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Ojos del Salado

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Ojos del Salado: The Roof of the Andes

In this part of Chile, where the Andes rise over 6,000 meters high, Ojos del Salado Volcano looks like a spire on the "roof of the Americas," jutting 6,893 meters into the sky.

Located 184 km east of Copiapó, this is one of the best places in Chile for mountaineering. The ascent is a challenge that attracts climbers from around the world each year, but you do not have to be an expert to trek on its slopes given the relatively easy terrain.

The volcano, which is active, is set in a stunning landscape inside Nevado Tres Cruces National Park, which contains salt flats and wetlands with a backdrop of volcanoes. The park's other natural wonders include the deep blue pools of Laguna Verde and hot springs further south.

The cold here is intense and the winter is harsh, but it is precisely the climate that gave the area natural rock formations and phenomena typical of the high altitudes of the Andes such as glaciers and penitents. The temperature can rise to 17°C in the daytime here and drop to -15°C at night. The weather is unpredictable, and snow or rain can come without warning.

Don't miss the chance to experience the thrill of standing on the roof of the Andes.


Featured Destinations

aBahía Inglesa

bPan de Azúcar National Park
cHumboldt Penguin National

dOjos del Salado


Getting There

en avion
By Air
Flights from Santiago to Copiapó's Desierto de Atacama Airport take 1.5 hours. The airport is located 50 km northwest of the city.
By Bus
Buses depart regularly from Santiago (12 h) and cities in northern Chile.
Buses depart from:
• Terminal Los Héroes: Located at Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda, near Los Héroes Metro Station. Several companies operate buses to northern Chile. Telephone: (56-2) 420 0099
• Terminal San Borja (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at the corner of San Borja and Alameda near Estación Central Train Station. Companies provide service to northern Chile and within the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (56-2) 776 0645
en auto
By Car
From Santiago, take Route 5 north (804 km).



Permits Best Time to Climb Mountain Refuges
You will need to obtain a permit from the Dirección Nacional de Fronteras y Límites (DIFROL), which you must leave at the police station at Laguna Verde. The best time of the year to climb is between October and March. You may be refused access during the rest of the year. There are two refuges/campsites on the route below the summit. Refugio Atacama and Refugio Tejos are both located on the northwest side of the volcano.


4X4 Water Entry Fee
4X4: A full traction vehicle is best for getting around here, especially given the unpredictable weather and the possibility of poor road conditions. Make sure your vehicle is well-equipped and in good repair to prevent emergencies en route. You must take several large drums of drinking water, as there is no fresh water available in the area. You must pay an entry fee to the company Aventurismo Expediciones www.aventurismo.cl.


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