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Revision as of 03:20, 21 May 2010
Coroico is a city in in the Yungas region of Bolivia and is a good place to spend a night before heading up to La Paz, or further into 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.
Coroico new highway is open to public use, It's a very scenic road and the best way to appreciate it is by using the Hotel Esmeralda express van (door to door) or a local taxis-collectivo, which can be boarded at the Villa Fatima Bus Station. The route is only two hours.
From La Paz to Coroico you can also do "The Bike Ride" - the so-called, "World´s Most Dangerous Road." Look for the agency that allows you to bring your backpack along. Most agencies rather pay 5 bucks 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 two day walks which lead you to Coroico. See 'Do' section.
Coroico is a small town and just about everything is in walking distance. There are also taxis in town.
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.COROI.CO.cc.
Noteworthy is a new community-run eco-tourism project, Kori Huayku. Local guides offer a full day excursion in a most beautiful unspoilt valley, featuring great cloud forest, Cock of the Rock and even chance to see monkeys! The valley hides a forgotten Inca Trail, carved into the sheer canyon walls. Impressive, and for the good of poor local communities.
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.
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.
You can find guides in the Tourist Information Office on the Plaza, or you can ask your hotel to recommend one.
- 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.
- The best restaurant in town is the French El Cafetal . It's an open air restauramt under a jatata roof, with an excellent view down the valley. They are also a hotel.
- Best price/quality at the vegetarian Villa Bonita, also famous for its ice-cream.
- Hotel Esmeralda has a huge All-You-Can-Eat buffet with fresh salads, meat and chicken, fresh vegetables, soups and vegetarian food - The food is always fresh, no microwave food - no frozen lasagnas - they even have a big "lorry type" truck to do big time shopping in La Paz - buffet at Bs. 32.-- / 4 bucks
- Residencial Coroico, Plain but cheap. Bs15 for a night. There is only a cold shower.
- The Hotel Esmeralda  has rooms with some stunning views and is the most popular hotel in Coroico. Probably the best value for the money in Coroico. Hotel Esmeralda has a clean pool, hot showers, sauna, a huge book and dvd collection, cable tv(with International news channels), the fastest internet connection(by satellite), pool tables and table football, free pick-up service from the main plaza and a restaurant that offers oven-made pizza, hamburgers, vegetarian/vegan food, the coldest beer in town and a large buffet. The owner speaks German, English and Spanish.
- Best hotel in Coroico could be Sol y Luna. Reasonably priced independent cabins with kitchen and private bathroom in a paradisaical garden or cheaper rooms in a big house. Two pools. You have to make reservations, especially on weekends.
- 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.
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.
A private taxi to La Pax should cost around 300-350 Bs.
There are daily busses all the way to Rurrenabaque (at least 15 hours), leaving around noon.