Aug 9, 2023
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Cerro Uturuncu Volcano Road in Bolivia

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It is said that Cerro Uturuncu, in Bolivia, is the easiest mountain over 6,000 meters to climb in the world. On foot. If you still don’t feel like it, don’t worry, you can climb it by car, as a gravel track allows 4x4s to pass and take you to 5,800 meters. However, keep in mind that the car will suffer a lot. The altitude affects, and a lot, the performance of an engine.

At higher altitudes, the oxygen density in the air is lower, and as almost all vehicles run on fuel combustion, and combustion is not possible without oxygen, the altitude and lack of oxygen will cause the engine performance to decrease. It is said that for every 1,000 meters of altitude, a car loses between 10 and 15 horsepower, so do the math: do not try to climb Uturuncu with a 70 horsepower car. It will probably die.

LocationPotosi, Bolivia
Mountain rangeCordillera de Lípez
Elevation19,711 ft (6,008 metres)
RoadGravel (19,028 ft - 5.800 metres)
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Best time to visit UturuncuFrom Mayo to September

If you are prepared for the challenges, driving to Cerro Uturuncu can be an incredible experience. The views from the top are breathtaking, and the feeling of reaching 5,800 meters by car is incredible.

Driving Uturuncu

Cerro Uturuncu road

Cerro Uturuncu road, Adrianpua

As we have said, it is possible to drive by car up to 5,800 meters, just a few meters from the summit of Cerro Uturuncu. However, it is important to keep in mind that the road to the top is very winding and narrow, a 4×4 is necessary, and the altitude can be a challenge for some drivers.

It is very important to drive with caution. The altitude can be a challenge for some drivers, so it is important to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. The weather can be unpredictable, so it is important to pack warm clothes and a raincoat. There are few places to refuel, so it is important to have enough gas before starting your journey.

Volcano Uturuncu

Uturuncu (meaning “sleeping tiger” in Aymara, a native language of the central Andes) is a dormant volcano that reaches an altitude of 6,008 meters. Uturuncu is a popular mountain for mountaineers and hikers. The ascent to the summit is relatively easy and the views from the summit are spectacular. Uturuncu is also an important place for scientific research. Scientists study Uturuncu to learn more about the geological history of the region and the processes that shape the Andes. The views from the top of Uturuncu are spectacular. You can see the Uyuni salt flats, the colored lakes and the volcanoes in the area. The climate at the top is cold and windy, so it is important to be well equipped.

4wd expedition on Uturuncu road

Impressive photo of Alejandro Danci during his 4×4 expedition to the Uturuncu volcano


Uturuncu was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago. The last eruption of Uturuncu occurred about 250,000 years ago. Uturuncu has been an important place for humans for thousands of years. The Incas considered it a sacred mountain and used it as a place of pilgrimage. The remains of an ancient sulfur mine, called Uturuncu, are located near the summit. It was considered one of the highest in the world.

Uturuncu has also been an important place for European explorers. The first European to reach the summit was the German explorer Paul Güssfeldt in 1892. Güssfeldt was a German explorer and geographer who dedicated himself to exploring the highlands of Bolivia and Peru. The stone track that leads to 5,800 meters was built in the early 20th century to facilitate access to a sulfur mine located near the highest point of the volcano.

Google Maps

Uturuncu is located in the Bolivian Alps and is the highest mountain in the department of Potosí and also in the southern region of Bolivia. Uturuncu belongs to the San Pablo de Lípez municipality in southern Bolivia and is located southeast of the town of Quetena and northeast of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.

Guinness World Record for Highest Altitude for an Electric Car at Uturuncu

Uturuncu vulcano Volkwagen Record Guiness

In June 2022, Rainer Zietlow broke a new Guinness World Record by driving a Volkswagen ID.4 GTX to an altitude of 5,816 meters above sea level. The car, with all-wheel drive, has a maximum power of 299 horsepower. The 77 kWh lithium-ion battery gives it a WLTP range of 480 kilometers. The journey began in Santiago, Chile, and the team took 12 days to reach the summit of Cerro Uturuncu.

It is worth noting that electric motors are not affected by the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere at high altitudes, while internal combustion engines are. For example, in the classic Pikes Peak race in the United States, it is estimated that the power loss reaches up to 50% at the summit, which is located above 4,000 meters.

Archived in:
Bolivia · South America

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