Braving the Yungas Valley

Braving the Yungas Valley – a Major Conservation Area in Bolivia

Some three hours from La Paz City, situated in Bolivia’s Amazon plains is the the Yungas Valley. It is a major conservation area, which  features a wide selection of flora and fauna. It is set in a beautiful landscape decorated with slopes, cliffs, waterfalls and rivers. Exhibiting a semi-tropical climate, Yungas is also known for its lush vegetation. The valley is a significant producer for sugar cane, citrus fruits, coffee, mango and cocoa.

Yungas_Coroico

Braving the Yungas Valley in Bolivia’s Amazon Plains

This magnificent valley has two major sections; the northern called Nor Yungas and the southern called Sud Yungas. The northern part is the one closest to La Paz City. It begins from Villa Fatima, and goes to Coroico and Caranavi. It ends at Cotapata.  

Because of its proximity, the valley is a favorite among city dwellers. Most people would like to take a break from traffic jams, noise and neon lights. The valley allows them to enjoy the quiet beauty of nature.

The southern part of Yungas can be reached by taking a dirt path; a detour before reaching Cotapata. It is occupied by small villages, forests and scenic walking routes. These are perfect spots for nature walks and camping.

Conservation and Ecotourism

Since Yungas is a protected reserve, there have been major conservation programs implemented there. A number of activities offered are geared towards ecotourism. On the way here, you can stop and explore the neighboring towns. You can buy supplies and do some sightseeing before heading into the wild.  Some of the more notable towns in the area are Chulumani and Yanacachi.

Adventure Activities

Yungas_Death_Road2Marveling at the incredible surroundings is not the only thing that you can do while in Yungas. You can also arrange for adventure activities.

You can enjoy some of the popular activities such as canoeing and rubber rafting. They usually take place on the Coroico River. The valley is gifted with scenic paths and roads which are perfect for you to go mountain biking or hiking.

People also come to Yungas for the opportunity to view (up close) exotic birds and other wildlife. Some of the species found in Yungas, are highly endangered like the Jumari or spectacled bear and the Andean cock-of-the rock.

The Death Road of Yungas Valley

Bolivia_Yunga_Road

Photo by Ilosuna. CC BY-SA 3.0

The Yungas Valley is home to world renowned “death road”. The road is known for its deceptive curves and surrounding cliffs. It has accounted for thousands of accidents and deaths. Interestingly, it has become a must-see for tourists coming to the region.

Because of the risk presented by this dangerous route, the local government now only allows vehicles for road maintenance to use it. As a visitor, you may come and watch the road from afar to satisfy your curiosity.

However, if you are feeling brave and adventurous, you can be one of those thrill-seeking tourists. You can get permission to descend the road with their mountain bikes.

Ethnic Villages

Exploring the Yungas Valley is not just about enjoying its natural gifts. The valley is home to an ethnic group who have managed to keep their old culture and traditions. Its worth your time to learn and experience it. You can arrange for a cultural visit to Aymara ethnic villages. Then you will get to know these friendly and hospitable people.

Tours and Accomodation

There are plenty of accommodations within the Yungas Valley area. Hotels, lodges, and hotels are plentiful. So are restaurants and traditional eateries.  You can ride a regular public bus service which travels from La Paz and passes through the region.  It is easy to organizing tours and activities. There are many travel agencies that offer such services.

Yungas Valley


Bolivia’s Death Road – Top Gear – BBC

Published to Youtube on Jul 11, 2013

Jeremy, Richard and James come face-to-face with Bolivia’s infamous Death Road (El Camino de la Muerte). With the road barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass, will its terrifying sheer drops claim the lives of a Top Gear presenter or two?

If you’ve been there or Braved the Yungas Valley in Bolivia please leave a comment below about your experiences.

View the pictures and read article above BEFORE taking quiz.

Take this quiz about the Yungas Valley and see how much you’ve learned or remember.


Quiz #92Braving the Yungas Valley

TravelingThis Travel Quiz is about Braving the Yungas Valley. This is a true or false quiz. The level of this quiz is easy.

Answer all questions. Each answer is worth about 10 points. If you don’t know the answer, then take a guess (unless you want a guaranteed zero for the answer).

This test is timed (2 min) so be aware of that.

The Yungas Valleyz in Bolivia is a potential place you might want to visit.


 

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