Coroico is a hill top town in the Yungas region of Bolivia and is a good place to spend a night before heading to La Paz, or further north toward the Jungle. Because of the lower elevation, the weather is quite nice by comparison to La Paz, and has a resort-like feel to it. Weekends are busier with Paceños.
Coroico's new highway is a very scenic road and the best way to appreciate it is by using the Hotel Esmeralda express van (door-to-door, peak season only) or public transport.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Take a minibus from the “Minasa Terminal de Buses”, near Villa Fatima, La Paz, heading to Coroico. - Cost 20-35 BOB. Journey time is 2 hours.
There isn`t a schedule. The minibus or minivan leaves whenever it gets full every 15 minutes to an hour. If a driver says he's leaving in 10 minutes, he just wants you to get in his bus but he wont leave until he's full. Also, tour agencies in La Paz will always be more expensive and will try to convince you that public transport is not safe. They will tell you anything to get a booking.
Public transport is a good option for an authentic locals experience and totally safe.
The first bus leaves around 6am and the last at 6pm.
Minibuses: 20 Bs for the ticket per person - takes 14 passengers
Minivan: 30 Bs for the ticket per person - takes 7 passengers. They are comfortable and faster.
Alternatively, get off the highway at Yoloso and take a collectivo up the hill for 5 Bs (15 mins).
Highway between Coroico and La Paz
From La Paz to Coroico you can also do "The Bike Ride" - the so-called, "Death Road." Look for the agency that allows you to bring your backpack along. Most agencies rather pay $5 commission to the hotel your staying in La Paz, than to haul your luggage along. Their vans are stuffy. The most famous of these are Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking ($85 per person) and Madness Adventures' Downhill Madness ($75 per person), Calle Sagarnaga No. 339, (591-2) 2391810 . A good alternative is BarroBiking.com, Jose the owner does every ride, Calle Sagarnaga No 288, Zona Rosario, Galería las Brujas Of.10 Teléfono(s): 591)-735 10 270 (591)-2-231 5526. Another option is to contact the small Coroico agency.
There are also several 2-day walks which lead you to Coroico. See 'Do' section.
There is some good hiking in the surrounding. There are several one day hikes, which include going for a swim in wild and clear rivers, seeing local agriculture (coca, banana, coffee, citrus fruits), old Casas de Hacienda (the houses of the former landowners), virgin forests and Afro-Bolivian communities. A good website about excursions in the Coroico area is www.coroico.info.
Two interesting two or three day hikes go from La Cumbre (the highest point between La Paz and Coroico, 4700m) to Coroico (1700m). The most famous is the old Inca Road "El Choro", which was the most important connection between the Yungas and La Paz until the 1930s.
The other one is commonly called "Eco-vía". It is a road carved in the mountains, with the idea of having a train connection. It never did function, but as a train needs relatively flat terrain, it's a much more accessible option for people not used to walking. It can be done in two or three days, but come well prepared: the first two days you will not encounter any villages.
30 minutes away from Coroico there is a community project named “El Vagante” (http://www.elvagante.com) that offers canyoning and trekking for $40 to $60 per day. Canyoning involves rappelling down 8 natural waterfalls with pure, fresh, crystal clear water in the middle of the Yungas Jungle. You can also enjoy trekking through the Yungas tropics appreciating nature and fauna, breathing healthy full of oxygen air.
15 minutes from Coroico on the Yolosa river is an animal refuge and EcoLodge called La Senda Verde. They offer several different tours to see their birds, monkeys and bears as well as offering short and long term low-cost volunteering opportunities.
For free trekking you can walk up to the phone masts, when you get to the church you could go left which takes you on an easy flat path toward three waterfalls (first 2 not for swimming as they are the local water supply). The views of the valley are amazing and there are lots of wild flowers and the odd coca field. You could also go right at the church to the top of the hill (the highest point in the area).
The best free hike you can do is to the waterfall of Vagantes. It is a way more beautiful walk than up to the 3 waterfalls and you are probably the only person in the valley. You start by following the road to the three "cascadas" but the first road you encounter at you leftside after leaving the village you take. It is right after the big yellow house, and there is a hard-to-read sing that shows the direction to the Vagantes. This sign claims it is only a 4km walk, this is not true, in reality it is more. After this you just keep on following the road downhill for a longtime. Until you reach a sign "Senda del Turista". Here you take the little path at your right side and follow it dosn hill to the valley. When you are close to the river and encounter a road and little cabin, you go right for another 5 minutes until you reach the nice waterfalls. You can swim here at some points, just be aware of the strong current. The walk takes approx. 2 hours each way. Take your provisions, as there is no place to buy anythingalong the road.
CXC  offers mountain bike tours around Coroico for beginners to experts. Lonely Planet called them "a bit disorganized, but very friendly".
Most people just come to chill out at the pool, and at night go eat in one of the excellent restaurants. There is a large open air municipal pool (20m) above the bus terminal with space for sunbaking.
You can find guides in the Tourist Information Office on the Plaza, or you can ask your hotel to recommend one.
Yoga is available at Sol y Luna 30bol (See ´sleep´ section for web details)
A lot of people say, that there is no ATM in Coroico. This is not true. Currently (April 2015) there are 3 ATM around the main plaza. You can withdraw money there with a normal international credit card.
Try the comedor municipal for cheap food from Bs6.
Pizzeria Erika has fairly cheap pizzas and pastas, but you can also go for a set meal.
El Cafetal. It's an open air restauramt under a jatata roof, with an excellent view down the valley (obviously no view at night!). Expect lamb curry, llama goulash, trout lasagna and crepes amongst others. 40BS+ They are also a hotel.
Best price/quality at the vegetarian Villa Bonita, also famous for its ice-cream.
Hotel Esmeralda avoid! Awful food. Even worse service.
Bamboo, one block from the plaza. The only Mexican restaurant in Coroico, but there are probably better eating options around. The food is okay, but the portions quite small and the restaurant seems to often lack essentials like beer or rice from the menu. The service is slow, but if you fancy some Mexican food, you don't really have much of a choice! edit
Cafe Arco Iris, on the plaza. Great cakes, average coffeeedit
Empanadas, Main Plaza. 4pm+. Cheese empanadas appear at 4pm in the main square. No tiendas sell them.2bol. edit
La Casa, (1 block uphill from plaza). Alpine food: Fondu and Raclet.edit
Back Stube Restaurant Pasteleria Alemana, Calle Adalid Linares, same door as Carla's Garden Pub. (The Back Stube moved down the steps), ☎ 72075620. Wed till Sat 12.00 - 23.00 and Sun 12.00 - 21.00. Open on Public holidays.. A classic in Coroico, est. in 2001, wellknown by Paceños and tourists alike. You can expect a large selection of well prepared food with good value for money. A filling breakfast is served all day from 12.00, every day a different lunch menu, and the full a la carte menu is available during opening hours. German and Bolivian dishes. It's also a nice place to hang out in the afternoon, they serve great coffee and home made cakes and pastries. Since March 2014 it's situated in a colourful garden, hammacks, relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff. FREE WIFI. They also have a book-exchange.edit
Carla's Garden Pub, Calle Adalid Linares (take a few steps down from Hostal Kory), ☎ 72075620. Wed till Sat 12.00 - 24.00. Sun 12.00 - 21.00. Dutch owned pub with good atmosphere, personalised service and the best tourist info. They also can arrange your busticket to Rurrenabaque. A large sellection of spirits, liquors, beers, wines and fresh juices, varied menu with pub food and snacks, a international book-exchange and good music. Sometimes live groups in the weekends. FREE WIFI. Facebook: Carla's Garden Pub.edit
Jugo ladies, randomly around the plaza. Fresh jugos, fruits and carrotedit
Residencial Coroico, (close to the Plaza). Plain but cheap. There is only a cold shower. Hot shower for 5 Bs.20Bs. edit
Hotel Esmeralda, at the top of the hill by phone masts, ☎ 010-2213-6017, . checkout: 11:00. Amazing potential, has rooms with stunning views, a clean-(ish) pool, (scalding) hot showers, sauna, a book and DVD collection, cable TV, the fastest Internet connection in town (by satellite), pool tables, fussball and a restaurant that offers buffet-based breakfast, lunch and dinner. 10bs 660ml beers at happy hour 5:30-7pmDorm 75Bs (90 with brekkie), Shared Bath 90Bs, 120/140Bs including Breakfast. edit
Sol y Luna (eco resort), even further up the hill (take a taxi or regret it), . Reasonably priced independent cabins with kitchen and private bathroom in a paradisical garden or cheaper rooms in a big house or camping in grounds. Two pools set in woodland environment. You have to make reservations, especially on weekends. Amazing massages 120BS for 75mins. Yoga daily.50bs+. edit
Villa Bonita, (600m from the Plaza (where?)), ☎ 71918298. Minuscule Villa Bonita offers high quality ice cream and vegetarian food in a pretty garden with a great view. The place has two cabins (for 2 & 4 people) and some rooms in their own house. It is run by a Swiss-Bolivian couple and their two small kids. Call ahead as it is often full on weekends. edit
Hostal Para Ti, (a few steps from the terminal). Beautiful panorama, areas for recreation and relaxing.edit
Hostal L. de la Torre, (close to the Plaza). Basic but clean, sunny and cheap, organised around a courtyard full of flowers.25Bs. edit
Hostal Kory. Best view in Coroico. A Little more pricey but everything in Bolivia is cheap. Worth the stay!edit
Casa Loma Linda Coroico, Coroico (Ask for Gonzalo Quispe in bus terminal), ☎ 712.90046, . Casa Loma Linda is privately situated on 8 acres of land, and is only a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute drive from the plaza & bus terminal. It sleeps 6-8 people, and is fully furnished with 2 spacious bedrooms, a large bathroom with hot water, a kitchen, a large patio with a grill, a hatata with hammocks, and a roof terrace with incredible mountain and river views. Additional space for tent camping is also available. Hundreds of coffee, orange, mandarin, lime, lemon, plantain, banana, mango, passion fruit, and cacao trees surround the house. Transportation, prepared meals (breakfast, lunch & barbeque dinners) and other amenities are available upon request. Hands-on agricultural education, Spanish lessons, volunteer opportunities, and cultural, hiking or adventure tours can also be arranged. Full house $75/night. Discounts for longer stays. edit
Hostal Chawi, Calle Final Sagarnaga (Between Gas Station and entrance of the town. 400m from the plaza), ☎ 67049600, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Offers great view over the valley of the Yungas directly from the rooms. The owner Inti speaks German, English & Spanish. Provides creative vegetarian food at reasonable price. Coffee, herbs and bananas come from the garden. The hostel has two dorms, one double private room with shared bathroom and one private ensuite, A big patio, big terrace and a huge garden. The Breakfast is included and it is one of the best included breakfast in South America. The hostel also accept volunteers for different kind of projects. If you wanna stay here, tell the bus driver coming from La Paz to let get you off the bus in front of the gas station "gasolinera" Then you will see this orange house where the hostel is. Prices:from 55bs. edit
There are minibuses to La Paz from 3am to 5.30pm. These take the safe new road, but are a bit cramped. 15-18 Bs, 4 hours. For 25bs you can get small micros 2hours.
A private taxi to La Paz should cost around 300-350 Bs. Also, there are shared taxis that cost from 25 to 35 Bs. They take the curves a bit too fast, so it's best to take them only if you have a strong stomach.
There are daily busses all the way to Rurrenabaque (at least 15 hours, or maybe 20!), leaving around noon for 110-120Bs. The ride to Rurre is far from comfortable and should not be done when it's rainy because the "street" goes through very mountainous areas and is not in a good condition.
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