Parinacota is a massive potentially active stratovolcano on the border of Chile and Bolivia. It is part of the Nevados de Payachata volcanic group. The other major edifice in that group is the Pleistocene peak of Pomerape. Parinacota's last eruptive phase has been dated using the helium surface exposure technique, which ties the eruption to 290AD ± 300 years. One of the most dramatic eruptive events in the volcano's past was 8,000 years ago, when a major collapse of the edifice produced a 6 km³ debris avalanche, which blocked nearby drainage patterns, creating Chungará Lake. The volcano and Pomerape straddle the border between Sajama National Park (Bolivia) and Lauca National Park (Chile).
Climbing the volcano is relatively easy, alpine F grade, on a snow/rubble slope of about 35 degrees. A camp can be established at 5,300m at the saddle between Parinacota and Pomerape. Depending on the season, the main difficulty can be a snow formation called penitentes which make the ascent physically difficult or impossible. It is attempted by about 1 party per week in the season. If needed, guides and transport can be hired from Sajama village, 27 km away on the Bolivian side of the mountain.
- Elevation: 6,348 m (20,827 ft)
- Prominence: 1,989 m (6,526 ft)
- Type: Stratovolcano
- Volcanic arc/belt: Central Volcanic Zone
- Last eruption: 290AD ± 300 years
- First ascent: 1928
- Easiest route: snow/rock scramble