Ojos del Salado Volcano

Ojos del Salado Volcano

Ojos del Salado Volcano

Ojos del Salado Volcano is the highest active volcano in the world and the highest mountain in Chile. Stands as a great challenge for mountain climbers with altitudes between 6600 and 6900 meters above sea level).

Near the snow peaks you will find Nevado Tres Cruces National Park, together with Maricunga Salt Lake and Santa Rosa and Negro Francisco Lagoons located over 3500 meters above sea level, the area is inhabited by different kinds of plateau birds such as pink flamingos and some varieties of gooses and ducks; the presence of guanacos and vicuñas enriches much more the area surrounding the lagoons.

Climbing  Ojos del Salado Volcano

The expedition to the summit of Ojos del Salado lasts about 10-13 days. This climbing stage does not imply technical difficulties, though a period of adjustment is required per the altitude is needed. For doing so there are different alternatives such as climbing any of the other smaller volcanoes (between 5600 and 5900 masl). Once you have get used to it, it is necessary to get closer to the mountain by a road which is in very bad shape and a 4×4 vehicle is needed.

As a help for climbing activity there is a camp at the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) and two refuges (trailers with bank beds) in the mountain route. The UDA refuge at 5.100 mts and Cesar Tejos refuge at 5.700 mts.

To climb Ojos del Salado Volcano, certain requirements must be fulfilled. Journeys must be informed at Copiapó’s Government’s Office. A climbing permission must be paid to Aventurismo Expediciones, which manages the area of Ojos del Salado Volcano and its surrounding tops. It works from November to March and the admission fee costs US$160 for foreigners and US$50 for Chilean citizens.

Foreigners must also ask for an authorization from the Dirección de Fronteras y Límites del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Borders and Limits Department from the Forgein Office). It can also be managed through Sernatur, Copiapó. The procedure lasts 48 hours.

Authorization must be shown at Maricunga Border Office or – when opened – at Green Lagoon policemen office.

Other activities in the area:

Several 4×4 vehicles* circuits can be explored which will take you to salt lakes and lagoons. These journeys can last between 8 and 15 days. Since this places have been rarely visited, nature still keeps it’s original shape, letting us observe animals in a very natural way.

There are also Cross country bike circuits with an altitude of 5000 mts high. Interesting and intrepid descents can be performed from 5500 to 4200 masl.

Near Ojos del Salado Volcano there also are find very intense emerald color lagoons that make a great contrast with the color of the ground and the volcanoes. In these lagoons you can frequently find great flocks of flamingos, taguas cornudas, ducks and some guanacos that get closer to drink some water. It is incredible the way in which nature can adapt to survive in this environment in which -during nights- temperature can reach -25º C and wind blows at more than 130 km/h.(81 miles/hour).

Among the most remarkable lagoons located at Ojos del Salado Volcano you can find the beautiful Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) located at 4200 m and in which shore you can take nice thermal baths. The impressive Santa Rosa Lagoon (Laguna Santa Rosa) (3700 masl) and Negro Francisco’s Lagoon (Laguna del Negro Francisco) (3700 mnsm) can also be found in the same place.

*For this area we recommend Category J and H from our Rent a car catalogue.

** Information related to Hours, Rates and Dates might change without any previous notice **