Here Aymara life is very traditional, with thatch-roofed homes constructed of mud brick and stone and villagers busy attending to the soaking, drying, and freezing of their potatoes (in the world's original freeze-drying process). We climb above the village and establish base camp at "Puente Roto" 4,400 m (14,440 ft), where in the evening we enjoy a beautiful view of sunset over the Altiplano and the City of La Paz.
  • Day 2

    Today our arriero returns with members of his family who help us as porters. With them we make a 1,000 m ascent up trails and a rock ridge to reach a snowy bench at 5,450 m (17,880 ft) where we establish our high camp "Condor's Nest". We will have a fantastic view of the entire Cordillera Real to the north, and, Sajama Bolivia's highest mountain, will be visible far off to the west near the border of Chile. With the setting sun the lights of La Paz will begin to burn brightly and flicker in the distance below. Lake Titicaca glistens in the distance, and as the Andean night drapes Illimani in darkness, the Southern Cross gradually reveals itself. It's quite a spectacular sight!
  • Day 3

    After an early morning departure, we rope up and ascend in order to reach the summit. we climb the Southwest Buttress, initially ascending steep exposed slopes along a sharp ridgeline and then negotiating large crevasses and a variety of ice and snow conditions that can include a short headwall of 50 degrees. Climbing on the West Side of the mountain, the sun does not reach us until we pass through an upper saddle and gain the final ridge to the summit - a gently rising, exposed, and very photogenic finish that provides some of the finest views in the Andes. Always scenic and offering rewardingly varied alpine climbing, this is an exciting expedition on one of South America's greatest peaks.
  • Day 4

    Today we go back to La Paz. A short two hours hike to Estancia Unna where you'll be picked up by our transportation. Finally two hours drive to La Paz.


  • 1 lightweight, long sleeve polypropylene shirts
  • 1 medium weight fleece shirt or wool sweater
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 1 outer shell jacket with hood *
  • Bottoms

  • 1 pair long underwear bottoms
  • 1 pair wind pants *
  • Footwear

  • 1 pairs wool socks
  • 1 pair light weight trekking
  • Boots

  • 1 pair trekking boots
  • 1 pair plastic expedition boots *
  • 1 pair gaiters *
  • Hand wear

  • 1 pair fleece mittens
  • 1 pair overmitts
  • Head gear

  • 1 wool hat
  • 1 pair glacier glasses
  • 1 sunhat
  • Sleeping gear

  • 1 down or synthetic sleeping bag (rated to 15 F) *
  • 1 full length closed cell foam pad
  • Pack

  • 1 daypack for approach hike and possible use on summit day and carry-on bag
  • 1 large (7,500+ duffle bag for gear, include small padlock
  • Climbing gear

  • 1 climbing harness *
  • 1 pair crampons *
  • 1 ice axe (60-70 cm) *
  • 1 locking carabiner *
  • 1 regular biner *
  • 1 equipment sling (1" tubular webbing, approx. 6' long)
  • 1 helmet *
  • Misc

  • 1 first-aid kit
  • 1 headlamp, include extra batteries *
  • 1 one quart water bottle
  • Lip balm (spf 30) and sun screen (spf 40)
  • Pocket knife
  • Adjustable ski poles (highly recommended)*

( * ) Items can be rented from Bolivian Journeys

Contact Us

Tour details:

Altittude: 21,120 ft/6,439 m

Days: 4 days

Difficulty: Beginner

Location: Cordillera Real