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“Basic but beautiful”
Review of Ecolodge Tomarapi

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Ecolodge Tomarapi
Reviewed January 18, 2014

This is a lodge set up by three local communities. It is in the remote altiplano on the border with Chile and with Sajama volcano overshadowing the area, The lodge rooms are quite basic but the position of the lodges makes up for this. When the sun sets, it is really very cold, especially without double glazed windows and central heating. The water was cold and so apart my husband in a hardy moment, we didn't venture into the shower. I was there with my husband and daughter. We had a triple room, but ended up with myself and my husband in one bed keeping each other warm and our daughter in in another bed with 6 blankets on top of her. We also slept in our thermals and clothes. if you are going in the winter, take plenty of clothing with you. The food was lovely and the cooks were happy to pop some pop corn for our daughter. Washed everything down with coca tea, to help with the headaches we were getting from the high altitude. Definitely the place to stay if you come to Sajama National Park.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Helena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 - 20 of 49 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

This lodge is more like a budget hostal. Yes, it is in the middle of nowhere, but the location is super, at the foot of the big Sajama vulcano, and next to a charming village. The room is real budget, but clean and the shower is hot. We had a matrimonium and the mattress was really old! So we rolled to the middle of the bed and had a bad sleeping experience. The resto was cosy and food was good and plentyful, especially in the morning with fresh baked bread and pancakes. It is fine to walk around in the morning, to the little old church and the small village, with a lovely view at the vulcano. The lodge has some places to sit outside and that is fine too. Perhaps, for less money, you can find a hostal in the village of Sajama, that has the same quality. But by staying in Tomarapi, you support the local people. We did the trip with a minibus from Turisbus in La Paz (Rosario hotel) and this was not a good idea from the touroperator!. I recommend, you go with a jeep, because the tracks are really bad, and with a jeep it will be more comfy and faster. Go to the hotsprings (3 dollar entrance fee). They have built now some small houses there, to change clothes . There is a big dog at the entrance to the baths, that I did not like very much. Nice trip to do, away from the touristic tracks.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with 2 beds, because the matrimonium has a very bad mattress.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank liesenluc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I stayed here one night in August and I liked it a lot.

It is expensive compared to anything in Sajama village but it is a beautiful place, the food was good and the church in the complex was very nice. Very picturesque for photos.

By Bolivian standards, this place is very nice and comfortable.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank asf8275
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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2  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.

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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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