There were a few things that worried me about this tour:
1. Everyone kept warning us about the altitude. You leave the town at 4am and head straight up to 4200m to see the geysers at sunrise. Apparently, this rapid ascent means that many tourists spend their morning at the geysers feeling dizzy and sitting in the bus.
2. Although it is the middle of summer, the temperature will be between 0 and -10 degrees at the geysers. Not very pleasant for walking around if you are wearing your usual desert attire of shorts and a t-shirt.
So, on the advice of our tour company, we stocked up on warm clothes and left the tour to the last day (so we had the maximum amount of time to acclimatise). Also on their advice, we avoided red meat for 24 hours before the tour but I am still not sure why that was necessary…
At 4am we left with our tour group and drove for about 1.5 hours straight up the geysers. Apparently this is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere (and the third largest in the world). It is a huge expanse of bubbling mud, clouds of steam and other exciting things that make you have to watch where you step. Our driver used one of the pools of bubbling water to boil some eggs and heat up the chocolate milk. In case you ever need to know:- at that altitude 15 eggs take 8 minutes to cook.
After the geyser field we headed down to a thermal pool. By this stage it had warmed up to about 5 degrees so it was tempting to stay wrapped up in our winter clothes. However, not being ones to turn down a swim, we were persuaded to try out the warm water.
The tour finished with the chance to see some llama and to taste some llama…