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Torotoro National Park

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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.

Understand[edit]

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.

Landscape[edit]

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[edit]

The Torotoro National Park offers scrubby woodland with wildlife like flocks of parakeets and the red-fronted macaw.

Climate[edit]

Sub-Andean climate has a cold winter from June to August, and a rainy season from December to March.

Get in[edit]

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.

By Bus[edit]

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.

By Minivan[edit]

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[edit]

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.

By Plane[edit]

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.

Fees/Permits[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

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:

  • The canyon, 6 - 7 hours walk for 100 Bs. per group (maximum 6 people).
  • The caves and the 'city' (Ica), full day by car and around 4 hours hiking, 500 to 700 Bs per group (maximum 7 people)

See[edit][add listing]

Among the main features of the park are:

  • Cueva Humajalanta, for miles northwest of the town of Torotoro, around 6 km long and 164 m deep, one of the longest and deepest caves in Bolivia, with stalactites and stalagmites, blind fish and waterfalls. The hike through the cave is an experience on it's own as you will be climbing over big rocks and squeezing yourself through narrow passages.
  • Dinosaur bone fragments and more than 2,500 dinosaur footprints, of biped and quadruped dinosaurs, theropods and sauropods from the cretaceous period 120 million years ago.
  • The Vergel or Waca Senq'a Canyon with waterfalls and pools and lush tropical vegetation. The guide will take you on a hike into the bottom of the canyon.
  • Ica, or 'The City', a series of caves resembling an ancient city.
  • Llama Chaqui, an archaeological site southeast of the town of Torotoro with remnants of the Quechua culture.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The two tours mentioned above are the main attractions, but there are 3 more tours for the more adventurous travelers.
  • Visit the Pachamama Wasi museum, which is a house fully covered with rocks and coral. The friendly old man who runs it spent 50 years collecting and building it. Entrance to the museum includes a tour and costs 5 Bs. for nationals or 10 Bs. for foreigners. The museum closes at 18:00.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The market offers local dishes (such as milanesa and fried chicken) for 10 Bs. per plate.
  • Opposite the market there are several small restaurants serving an excellent Pique Machu for 12 Bs per plate.
  • One block from the main plaza (follow the street going up) there is a restaurant with international cuisine. They serve an excellent lasagna for 45 Bs. and have a selection of pizza's, omelets, salads, sandwiches and cocktails.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The restaurant mentioned above (one block from the main plaza) has happy hour from 19:00 to 20:00.
  • Locals enjoy buying beer in the supermarket and drink it sitting around the main street.
  • There is a Bolivian style nightclub which is open in the weekends. Ask locals for details.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Los Hermanos, (One block from the main plaza). checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Nice comfortable hostel that features breakfast with fruit salad in a beautiful garden with a lemon tree. 40 Bs per person, private room.  edit
  • El Vergel, (One block from the main plaza). checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Nice and well maintained property with a friendly owner. 70 Bs for single room, 100 Bs for double.  edit

Cope[edit]

  • Torotoro has internet and telephone access since 2010.
  • There is no ATM, so be sure to bring enough cash from Cochabamba.
  • It might be hard to find a money changer, so bring Bolivianos.
  • There is a hospital in town but no pharmacy.

Get out[edit]

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.

  • Trans del Norte has buses leave most mornings at 6am (23 Bs). Tickets can be bought the evening in advance in a little supermarket one block from the main square.
  • Minivans leave all day (35 Bs), but only when they are full. After you buy a ticket for the minivan, you can enjoy a meal in the nearby market and the ticket lady will come and get you when the minivan is about to leave. If you are in a hurry it is possible to buy empty seats to speed up departure.



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