Tunari National Park

Tunari National Park



Location: Cochabamba Department Map

Area: 3,090 km²


Description of Tunari National Park

Tunari National Park is located in the western part of Cochabamba Department in Bolivia. This national reserve covers an area of 3,090 km². The climate of the region of Tunari National Park is fairly dry and cool. Its average temperature usually fluctuate between 22C and -5C. It highest mountain is Pico Tunari that reaches and elevation of 5,035 meters. The land here is inhabited by Aymara and Quechua native tribes that co- exist peacefully.  City of Cochabamba has a central office dedicated to Tunari National Park and three cabins for tourist use. Additionally you can get extra lodging in the Municipality of Tiquipaya. The national park has several hiking trails. If you want to be on a safe side travel in groups and accompanied by a local guide that ask low prices for their services.


It was declared a National Park by Supreme Decree 6045 of March 30, 1962, Law 253 of November 4, 1963 and Supreme Decree 15872 of August 6, 1978. Its limits were extended by Law 1262 of October 13, 1991, it is found between geographical coordinates (65º55 '- 66º44' West Longitude 16º55 '- 17º34' South Latitude). It has an area of ​​approximately 309,091 ha (3,090 km²).

The climate is temperate (mesothermic) on the slopes with average temperatures of 12 ° C, a maximum of 22 ° C and a minimum of -5 ° C, with annual rainfall levels below 600 mm, typical of the Valles region Dry Interandines. In the mountainous area, the climate is cold and humid with an average temperature of 6.5 ° C, with an average annual rainfall of 1,200 mm.

The altitudinal range ranges from 2,200 to 5,035 masl (Tunari Peak). The Park occupies the region of Mesothermal Dry Valleys and Cerro Tunari, comprising an ecosystem with a diversity of life zones. The region has the characteristics of mountain ranges and inter-Andean valleys, with a system of watersheds that supply water to agricultural land and the city of Cochabamba.

Water flows through the basins and microbasins of the Cordillera, forming two main slopes: the North slope whose waters contribute to two hydrographic systems of the great Amazon River basin that are the Beni rivers to the Northwest and the Mamoré river to the Northeast through the river Chapare; and the South slope conformed by the micro basins of the South slope of the Park, that contribute their waters to the basin of the river Rocha and to the underground deposits of the valleys by infiltration.

Corresponds to the High Andean and Puna biogeographic subregions and Interandean Dry Valleys.

In the whole of the Cordillera del Tunari there are two phytogeographic zones:

The hillside region that corresponds to the valleys and semi-arid mountains of the mountain range. The vegetation of the first zone is characterized by a xerophytic tree stratum, with the following species: molle (Schinus molle), Chirimolle (Fagara coco), carob (Prosopis juliflora), Lloke (Kageneckia lanceolata), Chacotea (Dodonaea) viscose) the k'inhi (Acacia macracantha), the alder (Alnus acuminata), the kishuara (Buddleja hypoleuca) and the thola (Baccharis dracunculifolia).
The mountain region comprises lands of the High Andean Semi-humid floor, characterized by hillside grasslands and belts of trees and shrubs in the lower areas. The most representative species are kewiña (Polylepis besseri) and puna kishuara (Buddleja coriacea). Among the Kewiña groves, the subspecies (Polylepsis besseri subtusalbida), exclusive to the Tunari Range, stands out.
However, to date there are no biological studies of much of the Park. Despite this, to have a more objective view of the flora, it is still necessary to make a more precise inventory of the vegetation that exists in the Tunari National Park.

On the other hand, on the southern slope of the Area there are implanted pine and eucalyptus forests, afforestation work done both to stabilize the slopes and areas of streams, and to maintain the environmental balance of the valleys. Where everything is quiet.

To date, 30 species of mammals, 163 bird species, two reptile species and two amphibian species were recorded. Four endemic birds were registered in the Kewiña (Polylepis spp.) Forests: Oreotrochilus adela, Aglaeactis pamela, Asthenes heterura and Compsospiza garleppi. This last species is in danger of extinction. They also inhabit the species Sicalis luteocephala, Saltator rufiventris, Oreomanes fraseri, Diglossa carbonaria, which are vulnerable, and Leptastenura yanacensis that has a high priority for research and conservation.

Nor are there in-depth studies on the fauna of the Park. However, in addition to endemic species of birds or mammals in danger such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), it is likely that there are other endemic species or with important populations in this territory.

At the moment three tourist areas are exploited, of great importance for the local population mainly, these are:

The recreational area that exists in km 10 of the forest mass located north of the city of Cochabamba, whose access is made from the central office of the same. This area also has three cabins, about 10 km of ecological trails and two waterfalls, in addition to the attractiveness of the pine, eucalyptus and mainly Kehuiña forests.


The Cruzan cabins, located 15 from the city of Cochabamba in the Municipality of Tiquipaya, have 3 ecological paths each with particular characteristics and a walk through the ancestral agricultural systems of the community.

The hot springs of Liriuni, located 20 km from the city of Cochabamba in the municipality of Quillacollo. They can go through two roads; the first is towards Quillacollo on the main road, the second and last is towards Tiquipaya from Taquiña Crossing.

Population in the area and its external buffer zone

There are approximately 100 peasant communities, both Aymara and Quechua organized in sub-centrals and unions, with a total population of around 80,000 inhabitants.