Torotoro National Park
Toro Toro National Park is a national park in the Potosí (department) of Bolivia, situated among the eastern mountain ranges of the South American Andes cordilleras. The park features dinosaur footprints, canyons, caves and makes for excellent hiking. Well known is the cave tour where you spend 2 hours squeezing and climbing your way through a stunning cave. The park itself is easily accessible from the small town of Toro Toro, which is a four to six hour drive from Cochabamba.
Torotoro National Park is situated in the Northern Potosí department, 140 km south of Cochabamba and only accessible by gravel roads and riverbeds, which usually takes four to six hours but might take longer in the rainy season when sometimes the route becomes completely impassable.
The park is one of the major attractions for visitors to Cochabamba, and is most famous for its remnants of dinosaurs.
Torotoro National Park covers 165 km² and is located at 18° 7' S and 65° 46' W in a semi-arid landscape at altitudes between 2000 and 3500 m above sea level, with canyons as deep as 300 meters. The park features caves, Paleozoic and Cretaceous calcitic deposits with fossils, and panoramic landscapes eroded by glaciers, wind and waters.
Flora and fauna
The Torotoro National Park offers scrubby woodland with wildlife like flocks of parakeets and the red-fronted macaw.
Sub-Andean climate has a cold winter from June to August, and a rainy season from December to March.
The main departure point for Torotoro is the corner of Avenida 6 de Agosto and República in Cochabamba. Since there is currently work going on in this area (as of November 2014), buses temporarily leave from Av. Republica, half a block into Republica from the roundabout with Av. Barrientos.
Buses from Cochabamba cost 23 Bolivianos (2014). They are scheduled every day at 06:00 and occasionally at 18:00, and leave when full. Best to arrive on time. The trip takes at least six hours by bus.
Comfortable minivans are a more flexible option. These take around 4 hours and cost 35 Bolivianos. They leave Cochabamba when full, which means there are multiple departures per day. The wait for the minivan to be full might take anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours.
By organised tour
There are several tourist agencies serving tours from Cochabamba to Torotoro, but since tourism numbers are still low in Cochabamba this only is an option if you can get a group together. A trip by 4x4 to the park often comes with any arranged tour package.
It is possible to charter a small airplane to take up to 5 passengers from Cochabamba airport to Torotoro. Prices range around $140 US, and the flight takes about half an hour. Call (4)4227042 or (4)4246289 for details.
The entrance ticket costs 30 Bolivianos for nationals and 100 Bolivianos for foreigners. However, as of November 2014 the national price (30 Bs.) is being charged for foreigners. The tickers are valid for 5 days and for all parts of the National Park.
The town of Torotoro is easily explored on foot, but for the National Park you will need a guide. There are daily tours departing from the tourist information center on the main plaza. The guides will do their best to form a big enough group for prices to be acceptable. Since the park is being frequented by solo travelers and couples it is easy to form a group.
The two main tours are:
Among the main features of the park are:
Tour companies will often arrange lodging as part of a travel package, but if you arrive by yourself it is easy to find lodging and camping within the town itself. Reservations are not needed as there is plenty of accommodation available. Prices of budget accommodation range from 30 Bs. for a single traveler to 100 Bs. for a double.
The only form of organized transport available is to and from Cochabamba. If you need to get anywhere else in Bolivia (including Potosi or Sucre), you will have to travel through Cochabamba first.