Paso Picavilque

Picavilque Pass, pure adventure

Abra Picavilque is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.085m (16,683ft) above the sea level, located near the Bolivian border, in Chile’s Region I (Tarapacá). It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.

The road to the summit, located within the Andes mountain range, is gravel, rocky, tippy and bumpy at times. It’s called A-349. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Open to all motorized vehicles, however, recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. The road is quite new and large – enough for two trucks to pass.

Near the summit, also known as Abra Picavilque, oxygen is in short supply, that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. The pass is located on the main road between Cariquima and Lirima.

 

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