How to get by car to Cerro Chacaltaya, the world's highest ski resort?

Cerro Chacaltaya is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 5.260m (17,257ft) above the sea level, located in La Paz Department of Bolivia. It's one of the highest roads of the country.

Cerro Chacaltaya

What’s the world’s highest ski resort?

Set high in the heart of the Cordillera Real of the Bolivian Andes, Cerro Chacaltaya, also known as simply Chacaltaya, hosted the world's highest ski resort. When we think about where the highest ski resort on Earth lies, visions of Switzerland, Austria, France or Colorado fill our minds. Reality is strikingly different. From 1939 to 2009, Chacaltaya Snowy Ski Station held the title of the highest ski resort in the world. Furthermore, there was a restaurant and a chalet for tourists. Nowadays, however, due the climate changing, nothing can be found at Chacaltaya, but blurred memories and an abandoned building. Snow is gone, and so has the skiing. The ski station was abandoned in 2009.

When was the road to Cerro Chacaltaya built?

The road to the ruined ski station was built in the 1930’s.

Can you drive to Cerro Chacaltaya?

The winding road to the eerily abandoned mountaintop resort is totally unpaved. A 4x4 vehicle is required. The road is pretty narrow and steep and a little bit scary sometimes, with dangerous drop offs.

How long is the road to Cerro Chacaltaya?

The road to the summit is called Ruta Chacaltaya. It is very steep, hitting a 14% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Ingenio, the ascent is 9.6 km (5.96 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 635 meters. The average gradient is 6.61%. It’s not a journey for the weak hearted ...... or a vehicle with poor steering or brakes.

Is Cerro Chacaltaya worth it?

Upon reaching the ski resort at the end of the road, those still filled with energy can ascend on foot along a path to the summit of Cerro Chacaltaya, a climb of approximately 100 meters. For those acclimatized to the altitude, this makes for a lengthy but not excessively strenuous day trip on bikes without cargo. The vistas from the ski station are breathtaking, encompassing Huayna Potosi, Mururata, and Illimani in the Cordillera Real, as well as views of La Paz and El Alto to the south. With keen observation, a glimpse of Lake Titicaca may also be discerned to the west. If you're heading to the northwestern ridge, you can check out the Mount Chacaltaya Laboratory, which began as a weather station and became a crucial location for gamma-ray research.