Region II, Chile
Not until we struggled up this hill for the second time (on the way over the Paso Jama rather than to the Lagunas in Bolivia) did we appreciate how truly tedious this climb is. The road is straight so the scenery doesn’t change for a full day as you grind your way up to the sky.
The climb begins gently from San Pedro, staying at 1% for 14kms, then becomes steep, climbing over 2,000m in the next 30km. This will come as no surprise though, as you can see most of the road whilst relaxing in touristy little San Pedro beforehand. It’s all on tarmac and there are plenty of Paraguayan truckers to cheer you on.
Coming from Laguna Blanca in Bolivia, it’s a short and easy climb to the high point where you meet the paving.
|Hito Cajon turn-off
|High point on the road from San Pedro de Atacama (45kms) to Laguna Blanca (13kms)
|22.9170 S, 67.7966 W
|2,300m (all on tarmac) from San Pedro de Atacama in over a day; 300m in 1h30 from Laguna Blanca
View Hito Cajon – 4,665m in a larger map