Llullaillaco volcano: a magical ascent in the heart of history


Between Argentina Province of Salta and Antofagasta Region of Chile, Llullailaco peak rises at 6739 m above sea level. Below its peak lays remains of buildings, making of this beautiful place the highest archaeological site of the world. Mountaineering and trek lovers, live this exceptional adventure in the heart of Llullailaco, the Sacred Mountain with a unique ascent.

The incredible mystic story of Llullaillaco volcano

The peak of Llullaillaco keeps a heavy secret. At the end of the XXth century, an archaeological team made the strange discovery of children mummies. Sacrificed according to the purest Inca tradition, more than 500 years ago, the young victims were considered as offerings to the gods. Those poor devoted were receiving honours from the Incas, before being deified during the Capacocha ceremony. The story of this strange discovery is told in Salta’s museum “Alta Montaña”, where the mummies are kept.

Llullaillaco and its ascent full of emotion

Llullaillaco (Water of Memory or Misleading Water in Quechua language) has this special ambience, almost magic and mesmerizing, for the beauty of the landscapes and its quietness. From the top of the 7th highest mountain of South-America, the view is breathtaking. After reaching the base camp in 4WD vehicle, the ascent of Llullaillaco by foot offers a dizzying spectacle on the snowy plateaux, ashes flows and volcanic rocks. Despite the isolation of this massif, the expedition is facilitated by three unique features of the region:

The proximity with the Cancer tropic brings a semi-tropical climate.

There is little rainfall because it is located in a vast desert, close to Atacama Region.

Thanks to the tectonic forces, the landscape doesn’t have cliffs and the ascent of Llullaillaco is accessible to all sports lovers.

Llullaillaco (6.739m)Climbs/DescentsWalking time
Day 1> Base Camp +500 m3 hours
Day 2> Altitude Camp+500 m 3 hours
Day 3> Ascent> Base Camp+850 m / -1850 m11 to 12 hours