Treks without a tent in Bolivia?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 23, 2013 11:53 AM Last Post By: hazzdawg
Mar 20, 2013 8:34 AM
Treks without a tent in Bolivia?Greetings, I'm trying to figure out which treks and multi-day hikes in Bolivia do not require the use of a tent. So far I've come across:
Taquesi (can stay in a village on the way?)
El Choro (cabinas?)
Cordillera Los Frailles (trek from village to village)
Copacabana to Isla Del Sol (stay in villages on the island)
Does these sound about right to you folks? Any others? Also wondering what else I can leave behind, such as sleeping bag, pad, stove, etc. Just trying to travel as lean as possible.
Mar 20, 2013 8:37 AM
Mar 20, 2013 8:45 AM
Mar 20, 2013 9:39 AM
3I can only comment one one of the treks on your list--Isla del sol. For it, you are correct. You can stay in hostels in the villages for quite cheap although I don't know about costs on the south side, because we didn't stay there. We were told the north had less tourists so we stuck to there. At first a lot of people got off on the north side, but many of them hurry to the south side and leave in the afternoon. Once we got off the boat we walked straight, with the docks to our back. In a few minutes you'll reach a beautiful beach and some hostels. I would recommend staying here at least a night. I believe we paid 15 bolivianos each for our room. The island isnt huge, but if you take things slow, you could easily stay busy for 2 or 3 days. If you have a daypack, you can stash your main bag in Copacabana, take a change of clothes and some snacks and be set. You can buy more snacks, drinks, and meals on the island.
Enjoy, Isla del sol es increible.
Mar 20, 2013 9:50 AM
4Takesi - not really advisable to go without a tent as you really dont know if anyone will be around to let you stay at places. Takesi village itself for example , i camped there and paid an old lady 10bs for camping in her field next to her house - there was noone around that spoke any spanish at all so it was quite a job to try to explain what I wanted. Further down there are some proper camping places (Kakapi) that have a couple of cabinas great views also - again i stayeed there camping and that was easy to arrange with the friendly guy that runs it but there is no guarantee he will be there. It is possible to get to kakapi in one day but it will be a long day so it would mean an early start and prob around 10-12 hours of trekking. Next day would then be much shorter.
El choro - usually is camp sites
Cordillera Los Frailles - i dont know about that one sorry
Copacabana - yeah no problem to stay on the island , lots of accomodation
Mar 21, 2013 10:37 AM
5Just as an addition, my experiences on the Takesi trek differ from what tunabagel #4 writes. I've done that one several times, as it's a relatively easy trek, mostly going downhill after the high pass on the first day, so not too hard even for friends coming over from my below-sealevel country.
As I usually take it slow, we've arrived several times around nightfall in the village of Takesi and were never short of offers for places to spend the night. I've passed through the community earlier in the day once as well and only saw a handful of the village ancients that, like tunabagel says, didn't speak Spanish. I'm under the impression that the younger villagers are simply out in the field during the day, herding their llamas or caring for their crops.
I prefer to camp out by the river, half an hour below the village, but once we took a village family up on their offer to sleep in a small, ancient stone and straw house of theirs. Quite an enjoyable and special experience, sleeping on sheepskin and straw and having small fish cooked up for breakfast the next morning.
So in my experience it is very well possible to find a place to sleep in Takesi village, just wait around til the villagers get back around nightfall. So on day one you could sleep in Takesi village. Then the next day it's only a 4 or 5 hour walk to Kakapi, where there are two places to stay, as tunabagel also mentions. One is run by an elderly couple, or at least it was last time I walked the trek, two and a half years ago. It could have changed by now, of course.
The other place, the far better one, is owned by don Primitivo (what's in a name), a very nice man who, like tunabagel also mentions, has a garden with wonderful view you can camp in and some rooms along that garden, but he isn't always around. I have several phone numbers for him - last time I saw him he assured me that if he knows someone is coming, he'll stay around. Mail me at habrie at gmail dot com if you want the numbers.
Alternatively, leave early on day two and walk straight to the dam, 3 more hours or so from Kakapi. You can stay the night in a concrete room (some would say 'bunker') with the noise from the dam and the hellish smells from the mining town above. This is what the tour companies do, so you can get straight on the minibus back to La Paz that leaves from there at 4am. I've never understood that practice though, other than for reasons of their convenience.
What I usually do is stay in Kakapi on the second night and then leave on time for Yanacachi, a very small colonial town some two to three hours after the end of the trail. There's several hotels/hostels there, one can spend the evening relaxing and take the minibus around 5 the next morning (same one that leaves from the dam 4-ish).
On Choro: in several villages along that route, the villagers have constructed these roofs that you can place your tent under. I'd imagine that you could also just roll out your sleeping bag and mattress under there. And then for the last night there used to be the famous old Japanese guy with his cabañas. Is he still alive? Last time I saw him (4 years ago), someone was also constructing a great number of cabañas right in front of his property. In case he's left for greener pastures in the meantime, I suppose these new cabañas must be functioning by now?
(These last two question marks especially aimed at tunabagel or someone else in the know :) )
Mar 21, 2013 11:43 AM
Mar 21, 2013 2:46 PM
Mar 21, 2013 5:10 PM
8last time i passed by the japanese old guys place was actually about last easter when many many many people do el choro - i was doing an alternative route cutting across from the new coroico road (its not recommendable as it is very over grown and actually dangerous in parts - or it was then at least) and it joins up with el choro. All the constructions I saw nearby both before and close to the japanse old guys place seemed to be functioning as either shops or little cafes , and one right by the Japanese guys, was an official place to sign in and there where wardens working there etc.
So there may well be some cabanas but im really not sure how reliable it would be to rely on someone being there.
Mar 22, 2013 2:52 AM
9In Takesi village, there is one house built to shelter hikers. But as other people already answered it's not always open. I'm sure you can stay in some other house, but it will be extremely basic. You may prefer to camp.
Isla del Sol it's not really a trek. More like a one-day hike.
Los Frailes: it will depend on the route you choose. On my second night, I really had to camp. Even on my first night, where there was a community-run 'hotel' the person in charge only arrived at 7 pm or later to open the place. By that time, I had preferd to set up my tent too.
Mar 23, 2013 11:53 AM
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