Route 11 leads all the way from Arica to Lake Chungara, one of the world’s highest lakes at 4,500m, spanning across the border between Chile and Bolivia.
I visited it twice. First on September 1, 2013 while we were staying in Putre with my family. The second visit was 3 years later, on December 8, 2016. That day, we left the village of Parinacota very early, it was pitch dark. We arrived at the lake while the border was still closed. Hundreds of trucks were queuing, blocked by a barrier positioned before the lake. This was an improvement compared to 2013 when they were stopped alongside the lake itself. We passed all these trucks and were able to reach the shores early enough to capture the beautiful lights of sunrise.
Photos have been shot in front of the Ranger Station on both visits. Stunning view and splendid reflections of Volcano Parinacota! Water level during my second visit was lower, certainly because we were closer to summer. This is clearly visible on some photos.
On Route 11, a few miles before reaching Lago Chungara, you will discover this amazing set of tiny islets and wetlands surrounded by turquoise waters. Alpacas, vicuñas and lamas graze in complete liberty. After a few shots from the belvedere on the side of the road, we took a path down to water level and admired sunset. From this spot, the view is breathtaking, taking in the snow-capped twin Payachata volcanoes: Parinacota at 6,350m and Pomerape at 6,240m.