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“Basic lodge but unique in this area”
Review of Ecolodge Tomarapi

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Ecolodge Tomarapi
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This is not a four stars hotel as you would picture elsewhere in the world, however, it deserves in my opinion a good overall rating. The reasons for the high rating are mainly the beautiful location at 4.300 mts above sea level in close proximity to the mighty Sajama mountain, the fact that is managed by a local community who does its best to keep it running and the friendliness of the people who work there.
The lodge was build within a small village called Tomarapi and the initiative of having a community managed lodge was supported by the German Cooperation. The lodge has 27 beds and it is the only lodge in this area who caters for middle to high income tourists. There are other much basic guests houses, which apparently are mainly visited by backpackers and climbers. However, I think that specially climbers could find in the the Tomarapi lodge a good place to start their journey in the Sajama. The price for a double room for two people with all meals included is about Bs 560 (about US 80).
Although accomodation is simple, there is hot water available and a heater in the room, which helps in the cold nights. It is advisable however to turn off the heater in the room before retiring to sleep, because it is operated by gas and could contribute to the high altitude headaches.
The meals were good and the cook very friendly. It is amazing how friendly all people working there were, and how willing to accomodate the requests of tourists.
This lodge is not perfect however is special and if you are a tourist who loves beautiful landscapes in unique natural settings, who accept basic accomodation and who recognizes the efforts of the local community to keep this lodge running and to please the guests, than you will like this place.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank travelBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 23 of 49 reviews

Reviewed January 6, 2013

I was the only guest 2 out of 3 nights, and I loved it!

Even when full there is so much space here, that it is really hard to make a crowd. Best part of the meal was (as usual in Bolivia) the soups!

The scenery is incredible, but the distances are vast, so you don't reach far without your car.

The village of Sajama is much further in, and from there you'll see, in my view, the most beautiful side of Nevada Sajama - the tallest mountain in Bolivia.

Further still are even more hotsprings - amidst the Polylepis trees.

When you are fully adapted to the altitude this park has some incredible hiking opportunities in a landscape so beautiful that you never seem to get used to it!

In addition to the scenery there are so many interesting species of flora and fauna!

Photos: http://www.ross.no/communicate/tag/sajama-national-park/

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Morten R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

This lodge is ideally located at the bottom of the Sajama (6.542 m high), not far from Aguas Termales (18km).
Rooms are simple but quite neat. Usually you go there for resting or discovering the beautiful and impressive scenery of the Sajama and bathing in the thermal waters (aguas termales).
For those who go there with their own vehicle, do not book in La Paz with Bolivia Milenaria Agency, they overcharge you and their service does not worth it. Take directly contact with the lodge, the Albergue Ecoturístico Tomarapi and ask for the legal representative Alberto Crispin (mobile phone: 74014108 or phone: 025 132515).
Prices 2012 per night are (if booked directly with the lodge !):
Family room (4 p), full board : 8OO Bs, half board : 700 Bs
Triple, full board: 650 Bs, HB: 550Bs
Double, FB: 550 Bs, HB: 480
Simple, FB: 400 Bs, HB: 390 Bs

Possible to book a guide as well, on the spot.

People are really friendly and try to arrange things for you, the best they can. Traditional Bolivian dishes are served.
Do not hesitate to take your duvet and some pull-over with you, it's really cold in the evening, even if there is a small heater in the rooms.
No wi-fi in the hotel, but mobile phones can be used (at least with Entel sim card).

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank alainschmitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

when you made a reservation and arrive in the lodge after a long travel journey you expect that they would heat the warm water and start the heating in your room before you arrive No, you have to wait another 2 hours. Maybe you could have a tea near the fire place in the dinner area, before your little room is warm, a fire place yes but no fire!
After a poor dinner, our room was still very cold so we let the heating on all night. Maybe it did help for the cold but as it is a gasheater, it took oxigen from the room result = headache all night
We were not pleased with our stay considering the price of 120 $ per person we would have appreciated some more effort from the local folks. There are other communities where we stayed worth the contribution, not this one.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gokeAntwerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

We went there part of a private three day tour (from/to La Paz) from Millenarian Tours and Travel. They provided us with a great team of guide/driver (Abraham and Efraim) in a perfect minivan. We slept two nights at Tomarapi.

The Tomarapi lodge is very well located. The views and prime access we have to mountains is high-value.

The lodge is community supported and people of 37 families rotate working here. The food is excellent, especially the breakfast and soups. Main courses could be beefed up in quantity though. The fact that electricity and heating is available all night long is a plus (compared to the Salar) for comfort. However, we felt (especially my wife) that cleanliness was not an evidence. The bed sheets are either too thin or not cleaned well enough (or not at all), because we could detect smoke and perfume smells on ours. Our towels that we had dropped in the shower to have then changed seemed to had been refolded and hung back on the towel rod. We could identify our exact same towels from the night before by the hole pattern... Well, we can't affirm that we certitude, but just having doubts is a bit sad.

Being so close to the mountains with nice guided day-hikes available is a real plus and I cannot score down this place for just one issue of a doubt on cleanliness. The hike to Laguna Chiar Khota is a must.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank EricMonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

We stayed in the local community-run Tomarapi lodge for two nights in June 2011. The landscape is incredible and the feeling of isolation and tranquility is incredible. The lodge is very clean, and nothing beats the excellent warm meals during the chilly evenings. Considering how far you are from civilization, the accommodations are pretty impressive. In winter (June - August) temperatures drop well below freezing. Rooms are heated, but we still used my 0 degree (F) sleeping bag to cover us in the bed. Be sure to checkout the hot springs to watch the sunset over the peaks. We arranged transport via an agency called Millenarium Tours in La Paz (also highly recommended), the prices were very reasonable. Bring extra cash to buy handmade alpaca and vicuña garments that made by the local co-op.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank k c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

We loved Tomarapi. The town is abandoned, so it is absolutely peaceful - no people, no cars, no dogs, no roosters. It was wonderfully quiet and dark, a perfect refuge. It is an old village built of adobe and stone, and we spent hours exploring and photographing. The lodge is run by 5 local folks who are extremely helpful and friendly (especially if you speak Spanish). The food is good, and there was a welcome fire in the dining room in the evenings. We could walk out our door and be on the hiking trail for Sajama in 3 minutes, as well as watch the sunrise and sunset on Sajama every day.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank tiadora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ecolodge Tomarapi

Address: Parque Nacional Sajama, Tomarapi, Bolivia
Location: Bolivia > La Paz Department > Tomarapi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Tomarapi

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