After having spent so long at relatively high altitudes during our final 2 weeks in Peru, we decided it would be nice to go from Copacabana straight to Coroico. Described in our guide-book as a beautiful sub-tropical village surrounded by lush green mountains we thought it would be the perfect place to get some oxygen for a few days!
We arrived in La Paz following a 3 hour bus ride from Copacabana which cost us 25 soles each. We had not made any plans to stay in La Paz and as we arrived by lunchtime we simply headed out to get the next bus. Unfortunately, the Copacabana bus arrived on the wrong side of town for our next bus, so we had to take a rather expensive taxi for 30 soles to cross the city. Once we arrived in Villa Fatima district we were able to catch a collectivo shuttle for 15 soles each directly to Coroico.
The road to Coroico used to be the road dubbed the “World’s Most Dangerous Road”, however, nowadays a new, much safer road is used. For the higher parts of our journey we encountered snow and rain and were grateful to not have to travel the dangerous narrow mountainous road!
3 hours later we arrived at the small village of Coroico and set about finding a place to stay. We were highly surprised to find that the accommodation options of Coroico were glorified hostels with boutique hotel price tags. As the choice is very limiting we settled on the best priced of the bunch, Hotel Bella Vista at 205 soles per night, which at least gave us views of the surrounding mountains.
There are apparently a couple of treks you can do in the area, including a visit to 3 waterfalls, but we simply wanted to relax and recharge after several weeks at high altitude.
We also discovered walking around the town that there is not much choice in terms of food and again it is very highly priced. As a consequence we had talked of moving onwards the next day, but unfortunately my partner got ill so we ended up staying 3 days.
This would have simply been a slight complication anywhere else, however in Coroico this turned into an emergency situation. What we hadn’t known was that there were no cash points in the town, no one took card payments and to make matters worse there was only 1 bank which offered cash advances but their systems were down. Basically we thought we’re screwed!
With the cash running out fast due to the high prices and my partner unable to leave the room I was left with just 1 expensive option – Western Union. I have no clue why there would be a tiny Western Union in the town but it was our only option despite the very hefty charges.
Our experience of Coroico was not a good one, accommodation and food was highly over charged, there is nothing in the town and the views I have to say are nice, but if I had known it was going to be just “nice” I would have gone somewhere else for the money I spent there. Oh, and did I mention they were also rebuilding the roads around the plaza with heavy machinery all day long?