Route 11 leads all the way to Lake Chungara, one of the world’s highest lakes at 4,500m, spanning across the border with Bolivia.
I visited it twice. First on September 1st 2013 while we were staying with my family in Putre. The second visit was 3 years later, on December 8th 2016. That day, we left 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 trucks were stopped alongside the lake itself. We passed all these trucks and were able to reach the banks early enough to capture the beautiful lights of sunrise.
Photos have been shot in front of the Ranger station on both visits. From this spot, the view is breathtaking, taking in the snow-capped twin Payachata volcanoes (Parinacota at 6,350m and Pomerape at 6,240m), the smoking peak of Guallatire and Bolivia’s highest volcano, Sajama (6,542m). Water level during my second visit was lower compared to the first time, certainly because we were closer to summer. This is clearly visible on some photos.