Read An Opinion On: Mining Camp Services
The Takesi hike is one of the most popular due to its accessibility, beauty, and short distance. The trail is popular with Bolivians, on the weekends and over holidays especially. From Mina San Francisco to Yanakachi it takes between one and two days. To get to start of the hike in Ventilla, travelers can take a bus or a micro.
From Ventilla (3,200 m), head up the valley on the left-hand road just outside the village. After 1 ½ hours you will reach the traditional village of Choquekhota where it is necessary to cross the ankle-deep Rio Quela Jahuira. Above Choquekhota, on the right-hand side of the road is a cemetery and higher up a trail goes off to the right. After fording the river, three hours away from Ventilla, you will see a wall with a map of the trail. Don’t follow the road continuing left to Mina San Francisco and the start of the Reconquistada trail. Instead, follow the path on the right for an hour over the prehispanic trail up to the large apacheta (pile of stones).
The stonework continues below the apacheta down to the Estancia Takesi, which can be reached in about an hour. You can camp above Estancia Takesi or near the small lakes just below the pass. Below Estancia Takesi the vegetation becomes thicker, and the path rises right above the Rio Takesi. 30 minutes later you will pass the village of Kakapi where you can stay at a lodge or camp. It is also possible to camp about 15 minutes below Kakapi, after crossing the Rio Quimsa Chata. You can cross the river by bridge or by bolder hopping. From here it a 20-minute hike uphill along a clear-cut trail to Chojila.
After 30 minutes of descent over a mostly paved path, you’ll come upon a bridge back over the Rio Takesi. Cross the bridge and follow the path right for 40 minutes to reach the start of an aqueduct. You can camp between the river and the path in a clearing, or stay in the mining village of Chojila. When the aqueduct ends, follow the road around and at the junction go through some mine workings. Stay on the road as it continues up to the right of Chojilla and then starts to descend to Yanakachi. Just before Yanakachi there is a gate across the road, the gate keeper may ask you to register, but you should not have to pay for the service.
This guide to the Takesi Trail in Bolivia was written by a Latin America travel expert at Latin America For Less, available to help you custom design your exciting Latin America vacations. Author: Henry Arnault