Coroico is a hill top town in the La Paz department of Bolivia and is an excellent base for excursions into the surrounding Yungas Road region.
Coroico is a good place to explore the region around the Yungas Road or just spend a night before heading to the lowlands (including Rurrenabaque and the rest of the Beni department, or just back to La Paz. Due to Coroico's lower elevation, the weather is quite nice by comparison to La Paz, and has a resort-like feel to it. Weekends are busier with Paceños.
Coroico itself is not that spectacular. The surrounding is nice but besides its multiple accommodation option, it does not offer much additional reason to stay here.
The new (as of 2006) highway going by Coroico is open for public use. It's a very scenic road and needs to be appreciate when driving it.
All buses from the Terminal Provincial Minasa Yungas in La Paz will go by and stop in Yolosita (Bs. 20). From there you can hike up to Coroico, there is a direct trail, or take a minibus for Bs. 5. There are also a few direct connections to Coroico from La Paz.
From La Paz to Coroico you can also do "The Bike Ride"—the so-called "Death Road". Many tour companies offer this trip, but you can also organise it by yourself, renting a bicycle in La Paz. If you go with a tour company, look for one that allows you to bring your backpack along (for free!). For more details on the cycling option, see Yungas Road.
There are also several hiking options to get to Coroico from La Paz, see Yungas Road.
Coroico is a small town and just about everything is in walking distance. There are also taxis in town.
- Soak up village life.
- Check out the church right next to the plaza.
- Most people just come to chill out at the pool, and at night go eat in one of the excellent restaurants. There is a large open air municipal pool (20 m) above the bus terminal with space for sunbathing.
- Yoga is available at Sol y Luna for Bs. 30, see #Sleep section for details.
- 1 Chutokollo Uchumachi (2,533 m). It is an easy but long hike (2 hr, 800 m altitude) up from Coroico to the highest point in the area. The views of the valley are amazing and there are lots of wild flowers and the odd coca field. Towards the top you have to cross dense (rain)forest. There and at the top, if you are quiet, you can hear and spot Colibris (hummingbird). They are easily recognised by their loud flight—it will be harder though to take a picture of them, because they are quite shy. If you walk until the other end of the mountain, you can see and take pictures of the snow covered mountain range towards La Paz.
- Try the Comedor municipal for cheap food from Bs. 6.
- Pizzeria Erika has fairly cheap pizzas and pastas, but you can also go for a set meal.
- El Cafetal. A good restaurant is this French owned one. It's an open air restauramt under a jatata roof, with an excellent view down the valley (obviously no view at night!). Expect lamb curry, llama goulash, trout lasagna and crepes amongst others. They are also a hotel. Bs. 40+.
- Best value for money at the vegetarian Villa Bonita, which is also famous for its ice-cream.
- Hotel Esmeralda. has a huge All-You-Can-Eat buffet with fresh salads, meat and chicken, fresh vegetables, soups and vegetarian food. The food is always fresh, no microwave food, no frozen lasagnas. Service spotty and the owner is a grouch. Buffet at Bs. 32.
- Bamboo, one block from the plaza. Mexican restaurant favoured by local expats. The owner speaks English very well, so it is easy to get information!
- Cafe Arte, on the plaza. Great cakes, average coffee
- Empanadas, Main Plaza. Open daily from 16:00. Cheese empanadas appear at 16:00 in the main square. No tiendas sell them. Bs. 2.
- La Casa (1 block uphill from plaza). Alpine food: Fondu and Raclet.
- Carlas Garden Pub, Calle Adalld Linares (take steps down from the plaza), ☏ +591 72075620. 19:00-00:00. Dutch owned and chef run terrace bar/restaurant/bakery with live music on weekends. Easily the coldest beer, best cocktails and incredible made-from-scratch meals in Coroico. The location is perfectly Dutch-Clean including the WCs. English spoken. Closed Sundays.
- Jugo ladies, randomly around the plaza. Fresh jugos, fruits and carrot
Accommodations in Coroico are a little overpriced, with many accommodations demanding around a steep Bs. 80 compared to the regular Bs. 30-60.
- Residencial Coroico (close to the Plaza). Plain but cheap. There is only a cold shower. Hot shower for Bs. 5.
- [formerly dead link] Hotel Esmeralda, At the top of the hill by phone masts, ☏ +591 10-2213-6017. Check-out: 11:00. Amazing potential, has rooms with stunning views, a clean-(ish) pool, (scalding) hot showers, sauna, a book and DVD collection, cable TV, the fastest Internet connection in town (by satellite), pool tables, fussball and a restaurant that offers buffet-based breakfast, lunch and dinner. 660 ml beers priced at Bs. 10 during happy hour 17:30-19:00. Dorm Bs. 75 (90 with brekkie), Shared bath Bs. 90, Bs. 120/140 incl. breakfast.
- Sol y Luna (eco resort), even further up the hill (take a taxi or regret it). Reasonably priced independent cabins with kitchen and private bathroom in a paradisical garden or cheaper rooms in a big house or camping in grounds. Two pools set in woodland environment. You have to make reservations, especially on weekends. Amazing massages Bs. 120 for 75 min. Yoga daily.
- Villa Bonita (600m from the Plaza (where?)), ☏ +591 71918298. Minuscule Villa Bonita offers high quality ice cream and vegetarian food in a pretty garden with a great view. The place has two cabins (for 2 & 4 people) and some rooms in their own house. It is run by a Swiss-Bolivian couple and their two small kids. Call ahead as it is often full on weekends.
- Hostal Para Ti (a few steps from the terminal). Beautiful panorama, areas for recreation and relaxing.
- Hostal L. de la Torre (close to the Plaza). Basic but clean, sunny and cheap, organised around a courtyard full of flowers. Bs. 25.
- Hostal Kory. Best view in Coroico. A Little more pricey but everything in Bolivia is cheap. Worth the stay!
You can find guides in the "Tourist Information Office" (actually a disguised tour operator) on the Plaza. Or you can ask your hotel to recommend one.
- There are minibuses to La Paz running 03:00-17:30 southwest from the church. You will easily recognise the ticket sellers shouting La Paz. The minibuses take the safe new road, but are a bit cramped, Bs. 20, 2.5 hours. For Bs. 25-30 you can get small micros 2 hr.
- A private taxi to La Paz should cost around Bs. 300-350. Also, there are shared taxis that cost Bs. 30-35. They take the curves a bit too fast, so it's best to take them only if you have a strong stomach.