Choosing Cerro Toco as a first-time mountain climbing experience turned out to be an excellent decision.

Located at 5,616 km above sea level, this dormant volcano just 60 kilometers southeast of San Pedro de Atacama welcomes us with excellent weather conditions, allowing us to climb it in just two hours.

It’s a bit cold and a light layer of snow covers our path. However, the contact with nature far outweighs these minor inconveniences.

20 years ago, Cerro Toco, “nook” in indigenous language Kunza, served as sulphur deposit for Chuquicamata.

Nowadays, the facilities of ALMA observatory- the largest astronomical project in existence – are located here.

Isn’t this a fascinating fact? 

When we reach the summit, a spectacular view welcomes us. From the top, we can see the majestic Licancabur and Juriques volcanoes, the Chajnantor plain and the Bolivian lagoons, all part of the desert landscape. And so, gradually we catch our breath, sharing this experience with a delicious breakfast and prepare ourselves for the way back.

Before leaving, we say goodbye to two rock totems that accompany us on the lookout, which we make them grow with more stones and our silent desires to return to this amazing place.