Toro Toro… in the footsteps of Dinosaurs

Toro Toro is a National Park in the north of Potosi region. Tourism is not very developed yet but increasing every year. It was absolutely not in our plans to go there at first, but one thing led to another and we decided to take the same plane as Greg and Andrea from Sucre to Cochabamba. It was a very short flight of 25 minutes over the Altiplanos of the country, worth the 25€ to avoid 18h of bus.

Cochabamba is a large city, chaotic, with a lot of traffic. The main touristic attraction is the Christ statue at the top of a hill, which is one head bigger than the Rio de Janeiro Christ! After an afternoon walking around with our big backpacks, we took a small bus direction Toro Toro. The 4h ride felt like eternity as we were all squeezed together at the back of the mini van, and the road was very bumpy and curvy. Good thing it was dark already so we didn’t see how dangerous the road was…

The village of Toro Toro is very small. 5 years ago there were only 3 hotels. Now the centre counts around 20 accommodation possibilities. We went strait to Eden Hostal, which we really recommend! The owner Ramiro, has opened only one month ago. He used to be a tour guide in Bolivia. He knows a lot about his country, is passionated by his culture and loves to share stories.

The village is surrounded by mountains that look like they have been cut in half and are formation of tectonic plates. It is very strange-looking…

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The National Park is special for having many foot prints preserved of all kind of Dinosaurs. Actually, on the main place of the village, there is a huge Tirex representation with fake Dinosaur noises in the background. Interesting!

There is an entry fee to enter the park valid 4 days, and obligation to take a tour guide for the different visits. The cost can be split in groups of maximum 6 persons. We were already 4 and met Sebastien along the way who joined us as well. Sebastien lives in French Guinea, he has been travelling for 8 months in South America in an interesting looking car/van

On our first day we visited the 300m high Canyon of Toro Toro, with view from above and a descent to the fresh water source at the bottom.

On our second day, we hiked through Ciudad de Itas, a labyrinths of sedimentary rocks that from multiple caves where the Yunguma population used to live. Then we drove back down the mountain to visit the Cave Umajalanta, one of the biggest cave of Bolivia. We crawlled in there during 2 hours with our 16-year-old guide to see the formation for stalactites and stalagmites, it was quite adventurous!

We really liked this Park, it is different from what we’ve seen. The village and the people are very authentic and it is not too touristy yet. It was a very good surprise on our route that we highly recommend for those visiting Bolivia!

Also, our stay was entertained by the regional youth sports competition that happened to take place in Toro Toro for the first time ever. So the centre was quite festive with a lot of sporty teenagers wearing their teams colours. We went to watch a few indoor football games in the middle of local small crowed, it was really fun.

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