Tag Archives: Sajama National Park

Southern viscacha (Lagidium viscacia)

If it doesn’t move, the Viscacha is near impossible to see. The color is so similar to the rocks, sand and shrubs, that it’s only patience or luck that makes you see it. This was on my way out of the Sajama National park, and it was not far away from the car, and did […]

Northern Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna mensalis)

Leaving the Sajama National Park, I had the first sighting of the northern Vicuna. They were gracing on the top of this hill, and was not particularily disturbed by the car or my camera – a good sign that they are not hunted in the park. Altitude: 4251 metres.

Altiplano plant 03

Thick succulent-like leaves that can hold water for very long dry periods. Just what you need in the desert-like environment of Sajama National Park and around the Tomarapi lodge. Altitude: 4287.

Altiplano plant 03

I saw several of the species in close proximity to the Tomarapi lodge, and this one is in fact placed in flowerbed right outside the reception building and dining area. Altitude: 4287.

Nevado Sajama

Bolivias highest mountain – 6542 metres high – facing south. What a magnificent moment – the Large Magellanic cloud right above Sajama, the Milkyway to the left and a meteor! The dawn is just minutes away, and the first photons of light are flowing in from the rising sun (to the far left of the […]

Star trails over Nevado Sajama

This was my first night at this altitude, and I was really struggling. The landscape and sky was incredibly beautiful, but I was unable to fully enjoy it due to intense headache and sometimes the feeling of insufficient air. As I was not fully adjusted I had to take two breaths of air instead of […]

Polylepis tarapacana

Some of the highest elevation of Polyepis forests are found in this park, and in particular on the slopes of Nevada Sajama seen in the background here. This slope has more medium-sized versions, but in some areas they grow to forests with heights of 3-4 metres or more. Despite the harsh conditions, these trees have […]

Yareta (Azorella compacta)

Perhaps the plant that has fascinated me the most on the Altiplano. It reminds me of coral reefs and the Brain coral (Faviidae), and grows comparably slowly. It can also live up to 3000 years, or even more as humans have used it for firewood and thus might have killed the oldest specimens. When a […]

Yareta (Azorella compacta)

Most will think this is a moss, but it’s a very slow-growing perennial that can grow to huge individuals. It grows less than 2 cm per year, so the largest individuals are several thousand years of age! During flowering there are huge amount of insects drawn to the sticky, sweet resin from the flowers. Even […]

Dust Devil

The nights are cold throughout the year, and are rarely above zero celsius when the sky is clear, adding the wind and it’s not a very pleasant environment for an unprepared human. During the day the sun heats up the air and around midday the wind and turbulence is rapidly increasing, and sometime producing amazing […]

Sajama National Park – countless springs and streams

At a glance the landscape seems endlessly dry and without any source of water. That is far from reality as there are countless springs that feed streams and even rivers and lagoons. Some have water all year round, and others dry up until the next rain. This stream has flowed for a very long time […]

Nevado Sajama

Yet another photo of the amazing mountain. I seem to never tire of it’s ever changing beauty during the many different settings and light conditions. Altitude: 4303 metres.

Cactus (Cumulopuntia boliviana ssp. ignescens)

These flowers are grand and beautiful, and are some of the plants as well. Some individuals grow to monumental sizes that simply makes you stop in your tracks to wonder and ponder how this can be in an environment so hostile. I was lucky to experience the last of the flowers on this specimen, but […]

Sarcocornia pulvinata

Grows very close to hot springs and is thus salt and mineral tolerant. Seems like Sedum. Altitude: 4402 metres.

Altiplano plant 01 (Asteraceae)

Grows close to hot springs, and is thus salt and mineral tolerant. Altitude: 4402 metres.

Nevado Sajama

This is the north-west side of the peak – seen from the thermal springs close to the Chilean border. I think this side is far more spectacular than that seen from Tomarapi and the surrounding areas up to the Laguna Huana Khota. Altitude: 4378.

Andean Gull (Chroicocephalus serranus)

This gull is much larger than the very similar European Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), but at first a European might think this is a gull that has strayed far from it’s home range. It’s very conspicuous against the brown landscape, but this highland is its home, and it’s common in the Andes. Altitude: 4227 metres. […]

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides)

I saw several of the species here at Laguna Huana Khota – couples and singles. Altitude: 4359. It sounds like this:

Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis)

I saw several Silvery Grebes the short time I spent here at Laguna Huana Khota, and this couple was busy courting. A very entertaining set of movements and postures. Altitude: 4359. It sounds like this:

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea)

From afar the the Laguna Huana Khota looks just like a mountain lake with little life above or below the surface. The lake is surprisingly rich in life – ranging from waterplants, flies and insects to several species of birds. The Giant Coot is one of the most numerous of the bird species here, and […]

Nevado Sajama

A closer look at the Sajama reveals glaciers and crevasses – a harsh environment and terrain for humans. Yet some simply find this irresistible. I for one prefer to look in awe from a distance!

Cordilleran Canastero (Asthenes modesta)

There are many small bird species here, and quite a number of them as well, so you’ll constantly see and hear them. Thanks to Jim Moore for identification. Altitude: 4359. It sounds like this:

Laguna Huana Khota

The distances are vast, and when suffering from altitude sickness, getting around can be a very exhausting. I had 2 days of altitude sickness – mostly very bad headache, so I was very glad there was a dirt road leading further into the park, and from which I could take frequent stops to stroll a […]

Nevado Sajama

Here I look south from the sand dunes of the Laguna Huana Khota, and the Nevado Sajama reigns supreme. In fact the sand is mostly ash from the volcano, and not from the erosion of bedrock like granite or sandstone. The ash is extremely fine, and is easily picked up by the lightest wind, and […]

Laguna Huana Khota

Looking northwest towards the border of Chile and Peru. Is this Cerro Parinacota? Please help me identify the name of the peak – leave a comment. Altitude: 4359.

Nevado Sajama

The first rays of the sun is reaching the icy cold peak. At this altitude there are still glaciers and snow (it’s 6542 metres high), but with the global warming the permanent ice is steadily melting. Altitude: 4267.