Parque Nacional Torotoro is a national park set in the eastern mountain ranges of the Andes cordilleras. The Park has small village that serves as the base for the influx of backpackers and tourists that come to see the park’s dinosaur footprints, canyon, waterfalls, and massive cave.
The village’s economy is reliant on tourism and the statue in its main plaza reflects this fact.
Despite the T-rex statute I don’t think there were any Tyrannosaurus Rex footprints in Parque Torotoro.
Cochamba is the only city from which you can access Torotoro. A bus with an amusing paint job awaits you in the south part of Cochabamba if you want to make the ride to Torotoro.
The road to Torotoro is treacherous. The brightly colored bus must cross rivers and streams at several points as it rumbles along the road leading to the Park.
Johanna, Jelena, Eyal, and I were riding with a mix of Torotoro locals heading back to the village after they had finished a supplies trip to Cochabamba.
One of the passengers was so small she was able to ride in the overhead storage ledge. She must not have been very comfortable because she kept clucking.
We arrived late in the night and checked into the first hostel we found, which may have been a mistake. The shower looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years and the urinal was even worse than the “troughs” at Historic Kinnick Stadium.
But for 20 Bolivianos ($2.50) a night you get what you pay for.
The next morning we woke to find the bus we rode to town parked right outside our hostel.
The market across from our hostel used a blunt marketing technique that was effective at capturing my attention, particularly because I lived in Wisconsin for three years.
After a filling cheese breakfast, Johanna, Jelena, Eyal and I hired a young guide to take us to Torotoro Canyon and show us some dinosaur footprints along the way.
Less than 500 meters from town is the first major set of dinosaur footprints.
According to our guide these large oval-shaped footprints were left by a big herbivore. I’m no paleontologist but I’ve watched Jurassic Park at least three times so I was fairly certain that the footprints were left by a brontosaurus.