Cotapata National Park

Travel Information

Management Category: National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area.

Extent: It has an area of 40,000 hectares (400 km ²).

Location: The Cotapata Park is northeast of the city of La Paz, near the wall cordillerano. It starts on the road to the Yungas in the section La Cumbre - Sacramento corresponding to the southern boundary. It is located in the Provinces of Murillo and Nor Yungas of La Paz Department. The municipalities involved are Coroico and La Paz.

Biogeographic subregions, altitudinal and weather: Puna and Yungas Montane Rainforest, the altitudinal range between 1,000 and 5,900 masl; physiographically comprises parts of the Cordillera Real. The weather varies with altitude ranging from cold (ice) on high until warm temperate towards the lower (close to Coroico). The rainfall ranges from 1000 mm at the top to over 3,000 mm in Forest Nublado de Ceja. 

Vegetation and flora: We have recorded 820 species of flora and estimated that there are 1,800 species of higher plants. The area includes high mountains and snowfields, periglacial environments, Prairie Altoandina, wetlands and peatlands, Páramo Yungueño, Forest Nublado de Ceja and Bajomontano Yungas Rainforest. In the Prairie grasses dominate Altoandina silificadas hard and rosette plants, creepers and cushion. In the wetlands of the broad glacial valleys are dense pulvini of Distichia muscoides, Plantago Oxychloe tubulosa and Andean. As for the flora and vegetation of the rainforest relict stand of Polylepis groves pepei in Paramo and patches of Podocarpus spp. Cloud Forest of Ceja). Furthermore, Cotapata Park hosts many species of orchids including some endemic.


Fauna: A total of 204 species of wildlife, some of them in a state of threat as the spectacled (Tremarctos ornatus), the tunqui (rupicola peruviana), Eagle Mountain (Oroaetus isidori), the guácharo (Steatornis caripensis), the spider (Ateles paniscus), puma (Felis concolor), titi, Andean cat or grassland cat (Felis Jacobite), the Andean deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), the collared peccary, collared peccary or pig (Tayassu tajacu), the tailed agouti (Dinomys branickii), the agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), the guan (Penelope montagnii) and turkey (Chamaepetes goudoutii). Also noteworthy endemic bird species (Grallaria erythrotis, Schizoeaca harterti, Aglaeactis pamela, Myrmotherula grisea and Hemitriccus spodiops) Anairetes alpinus species highly threatened, Tyrannidae family and family aricomae Cinclodes Furnariidae.

Local Population: The population is from Aymara origin in the highlands and mestizo peasants and migrant Aymara in the Yungas region. Human occupation in the offshore areas of the Cotapata Park is from many centuries ago, while the population living in the Yungas is much more recent. The settlement pattern is central, because communities are largely concentrated along the valley of river Huarinilla. Among the most important are: Ashura, Chucura, Choro, Tiquimani, Sandillani Huancané Chairo and Pacollo. Within the park's total population is about 1,600 inhabitants (about 250 families). In the buffer zone outside the most populated urban center is Coroico (1,660 inhabitants), at a total estimated population of about 300 families (excluding Coroico). The PN ANMI Cotapata is just 20 km from the city of La Paz.

Tourism: One of their greatest assets is the way of pre-Columbian Chucura or Choro, part of the commonly known "Caminos del Inca", the Choro road crosses Cotapata from the region of the Andes to the Yungas. Currently one of the most visited tourist destinations of Bolivia's "Road of Death", also known as "The World's Most Dangerous Road", is a route of 65 km long from the "Summit", a step high mountain in the Andes, at 4000 meters, which until 15 years ago this route was the main access road to the forest of the Yungas. This road becomes legendary for its extreme danger because of its steep slopes, sharp curves, with a width of a single lane road in many segments (3 meters wide). Currently the form of access to populations like Los Yungas and Coroico Yolosa is through a new paved road, so "The Road of Death" is today almost exclusively consolidated as tourist circuit for the mountain bike descent. This road became even more notoriety in February 2012 when the international channel "History Channel" filmed the reality show "Mortal Routes" on the road to Coroico, the series became famous because of the deadly routes that the group of experienced truckers go through, like dangerous routes in the Himalayas and Alaska.


How to get to Cotapata Park from La Paz: Is accessible by road or on foot using the prehispanic road Choro (Inca Trail). There are daily buses from the city of La Paz (Near Villa Fatima) that can take up to Coroico or La Cumbre for those who want make the trekking route. From Coroico it is possibleo to access Huarinilla river by road, we recommend entering your own vehicle as there is not public transport to this sector. 


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