Last weekend, 11th and 12th of December, 2021, we went on an excursion to Toro Toro National Park. By we I mean Lara and Toni, the writers of this article, and three others. Lara and Toni are doing an Internship at Mollesnejta. Maria and Elias are doing their ecological volunteer year (FÖJ in German) and Paul is doing the data collection for his bachelor thesis.
Toro Toro is located in the province of Charcas, Potosí. It is 155km away from Cochabamba, a 3 hours ride. We found a guided tour on Trip Advisor by Vision Tour Bolivia. They have a lot of different offers for two days. There are other companies that also offer this tour, but we did not compare much. We took a two day and one night tour, which included the ride from CBBA to Toro Toro and back, all the meals (at local markets and restaurants), the hostel, the entrance fees to the Park and the guides – which is compulsory. It costed 560 Bolivianos/person. In general, we were satisfied with the agency, except for the Hostel, which was on a very noisy street and did not have wifi (Hostal Norte). Furthermore, the amount of food was not enough for the boys and we had to buy extra snacks for the trips.
On Saturday we started at 7:30am in Vinto. We asked the guide to pick us up there for a little extra charge of 50 BOB. After driving about an hour we arrived at Tarata, a colonial village with a beautiful square, where we had breakfast. During the next two hours of driving we saw a lot of the beautiful landscape, and arrived at Toro Toro village, where we had lunch at the local market. After lunch, we rested a bit at the hostel and went to our first adventure: we went to a place, where we saw dinosaur steps and learned a bit about different dinosaur families and then we did a hiking to a wonderful waterfall and the canyon of the Toro Toro valley! (see pictures below). It is worth mentioning that from November to April is the rainy season in Bolivia, so the water from the river was not clear and it was a bit tricky to reach the waterfall at some points.
On Sunday, we left at 7:30 to the next attraction. In the morning, we went to Ciudad de Itas, a place with interesting geological formations and some caves with paintings from ancient nomad groups. We had lunch at a beautiful restaurant with a view to the mountains. In the afternoon, we went to the Umajalanta Cave, where we were took a ride on the very inside for almost two hours. We only had our helmets and lights and were in complete darkness!. It was a really adventurous trip, where we had to climb rocks with ropes, go through extremely narrow paths and crawl at some points (see the pictures below). We were back to Vinto at 9:30 pm. We highly recommend a tour to Toro Toro National Park!!!
By Lara and Toni
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