Explorer Recounts ‘Scariest Travel Experience’ After Spending 24 Hours in World’s Highest Town

by Alice

For those curious about life in the world’s highest town, Ammar Kandil, intrepid explorer and co-founder of the renowned travel channel Yes Theory, has ventured there to provide insights.

La Rinconada, located in Peru, is perched approximately 16,700 feet above sea level and is home to an estimated 50,000 residents. Despite its breathtaking altitude, the town’s low air pressure poses health challenges, with around 25 percent of inhabitants reportedly experiencing hypoxia due to insufficient oxygen levels.


Yet beyond the altitude-induced health risks, La Rinconada harbors a reputation for lawlessness, as Ammar discovered during his recent visit documented in a video on Yes Theory’s YouTube channel.


Navigating through the Andes, Ammar encountered stark contrasts, from awe-inspiring vistas to litter-strewn landscapes. Reflecting on the town’s plight, he remarked, “That’s what happens when 50,000 people settle somewhere without the necessary infrastructure, amidst widespread illegal mining activities. It breaks my heart.”


Upon arrival, Ammar learned of the town’s stark realities, including the scarcity of hot showers—only three available for the entire population—and water contaminated with mercury due to mining activities.

Engaging with a local miner, Ammar unearthed the harsh truth behind La Rinconada’s allure: the promise of gold. Despite the grueling working conditions and exploitation by mining corporations like Corporación Ananea, which operate under a system where miners toil for 30 days without pay for a single day’s worth of ore, the allure of striking gold draws thousands.

Despite the economic promise, La Rinconada has a darker side, with escalating crime rates. Ammar’s conversation with a local revealed recent violence, with reports of shootings and perilous conditions under the cover of night.

Beyond the immediate dangers, the town’s toxic water and pollution pose ongoing threats to its inhabitants, highlighting the stark realities of life in La Rinconada.



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