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Atacama Desert Andes Explora Expediciones:

     . . . Exploring the Andes . . .

              Climbing & Trekking


Desierto de Atacama


Expedición Volcán Ojos del SaladoExpedición Nevado Tres Cruces
Volcán Copiapó - Volcán Doña Inés


In the Atacama Andean it stand out a solid mountain compound for a terrestrial relief of great span in the beginning of the South American Altiplano that constitutes a great interest and tourist attraction . . .

      It´s the area with bigger quantity of six thousand of the Chilean territory, fourteen mountains that surpass the six thousand meters on the sea level, nevados and volcanos of amazing span and natural attractiveness . . .

      The established ones prevail in the such international limit as the Nevado "San Francisco" ( 6.200 m/ 20.324 ft ), next to the border step, toward the south and to about 15 kms the Nevado "Incahuasi" is located ( 6.621 m/ 21.708 ft ), toward the west the Nevado "El Fraile" ( 6.061 m/ 19.872 ft ), it follows the Nevado "El Muerto ( 6.450 m/ 21.147 ft ) and then the Nevado "Ojos del Salado" ( 6.893 m/ 22.600 ft ), which dominates the outlying vision of the whole altiplanic environment that surrounds it, continuing toward the west the Cerro "Solo" ( 6.213 m/ 22.370 ft ), and the Nevado "Tres Cruces" ( 6.753 m/ 22.140 ft ). The other six thounsand is located in national territory to both sides of the international road in the proximities of "Murray" Camp ( 4.350 m/ 14.262 ft ), which serves as center of operations and acclimatization place.


Ojos del Salado Expedition: ...
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              Highest Active Volcano in the world         Climbing in the       Finals meters in the


      El Nevado Ojos del Salado are manifested reflecting an imposing mountain located in an arid area and desertedly in Andes of Atacama on an extensive plateau considered physically as the beginning of the South American "Altiplano".

      It is located in the mountainous zone of Atacama, third region, to inside of the Copiapó city, Chile, in the south end of one of the most arid deserts in the world, Atacama Desert, among those S 27º 06,45' y W 68º 32,629, surrounded of snowy of more than six thounsan meters of altitude, the "Ojos del Salado" originate with their silhouette the most excellent summit in whose Andean high landscape with 6.893 m.s.n.m., consenting him the privilege of being the highest volcano in the world, the second summit of America and the highest mountain of Chilean Andean.

      The Snowy one Possesses three summits on the six hundred thousand meters in the environment of the volcanic complex, the north crater, the south and the west, the summit of the north or main crater is that of more altitude ( 6.893 m/ 22.600 ft ), generally his crateric fissure is covered with snow of moderate inclination. It descends gradually in east-west direction their form in the higher part isn´t very defined, it possesses inside two craterics hillsides, the east ( rocky formation of more volume in which summit is located the Argentinean summit ), and the west ( great sharp turret, separated from the previous one for the edge ( "canaleta" ), which harbors the Chilean summit ).

      The Nevado Ojos del Salado are of the volcanism Andesítico type, according to the emission time the volcano would correspond to a recent, denominated Neovolcanism, having carried out its main activity at the moment during the Plehistoceno-Holoceno carries out a secondary volcanic activity, designated with the generic name of Fumarólic . . .



TRIP ITINERATY 1: (VOS 01) 8 DAYS, 7 Nights

We meet during the morning in us office in Copiapó to check the equipment and discut the Itinerary.



Begin the trip in the remind day, we`ll drive to Laguna Santa Rosa a 3.650 m/11.500 ft. where set up camp. This Crystallin lagoon it´s full of flamencos, who find refuge inside of the Maricunga salt flats.


We will be here one day to do trekking in the Cerro Mulas Muertas ( 5.800 m/ 19.016 ft ), and to be acclimatized to the altitude.


We`ll trekking in the Cerro Barrancas Blncas and ascend until the "farellones" to have a panoramic view of the area.


            (CAMP 1 ).

We`ll drive to Universidad de Atacama Shelter to 5.200m/17.000 ft. where we will install camp 1.


We`ll acclimatize to the altitude while we walk toward the Cesar Tejos Shelter to 5.750m/18.800 ft. and we will return to spend the night in the Camp 1.


We`ll ascend toward the "Tejos" shelter, we will spend the night in the Camp 2.


We`ll climb toward the summit of Ojos del Salado Volcano ( 6.893 m/22.600 ft ) in around 7 at 8 hours and we will return toward the Camp 2, Camp 1.   


We`ll travel toward Laguna verde, later on a Copiapó to conclude the expedition. 

TRIP ITINERATY 2: (VOS 02) 7 DAYS, 6 Nights


For Climbers who have had a previous escalade in height ( 5000 m has more than enough ), it is probable that it can be a short period of acclimatization, in this case, the itinerary could be: 

During the morning we will know each other in Copiapó to check the team and to fix the itinerary. 


DAY 1 : Copiapó-Laguna Verde (4.150 m) y/o Refugio Murray (4.350 m), making here two acclimatization. days.
DAY 2 : Aclimatization in Murray Shelter.
DAY 3 : We will drive from Murray Shelter toward the University of Atacama Shelter (5.150 m)(BC);
DAY 4 : We`ll carry some team from the BC until Cesar Tejos Refuge. We will return to the BC to spend the night;
Day 5 : BC  until Tejos Shelter and spend the nigth.
Day 6 : Tejos Shelter - Summit (6.893 m/ 22.600 ft)-Tejos S. - BC.
Day 7 : Universidad de Atacama Shelter - Copiapó.

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Expedición Nevado Tres Cruces: ...
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                Nevado Tres Cruces            

      El Nevado Tres Cruces find in the midle of the " Tres Cruces" National Park whose importance resides in the existence, inside their limits, of places of rest and refuge for a great number of species of birds and Andean fauna.

      In this Park it´s represented the Ecological Region denominated Steppe "Alto Andina" and the sub - region of the Altiplano and of the Puna, the one that in turn would contain two vegetable formations: The Desértic Steppe of the Andean Salt flats and the High Andean Desert of the Ojos del Salado.

      The Mountain have a strong presence in the Area, product of the outlet of the River Lamas in this height desert, constituted for Maricunga Salt Flat,  and especially in the zone the Lagoon Santa Rosa,  place of Inca establishment. To obtain a privileged view from their summit of 6.753 m.s.n.m. /22.140 ft is an excellent prize.


TRIP ITINERATY 1: (NTC 01) 7 DAYS, 6 Nights


      During the morning we will know each other in Copiapó to check the team and to fix the itinerary. 



      Begin the trip in the remind day, we`ll drive to Laguna Santa Rosa a 3.650 m/11.500 ft. where set up camp. This Crystallin lagoon it´s full of flamencos, who find refuge inside of the Maricunga salt flats.



      We´ll trekking in the area toward the Cerro Santa Rosa to acclimatize us to the altitude and to obtain a panoramic view of this beautiful area.


      We will drive in Vehicles 4 WD until the base of the Nevado Tres Cruces until about 5.000 m/16.393 ft. for then to continue and install our base camp BC ( 5.500 m / 18.032 ft ).


DAY 4: BC (5.500 m) - CAMPO ALTO (6.200 m).

    We´ll ascend until the "Collao" ( coliflor ) and install our High Camp CA (6.200 m/20.327 ft).


DAY 5: CA (6.200 m) - CUMBRE (6.753 m) - CA.

      From our High Camp after 6 at 8 hours of march will achieve the Summit of the Nevado Tres Cruces ( 6.753 m / 22.140 ft ), we´ll back to spend the night in our CA.


DAY 6: CA (6.200 m) - BC (5.500 m) - LAGUNA VERDE (4.200 m) - COPIAPÓ (600 m).

    We´ll walk down from the Collao until the Base Camp ( 5.500 m / 22.140 ft ) and we´ll drive to Verde Lagoon ( 4.200 m/13.770 ft ). we´ll stay for the afternoon or over the night in this comfortable place depending on that agreed previously.



      We´ll back to Copiapó City, we will leave them in theirs lodging or place that the client wants. This day it depends on that agreed previously.

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Volcán Copiapó: ...
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                Base Camp       Going up in the        Volcán Copiapó Summit

     The "Copiapó" Volcano is located amid an arid area, but that although arid, the Copiapó Valley has been enabled from the earliest times because it is the first valley that has abundant water, grass, wood, and that it allowed a wide agriculture after crossing 500 km of desert, from the North.

      When the Inca crossed the Copiapó Valley between 1470 and 1480, they already found it with livestock and agriculture, they discovered that was a rich area in minerals deposit. They established two Administration centers in the Copiapó Valley and mines worked in the Region with an important mining center in "Viña del Cerro". The archaeological investigations in the Region demonstrate that was of primary importance in the expansion of the Inca Empire and was here where they consolidated bigger their authority.

      The first current knowledge, in their ascension to the "Copiapó" Volcano, was the Polish W. Paryski and J. Szsepenski, they arrived to the summit at March 11 1937. 

      One of the more important discoveries opposing was to the depth 131 cm. A statue of a woman's silver with their complete dress in miniature and their garment for the hair, of feathers. Was buried in a mixture of fine gravel and sand, with their face directly to the East. Was made in a typical Inca style "Cuzqueño", similar statues have been in other places of High summit;"Mercedario", "Las Tórtolas", "Gallán", "Pichu Pichu", El Plomo", "Pili", "Llullaillaco".

      To 164 cm of depth was male's statuette made of "spondylus", with their gear in complete miniature and a garment for the hair, their face directly to the E. they were 7 similar statuettes; "Tarapacá", "Aconcagua", "Gallan", "Pili", "Las Tórtolas". Was also a "Llama" statuette made "spondylus".

      The "spondylus" shells were highly valued by the Inca ( warm water of the Ecuador, outside of the "Humbolt" Current ), and the Inca believed that the "spondylus" was the daughter of the ocean, the last origin of the water. For that reason was indispensable in the rites to obtain rain. Their use in the "llama" and male's statue has an association with fertility concepts.

      The locations, orientations and gear (hair of the statues was thought). the male's statue takes a hair of black feathers, while that of the woman takes one of white feathers. The "llama" was found among male's figures and woman guided to the East, and it is possible that with the "llama" was likewise.


TRIP ITINERATY 1: (VC 01) 6 DAYS, 5 Nights

      During the morning we will know each other in Copiapó to check the team and to fix the itinerary.


DAY 1: COPIAPÓ - LAGUNA SANTA ROSA (3.650 m/11.967 ft).

      We`ll drive to Laguna Santa Rosa a 3.650 m/11.500 ft. where set up camp. This Crystallin lagoon it´s full of flamencos, who find refuge inside of the Maricunga salt flats.


      We´ll trekking in the area toward the Cerro Santa Rosa to acclimatize us to the altitude and to obtain a panoramic view of this beautiful area.

DAY 3: SANTA ROSA - CAMPAMENTO BASE (4.200/ 13.770 ft).

      We´ll go into in 4 WD Vehicles for the road that the Inca traveled, in their Ritual procession toward the "Copiapó" Volcano (6.050 m / 19.836 ft), we´ll set up Base Camp, spending the night amid the Andean landscape.

DAY 4: BASE CAMP - CAMPO ALTO (5.100 m/ 16.721 ft).

      We´ll come closer until the base of the "Copiapó" Volcano and we´ll install our Campo Alto CA, we´ll spend the night.


      We´ll attack the "Copiapó" Volcano Summit (6.050 m / 19.836 ft), in around 6 at 8 hours. We´ll return to the Campo Alto to spend the night.


DAY 6: CAMPO ALTO - COPIAPÓ ( 600 m/ 1.967 ft ).

      We´ll back to the "Copiapó" City, being able to go by Laguna San Francisco or Laguna Santa Rosa, previously agreed in our itinerary. We´ll leave them in their hotel or residence place.



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Volcán Doña Inés: ...
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              Doña Inés Volcano       Beauty place in the base camp . . .       High Andean Ruins at the summit . . .


     The "Doña Inés", reaching the 5.070 m/16.623 ft., it´s the highest volcano near of Pedernales Salting, who together with the Atacama Salting, they become the biggest in the Atacama Region.

      In this area, the Andes separate in two chains mountainous called Mountain range of Domeyko and Claudio Gay. In any way, to climb it allows us to have a beautiful vision of the Region. From their summit one can see the "Ojos del Salado" Volcano clearly (6.893 m), Pedernales Salting and Incan rooms, vestiges of the Rites carried out in the Andean Region. 

      It´s not a technical climb, being constituted a great mountain to be acclimatized to the height and to see an interesting route: Inca Trail. Because this comes from San Pedro de Atacama skirting when Atacama Salting and crossing toward Pedernales Salting, for finally to arrive to the Copiapó Valley.

TRIP ITINERATY 1: (VDI 01) 3 DAYS, 2 Nights

During the morning we will know each other in Copiapó to check the team and to fix the itinerary.

DAY 1: COPIAPÓ - CAMPAMENTO BASE (4.300 m/14.098 ft).

We´ll drive to the Base Camp located in the Pedernales Salt Flat base.

DAY 2:  BC (4.300 m/14.098 ft)- CUMBRE - BC.

We´ll climb until the summit of "Doña Inés" (5.070 m/16.623 ft) in around 5 at 6 hours and then we´ll return toward the B.C. Spending the night in the BC.


We´ll return us toward Copiapó for the east, observing interesting geologic formations and carrying out eco-tourist pictures.


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Juan Martinez 562, Copiapó-Chile Phone: ++( 09 ) 5790173
© 2001 Andes Explora Expeditions ©
Last Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2001 - 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time

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