This area is one of the most accessible high altitude mountaineering destinations in the world. There is a huge amount of climbing in the area with great campsites and refugios (mountain huts) for those who like the occasional home comforts. There is also a large number of rock routes, sport and trad, on half a dozen crags that are easily accessible from the road.
Basic access for all is from the road to Zongo from El Alto. For Huayna Potosi, Charquini, Tilata and Pico Milluni get to the Zongo Pass. For Tiquimani it is possible to trek from the pass or take the road further to the village of Botijlaca and walk from there. With a good 4×4 driving to near the basecamp is possible. For Maria Lloco turn off the Zongo road onto the road to Tuni at the mining village of Milluni and follow the old aqueduct on foot from just below the high (5000m) pass.
Options include contracting a local tour agency to transport you there and pick you up, organising a taxi on your own or taking public transport.
For the Zongo Pass it is approx. Bs 150 one way for a car and considerably more for a 4×4.
The public transport options are more complicated but much cheaper. A bus leaves daily from El Alto for the village of Zongo for Bs 15 at around 5:30 am (sometimes earlier if it fills quickly). It leaves from 1 block above the Plaza Ballivian in upper El Alto. A taxi from La Paz to the plaza will cost around Bs 50 or 2 mini busses (1 to the Ceja in El Alto and the next to the Plaza Ballivian from Calle 5) will cost about Bs4 but will be difficult to find so early.
It takes approximately 1.5 hrs to Huayna Potosi base camp from La Paz by car depending on road conditions.
At the Zongo Pass there are several refugios. The Casa Blanca is the largest of these and open to the public. There is a large communal sleeping room, private rooms or the option of tenting. A bed is Bs50, a meal Bs 30 and full board Bs120. Owners Miguel and Yolanda Altamirano also have a small selection of harnesses and boots for rent.
Best weather forecast is at www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Huayna-Potosi.
Huayna Potosi 6088m
Pico Milluni 5500m
Maria Lloco 5500m
Huayna Potosi area and approaches
View Huayna Potosi area approaches in a larger map