Vulkan Isluga 5550 m
Contact: Franz Schubert
Duration: 1 Day
Starting point: Enquelga
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How to get there:
In Iquique you can rent a car. I would recommend a Pick up but the road to Colchane is paved and in good condition. In Colchane there are two accommodations, the Hotel Isluga and the Camino del Inca. The food in Iquique is much better. Outside of Colchane Cholitas there is a place you can get diesel for Bolivian prices. When we left Colchane we took the gravel road 4 km towards Enquelga. After another 7 km we passed the town Isluga with a beautiful church. After another 10 km and a total travel time of about half an hour we arrive in Enquelga. Two kilometers outside of town, off to the right, there is access to the normal route, but we took the gravel road toward Putre, continuing on until the sign "Km 52". Here we turn right and head east. After a few kilometers, we reach a small memorial with plastic flowers and plastic bottles. At this junction we turn right again. Now a four-wheel drive auto is neccissary to head up the sandy track to 4650 m.
We recommend an early start in case the crossing takes time. After about 1.5 hours we already pass the 5,000 m barrier. Initially the soil is quite sandy, but with a pleasant slope we climb about 200 meters per hour. After another 2 hours we reach the crater rim at 5380 m. We keep to the right and after only 30 minutes we reach another crater at 5410 m. Even from afar you can see the smoke rising and occasionally unpleasant sulfur fumes waft. The view into the crater is fantastic and is more than worth the effort. From all corners, it hisses, bright yellow sulfur lights is illuminated again bright blue sky and the occasional white steam ascends. We circle right on the western side of the crater and climb further south to the summit ridge at 5550 m. This again takes a good hour. At the top there is only a heap of stones, which is far less spectacular than the sight of the crater. South of us a valley separates us from the next summit area, which is likely 50 m higher. We descend along the valley slope with a constant view of Enquelga. The valley falls off steeply into a gutter that leads us through penitent snow, rock and debris to a long, meandering Sandvalley. This leads us to the parking lot where the rangers can pick us up.
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