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Getting there & away

Sorata is a long way from the other Yungas towns, and there’s no road connecting it directly with Coroico, so you must go through La Paz. The rough route to La Paz was being asphalted at the time of research, but it will take a while to complete.

From La Paz, Trans Unificado Sorata (238-1693; cnr Kollasuyo & Bustillos) departs the cemetery district 10 times daily (US$1.60, four hours). From Sorata, La Paz–bound buses depart from the plaza hourly from 4am to 5pm. For Copacabana you must get off at the junction town of Huarina and wait for another, probably packed, bus. Similarly, for Charazani you should change at Achacachi, but you’ll need to start out from Sorata very early. There are also minibuses running between La Paz and Sorata (US$1.75), which can be quicker and more comfortable.

The only road route between Sorata and the lowlands is a rough 4WD track that leads to the gold-mining settlement of Mapiri. It strikes out from Sorata and passes through Quiabaya, Tacacoma, Itulaya and Consata, roughly following the courses of the Ríos Llica, Consata and Mapiri all the way. The biggest drawbacks are the horrendous mud, the road construction and some river crossings that are passable only with 4WD. Camionetas (pickup trucks) leave Sorata daily for the grueling journey to Consata (US$3.50, four hours) and on to the Sorata Limitada mine (US$5, seven hours). From Sorata Limitada, you’ll find camionetas to Mapiri, which is another three hours away.