(5592 m / 18,346 ft.)
Láscar is one of the most active volcanoes in Chile. It
last erupted in 1993. Because of its vicinity to San Pedro de
Atacama, it is a popular target for mountaineers, who mostly content
themselves with the crater rim at 5,150 m. The massif is composed
of two strato-volcanoes whose centres are 1.6 kms apart. Each
crater measures approximately 900 m across. Due to its relatively
low altitude, the Láscar is a good mountain to get acclimatized
for higher tours. Under normal weather conditions, warm clothes
and trekking boots are enough. But after a snowfall, you may well
need special gear for the summit area.
Pedro de Atacama.
to get there
From the touristic
center of San Pedro a road leads through the villages of Toconao
and Talabre, past Lejía Lagoon, up to the southeast foothills
of Láscar. The altitude and the appalling state of the
road make it necessary to go in a 4x4 vehicle. It's a tough road
and it'll take you about three hours for a 120 km trip. Mine craters
on both sides of the road are mute witnesses of Chile's recent
conflict with Argentina.
It is often
not possible to camp on the mountain slope due to the sulphur
dioxide laden wind that blows down the mountain. Further down,
at approximately 4,500 m at the left side of the road, you will
find some spots sheltered from the wind suitable for setting up
the tents. This place is easy to find: look out for the enormous
boulders which were hurled out in the 1990’s eruption within
a radius of approximately 5 km. If you prefer, you can camp at
Lejía Lagoon (4,300 m), but it is a little far away from
the mountain and exposed to strong winds. Anybody who is not yet
acclimatized to camp at such high altitudes, can find a nice place
to camp at Tumbre valley (3900 m). A good choice, where you will
find nice places to hike.
it snows, the the road tracks disappear, making it dangerously
difficult to find your way back to San Pedro.
large boulders follow the trail for about 1 hour on foot or 10
minutes by car, up to the end of the track. Then climb up the
smooth part in the middle of the slope. From here a discernible
path runs up the volcano; however, on this side the air is often
rarefied by sulphur dioxide, at which times this route becomes
take the easy to spot ridge at the western side of the slope.
However, this route is steeper, takes you higher and consists
mainly of rocks. You will need approximately 3 hours for this
Maps for this tour
View of the summit