Soboce.com (in Spanish)
ROCK ART PAINTINGS
Siarb (Bolivian Rock Art Research Society)
The Parque Nacional Torotoro is approximately a 6 hour bumpy jeep or bus journey from Cochabamba into the wilds of rural Bolivia. This is a trip that enables you to; see how the campesinos really live, experience what rural life in Bolivia is all about, and view some dinosaur tracks and cave paintings. The village of Torotoro and the park can be accessed by public transport which runs almost daily to and from Cochabamba or via a tour.
The drive takes you through tiny settlements, past herds of goats and grazing sheep, pigs wandering across the road and donkeys carrying firewood. The scenery on the way is spectacular, although at this time of year the riverbeds are mainly dry and the journey is a very dusty experience. Six hours after climbing up some very rough and bumpy roads, we reached the top of the mountain. In the distance was the village of Torotoro, our destination.
After checking into a very pleasant hostal, we had some lunch and then set out to find the dinosaur footprints and cave paintings. The footprints are very close to the village and were made by 4 different types of dinosaur, and were truly an impressive sight.
The second day began bright and early at 8.30am as we started the 7km walk to the unique canyon system in Torotoro. The walk was interesting in itself as we met a number of locals walking with donkeys or herding animals, and the views of the Torotoro valley were magnificent. Once we reached the cave we were kitted up with hard hats and head torches. So we followed our guide, as we started our way through the cave system. We were soon scrabbling along on our bottoms with the cave roof only inches above our heads. After a couple of steep descents on a rope, we found ourselves in a huge cavern surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.
The rest of the trip through the cave was an exhilarating adventure. We had to climb up and down ropes, and then crawl through small crevices to reach a pool of blind fish. We then made our way back up through the cave system to see the breathtaking cascades and waterfalls.
Before the trip I was unsure whether I would be able to do this and really wasn't confident about the small spaces or my rock climbing ability. However, our guides were very competent and reassuring and I felt I could rely on them for whatever help I needed.
As well as the Canyon, dinosaur footprints and cave paintings there are some interesting sights to visit in Torotoro. You can also take arranged treks through lush scenery to view amazing waterfalls, this is a perfect opportunity to cool off and relax after an arduous canyon trek.
The Parque Nacional Torotoro is well worth a visit whether on an organised tour or visiting independently. It is a beautiful tranquil place and should definitely be seen.