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Located at almost 10,500 feet (3,200 m), Charazani sits on a subsidiary summit between the Cordillera Apolobamba and Cordillera Muñecas. It is a small mountain town on the Mapiri River, 254 kilometers northwest of La Paz. Charazani sees most of its visitors before or after they head out on hikes (most often to Ulla Ulla, Curva, or to Pelechuco on the Trans-Apolobamba Trek), but the town also offers aguas termales within walking distance--just 10 minutes east on the road to Curva (Open 7 a.m. - 9 p.m., $1). The baths at Termas de Charazani Phutina are concrete pools filled with natural spring water, a perfect remedy after a heavy trek, or even a bumpy bus ride! There are other natural springs located two hours away from Charazani (on foot along the Apolo Road) which boast a hot and steamy waterfall.


Also within walking distance, and a worthwhile half- or full-day trip, are the Kallawaya communities of Chari (1.5 hours’ walk) and Curva (serviced every other day by bus, or a 4 hour hike on the footpath near the Charazani hot springs). Chari hosts the Kallawaya Cultural Museum and there are pre-Incan ruins an hour outside of town.


While Charazani has seen a recent influx in infrastructure, as the Cordillera Apolobamaba is being discovered more and more by trekkers, it still a basic pueblo with only a few alojamientos and even fewer eateries. Most backpackers camp while in Charazani, but if you’re looking to stay the night indoors, you can check out Hotel Akhamani, a block south of the plaza or Hotel Charazani, also off the plaza on the road to Curva. If you need to, you can make phone calls at Transportes Altiplano, which is on the main plaza. Population: 604 / Altitude: 10,500 feet


Other places nearby Charazani: Around Chulumani, Around Coroico, Santa Rosa, Coroico, Sorata, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, Guanay, Cordillera Real, Chulumani and Yanacachi.

By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
09 Jun 2009

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