Situated on the eastern foothills of the Andes, the semi-arid landscape of Parque Nacional Torotoro consists of 300 meter deep canyons, caves, scrubby woodland, valleys and waterfalls. Itâ€™s the home of the beautiful red-fronted Macaw, which is extremely rare and endemic to this part of Bolivia, and a variety of other wildlife and flora. Torotoro is Boliviaâ€™s smallest national park, but itâ€™s also one of the countyâ€™s most unusual and striking protected areas. Itâ€™s situated in the north of the PotosĂ Department, about 140 kilometres from Cochabamba.
Hundreds of millions years ago, dinosaurs roamed the area, leaving a wealth of footprints in the mudstone rock, which make up one of the parkâ€™s main attractions. There are many other weird and wonderful rock formations, including marine fossils, and caves, of which the seven kilometer long Umajalanta is the most popular to explore. The beautiful CaĂ±on de Torotoro and the waterfalls of El Vergel make up another major attraction in the park. Hiking to the pre-Columbian ruins at Llama Chaki is a great way to get to know the landscape and scenery of this unique national park.
The national park is centered around the small, traditional village of Torotoro. The area still has strong links to pre-colonial traditions including the fighting ritual tinku, which takes place between different ayllus (extended family groups, or clans) during town festivals. Villagers, and those living in the surrounding area, also live traditional lifestyles, growing crops which are then sold or exchanged for goods grown at higher ground.
Basic accommodation and food are available in Torotoro, but there is little else available in the village, so itâ€™s best to come fully equipped for your stay here. If youâ€™re driving, fill up your tank before you arrive â€“ there is no petrol station in Torotoro.