Jalca Formations of Bolivar

In the upper reaches of the Andean Cordillera of northeastern Department of La Libertad one can encounter the jalca formations in the Province of Bolivar. This area is accessable by road, only by entering the Department of La Libertad from the north through Amazonas. After crossing the Rio Marañón at Balsas, the route runs south along the eastern bank and then rising abruptly to the town of Longotea. From there it is over the pass to Bolivar. The city of Bolivar (7°09'S, 77°42'W) at 3000 m is at the base of Nevado de Cajamarquilla, a mastif that rises at its back to over 4300 m. At its upper reaches, the Rio Marañón valley can be seen to the west. There is no direct connection by road between Bolivar and the remainder of the Department of La Libertad.

On the road between Bolivar and Longatea, one encounters unusual mineral deposits in the form of large, round stones, often looking like "flying saucers" crashed into the upper mantel of soil. There origin remains a mystery, but many, many have been hauled off by travelers to be placed in their gardens or used a door stops.

For more detailed information on the Jalca Formations, click here.

provided by
NSF (2000-2003)

Images from the jalca formations above the Bolivar, La Libertad (2001)

Note: Click on images for enlargements.

Looking north from Longotea
(7°02.6 S, 77°52'W).

Road between Longotea and Bolivar.

Ascending Nevado de Cajamarquilla on a trail, north above Bolivar (3500 m) .
Ascending Nevado de Cajamarquilla in the Cordillera de Cumullca (Prov. Bolivar).
The saddle above Bolivar (~ 4000 m). Collecting with Isidoro Sánchez above Bolivar (~4000 m).
Dr. Isidoro Sánchez Vega Ranunculus clypeatus Ranunculus clypeatus
Senecio Senecio
Perezia Perezia Castilljea
Looking west to Rio Marañón river valley. Leaving Bolivar N to Longotea (~3200 m).
Nevado de Cajamarquilla, above Bolivar (~3800 m). Above Longotea.
Looking down on Bolivar town square. Further up above Bolivar. Senecio basal leaves
Unusual round mineral formations. Travelers collect them for doorstops.
Some are over 0.5 meters in diameter
and weigh over 50 kgs.
Detailed map of the Bolivar area
Click on map for enlargement.

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