We hired a driver to take us from La Paz to Las Yungas: a stretch of forest from the Eastern slope of the Andes Mountains to the southeastern region of Peru to central Bolivia. Our destination was serene Coroico. The route to Coroico is a 38 mile road that was once legendary for its danger. At one time it was considered the most dangerous road in the world. Back in the 90’s approximately 200-300 travelers died per year because of accidents on the road. The road was improved but it was still difficult at spots because of the narrow width and the intermittent cobblestone road. The death defying road is balanced by rewarding scenery.It’s best to put on your i-pod, go inside and not watch the road or the driver.
Once outside La Paz, the sight of the snow capped mountains lends itself to quiet thoughts. The glory of forested canyons, cloud-wreathed mountain peaks and orchards began leading us to Coroico. Hotel Esmeralda is rustic and tropical.The pool was green when we arrived, because the road had been closed and the supplies couldn’t get in. The next morning we were greeted to clear, blue water and were grateful for the arrival of the chlorine. I’m not big on swimming pools because I don’t like the chlorine. I prefer salt water. Once the swimming pool was clean it was a perfect spot to relax and breathe. Hot showers and best of all, an incredible view from the terrace of the room; green surrounding hills as far as you can see. It’s a restorative, contemplative spot; hot and humid. The weather in La Paz is erratic. Because the altitude in Coroico is lower, it’s nice and varies from warm to hot. It’s a slow pace yet the tranquility is a welcome change from the hectic pace of La Paz.