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Northwest Bolivia: Highlights

Dubbed the “hiking capital of Bolivia”, Sorata is the perfect to relax and get lost in nature. Perched in the semi-tropical foothills of a valley, the peaks of Illampu and Ancohuma tempt the seasoned trekker, while less demanding circuits around the nearby mountain range’s base offer breathtaking views of alternating valleys, peaks and glacial lakes.


Retrace the ancient footsteps of the Camino del Oro, or Gold Digger’s Trail, a pre-Inca trek that takes you from the high altiplano to the semi-tropical mining towns in the Yungas Valley. Spot jaguars, anteaters and anacondas as you weave through waterfalls, meadows, canyons and tropical forests.


Water lovers should head out to the Rio Coroico. From tame to torrential, this river boasts an impressive 30 rapids ranging from Class II-IV, offering some of the country’s most spectacular rafting and kayaking adventures as you navigate through dense forests and steep canyons.

Hiking around the staggering beauty of the Cordillera Real is one of rewarding experiences for mountaineers worldwide. Its numerous offerings of 6,000m peaks are very accessible for nine months of the year, making it a popular destination for high-altitude climbers. Try the Condoriri Massif, whose three peaks resemble a condor, wings outstretched, preparing for takeoff.

For a fascinating look into the small but influential Afro-Bolivian culture, visit Tocaña, Bolivia’s largest Afro-Bolivian community and birthplace of the country’s popular Saya dance and music. Descendants of African slaves brought over in 16th century, they started in the mines of Potosi but the weather shifted them here to coca plantations in the Yungas.  After 500 years of battling slavery and legal recognition, they founded this town in the 1950s. Its proximity to Coroico makes for a convenient day trip for those interested in an authentic Bolivian culture experience.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to The Northwest: Cordillera Mountains and Subtropical Yungas: Northwest Bolivia: Safety, Services, Safety and Shopping.

By Rachel Anderson
I'm a twentysomething dandelion floating across the field of youth. I have an unquenchable thirst for writing, exploring and cheap wine. A cross...
05 Jan 2010

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