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Licancabur is a 5920 m (19,423 ft) volcano, located in the borders of Chile and Bolivia. Only a small part of the northeastern slope belongs to Bolivia up to the two thirds of its height at 5400 m (17,717 ft) from the foot of the volcano located at 4360 m (14,304 ft), just next to the Laguna Verde. From that point on the border line turns directly northward. The biggest part of Licancabur, including the highest third of the northeastern slope from 5400 m (17,717 ft) up to the summit at 5920 m (19,423 ft), belongs to Chile. The summit, crater, as well as the crater lake are also located entirely in Chile.

The Licancabur volcano is located in Provincia El Loa, Segunda Región - Región Antofagasta- in Chile; while a small part of the northeastern slope up to the two thirds of its height at 5400 m (17,717 ft) in Departamento de Potosí, Bolivia.

As mentioned before, the summit, crater and small crater lake are located in the chilean part; whereas the National Andean Fauna Reserve Eduardo Avaroa, located at the foot of the northeastern slope next to Laguna Verde where a big number of Andean Flamencos live, belong to Bolivia. A small channel links Laguna Verde with its eastern neighboring lake Laguna Blanca.

Geologically it is categorized as a stratovolcano with its last eruption during the Holocene.

Its name is of Kunza (Atacameño) roots meaning, People of the Heights or of the Mountain. Its etymology being lickan, which meand people and ckabur which means mountain.

The crater lake named Lake Licancabur is located at 5916 m (19,409 ft), it has an area of 0,003 km² and a depth of aproximately 5-6 m. It is located entirely in Chile as well as the crater and the summit. It is about 70 m (230 ft) x 90 m (295 ft). Its water temperatures can drop to aproximately -30 °C.

The first recorded climb was done by Severo Titichoca in 1884 who climbed it alone.

The volcano has the biggest number of mountain ancient ruins in Chile. Lots of them have been built before the era of the Incas; however there are proves that show us that the platforms, paths and other structures have been built by the latter.

In 2003 chilean, american and mexican scientists discovered similarities between the Licancabur volcano and the surface of the Planet Mars. Due to the mentioned similarities the experts have determined that the Licancabur can be used as a laboratory by reasearchers looking for extraterrestrial life in Mars as well as by scientists and engineers developing methods for future bases in the red planet.

Among the researchers that climbed the Licancabur there was Edmond Grin who at 83 years old, became the oldest climber on earth.

Source of information:

National Geographic.

Instituto SITI (Búsqueda de Inteligencia Extraterrestre)


Universidad Católica del Norte.

  • Elevation: 5920 meters (19,423 ft)
  • Location of the Volcano: Provincia El Loa, Segunda Región, Antofagasta, in Chile; and a small part of the northeastern slope up to the 5400 m (17,717 ft) in the southwestern corner of Departamento de Potosi, Bolivia.
  • Location of the Crater and Crater Lake: Región de Antofagasta, Chile at 5916 meters (19,409 ft).
  • First recorded climb: Severo Titichoca 1884

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