Los Yungas, a tropical heaven next to snowy mountains

Vanesa Zegada | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Los Yungas is synonymous with the beat of Afro-Bolivian drums, the scent of coffee and the view of a green landscape covered by clouds. The improbable location of this heavenly tropical region, right next to some of the highest Andean snowy mountains, makes it even more magical. Do you want to discover more about this place in the following lines?

In order to reach Los Yungas region, starting from La Paz (the closest city), you firstly need to go up to 5000 meters above the sea level, where a dry and desertic landscape awaits. After that, what happens feels totally improbable - after a very short way towards the north-east, we find a green, wet and warm region.

In the southern side of Los Yungas, the constant low clouds, formed thanks to a combination of altitude and climate conditions, add more charm to this beautiful ecoregion. Several tiny towns are scattered over this 90.500 km2 region, that has immense biodiversity.

Going from 600 to 2500 meters above the sea level, it constitutes an area of transition. Continue south, and you will find some of the highest mountains of South America, permanently covered by snow. Continue north, and you will find the Amazon Jungle. Los Yungas is the meeting point of this two, opposite but equally amazing, wonders of nature. But it is not only the Amazon jungle that is located in the north of Los Yungas. It also encompassed the protected area of the Amazon, that is denominated as "the most biodiverse place in the world", called Madidi.

© iStock/DC_Colombia

The adventure in Los Yungas starts even before arriving! If raising the adrenaline levels is your thing, then you will not take a bus to get there. Instead, you will rent a bike and cross the Death Road - "the most dangerous road in the world". It used to be an extremely dangerous road for cars, but you will be completely fine by bike, going way down while you enjoy the scenery of the transition from the highlands to the jungle.

© iStock/filrom

If you want to continue with the adventure, take a ride in the longest zip lines of Bolivia, located in the south of the region, flying above one of the most amazing natural landscapes you will ever see. Do you want more? You can be part of kayaking and rafting activities in Coroico River as well!

I guess there is no need to say how amazing nature in Los Yungas is - exuberant vegetation, rivers, waterfalls, cliffs, and a huge vegetal and animal diversity.

Coroico is a recommended town to visit and a perfect starting point to follow several trekking routes to the surroundings. Twenty minutes away from Coroico is Senda Verde, a refuge for animals saved from suffering and cruelty, that receives volunteers. It is a great chance to be in contact with nature, help animals and make friends from all over the world. If volunteering is not among your plans, you can just visit Senda Verde, spend a night there and participate in its visits and activities.

If the natural wonders of Los Yungas make you wish to visit this heavenly tropical region next to snowy mountains,** let me tell you that there are even more reasons to do it. As I have mentioned earlier, Los Yungas** is also the coffee, the Afro-Bolivian culture, and much more. But I will tell you about it in my coming stories!

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