From La Paz, the country's busy capital, we took a minibus to Coroico, a quaint little town on the outskirts of the jungle. If we kept going in that direction, we would get to the Bolivian part of the Amazon Jungle. We went from roughly 12k feet elevation in La Paz to 5k elevation in Coroico in just a couple of hours, which changes everything—warm weather, moist air, tropical vegetation, no more crusty, bloody noses. Remember, we were here during the winter, so it felt amazing to get a break from the cold, dry air of La Paz (and almost every city before that).
There is only one way to get to Coroico—on the the Yungas Road aka "World's Most Dangerous Road" aka the "Death Road". The Death Road is a single lane, dirt road with no guardrails, that winds along the sides of the mountains with cliffs that drop as much as 2000 feet (the photos will make you feel sick). As many as 200 to 300 people died on the road every year. Luckily, the trip wasn't nearly as dangerous for us. In 2009, a new paved road with guardrails was built to avoid the most dangerous part of the original Death Road. Still, the views from the top were incredible, and I kind of wished we were driving ourselves so we could pull over for photos and stand on the edge. But maybe not. (source)
We stayed in a resort that has a collection of little cabins, completely surrounded by foliage and connected by winding paths. Every part of the resort had amazing views of the valley below and lush green mountains in the distance. We wished so badly we could stay longer. It was the perfect place to chill out and enjoy nature.
From our cabin, we could walk into town, which was full of things to see, small as it was. Even here, small market stalls adorned the streets, with women selling bananas, cabbage, root vegetables, and Yuriy's favorite, piles of tangerines. The buildings were colorful, covered in a layer of dirt, and beautifully aged. The roads were either unpaved or covered in cobblestones, which made you feel like you'd traveled back in time. It seemed as if every road was under construction, with piles of bricks laying at intersections, as if nobody was in a hurry to complete any of the construction projects. Even though some of the buildings were shabby and looked like they were uninhabited, every street had people walking, and it felt so alive.
The only thing that sucked about Coroico is our friend Zhanna got seriously sick there. She looked like she was dying for a little over 24 hours, which included the curvy bus ride back to La Paz, during which she puked in a bag. Traveling in a foreign country can really kick your butt sometimes.
We came to Coroico thanks to a tip from someone I follow on Instagram, who said it was her favorite spot in all of her South American travels (she was in the area just weeks before us). I love social media for this reason.
Since we lost all of our photos from this point on, the images in this post are all iPhone photos. So thankful for that little piece of technology. Also, a couple of the images of me were taken by Zhanna (also on an iPhone). Thanks, Z!
Our private little cabin in the jungly mountains.
The main lobby/restaurant of the resort was pretty perfect too.
The view from our patio. We should have paid a lot more for this.
Sweet place to nap.
Yuriy, bargaining every chance he gets.
Doesn't this produce look like it was styled for a photoshoot?