Activities, Cochabamba

13 Best Tunari Peak Tours + Climbing Cerro Tunari Without a Guide

Nestled in the famous Andes, the Tunari peak is one of the highest summits in central Bolivia. The following Tunari Peak Tours and excursions of the surrounding areas offer friendly guides and a climactic experience worth a reasonable price tag.

The Tunari mountains running through Cochabamba, Bolivia allow climbers some of the most breathtaking aerial views of the natural landscape and cityscape below.

These are the 13 + 1 best ways to experience the beautiful and daring altitude hike up to the Tunari peak and explore the surrounding areas rich with culture, wildlife, and a diverse environment.

Tunari Peak tour

Here’s my post about the best places to stay in Cochabamba.

1. Keteka Tunari National Park Trekking Tour – 1 Day

Only 28 kilometers from the city of Cochabamba, the Tunari peak hike is one of the highest peaks in the center of Bolivia.  

This one-day tour from the Morochata area of Cochabamba starts in the early morning and follows a local guide up a changing landscape with lakes, waterfalls, and indigenous natives.

Enjoy the views from the top after a few hours hike, and then return by evening time. This tour accepts groups of up to six people. 

If you haven't already booked your hotel, get the best deals on hotels here.

2. Hiking Cerro Tunari, 5050 meters – 1 Day

This tour begins in the early morning with private transportation pickup from your hotel in Cochabamba. It begins toward the suburb of Quillacollo, into the mountains of Cordillera Tunari, and past Andean villages. At Lake Macho, you will be provided a traditional Bolivian breakfast.

A three-hour ascent to the peak is next where you will enjoy a view of Cochabamba Valley. Enjoy a box lunch at the peak and take in the beautiful sights. Then, you will descend to a second mountain lake where the private transportation will await for your return to your hotel. 

The duration of the entire tour is about 10 hours and requires a minimum of two participants. You will have a local tour guide with basic English speaking skills and may request a fluent English speaking tour guide. 

3. Climbing Cerro Tunari, 5035 m – 1 Day

In the early morning, private transport will pick you up from you rhotel and take you through the suburb of Quillacollo, near to thermal springs of Liriuni, and through a forest of native Kewina trees. You will also see local llama herders and their village along the way. 

The three hour ascent begins at Laguna Macho and through rugged terrain and mountain meadows. At the summit, you will enjoy a view of snow capped mountains and the Cochabamba Valley. 

The private vehicle will be awaiting at Laguna Maqcho to return you to your hotel in Cochabamba. Breakfast and lunch are included. 

4. Cerro Tunari 1 Day Trek Cochabamba Kanoo Tour – 1 Day

This tour is one of the best values and begins at 8 am with a scenic drive through rural Cochabamba in a private vehicle pickup from the hotel. The two hour drive takes you through llama herding villages and mountain scenery. At Lake Macho, enjoy a traditional Bolivian drink named “api” as an energy boost for the trek.

Along the trek, you will pass another lake, forests, and keep a keen eye out for wildlife and fossils. At the peak, you will eat a packed lunch and take in the view. On the return trek, you may dip your feet in the lake. 

You will return via private vehicle between 5 – 7 pm. The maximum is a group of 6. 

5. Tunari Mountain Tour – 1 Day

The tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, 2-3 hour hiking through the mountain terrain, and private transportation.

The tour picks up at the hotel early morning, and then it leaves for the Lake Macho at about 4600 m. 

The bilingual tour guides will lead hikes through the forest and by the mountain lake. Species that you might see include llamas, condors, and viscachas (an Andean rodent).

After that, return to the pickup point at Lake Macho.

The group can range from 2-18 members.

6. Tunari “Condor” 2 Day Trek – 2 Days

The tour is provided by Berghotel Carolina and covers the area of Cochabamba Valley and Mount Tunari.

Day one, after a short bus ride from the Cochabamba city center, the tour will start at an altitude of 2900 meters and explore Cochabamba Valley and Cajon Lake. Upon arrival, search the forests for monkeys and sloths. 

Day two, enjoy a hike along the llama paths away from the valley and overlooking the beautiful Pairumani river basin. It is a loose gravel hike up the rest of the way to the peak where views of other mountain tops will greet you. The return trek will end at Lake Macho where you will enjoy a lovely mountain meal. 

The community has a deal with the hotel to provide pack mules for the trek and to carry food and other equipment. This package is a perk for guests of the hotel! 

8. Tunari Peak Tour – 1 Day

The day long tour provides a certified English speaking local guide, hotel or port pickup and dropoff, and an air conditioned vehicle transport. Usually, departure time will be 9 am and return time will be 6 pm with a tour duration of three hours.  

During a drive through the Tunari mountain range, sightseers will view the glistening waterfalls, crystal lakes, and indigenous farmlands. There are also opportunieis to see the fossil formations of the mountain range and the famous native forests. Sometimes, Andean Condors, llamas, wild vicunas, and other native wildlife can be spotted. When finished, the tour will return to the hotel via private transport with air conditioning.

9. Trekking Bolivia, Pico Tunari Summit – 2 Days

Mountaineering enthusiasts can see and photograph the jagged spires of the Andes mountain range and train for other famous mountain peaks like Royal and Western Cordillera treks while on this tour. 

Day one, being the ascent. 

Start the trek from the local communities of Pairumani and Combuyo at an altitude of about 2900 meters high. The tour follows the llama paths on the south side of the mountain. Enjoy a prepacked lunch along the trail with a view of Cochabamba Valley. 

You will cross the alpine line and reach your campsite by the running rivers above the crystal-clear Cajon lagoon. Enjoy a dinner prepared by your guides and stargaze before you head into yout tent for the night. 

Day 2, reach the summit of Pico Tunari, also known as Cerro Tunari. 

Continue your journey on the llama paths along the cliffside ridge above the Pairumani River Basin. Brave the final rocky incline to reach the summit. End the day with a descent to Lake Macho. 

A bus ride will be provided to take you back to the Cochabamba city center where you will enjoy a well-deserved lunch for your brave expedition. 

10. Unveil Bolivia Package – 7 Days

For a more comprehensive tour of Bolivia, including time for a tour of the Tunari peak, this weeklong package is perfect for a couple of curious travelers. A meet and greet at the airport from a representative, all airport transfers, 6 nights’ accommodation, bus services, 3 star hotel services, 6 breakfasts, and the following stated activities are included in the package. 

Day one, arrive and explore La Paz.

Day 2, Iwanaku Archeological Site from La Paz

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. 

Open from 7 am to 6 pm, go on a four hour long guided tour of the Iwanaku Archeological Site. This is a World Heritage Site centered around the archeological ruins of Tiwanaku. Learn about this mysterious civilization that disappeared from the adobe structures like the Kalasasaya temple and Akapana pyramid they left behind. 

This excursion is included in the package.

After lunch, enjoy the Building Rappel in La Paz. From 1-5 pm, do a one hour long guided tour of the Building Rappel in La Paz. You are able to prepare for your descent of 50 meters and enjoy the view of the city from the 17th floor of the building. For the thrill seekers, you can free fall the last 6 floors of the descent! 

This excursion is included in the package. 

Day 3, Explore La Paz and go on the La Paz Food, Wine, and Beer Tour

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. 

During the daytime, explore places around the city using the efficient Hop on and Hop Off Bus tours, ride the Mi Teleferico, or visit the Death Road cliffside. These excursions are not included in the package.

Between 5 pm to 11 pm, enjoy the La Paz Food, Wine, and Beer Tour. This three and a half hour long guided tour includes samples of many traditional dishes from master chefs of the city. You visit a local market to see the fruits and vegetable produce for sale and learn about Bolivian food culture the entire way. Even make your own magical Bolivian cocktail using local ingredients! 

This excursion is included in the package.

Day 4, go from La Paz to Oruro. Visit the Archaeological Museum. 

Arrive and check in to Oruro. 

In Oruro, you will go on a two-hour guided tour of the historic Archaeological Museum. Enjoy exhibits that include mastodons, Carnaval costumes, stone-carved llama head, and mummies from chullpares. Don’t forget to visit the famed northwest corner of Plaza 10 de Febrero. 

This excursion is included in the package. 

If you have more time in Oruro, you can explore the city and its sights, including the vibrant Carnival of Oruro, the llama filled Sajama National Park, and the mysterious Mina San Jose mine shaft that produces silver and gold! 

Day 5, go from Oruro to Cochabamba and the MARTadero Project

Upon arrival in Cochabamba, take the hour-long guided tour of the MARTadero Project. This tour reviews the industrial architecture, structure, arts, and culture of MARTadero. Enjoy the wonderful artistic and creative social programs. 

This excursion is included in the package. 

Day 6, Palacio Portales and Toro Toro National Park

In the morning, take a two hour tour of the Palacio Portales. This French Renaissance inspired architectural style includes the mansion, gardens, and an art museum. 

This excursion is included in the package. 

After a meal in the city, prepare yourself for a lovely outdoor nature tour of Toro Toro National Park. One of the most important parks in Bolovia, Toro Toro has breathtaking waterfalls and canyons. The rocky valley is home to a diverse array of wildlife, the natural beauty of the flora and fauna making it impossible not to take photographs. 

Day 7, Tunari Peak Tour. View the lovely peaks as the tour ends. 

As always, the best is saved for last. Take a three hour long guided tour up to Tunari Peak. Enjoy a beautiful mountain drive through the Tunari mountain range and enjoy the lakes and llama farmlands along the way. 

This excursion is not included in the package. 

This tour works for travel enthusiasts and adventure seekers but is not suitable for children. It is best fit for a couple.

11. Trekking Pico Tunari, 5050 meters – 1 Day 

This tour lasts 10 hours and includes a mix of nature, scenery, and wildlife. It involved the local villages of Tahua Cruz, Lake Macho, llama farms, waterfalls, rocky peaks, and Chochabamba Valley. 

Private transport will pick you up from your hotel and journey toward the towns of Tiquipaya and El Paso where you will visit the oldest church of Cochabamba. Then the transportation will take the group from the main road to the top of the valley with the crystal lakes and llama farms. At Lake Macho, you will enjoy a refreshment provided.

After reaching the summit and enjoying a packed lunch, private transport will await at the lake to return to Chochabamba. 

The total walk duration is 6 hours and the fee includes an El Mundo Verde Travel tour guide who speaks English, Spanish, Dutch and Italian as well as private transport, entrance to the park, lunch box, fruit, water, and snack. The tour is fitting for nature lovers, photographers, wildlife watchers, and bird lovers.

12. 3-Day Toro Toro Dinosaur Footprints from Cochabamba City – 3 Days

The surrounding area of Tunari is known as Toro Toro, the nearby “Land of the Dinosaurs” because of the fossils found in the mountainous region here.  

Here is the itinerary:

On day one, the tour picks up at the hotel at 7:30 am and departs from Cochabamba. It then travels to the park where you will stop at Bolivia’s deepest cave Umajalanta. Admire the stunning stalactites and stalagmites. 

Dinner and rest at the hotel follows. 

On day two, see the Ciudad Itas and Dinosaur Footprints. The tourists will get an early start after breakfast to see the rock formation of Ciudad Itas and some rock paintings believed to be over 2000 years old. Birders will love the opportunity to explore the home of the famed Condor, King of the Andean birds. 

Afternoon, the tour will visit the Carrera’s pampas where many dinosaur footprints are found. The bus then returns to the hotel for the evening meal.

On day three, marvel at the Waterfall El Vergel and Titanosaurus Footprints. After visiting a natural theater and rock bridge, you will enjoy seeing the gigantic Titanosaurus footprints, the largest found in the canyon. Birders again will be ecstatic to have the opportunity to spot the elusive and endangered “read head macaw”. 

Visit the beautiful El Vergel waterfall to cool off in the afternoon as you can take a bath here and go swimming. Then, the tour brings you to the village of Toro Toro for more dinosaur footprints. 

The van will take you back to Cochabamba where you may add on a tour of the Tunari peak! 

13. Toro Toro National Park Tour – 2 Days

Included in this tour package is accommodation and airport pickup, transportation in a 4×4 vehicle, national park entrance fees, a local multilingual guide in the national park, and helmet and headlight for Umajalanta cave. 

On day one, the tour departs from Cochabamba to Toro Toro where you will view the canyon and the El Vergel Waterfall. Then return to Toro Toro for dinner at the hotel. 

Day two will be filled with adventure as you descend into the Umajalanta Cave, the deepest cave in Bolivia. You may see the famous blind fishes that live inside, a treat for wildlifers. After a visit to the Ciudad de Itas rock formations in an attempt to see the majestic condors, you will return to Cochabamba with a stop for lunch. 

Once back in Cochbamba, you may add the Tunari Peak tour for the full Andes mountain experience. 

Climbing Cerro Tunari Without a Guide

Finally, we come to those daredevils and seasoned mountaineers who brave Cerro Tunari without a guide. This is in fact not an uncommon occurrence, though these are experienced hikers who did their research. And this article has made that part easier for you! 

The first step would be to hire a minivan or bus to take you part way up to the mountain trails. One Irish traveller took a 90 minute mini-van from Quillacolo to where she began her hike. The hike took her 2 hours mainly along a dirt road until the last kilometer where you take a more rugged trail around a second lake. She was able to catch another minivan headed back to Cochbamba by 6:30 pm. 

Overall warning: The trails are rocky and injury or falls could occur. The trails are also rather empty and therefore help could be far away.

It is best to always travel with a partner!