Trekking: Takesi Trail – Pre-inca Trail (2 days, from La Paz)

Approx. 40km east of La Paz, the Takesi Trek starts at the foot of the mountain giant Mururata and the Cerro Takesi. This beautiful and important trail connects the Andean region with the mild valleys of the southern Yungas and the Amazon lowlands. The Takesi Trek starts behind the village of Ventilla at an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level, then leads up to the Takesi mountain pass, which is the highest point of the trek at 4,640 meters. Then it descends to an altitude of 2,200 meters, to end at Mine Chojlla in the southern Yungas. The Takesi Trek covers distance of approx. 25 km in 2 days and crosses the Royal Mountain Range (Cordillera Real de los Andes). It was built by the ancient Tiwanaku people and represents a masterpiece of pre-Columbian engineering. In pre-Columbian times it was a cobblestone road with water channels along the road for drainage, a large part of which is still intact today. It is one of the best-preserved pre-Columbian trails in Bolivia, with the section between the San Francisco Mine and the Chojlla Mine incorrectly known as the Inca Trail. Today's Takesi Trail is just a section that, according to archaeologists, once belonged to a much longer route that connected La Paz with the eastern lowlands. This road network is part of a large complex pre-Columbian road system known as the "Qhapaq Ñan" (royal route), which begins in Ecuador and extends to Patagonia with an extension of approximately 6,950 kilometers.

Itinerary

First Day: Intersection Mina San Francisco (4200) - Takesi Pass (4640m) – Takesi Village (3830m)

From La Paz via the village of Ventilla (35 kilometers from La Paz), we reach the starting point of our trek at the intersection to the San Francisco mine at 4200 meters above sea level (abandoned tungsten mine). Here we begin to ascend and see the first remains of drainage channels, cobblestone pavement and retaining walls of the pre-Columbian road. The ascent gets steeper and more strenuous but the path is wide, it measures between four and five meters here, and the steep slope was overcome by the road builders in various serpentines. From the intersection of the San Francisco mine, it takes about two hours of steady ascent to the Takesi Pass, the highest point of the trek at 4640 meters above sea level. From up here we have can see the path we came along, as well as an overview of the deep valleys to the northwest, that we will hike through. The wind blows strong up here, forcing us to take refuge behind a rock to take a well-deserved break. The fog rises from the warm and humid Yungas valleys and gives a mystical touch to the beautiful view. When the wind clears the sky, we can enjoy the splendor of the Cordillera Real.
From here, we have a close-up view of the towering Mururata, its summit at 5869 meters covered by perpetual ice, as well as the snow-covered Takesi on the other side with 5.550 meters. Not far from the Takesi pass, we can see the entrance to the Andina mine, a long-abandoned tungsten mine. The descent gives us some rest after the ascent as we abruptly descend past the ruins of an abandoned mining village. Here the pavement of the path is still strikingly well preserved in many places. Later the slope of the path decreases and we reach the glacier lake Luru Kheri after a descent of approx. 165 meters and take a break on a cozy meadow. We continue our way and pass the mountain lake Laguna Wara Warani at 4460 meters above sea level. The landscape is dramatically beautiful and with every step we can admire the perfection and the details that the engineers put into the construction of the road. In the afternoon we reach the village of Takesi (3830 m asl). A dozen small stone houses plastered with clay and covered with a thatched roof, distributed in a narrow valley, take us back to a long-gone era. This village must have been a link and a rest stop for the commercial caravans that were traveling between the lowlands and the Altiplano, enabling them to collect provisions and exchange products. We also set up camp here for the night. Overnight in the tent (walking time 4 to 5 hours, approx. 9 km, 440 m ↑, 810 m ↓) (- /BL/D)

Second Day: Takesi Village (3830m) – Chojlla Mine (2225m)

After an early breakfast, we start the second day of the trek. The vegetation of the high Andes, which was still sparse and yellowish the day before, changes to an increasingly lush green with every meter we walk downhill today, and the paved path becomes narrower as it dives into the subtropical region of the Yungas, leading through its steep slopes and thick cloud forest. We wade through the Takesi River which has little water in winter. There used to be a bridge but today only the foundations are left. Afterwards, we slowly descend along the long mountain slope of the Cerro Quimsa Chata, where the pavement of the path has practically disappeared, and approach the settlement of Cacapi, a small collection of farmhouses. If the clouds lift, we have a clear view of the icy glaciers of the Mururata that stand in stark contrast to the warm green of the Yungas cloud forests. The heat increases further towards Mina Chojlla. Along a steep slope we reach the Sochicachi river, whose crystal-clear water invites us to take a refreshing dip. From here we climb uphill for twenty minutes to the hamlet of Chojlla. We then descend over good pre-Columbian cobblestone pavement until we come the Takesi River again. The amount of water here has increased dramatically, it flows turbulently between huge, round-cut blocks of stone and creates bubbling foam. A good bridge makes it easy to cross the river. From this point on, the pre-Hispanic road disappears and we continue along a water channel to the Pongo Pampa river and reach the Chojlla mine. The settlement, built on a steep slope, is a sobering contrast to the lush vegetation in the area. The mine, which is managed by a cooperative, is currently mining and processing tungsten and tin. Our driver and vehicle await us here. In Yanacachi, five kilometers from Mina Chojlla, we come across the main connecting road to the Sud-Yungas, that takes us back to La Paz. (Walking time 7 to 8 hours, approx. 16 km, 1400 m ↓). (B/BL/-) END OF OUR SERVICES

Requirements:

Good physical fitness.

Included in the package:

- English-speaking trekking guide (from/to your hotel in La Paz)
- Private transport
- 1x overnight in a tent (single tents available at extra charge)
- Porter for food and camp equipment during the trek
- You have to carry your personal belongings and clothes!
- All entrance fees
- Meals according to program (B= breakfast; L= lunch; D= Dinner)

Reservation:

Please do not hesitate to contact us for price requests, reservation, general question, and individual tour inquiries, at: contact(at)landmarktravelbolivia.com

LINK:

https://www.landmarktravelbolivia.com/takesi-trekking

Javascript is required to view this map.
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia
  • Takesi Trail, Bolivia

Advertisement

Tour operator Bolivia

High quality tours & customized tour packages in Bolivia

Exclusive tours

Discover the majestic Salar de Uyuni on most innovative routes.

Berghotel Carolina

Mountain Lodge at the foot of Cerro Tunari (5035m) - Cochabamba

Google Ads