Really nice laidback town.
Samaipata - Correct map Travel Blog› entry 33 of 45 › view all entries
Samaipata is a good base for trips into Amboro national park, and also for many free walks directly from town. There are some very nice cafe/restaurants around including La Oveja Negra (The black sheep) and La Chicana in the main square (delicious and reasonably priced set lunches). We stayed at Andorina; a cute hostel at one end of town, and there met some really nice people to hang out with. We visited an animal sanctuary (where we met some monkeys wandering about), went for some walks and took a cycle ride down to some waterfalls 20km down the valley. The cycle ride back up the valley was fairly tough, what with the heat and the fact that the seatpost clamp broke on my bike. Thankfully after about 3/4 of the way up we managed to flag down a pickup and bagged a lift with bikes back to town :o) We also spent time eating really nice food and having an 'odd' social drink.
Expanded version - Well, we were glad to leave Santa Cruz and after taking a share taxi for 3hrs we arrived in Samaipata's cute town square, where we immediately sought out food!
Chinchincha - In La Paz we had seen some peculiar looking drinks all over the place; a glass of brown liquid with some dried up looking ball of something resting in the bottom. We hadn't got round to trying it, partly as we didn't know what it was! We discovered in Samaipata that it was called Chinchincha, it tasted very sweet; a little like flat coke, but more natural and the ball in the bottom was some kind of dried fruit with a big stone. Our questions as to what it was resulted in a "Well it's a chinchincha" type of answer.
Anyway we booked into Residencial Kim as it was recommended in the LP as a good cheap place, although the price (Bs 90) was double that quoted. Our query as to perhaps a discount, elicited the response from the young girl (who appeared to be a bit annoyed that we wanted a room)that there were other places to stay if we wanted. Seeing as there appeared to be nobody else staying in the entire hotel, we though this bad business, but the room was clean and with a good bed we decided to stay, if perhaps only for a night.
On our search for cheaper accommodation and information about local walks and activities we discovered the Hostal Andorina where we met a bunch of girls and were almost immediately invited out for a walk the next morning. Great. The hostel itself looked really nice and homely and the double room they had available was gorgeous. This together with the friendly occupants encouraged us to take the room even though it was actually more expensive! (Bs 120 if we stayed 3+days). This was the start of a great stay in Samaipata. We stayed 4 nights at Andorina.