Licancabur 5924m altitude - recreating the climate on Mars
Licancabur means the mountain from the Lican people who lived at the foot of it (nowadays san pedro de Atacama). The volcano with its perfect conical shape is recognized from far away and his image associated to laguna Verde is a classical picture.
The volcano became famous when NASA scientists found out that the climatic conditions around the crater are the closest they found today on earth to the conditions expected on planet mars. Licancabur thus already served as play ground for space travelling robots !
Eventhough the highest point does not reach 6000m, the day hike should not be underestimated as you have to gain ~1300m +d starting at 4600m altitude in the first place. For acclimated people we estimate an 8 hour hike on a trail crossing mostly scree slopes. As you reach the crater you will be surprised by the frozen crater lake. There are only 5 lakes in the world found at higher altitudes ! A reason good enough to descend into the crater.
The ascent to the crater is rather an exhausting altitude hike and not serious mountaineering