What started with an incidentally mentioned recommendation from a fellow traveler turned out to be one of our highlights of our trip: Coroico. Located North of La Paz it is a convenient tourist destination offering plenty of hikes around the region. We went straight to the little town after our Death Road adventure, because that tour ended close by. I read a little bit about it before and expected loads of people in Coroico and even though we were there over the weekend it was quite calm. Coroico lies on a very steep hill, so walking around the village either with your big backpacks or groceries can shamelessly be counted in as a workout. The benefit of the steepness however is that almost every point in the village can be used as a viewpoint to see the valleys full of “junglely” vegetation that spread around.
Accommodation, Food and Treats
We stayed in our own bungalow in a super cozy hostel called Villa Bonita a little bit outside of the village. Don’t worry! The road to get there wasn’t that steep. The accommodation comes with breakfast which was the best one so far – freshly baked whole wheat bread. I must add that the bungalows are owed by a Swiss family. The woman that served us was so friendly and always helped us when we needed something, and the little girls had such good manners and even helped their mother with the restaurant like they’ve never done anything else. We took advantage of the deliciousness of the bread and got ourselves a lunch package every day which came with a sandwich, cookies, fruit and a fresh juice. In addition to this family there are many more expats that settled around Coroico. Another Swiss man opened a restaurant that offers cheese fondue and many other dishes not that common in South America, so of course we went there.
Furthermore, there is a German bakery/café which we wanted to try out but unfortunately it was closed that day. Instead we went to a locally owned café, had some local brewed coffee and tried banana and coffee cake. The couple of that café tries to keep the old traditions of growing coffee alive and he man proudly showed us the different types of coffee they produce and sell nationally. He sadly told us that Bolivians hardly ever consume coffee anymore and rather chew a handful of coca leaves. That’s also why many farmers switched to that business. If you are going to Coroico, definitely go to M&Mcoffee, taste great coffee and enjoy outstandingly friendly service and a cozy atmosphere.
Yes, we definitely treated ourselves in Coroico, but not only that added to a perfect getaway…
Waterfall and Trekking Expeditions
Coroico is fairly close to the Amazon jungle and the vegetation there definitely speaks for it. For me coming from the Alps, mountains that are completely covered with trees and plants up until the top still seem really weird to me. That made the whole experience even more powerful in Coroico. Close to the village there is a group of tall waterfalls. We were excited to go there and cool down in the pool that formed underneath one of the waterfalls. Upon arriving there we were chickens and didn’t jump in, but really it was way too cold! ;-) We took a walk around and then back along the main road to the village.
The next day, we felt it was time for some hiking again so we took on a 2-3 hour hike up the mountain behind the village. What we didn’t know was that the paths weren’t marked that well and the more we got up the more vegetated it was, also including parts where you had to walk through small exceptions of forests until we reached the top. It turned out to be a misty day, so the views were a little bit limited but nevertheless I could take some good shots. On the good side we didn’t have the sun burning down on us. :-)
One quite remarkable memory will surely stay with us forever. There are tiny insects that look like fruit flies instead of actual mosquitoes. You won’t notice them biting you but they will leave you with a small bloody mark that looks like a tiny wounded point on your skin. The flies go on and bite you until you notice them which might never happen because you don’t feel it. Real beasts! The catch is that those bites will start itching at night and scratching them makes it even worse. If you have as much as Lars had that can get quite unbearable. A local gave us the advice to cut a lemon in half and rub it on the skin.
We liked it a lot in Coroico and would have stayed a little longer if we wouldn’t have to get back to La Paz to renew our tourist visa. The short distance to La Paz makes this magical town with its diversity and friendly atmosphere definitely something you don’t want to miss out.
PS: By the way, we entered Colombia yesterday! Exciting! But we only have three weeks left on this diverse continent that has been the “home” to us for the past half year. We are so excited for the adventures that await us in Colombia but also ready for the new chapter that starts as soon as we return to Europe.