Challapata is a town in Oruro Department.
The main reason for anyone to stop by in Challapata is either as a break on the way to Uyuni or to visit the local market which is the center of the quinoa trade in Bolivia. While most travelers' only experience of Challapata will be that of a dark stop between Potosí and Oruro, where they had some fried chicken and potatoes, those staying the night will experience a side of Bolivia rarely seen.
Buses and minivans go to Oruro, 2,5h by bus or 90mins by minivan and leave from the main square on weekdays and from the market place in the weekends. Bus Bs. 8, minivan Bs. 12. Shared taxis to Sebastian de Huari leave from south of the main plaza and cost Bs. 4. For transportation further towards Salinas Garcia Mendoza and Llica you will have to resort to hitchhiking.
Infrequent buses to Potosi and Uyuni also make stops in Challapata but the easiest way is probably to return to Oruro for onward connections. Note that buses to/from Potosí stops some 10 blocks from the main plaza, especially if arriving after dark.
The Wara Wara train from Oruro stops twice a week in Challapata, tickets can only be bought on the same day as departure and only a few hours in advance.
As the town is very small all places can be reached on foot even though taxis ply the streets. When walking at night time beware of the ubiquitous stray dogs - a stone or two in each hand won't hurt!
The Saturday and Sunday market - guaranteed free from llama fetuses and pachamama stones!
Buy or sell quinoa.
The Restaurant 16 de julio, near where the buses stop, serves a good alumerzo for Bs. 9 and a set dinner as well.
Residencial Virgen del Carmen, located near the main plaza and bus stop, has simple rooms with cable and shared bath for Bs. 25-35. They are however only open after 5-6pm, ring the bell on the wall or ask in the shop next door.