Places to Visit
Cañon Torotoro and Vergel
A three kilometer hike from the village passes dinosaur footprints up to 50cm long, before suddenly dropping away to reveal the stunning Tototoro canyon, a true highlight of the park. A well maintained lookout has been constructed to take in the natural marvel while admiring a number of vultures usually swooping through the ravine. After descending 800 stairs into the canyon, the scenery starts becoming more lush. Moss covered riverbanks, shrubbery and vines sprawl around a trickling waterfall that empties into a picturesque lagoon, the perfect place for a swim. This is a half day excursion that takes around four hours in total and requires a moderate level of fitness.
Ciudad de Itas and Cueva Humajalanta
This full day trip lasts seven to nine hours in total, so its possible to return before the last bus to Cochabamba. A 20km uphill drive along a dirt road stops to admire some dinosaur footprints along the way before arriving at Ciudad de Itas, an impressive collection of animal shaped rock formations and network of small caves. This area was inhabited by indigenous people long before the arrival of the Incas, some evidence of which can still be seen today. Next is a half an hour drive to Cueva Humajalanta, the country’s most exciting caving experience. The guides will supply headlamps and helmets, though expect to get muddy, so dress appropriately. Definitely not for the claustrophobic as several hours are spent crawling and squeezing through tiny gaps while taking in views of stalactites, stalagmites and ponds populated by blind fish.
This small but interesting museum is well worth the visit for those with an hour or so to kill. Just one block uphill from the main plaza, it houses a collection of stones, fossils and strangely shaped rocks that have been converted into a garden by the rather eccentric owner. Entree only costs 5BOB (US$0.80) and it’s open until 6 pm.
Batea Q’ocha Rock Paintings
A half an hour walk from town along the banks of Rio Tototoro are a collection of well preserved rock paintings. They were painted in pre-colonial times using red pigments to represent geometric patterns as well as animals such as turtles and snakes.