Chacaltaya Resort: Once the Highest Ski Resort in the World

The Chacaltaya Resort is located in La Paz, Bolivia. It was once the only ski resort in Bolivia. It was also the highest ski resort and home to the highest restaurant in the world. The glorious days of the resort ended when the Chacaltaya glacier melted, after which it was all abandoned.


The resort was opened in the late 1930s and attracted the residents of La Paz. Lots of visitors would come to ski all year round. It was a popular spot for the tourists as well. At about 5.400 meters above sea level, the ski resort was higher than the North Base Camp of Mount Everest.


In the 1990s, scientists at the Mount Chacaltaya Laboratory predicted that the Chacaltaya Glacier would be gone by 2015. But the 18,000-year-old glacier completely melted by 2009, a clear and scary indication of climate change. Naturally, the resort stopped having customers. It was soon shut down and abandoned, resembling a ghost town. The only near-permanent residents are two brothers who have worked at the resort for decades and serve food to visitors who decide to take a trip to the peak of the mountain. For that reason, Guinness still recognizes Chacaltaya as home to the world’s highest restaurant.