Parinacota Volcano Photo

Parinacota - Border to Bolivia - Lauca National Park

The shot of the majestic Parinacota Volcano was taken last October. To get to this remote place, you have to fly into Arica (Chile), rent a car (4WD highly recommended) and drive up to Putre. We actually come from San Pedro de Atacama and took an overnight bus to Arica, which was not too bad. We decided to go with TurBus as they are the most reliable company, however, Pullman would have been also a good choice. It is usually early enough to buy tickets a couple days before. One word of warning though. We slept almost through the night but when we woke up, we realized that we did not release the pressure as we would have done, when being awake. Your ears will hurt for a couple hours really bad – but eventually it will pass.

We picked up a rental car at the Hertz counter in Arica (nice airport but only 5 flights a day and deserted!!!). On your way to Putre you will drive through gigantic switchbacks and up to an altitude of 3,500m. If you are not used to altitude, stay one night there to acclimatize. It really makes a difference. We already spend the previous days on San Pedro de Atacama at 2,500m and went up for day trips over 5,000m, however, staying at 3,500 and more long-term can cause severe headaches and altitude sickness – also called Soroche.

I certainly felt it, a couple of hours after arriving in Putre. I walked around a bit in the little town but had to return to our lodge (I can highly recommend staying at the Terrace Lodge. The only nice place in Putre really) soon after. Drink lots, don’t eat too much and no alcohol during the first night!

The next day, we went up to Lauca National Park and spend most of the day at an altitude of 4,500m. We were fine but be careful. Walk slowly and again drink lots! We visited several places, but the Parinacota volcano is certainly the highlight. It is also the border to Bolivia and you will see trucks lined up, waiting to cross the border further down the road.

This particular shot is a 50 megapixel panorama carefully stitched together using the awesome Doubletake program for Mac. I used a Nikon D7000 and 85mm (135mm) F/1.8 lens, handheld. With this size print you can print wallpapers, prints massive ads or simply frame it. It is a simple but stunning shot and one of my personal favorites.

You can find more details about this shot here

Feel free to ask or comment if you have any questions or remarks.

Leave a Reply