An encounter with nature
An encounter with culture
The distance between La Higuera and Vallegrande is 63 km. Vallegrande is located 241 kilometers from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. La Higuera is in the province Vallegrande.
“El Che” was the leader of the National Liberation Army of Bolivia. Within the Higuera, the Yuro canyon was the place where Che Guevara resisted. On 9 October 1967, “Che” has been killed. Also “Willy” companion “Che” was asesidado. The government of the United States of America has given the order for the murder of Che and to undo the group National Liberation Army of Bolivia, after 2 years of confrontation.
The international impact of the guerrilla campaign led by Ernesto Che Guevara from 1966-1967, has generated big interest in order to know the places where battles took place.
La Higuera is a small village in Bolivia located in the town of Pucara south of the province of Vallegrande in the department of Santa Cruz, at a distance of 60 km from the town of Vallegrande. La Higuera is at 2160 meters above sea level. The average annual temperature is 17 ° C.
La Higuera is still a small village with houses with similar characteristics to those found Che, when he was wounded and taken prisoner. At the school where Che was killed today operates a museum in his memory. Around the La Higuera village, there are inscriptions, monuments and tributes to the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla.
La Higuera retains a special atmosphere that recalls the years of guerrilla struggles in Latin America. From the village of La Higuera, you can perform different hiking paths that went Che, reaching even the famous Yuro Quebrada, where he was captured Guevara..
In the center of La Higuera, there is a large bust of Che. Also in the cobbled square with the monument of Che. The Che`s beret has the design of the famous star that adorned his beret.
La Higuera has also the telegraph home, now converted into accommodation for travelers.
The road between La Higuera and Pucara can observe the flight of the condors and plants quirusilla. The quirusilla plant has medicinal properties and is the basis of a liquor known in Vallegrande.
Pucara, although it has no direct relationship with Che, is a very nice and typical town en the Bolivia`s Valley. The distance between Pucara and La Higuera are 15 kilometers of dirt road. The route is passable by ordinary vehicles, but makes for a nice walk if the weather is nice. Along the route, signs indicate the Che-related sites of historical interest, most notably the long cliff, the Yuro canon where he was captured.
Vallegrande is a very quiet village and surrounded by mountains. Vallegrande is 2030 meters above sea level, with a pleasant climate and an average annual temperature of 18 ° C.
To learn more about the history of the Ernesto Che Guevara in Bolivia, you need to visit the hospital laundry Lord of Malta in Vallegrande. At this laundry the Che Guevara corpse was moved after his assassination in La Higuera. When the body was washed up on the laundry room of the hospital he became the official identification of the body and is where the legendary photograph of Guevara appears as lying Christ took.
Another important place to visit in Vallegrande, attractive place is the runway, where they were buried the remains of Che Guevara and some of his colleagues. Che’s tomb was a secret for thirty years, until a senior commander in 1997 confessed to the exact place of burial of the guerrillas, which allowed the exhumation and then repatriate bones Cuba with permission from the family of Che Guevara. The governments of Bolivia and Cuba called their exhumation and Che was officially buried in Santa Clara, Cuba on October 17, 1997. Today, in the place where the tomb existed, there is a mausoleum in memory of the fighters and their commander Che Guevara.
In the Plaza de Vallegrande, it is the municipal museum dedicated Ruta del Che Guevara and the guerrilla commander who tells the story of Che and his fight. The museum items, testimonies of the time in which Che conducted incursions into Bolivia, objects and artifacts that belonged to the guerrilla group Che observed.
That fame is Vallegrande it was the place Where I was shown the emaciated corpse of Che Guevara before His burial, and is the main basis to go walking itineraries Che.
The route traces the movements of the late Che on foot, by mule, by bike or by boat, with basic amenities, rustic camps and Local families. En 1997, almost 30 years after Che’s death, one of the soldiers who carried out the burial he revealed that his body lay under the Vallegrande airstrip.
The place where it was originally buried is characterized by a mausoleum adorned with the typical image of Che smile looking through the valley. The interior can only be visited by guided tour, but the building is clearly visible from the bus station.
Being in Vallegrande also visit a small archaeological museum that highlights the pre-Columbian cultures developed in the place. There are pre-Columbian archaeological samples, mainly ceramic Yampara culture (900-1200 BC) and Mojocoya. It has three rooms dedicated to the cultures found in the vast valley and archaeological objects of Amazonian origin.
Near the mausoleum is the Guerrilla Trench (Rotary Club), where they were buried 12 guerrillas.
Around Vallegrande, there are milking cattle ranches, where early in the morning the owner take cows`s milk. There, you can take the drink called ambrosia. The ambrosia is the fresh milk drink with cinnamon, sugar and alcohol.
During the day it’s nice to go to Mirador La Cruz, from where you have a beautiful view of the town and valley.
If there is more time, you can go to the cave rock paintings, remains of pre-Inca cultures.
The cave paintings in the Cueva del Diablo are 19 km of Vallegrande. There, human and animal figures are seen in red and black color, some of which measure 90 x 60 cm. In the same area are paintings from the colonial era, such as crosses, saints and virgins who were probably shaped by the Spanish conquistadors.
The Rock Paintings of San Blas are 50 km of Vallegrande. It’s a great cavern in which animals representations in red color.
The cost of the tour includes:
Transportation back and forth, and waits for visitors
Food (lunch, dinner, breakfast)
Refreshments during the rides (water and fruit)
Visits to tourist sites mentioned
Interaction with villagers
Depending on visitors, there is a guide in Spanish, French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese.
The cost of the trip excludes:
Walking shoes, water shoes, regular shoes
Swimsuit and towel
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Individual personal expenses