After reading about hikes in La Paz I was desperate to visit Valle de las Animas. I did find it difficult to find information about how to arrive but it was so close to the city and i could see the trails on maps.me. I asked around and one of the guys working at Colibri Camping had recently visited. If you’ve read and of my previous posts you will know that I’m staying in Jupapina which is to the south of the city.
So we went to Plaza Humbolt in Zona sur to catch the number 42 bus. I’ve since seen the bus in the centre of La Paz so you can catch it from there. Make sure it says Apańa on the front and then it’s up to you where to get off. I saw a trail on Maps.me that I wanted to follow so we hit that first but the bus also passes right by the valley entrance so read below and I’ll leave the decision to you.
I was joined by David and Pippa, who I’ll tell you more about in the Upclose Bolivia post when I write it, who are staying with me in the Verde House. We decided to trek the 3.5km trail that went along the top of the canyon and ended up at La Laguna de Animas. We started at the opposite end to arrive at the Laguna and then the plan was to take a bus to the Valley entrance. Sadly it didn’t go quite to plan so if you do decide to do this then maybe start at the Laguna and follow the path back. You might have more luck but I’m glad we did what we did.
The path rise steeply out of the village and right away there were some beautiful views of La Paz.
I was walking faster than the others and I don’t like to stop when going uphill as I lose too much momentum. I kept checking my location in maps.me and after a while realised that I was no longer on the path. I wanted to go back as Pippa had taken a different path but David felt we should forge ahead as the views were perfect. Pippa caught up with us and we decided to walk along the top of the ridge until it became obvious it wasn’t a path and Pippa and I stared suffering from vertigo. It was beautiful but we decided to retrace our steps.
We soon returned to the path that Pippa had taken in the first place and maps.me was much happier with this decision. After walking through a couple of fields with the Blair Witch style haystacks we were led down into a canyon. We followed this up and realised progress was slow as I realised we were hiking uphill at over 4000metres.
Soon the canyon levelled our and we found more haystacks so decided to have lunch while Pippa practices some yoga moves. It was also at this point where we lost the trail. The map said that we should go left but we couldn’t see a path. I thought I could see a way though the hills via a canyon but the route was increasingly overgrown and eventually reached a point where it was impassable. We decided instead to follow the fields up the hill and found the most beautiful views overlooking the Valle de las Animas.
It was also at this point where we lost the trail. The map said that we should go left but we couldn’t see a path. I thought I could see a way though the hills via a canyon but the route was increasingly overgrown and eventually reached a point where it was impassable. We decided instead to follow the fields up the hill and found the most beautiful views overlooking the Valle de las Animas.
After our progress was blocked yet again we decided to turn around and walk down to the valley itself. David took the lead and we followed him along a precarious path that consisted of sheer drops and ended up in someone’s back garden. My advice is to follow the path but it’s not always the most fun. We followed the road 1.5km to reach the valley entrance stopping for ice cream along the way. Going into the valley is tough as it’s all uphill, I hadn’t realised this and we were already tired from the trekking.
We walked in as far as we could but the sun began setting so we didn’t go too far. I would love to go back and check out more as the sceenary is beautiful. On the way back we could see the Devils Tooth framed in the valley. We walked to the road and jumped on the first minibus heading back to the city.