Stop 6: Volcán Uturuncu
Volcán Uturuncu 22°15'59.57"S 67°10'59.96"W
Volcán Uturuncu is a 19,711 ft (6008 m) stratovolcano to the east of the Laguna Colorada ignimbrite shield. It is the highest mountain in southern Bolivia and towers above the small town of Quetena. Recent INSAR studies have shown that Uturuncu is inflating at a rate of 1 to 2 cm per year over a 70 km area, suggesting that magma is currently intruding into the system. Volcanologists, petrologists, geophysicists, and geomorphologists from institutions around the world are studying Uturuncu to understand the history and current unrest of this beautiful volcano.
Lavas erupted at Uturuncu are dacitic in composition, but also contain andesite inclusions, norite nodules, and crustal xenoliths. Ages from the lava flows and domes range from 890 to 271 ka.
Spectacular views of llamas grazing with Uturuncu looming in the background are common sites in Quetena Valley.
A rough road leading to an abandoned sulfur mine winds up to the saddle between Uturuncu's twin peaks. From this road you can hike up a few hundred feet to the top of Uturuncu and view the APVC from one of the highest points in the region.