After spending a few days in Sucre, Shai, Matan, and I decided to do a four day trek in the mountains surrounding Sucre, the Cordillera de Las Frailes.
There are several remote villages in the mountains that we were able to use as campsites on the trek, all spaced roughly 15-20 km away from each other.
The adventure started with a 4:30 am bus ride up into the mountains. The previous night, Matan and I had played poker in a Sucre home game until 1:30 a.m. so we were not feeling very good when we arrived, but the views of the trek soon changed that.
We started the trek in a village called Chataquilla. First order of business was some delicious chocolate chip banana bread and coffee, followed by packing up the food for the remainder of the trek.
The guides work for Condor Trekkers, the company we had booked our trek with. Condor Trekkers advertises itself as providing “non-profit tours in and around Sucre.”
If you’re wondering how a trekking company can be “non-profit”, according to the brochure, the company works to “break the cycle of poverty in one of the world’s poorest countries.” The company’s proceeds “support development projects in the countryside where [we] hike[d] as well as within Sucre, including Centro Educativo Nanta and Fundacion Gula. These projects provide food and accommodation as well as recreation, education, employment and health services to local children and communities in need.”
I didn’t have a chance to ask our Bolivian guide about this, but I’m sure they are legit. If you want to find out more, check out their website here.
Within thirty minutes of beginning the trek we were already enjoying some great views along a green mountain ridge that forms part of the long “Inca Trail”, which reaches all the way back up into Peru.
At some point along the ridge there is a cave called Patatoylo with some ancient Inca wall scribblings allegedly thousands of years old, along with a rusty gate to protect the paintings.
After leaving the cave, the hike continued for another 4 km along the mountain ridge.
There were several stops for photos that would later go on motivational posters.
After clicking a few more photos we stopped at another cave called Pumamachay.