A dangerous and difficult road to Guallatiri Volcano
Guallatiri is a stratovolcano at an elevation of 5.240m (17,191ft) above the sea level, located in the Putre commune, Parinacota province of Arica y Parinacota, in the northernmost region of Chile. The drive requires a 4WD vehicle with high clearance. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.
The road to the summit, also known as Wallatiri, Huallatire, Guallatire and Punata, is unpaved. The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade, and overall inaccessibility make the travel dangerous and difficult.
Located within the Chilean Lauca National Park, near the Bolivian border, 4x4 vehicle with high clearance is required. A traveler on this road must be experienced and completely devoted to safe, slow and obstacle-conscious driving to deter danger. This is definitely not a Sunday drive. The steep drive will take some skill, some patience, and some tolerance for vertigo. Stay alert for potential turnouts as you may meet traffic in inconvenient locations. The volcano has erupted at least 4 times since 1825, most recently in 1985.
Pic: Carlos Javier Silva Currieco