Management Category: National Park
Extent: an estimated area of 100,230 ha (1002 km2).
Location: Sajama Park is located in Oruro´s northwest, in Sajama province. The municipalities involved are Turco and Curahuara of Carangas, adjacent to the Department of La Paz and the border with Chile (Lauca National Park).
Biogeographic subregions, altitudinal and weather: Corresponds to the Puna, the altitudinal range between 4,000 and 6,542 meters above sea level, the region of Cordillera Occidental, characterized by extensive plateaus, high Andean lakes and towering volcanic cones as Payachatas and Nevado Sajama is the highest point of Bolivia. The weather is icy cold, with summer rains and ice all year.
Vegetation and flora: A total of 154 species of flora and an estimated 250 species of higher plants. The wetlands cover 10% of the Sajama Park and vegetation unit are the most important socio-environmental. In tree and shrub flora are relevant populations of queñua (Polylepis tarapacana), the associated tholares grasslands (Parastrephia lepidophylla, P. lucida, Baccharis incarum) and yareta (Azorella compact).
Fauna: En el Parque Sajama se registraron 108 especies de fauna. Entre éstas destacan la vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), el quirquincho (Chaetophractus nationi), el gato andino o titi (Felis jacobita), el puma (Felis concolor), el suri (Pterocnemia pennata), el cóndor (Vultur gryphus), la chocka (Fulica gigantea), el parihuano (Phoenicopterus chilensis) y aves pequeñas como Asthenes arequipae, Oreomanes fraseri y Phrygilus erythronotus.
Local Population: The human occupation in the area is ancient and the people of Aymara origin, belong to the Karanga ethnic group. Currently, there are around 80 rooms scattered around, grouping 60% of the people who live inside the park, within the proposed boundaries of the cantons converge: Curahuara of Carangas (Sajama, Caripe and Lagunas) and part of Canton Cosapa of the township Turco. The estimated population is about 1,000 inhabitants.
Tourism: Its scenic beauty is unmatched by the imposing presence of Nevado Sajama, altonadinas lakes, hot springs and mountain climbing routes. It is also characterized by its queñua groves covering more than 10,000 ha. up to 5,200 meters above sea level, constituting the highest woody formation in the world. Sajama Park also houses archaeological and historical sites of great cultural as the Chullpas, pictographs, Columbian ruins at Circuit "Lauca River" and colonial churches, like Curahuara of Carangas. The tourist flow for ecotourism activities and mountaineering has enabled the community the construction of a Tomarapi Ecolalbergue with excellent accommodation and food services.
Source: SERNAP http://www.sernap.gob.bo
How to get to the Sajama Park: From La Paz is reached through Patacamaya and follow the road to Tambo Quemado, border with Chile, that leads to the Lauca National Park and then to Arica. You can take buses from La Paz to Arica and Iquique direction, or directly from Patacamaya. This tour is recommended to enter the town of Curahuara of Carangas to admire its church. Visitors can start from Oruro take the road to the town of Turco and continue to Cosapa. In this case it is recommended to enter your own vehicle.