Coroico is a beautiful little town, and popular weekend and vacation spot, seated atop a mountain overlooking the gorgeous green jungles of the Andes foothills, in the northern region of the department of La Paz, Bolivia. At just over 1700 meters above sea level, the warm fruity jungle air is a welcome respite for travelers tired of the cold, wind-blown Altiplano. Situated near the Kory Huayco River, its name means "Golden Valley".
What used to be a small town where paceños spent their weekends now welcomes thousands of tourists each year. Although a new paved highway was built from La Paz to Coroico in 2006, the former unpaved road to this region is one of Bolivia’s oddest, and most macabre, tourist attractions. Known as the Road of Death, and statistically proven to be the world’s most dangerous road, it is also one of the highest roads in the world and attracts mountain biking enthusiasts from all over who are eager to experience the narrow stretch that claims between 100 and 300 lives each year. The road is still used by vehicles, passenger vans, buses and trucks, but unless you plan on biking the Road of Death, your best choice would be to travel along the new highway.
Surprising also, is how close Coroico is to La Paz. By van or bus you can leave the cold of the world’s highest city, climb up to the rugged stone Cumbre (summit) where the elevation peaks at a bone-chilling 4700 meters above sea level, and descend from there into the scortching Yungas that open up before you like an endless sea of rolling green jungle. The entire trip takes under 4 hours and the views are spectacular.
From its privileged position in the Andes foothills, Coroico reigns as the agricultural hub of the region and is surrounded by colorful potato and coca fields, citrus orchards, banana and coffee plantations, and ancient haciendas. This is one of the only regions of Bolivia where you’ll find communities of African origin. The Spanish saw little need to bring slaves into Bolivia. Here their conquest focused on the populous Aymara and Quechua cultures.
Today Coroico offers you a resort-like atmosphere with several large hotels that have pools and spas, eco-lodges, and less expensive hotels and hostels. Tour operators offer mountain biking, hiking, jungle and adventure tours, wildlife encounters, river and waterfall swims, treks on an ancient Incan trail, and visits to nearby haciendas and towns. Its main square is dotted with stores, pharmacies and restaurants that serve French, Italian and other international foods as well as local fare. At night you can hang out at a local café, bar, karaoke or discotheque or simply enjoy a warm and breezy swing in the hammock as you look up at a star-encrusted sky.
From Coroico you can continue your travels through Bolivia’s northern tropics and head to Caranavi, Madidi National Park, Rurrenabaque, or Trinidad, the capital of beautiful Beni. Use the links at the top of the page or below to find out more about hotels and accommodation, travel and trip information, and places to see around Coroico Bolivia.