International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions


Illimani • Pequeño Alpamayo • Huayna Potosi • Parinacota • Sajama

Bolivia with International Mountain Guides

Bolivia Frequently Asked Questions

This information should answer many of your initial questions and also guide you through the next stages of preparing for the expedition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need javascript enabled to view it

What is the climbing like?

IMG guide Greg Vernovage describes the climbing in Bolivia:
"Huayna Potosi (HP) and Illimani (Illi) are certainly a notch or two up from Rainier. In my experience, quite a few people head to the peaks of South America to see what they're capable of on larger mountains. HP and Illi are both steep and heavily glaciated peaks. The nature of the climbing differs from that on Rainier in a couple of ways. HP and Illi do have massive glaciers yet, we spend little time on terrain that typifies glacier travel (crossing crevasses, dealing with ice falls, seracs... etc.). Much of the climbing sticks to ridge lines comprised of snow and ice. Never is the climbing so steep as to necessitate two ice tools but, on occasion there will be fixed line in place or running belays being used on the climbs. In terms of objective hazards (rock fall, ice fall... etc.) yes, these mountains do have them but, they are pretty user friendly compared to some other peaks I've guided (sticking predominately to ridges really helps). So, to summarize the route conditions... some steeper snow and ice, generally on ridge lines, at altitude, climbing in rope teams of three to five people, and using fixed lines and running belays when the exposure to a fall is unmanageable with a team arrest/self-arrest."

How do I get there?

International Mountain Guides has worked for many years with the staff at CTT Destinations to provide professional travel service for participants in our programs. For help with your plans, we urge you to contact Pirjo at CTT Destinations: 800-909-6647 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need javascript enabled to view it

Is a visa required?

A visa is needed and can be obtained on arrival at the LaPaz airport. The cost is US $135 (cash) and the visa is good for the life of your passport. The visa applications forms are usually handed out on board your flight to LaPaz. You will need to have your passport handy to present to immigration officials in LaPaz upon landing, a 2" x 2" passport photo, the visa fee, and the visa application form. We will also provide you a letter before the trip begins confirming your reservations (sometimes you need to present this when getting the visa on arrival in LaPaz).

What kind of insurance do I need?

We invest in insurance coverage for commercial liability and medical and disability insurance for our employees while participating on our programs. We cannot insure you for your personal needs, but we do expect you to be as fiscally responsible as we are. We require that you insure yourself against potentially expensive difficulties that may arise. First, Trip Cancellation Insurance may provide financial relief should you be forced to withdraw from the program before it even happens. Next, make sure you have adequate Travel Insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip. Medical care and evacuation in remote locations can be expensive. For more information, please see our page on Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance.

What immunizations will I need?

  • Tetanus-Diphtheria - You should already have. Do you need a booster?
  • Polio - You should already have. Do you need a booster?
  • MMR - You should already have. Do you need a booster?
  • Meningitis - Recommended. Consult your physician.
  • Hepatitis A - Recommended. Consult your physician.
  • Hepatitis B - Not a bad idea. Ask your physician.
  • Cholera - Ask your physician. Not usually recommended any more.
  • Typhoid - Not a bad idea to be safe. The tablet form, Vivotif Berna, is good for five years.
  • Rabies - The new vaccine is easy. Rabid animals are occasionally encountered in Bolivia.
  • Malaria Not necessary unless you plan on traveling, for example, to certain areas near sea level before/after the trip... then malaria chemoprophylaxis is recommended (we suggest Malarone)
  • Yellow Fever Not necessary unless you are coming to Bolivia from an endemic country.

Please consult your physician or local health department for their recommendations.

You should also ask your physician for a prescription for a course of the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. Please consider this to be part of your required equipment.

We recommend that you visit the travel clinic at a major University Hospital or your local Public Health Department for the most up to date info on travel requirements, or check the Center for Disease Control Website at

What's included in the trip cost?

Cost Includes
  • Guides
  • Porters
  • Group equipment (kitchen, tents, etc.)
  • All climbing permit fees
  • Airport transfers, ground transportation and lodging starting with your arrival in La Paz until our return to La Paz
  • Welcome Dinner and continental breakfasts in La Paz
Cost Does Not Include
  • International airfare to/from Bolivia
  • Taxis
  • Food and lodging should you arrive in La Paz early
  • Alcoholic beverages during the trip, personal shopping and snacks.
  • Lunch and dinner in La Paz not included except for Welcome Dinner
  • costs incurred as a result of delays or events beyond the control of IMG
  • required travel insurance policy (for trip cancellation, medical treatment, evacuation etc.)
  • and customary but optional tips for IMG guides
IMG climbers on the summit of Huayna Potasi
I'm just not sure how to express how great it all was!... I don't think it all could have gone much more smoothly! As I've come to appreciate from past IMG expeditions, the logistics, staff, and team members on this IMG trip were as good as ever before, and you guys delivered another once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was able to see another country, meet some great new climbing partners, and also accomplish some cool things for myself. I climbed higher and camped higher than I have before and did some really challenging climbing along the way. Thanks for setting up the experiences in Bolivia. I look forward to more excellent adventures with IMG!
~Mary H.
So... the headline is that trip #8 for me with IMG was pretty freakin' awesome... As a climber, I LOVED the fact that there was so much climbing packed into the trip... It is abundantly obvious you love what you are doing and genuinely [care] that people have fun, achieve their climbing goals and stay safe. That piece just makes for a really great atmosphere... which, in my opinion, is a big part of what keeps people coming back.
~Viki T.
Gotta say — and I have been on a lot of trips with you and different guiding companies — this rates as the best ever. The flawless planning and detail that went into this trip was remarkable. Everything, including the steak and sausage barbecue that awaited us as we came down from Illimani base camp, was superb. I cannot thank you and your staff and guides enough for this truly wonderful experience here in Bolivia... The climbing here is not for the feint of heart, and those two summit ridges were absolutely spectacular. So thanks again from a very happy guy and very satisfied client.
~Bill H.
Thanks again for the most amazing trip!!! I am still riding high from it... I am so excited to keep climbing with IMG and moving to the next level...
~Deborah R.
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