Tag Archives: Altiplano

Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris)

A common duck, but this was my first close encounter, as most of the previous ones were in lagoons sometimes 100 metres away or more. Altitude: 4228 metres.

Condoriri

My time here started with low clouds, sleet and no sight of the beautiful peaks of Condoriri. I was grateful that the clouds lifted enough to see the peaks before I went back to La Paz and my next journey to Madidi and the Amazonas. I will gladly come back to see more of the […]

Viola pygmaea

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4503 metres.

Azorella biloba

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4509 metres.

Azorella biloba

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4509 metres.

Altiplano plant 37

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4553 metres.

Altiplano plant 37

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4553 metres.

Calandrinia acaulis

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4553 metres.

Geranium sp

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4595 metres.

Geranium sp

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4595 metres.

Oritrophium sp

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4608 metres.

Gentiana sedifolia

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4608 metres.

Gentiana sedifolia

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. This species is very variable, so pattern varies. Altitude: 4608 metres.

Altiplano plant 31

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Some plants, including this one was so close to being in bloom – I wish I had some more time […]

Caltha sagittata

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4605 metres.

Paja brava (Festuca orthophylla)

This is perhaps the most abundant and eye-catching grass on the Altiplano. Even outside the flowering season they are incredibly decorative, and in particular those growing in solitude are really amazing. Even though the grass is incredibly tough, pointy and to me very dry, it’s food for many of the grass-eaters including the llamas. Here […]

Castilleja nubigena

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. This is a semi parasitic plant. Altitude: 4623 metres.

Altiplano plant 30

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4611 metres.

Castilleja nubigena

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4623 metres.

Altiplano plant 28

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 4638 metres.

Calandrinia acaulis

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4632 metres.

Calandrinia acaulis

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4632 metres.

Condoriri glacier

I had many hours in La Paz before my plain to Rurrenabaque, and chose to get out of the city to see Condoriri. I only had a few hours, and it takes about 2 hours by car each way, so I had very little time on my hand and had to make the most of […]

Altiplano plant 26

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 4558 metres.

Altiplano plant 25

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 4558 metres.

Lysipomia pumila

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. The two strangely doubled, greyish leaves on the left side are from Lachemilla diplophylla (Rosaceae). Altitude: 4550 metres.

Caltha sagittata

The Condoriri park was a treasure trove of plant species, and I wish I had several days here, as my few hours was far from enough to explore all the incredible miniature plants growing here. Altitude: 4553 metres.

Altiplano plant 22

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 3669 metres.

Lycium humile

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Altitude: 3669 metres.

Lycium humile

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Altitude: 3669 metres.

Altiplano butterfly 02

This was the second species of butterfly I saw during my few dayes here. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 3669 metres.

Altiplano stream

The much lusher and higher vegetation reveals a constant source of fresh water from one of the many springs. Even though it flows most of the year it’s not flowing over the banks, so the salts are washed away only a very short distance from the stream. I met one of the local farmers by […]

Arenaria rivularis

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Altitude: 3669 metres. Thanks to Christian Bravard for identification.

Baccharis acaulis

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Here it’s popping out of a cushion of Sarcocornia pulvinata. Altitude: 3669 metres.

Baccharis acaulis

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Here it’s grouwing out of a cushion of Sarcocornia pulvinata. Altitude: 3669 metres.

Altiplano plant 18

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 3669 metres.

Altiplano plant 18

Grows on the salty portions of the rim of the Salar de Uyuni that receives fresh water sporadically. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 3669 metres.

Fabiana densa

Grows on the slopes of the Cerro Tunupa. Altitude: 3989 metres.

Fabiana densa

Grows on the slopes of the Cerro Tunupa. Altitude: 3989 metres.

Adesmia sp

Grows on the slopes of the Cerro Tunupa. Full of sticky resin. Altitude: 3989 metres.

Adesmia sp

Grows on the slopes of the Cerro Tunupa. Altitude: 3989 metres.

Adesmia sp

Grows on the slopes of the Cerro Tunupa. Please help with a positive ID – leave a comment 🙂 Altitude: 3989 metres.

Liolaemus ornatus

One of many species of lizard found at the very high altitudes of the Bolivian Altiplano. Altitude: 3989 metres.

Baccharis tola

A few weeks earlier and I would have seen all this as flowers – a beautiful sight I imagine. This species seems abundant here, and is undoubtedly able to spread far and wide with the wind. The amount of seeds per plant is staggering, and sometimes so many are released that it looks like smoke […]

Cerro Tunupa

One of countless volcanic peaks on the Altiplano. If you’re up to it you can easily trek to the top, as there are no sheer cliffs to climb. I didn’t have the desire to go any higher than 4000 metres that day (just a few hundred metres up the slopes), but if I had more […]

Southern Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna vicugna)

My first sight of this group was a couple lying in the dirt road! Completely chilled and did not bother to get up before the car was quite close. Even then they just leisurely moved on into the vast landscape. A hunted herd would be extremely stressed and run far away! The northern and southern […]

Parastrephia lucida

Grows between the shores of the lagoon and the desert. Here they are about 2 metres tall. Altitude: 4135 metres. Thanks to Christian Bravard for identification.

Parastrephia lucida

A bush that grows between the shores of the lagoon and the desert. Here they are about 2 metres tall. Altitude: 4135 metres. Thanks to Christian Bravard for identification.

Xenophyllum incisum (Asteraceae)

The flowers were less torn here at this small lagoon compared to Laguna Colorada. Altitude: 4139 metres.

Siloli desert lagoon (unknown name)

There are countless lagoons in this desert, and each of them unique in shape and color! No matter how close or wide your view is, this desert provides immense beauty as far as colors are concerned. When you take the altitude into account, it’s quite astonishing that many of the lagoons are brimming with life […]

Puna Tinamou (Tinamotis pentlandii)

My time here coincided with chick-time for the Puna Tinamous, and I was lucky enough to encounter this litter. Without chicks the adult would fly off long before I could come this close, but even earth-bound it was incredibly cunning and fast and very hard to track in the landscape dotted with vegetation. The chicks […]

Xenophyllum incisum (Asteraceae)

This salt and mineral tolerant plant thrives here and has generated large mats close to the water. Further down there is only naked shores which every odd years will be flooded. The last time was a couple of years ago when the desert got about 2 metres of snow in a couple of days. Altitude: […]

Xenophyllum incisum (Asteraceae)

This hardy plant grows where the high watermark is, and is thus very salt and mineral tolerant. You can see the salt and mineral deposits to the bottom right. Altitude: 4300 metres.

Laguna Capina

This lagoon seemed without any flamingos, and it’s probably due to the extensive extraction of the white mineral borax (Sodium tetraborate decahydrate) seen here. Altitude: 4561 metres.

Cactus (Cumulopuntia boliviana)

When the flower is gone, the remaining part is well protected from being reached, so what species is the fruit aimed at? Only insects and small rodents will reach the fruit unharmed, so perhaps that’s it? Altitude: 4004 metres.

Cactus (Cumulopuntia boliviana)

This is the yellowish variant of this species found here on the Bolivian Altiplano. It appears it does not grow to the huge size of the orange variant (Cumulopuntia boliviana ssp. ignescens)), and also the orange variant seems to bloom a bit earlier than the yellowish species. Altitude: 4004 metres.

Andean hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus nationi)

My first and only sighting the this species, and I was in luck as this species is hunted to such an extent that it’s now red listed as vulnerable by IUCN. How much so became clear as my driver ran up to the animal and looked at it more as a food item than an […]

Dust Devil

This dust devil came so close to the car that the driver simply stopped and seemed a bit scared of what was going to happen. I on the other hand was very excited and hoped it was getting even closer, as I knew the worst that would happen would be a huge amount of volcanic […]

Dust Devil

At midday the heat of the sun has created a turbulent atmosphere, and here resulted in a beautiful dust devil. One of many during my few days here, but in fact only 3 grew to such well defined tornado-like “suckers” like this one. This is beautiful to watch but is really just an indication of […]

Yareta (Azorella compacta)

This enormous and partially dying specimen is growing by one of many incredibly beautiful rock outcrops here called Valle de las Rocas, or Rock Valley. Even in this photo an artistic face with a huge eye appears. The living Yareta only adds to the wonder as its shape and age seems to blend in with […]