Return to the Secret Valley, Cayara revisited

Finding a road less travelled without heading into the jungles of Borneo, or risking life and limb in the Hindu Kush, is a challenge in these days of mass global travel. Thankfully, in the valley where the Hacienda Cayara lies, just outside the city of Potosi in the Bolivian highlands, you can be assured of getting away from the crowds.

This was our second trip to Cayara. The one day we spent here in December wasn’t enough to satisfy our longing for nature and absolute peace and quiet. We promised ourselves we’d return to absorb more of the unique atmosphere of the valley and of the Hacienda Cayara. Outside of the Amazon the area has to be one of the greenest in Bolivia, there is abundant bird life and there is tremendous walking available, right from the door of the Hacienda

Heading out on a three hour walk down the valley in the early morning was one of the most pleasant walks I’ve done in Bolivia. With the exception of the sound of the river and the ever present chirruping of birds (I must have seen more than twenty different types of bird), the valley was tranquility itself. I hope these photos and videos give some idea of just how special the valley is.

Early morning in the sleepy village of Cayara, Potosi, Bolivia
Early morning in the sleepy village of Cayara, Potosi, Bolivia
Donkey, Cayara Village, Potosi, Bolivia
Donkey, Cayara Village, Potosi, Bolivia
View over Cayara Village, Potosi, Bolivia
View over Cayara Village, Potosi, Bolivia
A woman walks down the road, Cayara, Potosi, Bolivia
A woman walks down the road, Cayara, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cemetery, Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cemetery, Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cemetery, Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cemetery, Cayara valley, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara village, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara village, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara village, Potosi, Bolivia
Cayara village, Potosi, Bolivia

15 thoughts on “Return to the Secret Valley, Cayara revisited

  1. The sound on the video is just splendid, it adds another whole dimension to the still photos. Do you have any idea how much land the average family works? In VietNam you could tell where each families plot of land ended by the foot paths – the more established paths, wider, more trafficked, marked the divisions. Is it the same here? Donkeys make such great models.

    1. I honestly don’t know. The photos are from Monday and there are hardly any people to be seen, but on Sunday I went for a shorter walk in the valley and there were whole families (including children) in the fields. They seemed to be managing the family plot and I guess (but don’t know) that they manage it as a second form of income and can only do so on the weekend. What is true, is that this must be one of the most fertile agricultural areas in Bolivia and people grow crops with a high market value. Donkeys are perhaps the best models, ask David Beckham!

      1. Thanks for answering, I am very interested in the land management practices of small scale agriculture and family farms, especially in places that don’t follow the US model of a single house/family compound surrounded by a large plot of land. All the best, cheech

  2. Enjoyed such a lovely place

  3. Beautiful photos. No wonder you like it there.

    1. It is a really tranquil and so beautiful, it makes for perfect relaxation.

  4. Fantastic. And can I leave a link to the cara a cara project? Bernice who met Philly in Sucre has set up this lovely art project in London to raise funds for the Inti kids. Perhaps some of your many blogging friends my be interested. http://www.cara-a-cara.org.uk/

    1. I think you just did! How’s the packing going? Remember the big suitcase this time.

  5. Hi Paul , the video was a cool touch – I found it very calming – nice! 🙂 Although , I think it’s about time they invented smellyvision.

    1. I jus thought photos wouldn’t give the full impression, so I tried out my video skills again, but you’re right, even then you miss the fresh smell of the early morning, particularly after a huge thunderstorm the night before. Back to the drawing board!

  6. I wish I was there…..
    What are the crops being grown – surely some potatoes? Beans?

    1. It is so beautiful there. You’ve got a good eye for plants! Several types of potato, and lots of beans – which we had at several meals and were delicious.

  7. Looking good Paul love looking at your blog xx

    1. Thank you, you can ask our Xmas guests about it, they visited Cayara as well.

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