Toro Toro National Park...
Bolivia's hidden dinosaur valley


Toro Toro National Park. Bolivia
Toro Toro National Park

You will need at least two days to explore Toro Toro National Park, located to the North of Potosi Deparment, in the Charcas province.

It's Bolivia's own version of Jurassic Park, a true paradise for paleontology and geology lovers, situated among the eastern mountain ranges of the Andes, 140 km south of the city of Cochabamba. See it on the map.

Torotoro is the smallest national park in Boliva, with a total area of 16,570 hectares (166 km2), and one of the most beautiful in the country as well.

It's loaded with beautiful landscapes, deep canyons, crystal clear natural pools and waterfalls. big caves with stalactites and stalagmites, thousands of dinosaurs' tracks, fossils, cave paintings, archaeological remains and more.


Toro Toro National Park is a destination where man and nature have left their tracks, a place where it is possible to go back in time. A particular attraction is the impressive canyon of the valley of Toro Toro, sitting at an altitude between 3,600 and 1,900 meters above sea level.

Within the park exist more than 1000 species of plants as well as a great diversity in fauna, including the taruca or Andean deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita) or titi, puma, the endemic red-fronted macaw (Ara rubrogenys) and the lorito, endemic tordo in the region.

Its name comes from the Quechua term "thuru thuru pampa", meaning "Pampa (extensive plain) of mud".


Dinosaur footprints at Torotoro
Dinosaur footprints - © El Mundo Verde Travel

Petrified dinosaur tracks found in the region are from biped and quadruped dinosaurs from the Cretaceus period (80-100 million years ago), during the Mesozoic era, also called the Era of the Dinosaurs, time when they ruled the Earth.

Three different species are represented: the coelurosaur (more closely related to birds than to carnosaurs), the sauropod (quadrupedal - four-legged - herbivorous animals) and the anquilosaurus, also quadrupedal.


Deep caverns of carstic origin can also be found at Torotoro. In case you wonder, carst (karst) is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves and underground drainage systems.

One such example is the Umajalanta cavern, located some 10 km away from the Toro Toro village. Its name comes from Quechua language, meaning approximately "water lost in the darkness of the deepest earth".

Having 4,600 meters long, is formed by huge bolts and galleries united by narrow paths with impressive subterranean views of stalagmites and stalactites. Its biggest hall houses a small lagoon inhabitated by blind silver fish.


Chiflon Qh´aqa is another popular destination for visitors to the park, but this cavern comes with a sense of adventure due to the difficulties to explore it. Its numerous rooms are covered with well conserved stalactites and stalagmites

Other attractions include The Vergel (Waca Senq´a in Quechua), the Inca ruins of Llama Chaqui (Llama’s Foot) - a challenging 19 km hike around the cerro Huayllas Orkho from Toro Toro village - Batea Q’ocha rock paintings and two major sea-fossil sites such as the Cerro de las Siete Vueltas and the quebrada Thajo Khasa.



Toro Toro National Park. Bolivia
Toro Toro National Park - © Ruta Verde Bolivia


How to Get There


Toro Toro National Park is accessible from the city of Cochabamba, fourth largest city in the country, located at 232 km (144 miles) from Bolivia's capital La Paz. Main airport is Jórge Wilstermann International Airport.

A present time, roads are paved till the town of Arbieto, and then a cobblestone road until anzaldo and Toro Toro village. Access to the park itself in done through a gravel road and river bed, which could become impassable during rainy season, particularly around February.

You could book a tour to Torotoro in Cochabamba or rent a 4WD vehicle to do it on your own - make sure to hire a guide to make your life easier. There is also a bus service from Cochabamba, the journey takes around seven hours in dry season.


Where to Stay


Review and book your hotel in Cochabamba or Arbieto. Alternatively, if looking for budget accommodation, Book Cochabamba, Bolivia with Hostelbookers.com.




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