Heading north of the capital into the highlands, it’s impossible to miss the snow-white crest of Huayna Potosí, one of the highest peaks of the Cordillera Real mountain range and the closest mountain to La Paz. One of the country’s most popular destinations for hikers and climbers, Huayna Potosí is renowned as one of the most accessible of Bolivia’s high-altitude summits and makes an ideal climb for less experienced mountaineers.
Around 1,000 climbers make it to the summit of Huayna Potosí each year following the two-day standard route and the relatively straightforward glacier climb is often attempted by beginners with the help of an expert guide. But while it’s a achievable goal, scaling the dizzying heights of the summit is no easy feat, with the 6,088-meter peak requiring careful acclimatization and the steep ascent up the final cliff demanding a good level of fitness.
Experienced thrill-seekers can also tackle the notorious Huayna Potosí West Face, the biggest cliff face in Bolivia, while non-climbers can still soak up the scenery around the iconic mount with a hiking or mountain biking excursion through the foothills.
Huayna Potosí is located around 25 km north of La Paz in the Cordillera Real mountain range. The main hiking and climbing season is April through October.