Sajama is a picturesque national park that offers impressive landscapes like around San Pedro de Atacama, the Altiplano Potosí region and the other natural sights around Uyuni. In addition, Sajama puts a focus on hiking and mountain climbing, whereas the other sites emphasis more on mass tourism using 4WDs.
If you ever just wanted to hike straight into the plains along the Salar de Uyuni tour, this is the place to do so. The Sajama National Park can be described as the perfect combination of hiking and meditation. Hiking through the plains of the Sajama National Park one is often surprised how quiet nature can be with often barely a sound for kilometres, except for maybe you footsteps. But it also offers properly guided climbs of the impressive surrounding volcanoes and mountains.
Sajama does not experience masses of tourists like in other areas of Bolivia and is still hidden with exceptional flora and fauna, vast hiking opportunities, high altitude trekking, and of course mountain climbing. meditation,
The following mountains and treks can be done without a guide and if you are reasonably fit.
Hike the plains. The plains and rolling hills of the Sajama National Park are great if you just wanted to hike and relax or meditate without an actual destination. Just pick a direction and hike for hours, exploring the amazing surroundings or any hill that looks like it would provide a proper view. This can also be a great way of getting into and out of Sajama from the highway.
Mt. Quewiña (4,550 m). This is the little hill right east of Sajama village. You can see the trail clearly, which goes straight up the hill. But only do it if you are not going to do Mt. Huisalla right next to it north, which has much better views.
Mt. Huisalla (5,053 m) (Wisalla). This medium-difficult peak provides amazing views of Nevado Sajama, Sajama village and the surrounding plains. Due to the high altitude it can be a day trek, the higher you get, the harder it will become to progress. Take your time! There is a trail that goes almost straight up from the village, or you choose the longer one that circles the mountain to the east and then offers a less exhausting final trek at the end.
Tres Lagunas Trail (41 km). The trail takes 8-12 hr, but add 1-2 hr for the geysers, hot pools and local fauna. Highlights are the many animals along the way, especially near and around the three lagoons: Casiri Macho, Sora Pata and Chiar Kkota. Many people do it in 1 day, but 2 days is possible if you have a proper tent and warm sleeping bag. There are marked camp sites along the trail, but generally many opportunities exist. The trail can easily be done without guide, but it is better go in a group if you are not a regular hiker. The trail actually enters Chilean territory, but only for about 3-5 km, after which you will return to Bolivia. If you stay on the trail and do not enter further into Chile, this is not an issue. The trail is well visible most of the time, but you should bring GPS and a proper map to take the right turns and trails.
Cerro Chiar Kkota (5,452 m) (follow the western ridge to the top from the northern side of the lagoon). In case you are taking your time with the Tres Lagunas Trail and camp overnight, you might in addition consider this interesting and exciting side-tour with magnificent views of the Lagunas, into the Sajama valley as well as Nevado Sajama itself. Allow for an extra day and night to conquer this mountain, but camping near the Laguna Chiar Kkota is very picturesque and convenient at the same time. In winter, the trail can be impassible.
Base Camp Trail (5,680 m) (Campo Alto). If you want to hit the height but without a guide, try hiking up to the base camp of Nevado Sajama. In winter, the trail might be impassable with regular boots due to snow and ice, but in summer it is definitely possible. Again, take you time and start the descend early enough—it gets dark at 18:00.
For the following treks you will need a guide and proper equipment. Sometimes, transport via 4WD is necessary.
Mt. Parinacota (6,348 m) (Volcán Parinacota). A day hike with guide that starts at 01:30 at night, so you reach the top right before sunset. Transport via 4WD is necessary and provided with a tour. There is actually trails from both the Chilean and Bolivian side, so you might meet some people heading up from the Chilean side to the top of this peak separated by the border. Bs. 1,600 per group.
Mt. Pomerape (6,282 m) (Volcán Pomerape). Even though lower, this one is more difficult than Parinacota.
Nevado Sajama (6,542 m). A volcano whose peak is the highest point in Bolivia and guided 2-3 day mountain climb with overnighting at the Campo Alto at 5,680 m.
3 – 7 Days: Explore the national park and incorporate a trek or climb of the one of the many peaks here.