A mecca for geologists, Torotoro National Park provides beautiful landscapes, deep canyons, and extensive caves filled with hanging crystals. Located 140 km south of Cochabamba and sitting at ± 3000 meters above sea level, this popular destination is renowned for its ancient history, cave paintings, and fossils. During the Mesozoic era, Torotoro National Park was […]
A mecca for geologists, Torotoro National Park provides beautiful landscapes, deep canyons, and extensive caves filled with hanging crystals. Located 140 km south of Cochabamba and sitting at ± 3000 meters above sea level, this popular destination is renowned for its ancient history, cave paintings, and fossils. During the Mesozoic era, Torotoro National Park was a hotspot for all kinds of dinosaurs. Today, you can observe thousands of dinosaur tracks and fossils throughout the park.
Below we’ve outline how to get to the park and what to do when you’re there. While we have highlighted the best accomodations for your trip, we only recommend staying two days in Torotoro National Park.
In order to get to Torotoro National Park, you’ll first need to head to the nearest city – Cochabamba, Bolivia. You can fly into Jórge Wilstermann International Airport of Cochabamba. If you’re coming from another city or town in Bolivia, you can also travel by bus. Cochabamba is a magnificent city, and, if possible, we recommend staying night or two to witness the vitality of Bolivian culture. Get the most out of your stay and experience one of our Cochabamba Tours.
From Cochabamba to Torotoro by Bus:
You can take a bus from Cochabamba to Torotoro. You’ll have to catch the bus here and can expect to pay 35 BOB ($5 USD). The trip takes about four hours in the dry season (April through October). The schedule during these months is as follows:
If you’re planning to take a bus from Cochabamba to Torotoro during rainy season (add months), expect the trip to take closer to eight hours. Also, buses are more limited during these months, with only one or two buses a day that depart at 06:00 am and occasionally at noon.
From Cochabama to Torotoro by Car:
The distance, by road, between Cochabamba and Torotoro is 85 miles. While fuel costs would range from $6–$10, the road is head-pounding bumpy, and requires a 4×4 vehicle. You can rent cars from various companies at the airport, and prices vary from $30–$80/day. We do not recommend driving during the rainy season. Usually it is best to take a bus from Cochabamba to Torotoro.
Getting into Torotoro National Park:
In order to gain entry into the park, you will have to purchase an entry ticket for 100 BOB (~$14 USD). You can purchase these tickets at the information centers located at El Vergel Canyon and the Caverna de Umajalanta. The tickets is valid for 4 days.
Ciudad de Itas: Once the refuge of remote Bolivian communities, the Ciudad de Itas is a series of fascinating rock formations located at almost 13,000 feet above sea level. We recommend going with a local guide in order to best navigate through the area and to learn more about the history and geography. You can book a tour guide through your hotel or hostel.
Caverna de Umajalanta: The Río Umajalanta is responsible for the formation of the Umajalanta Cavern—an impressive cave system with breathtaking stalagmites, stalactites, and waterfalls. To visit this part of the part, a guide is mandatory as the hike to and from the caves is quite physically demanding. With a guide, transportation, and an equipment rental, you can expect to pay about $45 USD . There are numerous companies that offer day tours of the Caverna de Umajalanta.
Dinosaur Tracks: If you haven’t heard, Torotoro National Park is a hotspot for paleontology. Besides the massive dinosaur statue in the town square of Toro Toro, there are tracks throughout the park. The closest tracks are located at Cerro Huayllas inside the park ( located very near the entrance). Most people visit as part of the Cañon de Torotoro & El Vergel hike.
Cañon de Torotoro & El Vergel: Starting off three kilometers from the town, you will visit the beautiful 250m deep canyon of Torotoro. From there, you follow the canyon until you reach a flight of 800 stairs that will lead to El Vergel—a stunning waterfall permeated with tropical vegetation.
There are numerous hotels and hostels located just outside the park and prices start at around $8 USD a night. We recommend the following accomodations:
El Molino: For those looking for a luxurious and tranquil getaway,, El Molino is a great option to experience the park. Prices start at only $56 USD/night and an excellent breakfast buffet is included!
Cabanas Umajalanta: Definitely the most popular and highest rated lodging near Torotoro. These cabanas are just 3.7 miles from the park and offers incredible views and private bungalows. Prices start at $21/night.
Hostal Wilma: If you’re a budget travelers, look no further. Hostal Wilma is located 4.5 miles from the park entrance, and is perfect for solo travelers and backpackers. Prices start at $8 USD/night with a continental breakfast included.
Above all else, Torotoro serves to provide a trove of geological wonders amidst the wonderful country of Bolivia. Book your next adventure to this quaint mountain town full of magical hikes, wondrous waterfalls, and unforgettable caves and canyons