September 24, 2015
Today’s trip starts and ends in Putre and visits several sights in Lauca National Park. A rather low-impact itinerary, stopping at several viewpoints with a chance to walk around a bit. With the altitude, around 4,500 meters/ 14800 ft, I was not feeling my strongest and didn’t mind the slow pace.
We set out at 9:30AM on a beautiful clear morning with a few puffy clouds in an otherwise deep blue sky. Our route began back along the main road towards the border that we had seen from the bus on our way to Arica three days before.
Las Cuevas (the Caves)
Laguna de Cotacotani
Village of Parinacota
Lunch was at an unnamed truck stop with simple food – quinoa vegetable soup and thin slices of salty beef over spaghetti.
In the afternoon we saw our first vicuñas and guanacos, both wild species related to llamas and alpacas. While vicuña sightings would become a daily event on our trip across the Altiplano, this was the only time we saw the guanaco.
This structure was used by the Inkas to trap the vicunas in 14th to 17th century.
We decide to skip the Jurasi hot springs and ended back in Putre at about 4PM.