Choro-Trail to Coroico

One of the most popular hikes in Bolivia leads along the El Choro Trail (dating back to Inca times) from the La Cumbre pass (4727 m) to Chairo, located at an altitude of 1296 m on the Huarinilla River, in three days.

From here, a minibus takes you to Coroico, a good 20km away. The starting point at La Cumbre can be reached by taxi or public transport taking the bus to Coroico. Those who arrive by private transport can also be brought directly to the highest point at the 4882 m high Abra Chukura Pass, otherwise you have to walk the 3km long, wide driveway. This ends at the pass and the first wide, often paved part of the Inca Trail begins.

The Choro-Trail leads at first through a barren, relatively densely populated high valley, past small settlements and huts. Now you go steadily downhill, and behind the village of Chukura you fall below the 3600 mark. From here onwards the valley becomes much greener, further down also narrower. The number of settlements decreases now and in the evening you reach the hut settlement Cha´llapampa at only 3050 m altitude, where you can pitch your tent on the left side of the river. The following part, from Cha´llapampa downwards, is the most scenic part of the trek. The valley is narrow, partly gorge-like and covered with dense mountain cloud forest. Behind the small village of Choro you cross the river (Río Chucura) on a suspension bridge, the path leads a little away from the river (now on the right side) and winds mostly far above the river along the steep slopes, including some shorter ascents. The campsite for the second night is either San Francisco (~16km behind Cha´llapampa, then longer closing day), which consists of hardly more than one hut, or Bella Vista a few kilometres further on. Some descriptions suggest Casa Sandillani for the second night (another 8km), so that the final day only lasts 2-3 hours, about 8km). From Sandillani to Chairo it is only downhill, and also the vegetation does not change any more.

The small town of Coroico, situated on a plateau of the Uchumachi, was once the end point of the so-called death road (Camino a Los Yungas) to the Yungas, before it was defused, extended and partly relocated years ago. Today only mountain bikers plunge into the valley along the old route. (According to statistics, 18 cyclists have died since 1998.) In Coroico there are no classical sights, its location and the view into the Yungas make already a large part of its attractiveness. The gastronomical scene is dominated by expats from Europe.

For the return trip from Coroico to La Paz there are buses ending again in Villa Fatima.