To the southeast of the Zona Sur the land rises to a ridge, which stands like a balcony right in front of Illimani and offers wonderful views. From Cota Cota in the Zona Sur, a road goes to the peripheral neighbourhoods of Chasquipampa and Ovejuyo. At the transit control (tranca or garita) in Ovejuyo the road splits: the right branch goes towards Illimani and Viloco, the left branch to Huni, Palca, Ventilla, Mururata, Illimani and beyond. Along the latter road, by the pass between Ovejuyo and Huni is the Illimani Lookout. You can walk in 30 minutes from Ovejuyo or about 45 minutes from Chasquipampa; look for the small Laguna las Animas to the right of the road (a favourite picnic area among paceños), from the hill just above the pond you will have breathtaking views of Illimani and Mururata. If you take a bus to Huni or Palca, get off at the pond. It takes 25 minutes to walk down from the lookout to Huni, a small village.
Between Ovejuyo and Huni (to the left of the road) stretches the Valle de las Animas, impressive eroded cliffs which look like enormous organ pipes. A good trail goes through a valley amid the cliffs. To walk between Ovejuyo and Huni through the canyon takes four to five hours; the views of Illimani from the ridge above Huni are wonderful. Pampa Koani is a valley that lies below the lookout and also has excellent views of the cordillera, here is Hotel Allkamari. Its access is along a road that branches to the right between the pass and Huni, opposite Iglesia de las Animas, a modern church at the base of the Animas cliffs.
Palca is a pleasant village 14 km from Ovejuyo. It is often full at weekends with visiting paceños but quiet the rest of the week; it has limited accommodation and many shops. Between Huni and Palca is the Palca Canyon, an amazing eroded mud-valley surrounded by steep mud walls and pinnacles. The route follows the bed of the Quebrada Chua Kheri, a tributary of the Río Abajo, and should not be attempted in the wet season. In Huni look out for a broad road leading down to the right and follow it down, past the school and onwards. The path turns into pre-Hispanic stone paving and leads down to the canyon floor. Walk through the canyon for two hours until it opens out. Follow the path up and left to Palca which will take you another 30 minutes. Sunday is a good day for this walk since there are hourly minibuses going through to La Paz, other days there are a few buses. Map IGM Palca 6044 III covers the trail but is not really necessary....
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