From Unduavi on the road from La Paz to the Yungas, a side road heads east towards the provincial capital of CHULUMANI, providing a dramatic ride as it plunges down from the high Andes into the lush vegetation of the Yungas. Chulumani is far less touristy than Coroico, though its setting – at an elevation of 1640m, on a steep hillside overlooking a broad river valley – is equally scenic. With its palm-shaded plaza and steep, dusty, narrow cobbled streets, lined with scruffy houses with red-tiled roofs, Chulumani is a typical Yungas town, and makes a perfect base for exploring the surrounding countryside. In the 1950s, however, it was notorious as a hideout for fugitive Nazi war criminals, including Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon”, who reputedly once sold fruit juices on the plaza.
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