Torotoro National Park
Toro Toro National Park is a small national park in the Potosí (department) of Bolivia, situated among the eastern mountain ranges of the South American Andes cordilleras. It is accessible from the city of 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 takes seven hours in the dry season and much 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.
Toro Toro is at least 4 hours away from the capital city of Cochabamba when the roads are in good condition. Be forewarned that during the rainy season especially around February, the road to Toro Toro can become completely impassible. A trip by 4x4 to the park often comes with any arranged tour package.
Buses leave Cochabamba from the corner of Avenida 6 de Agosto and República, and cost 20 Bolivianos (2010). They are scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 18:30, Thursdays and Sundays at 05:45, and leave when full. Best to arrive on time. The trip takes at least six hours.
It is possible to charter a small airplane to take up to 5 passengers from Cochabamba airport to Toro Toro. Prices range around $140 US, and the flight takes about half an hour. Call (4)4227042 or (4)4246289 for details.
There are multiple options for tour operators in Torotoro that can be booked in the town or from an agency in Cochabamaba.
Among the main features of the park are:
Only 2 days are needed to visit the major attractions, even if the tourist companies say more.
Tour companies will often arrange lodging as part of a travel package, but if you arrive by bus it is possible to find lodging and camping within the town itself. The town recently gained telephone access, a mark of its development.
If you can get into Toro Toro, chances are you can get out again. Your tour company wouldn't risk stranding its vehicles within the national park.