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Oruro, Bolivia - The Annual Carnival Is Held In February / March

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Map location: Oruro, Bolivia
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Bolivia travel blog by Mark Berman - October 2011 July 2019   » View Photoset (46 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
I have visited Oruro now twice! From La Paz it takes 3hrs 30mins to travel to Oruro by bus or from Uyuni 7hrs by train. There are quite a few budget hotels and hostels around the center as well as some great places to eat. The city holds a few surprises as far as sights go, there are indeed some things worth checking out while you are here.

Trains from Oruro

From Oruro trains go to the south, these places are Uyuni, Atocha, Tupiza and Villazon. There are 2 trains, the Expreso del Sur and the Wara Wara. The Expreso del Sur leaves on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:30pm while the Wara Wara leaves on Wednesdays and Sundays at 7pm. If you take the Expreso del Sur from Oruro to Uyuni, sit on the right side of the train, 20mins out of Oruro there are some wetlands where there are 1000's of birds including flamingos!

Trains to Oruro

Trains to Oruro come from Uyuni after stops further south in Villazon, Tupiza and Atocha. The Expreso del Sur leaves Uyuni on Thursdays and Sundays at 12:05am and the Wara Wara leaves Uyuni on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:45am. If you take the Wara Wara, sit on the left, you will see the wetlands and flamingos in the morning just before arriving in Oruro.

What's Around Town?

Markets are always fun. The Oruro markets are your typical Bolivian markets with fruit and flowers, snacks, coca, produce, products and cloths for sale. Not far from the train station are a line of music shops selling guitars, pipes and percussion instruments. There is also a witches market here in Oruro very similar to the one in La Paz with all kinds of potions and remedies. Oruro has a bunch of museums (at least 5), a zoo, a mine, mirador lookout, a cathedral, palace of culture, university and nice plazas and parks.

Annual Carnival in Oruro

Oruros main attraction however is the annual carnival, usually held in February or March. If you plan to go, make sure you book a hotel early!


View all photos in the Oruro Photoset

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Oruro, Bolivia:

Hotel Hidalgo, Oruro, Bolivia - Large Photo
Hotel Hidalgo, Oruro, Bolivia (July 2019 - 1 night) - Hotel Hidalgo is located in the center of Oruro, just a couple of blocks from the main plaza and close to restaurants. $180 bob ($27USD) for a nice room, very comfortable indeed, 2 beds, private bathroom, tv and wifi. This is quite a nice hotel but there are cheaper options a few blocks out of the center. This is possibly a good place to stay if you are here for Oruro's carnival, being in the center with views down to the street. Recommended.
Alojamiento Bolivar, Oruro, Bolivia - Large Photo
Alojamiento Bolivar, Oruro, Bolivia (Oct 2011 - 1 night) - Simple little room, good for a night or 2, shared bathroom, tv, average bed, located in the central streets of Oruro. There are many places to stay in central Oruro, this was one of the cheaper options. Perfect for a budget traveller.

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Oruro, Bolivia - The Annual Carnival Is Held In February / March. Oruro is the home of carnival and has museums displaying antique costumes and masks. The Socavon Sanctuary church and mine is a must-see sight while here.