"Luaca National Park and Lake Chungara" Putre Off The Beaten Path Tip by TooTallFinn24
Putre Off The Beaten Path: 2 reviews and 6 photos
Located a few miles up the road and about 1000 additional meters in altitude is Luaca National Park. The park is comprised of over 300,000 acres. The most visually stunning sites in the park are Parinacota Volcano and Lake Chungara. In addition, although not shown in my photos is the Guallatire Volcano which is always smoldering.
Parinacota is the most visually striking site in the park. The volcano which is considered, "potentially eruptive," rises to a height of 6,300 meters which is over 20,827 feet. The volcano lies on the border of Bolivia and Chile. According to residents the volcano is considered a relatively easy climb with only snow and gravel fields on the way to the summit.
Lake Chungara rests at an altitude of 4,500 meters on the road to Bolivia. The lake was formed about 8,000 years ago after a major eruption and partial collapse of the Parinacota Volcano. The wildlife on the lake was somewhat limited. While there were several species of birds I could only observe many pink flamingos near the shore.
As a note walking at well over 15,000 feet near Lake Chungara is a struggle. Your brain is constantly fighting for oxygen. Several of the folks around me were suffering from either headaches or showing signs of high altitude sickness. As a caution please descend the road from Chile slowly. Getting to the top quickly can mean big problems later.