The volcano Licancabur behind the Laguna Verde


Licancabur ( "Mountain of the people" ) is a 5920 m high dormant volcano. It lies on the border between Bolivia and Chile near the Laguna Verde and towers over the Atacama desert. It is located in the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Abaroa directly adjacent to only 200 m lower volcanic Juriques.

In its crater is one of the highest lakes in the world in which, despite outside temperatures down to -30 ° C, a variety of creatures thrive. Due to the extreme environmental conditions of the flora and fauna is approximately 5000 m² lake of evolutionary interest; NASA and the SETI Institute have already taken a number of expeditions to the summit. Insights into the adaptation of animals and plants to the extreme conditions should help to understand the evolution of life in its earliest stages.

Nearest place is the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama. Directly in front of the mountain is the famous Laguna Verde. The summit is on the Bolivian side (as opposed to the Chilean ) largely ice-free.


The normal route to the summit starts from the located on the Bolivian side Laguna Verde. From the Chilean side, a climb is not possible, since the ground is mined there. The road to the summit itself is very tedious by the soft volcanic ash, the sharp-edged boulders and the great height. Both along the normal path as well as directly at the summit are the remains of buildings from the Inca period. Agencies in San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) and Uyuni (Bolivia ) offer guided tours to the summit.


Licancabur and the Laguna Verde.

Crater lake of Licancabur seen from the summit.

Shore edge of the crater lake.