Sol de Manana - Bolivia

This geothermal area in Bolivia is located on the other side of the Mountains from the Geysers del Tatio of Chile.  They are located at an elevation of approximately 4890m (15,900 feet), according to our guide.  I had no way to verify this elevation and was suspicious of this since the Geyser basin in Chile is reported to be the highest in the world.  The "geyser basin" is primarily a collection of mud pots.  Some are wetter that others and are constantly spouting muddy water to a height of approximately 10 feet.

Most tourists arrive early in the morning to enjoy the abundant steam in the cold air.  We arrived in late morning which in my opinion was better as you could easily see the boiling mud without the interference of steam clouds.  This was an uncontrolled area and we could walk anywhere we wanted.  As we got out of the truck our guide merely said "Don't fall in or you will die!".

The collection of mud pots was extremely impressive.  The blend of water and mud was nearly perfect.  In my opinion, they are more active than the mud pots in Yellowstone.  I would say that there are no fewer than 50 different mud pots in the area.



Click images to enlarge:


sign.jpg (55774 bytes) Translation - Route of the High Andes Jewels.  Morning Sun (Geysers).   Please stay back.  Danger of Death.
This is a photo of our guide and myself.  The border crossing was at 15,000' and the highest elevation we reached was 16,800'.  Our guide gave us coca leaves to chew to keep us from getting altitude sickness.  It worked.
me.jpg (39539 bytes) Photo of me in front of the "geyser basin".
basina.jpg (45568 bytes) Another shot of the "geyser basin" area.
This is one of the main areas of the basin.  We walked on the ridges between the mud pots to take our photos.  It was a strange feeling to be walking on a ledge with boiling mud to either side of you.
rocks.jpg (56609 bytes) In the center of this pile of rocks is a pipe driven down into the ground.  Steam is gushing out of the pipe with such force that tourists throw rocks toward the pipe in an effort to have the steam propel the rocks high into the air.   The sound of the rushing steam was deafening.  The Bolivian government has been exploring the option of taping the area as a source of energy.  Hopefully the remoteness of the basin will help to delay this action.

This was one of the largest and best mud pots.  All four bubbling areas would throw mud up to a distance of four or five feet.  The mud was just the right consistency to make a classic display.


A few various images of some of the mud pots in the area.  Most all of them were very active and more impressive than the mud pots in Yellowstone, in my opinion:

mudpotsa.jpg (57287 bytes)   mudpotsb.jpg (52926 bytes)   mudpotsc.jpg (80178 bytes)   mudpotsd.jpg (77175 bytes)

mudpotse.jpg (59480 bytes)   mudpotsf.jpg (58940 bytes)


Jim Strope 421 Fourth Street Glen Dale, WV 26038



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