Photo Author: Mark Goble

The Spaniard’s colonization of the Collasuyo (Colla land) became more productive at the beginning of the XVI century when the Spaniards discovered huge gold and silver mining centers like: Potosi, the Chuquiapu river, and specially the northern region of La Paz (Tipuani), which was know locally because of its gold production.

Due to this fact, they decided to organize massive incursions into this area. During most of them, they were helped by local people who were familiar with the ancient paved Inca trails which penetrated even the most inaccessible places on their way from the high rocky massifs down to the wild and mysterious Amazonian jungle.

“THE TIO” is a god, owner of the depths

The gold Inca trail, wisely used by the Spaniards, provided an important entrance to the jungle and guided them to the hidden gold of the Tipuani river.
Nowadays, this trail, the site of innumerable events which occurred in Inca and colonial times, still exists and still shows us a fascinating landscape, stairs and tunnels carved into the rocky mountain and bridges hanging over huge torrents.
The gold mines and rivers are almost empty, but are still worked by small groups of miners. They still hope to become rich soon and hope the their god the “TIO”(uncle) will help them. According to legend, the “TIO” is a god, owner of the riches of the underground, who emerges from the depths to offer some his of wealth to this most dedicated sons.
But as a matter of fact, in most cases, miners live subdued life based on a survival economy.


Dificult:   ­­­ ─  Duration: days  nights

  • 1st Day: SORATA: Departure from La Paz by car to Sorata village (2800 m.),  located in a beautiful green valley at the base of Illampu´s west flank, 3 hours driven; 147 km. Hotel accommodations. Afternoon free to explore the town. 
  • 2nd Day: LACATIYA: trek for 6 hour  to Lacatiya village. We will  Camp in this village (3950 m.) 
  • 3rd Day: ANCOMA: trek for 3 hours to el Paso (4750 m.) 3 hours hill down to Ancoma village. Camping at 3800 m. 
  • 4th Day: SUMATA: we leave the high mountain ranges behind. We will walk between the lowlands.  Trek for 6 hours across  humid and tropical vegetation.  We will Camp at Sumata  small and empty village. 
  • 5th Day: KILAPITUNI: The abundant vegetations, which is noted mainly for its unusual tree ferns and for the groves which passes through tunnels and mine centers on the way 6 hours trek. Camping in Killapituni at 2300 m. 
  • 6th Day: YUNA: trek of 6 hours, crossing hanging bridges and passing gold mines. Camp at 2000 m. near the Yuna mine. 
  • 7th Day: TIKUNWAYA: The weather is warm here near the deep, quiet river. Camping at 1600m. 
  • 8th Day: GUAANAY: A short trek leads us down to LLipi, a god-mining village near the Tipuani river.  4 hours driven  a 4Wd car brings us to Guanay, a very developed gold mine town that is commercially linked to La Paz. Hotel accommodations. 
  • 9th Day: RETURN TO LA PAZ:  trip of  9 hours .

  • Local guide.  
  • Transport.  
  • Carp.
  • Food during the tour.

  • Back pack (30 lts.)
  • Sleeping bag.

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