Knocked back a peg in the early 2000s by social unrest, Sorata is making a slow recovery, and in fact is a bit of a Yungas gem. While it doesn’t have the shiny digs of its arch-nemesis Coroico, this semi-tropical village sitting high above a verdant agricultural valley does offer great weather, access to some of Bolivia’s best treks, kick-ass downhill mountain biking and an atavistic air that may just become intoxicating.
In colonial days Sorata (from the Aymará shuru-ata or 'shining peak') provided a link to the Alto Beni’s goldfields and rubber plantations, and a gateway to the Amazon Basin. These days, mining is the main source of employment in the region. But it really is worth your while to pick up a guide in La Paz – or better yet, hire a local one in Sorata – and explore this under-appreciated mountain playground.