Difference between revisions of "Coroico"
Revision as of 23:03, 4 August 2011
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 (as of 2006) 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, peak season only) or a local taxi-collectivo, which can be boarded at the Villa Fatima Bus Station. The route is only two hours. Alternatively get off the highway at Yoloso ans take a collectivo up the hill for 5bol (15 mins).
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.