Jaza's World Trip

Parque Cretácico

There really wasn't much to do when Chris and I arrived in Sucre this morning, after our interesting night's bus ride. So we decided to check out Parque Cretácico, a site where you can see dinosaur footprints embedded in the face of a rock wall, and one of Sucre's main tourist attractions. Very cheesy place, and not terribly awe-inspiring, either. But like I said, there wasn't really much else to do in Sucre. So we had a look at the footprints.

Plastic dinosaur heads above the entrance gate to Parque Cretácico. Very fake.

We took a "dino truck" from the main square of Sucre, to the park itself, with a bunch of other gringos. That was the start of the cheesiness. Then, when we arrived at the entrance to the park, we saw two massive plastic dinosaur heads, hanging above the entrance gate. Charming. And finally, once we were inside, we had to wade through a long walkway of massive plastic dinosaur models, before we actually saw the footprints. It could have been a great place; but they just overdid it so much with the plastic crap, that they've turned the place into a bad imitation of Disneyland. Pity, really.

Plastic dinosaur model in the park.

Ironically (and very much in true Bolivian style), despite putting so much effort into beautifying the place with ever-present plastic dinosaurs, they made absolutely no effort to hide the massive concrete quarry / factory, that sits right next to the park, and that was actually responsible for finding the footprints in the first place. Why would they need to hide that, after all? Surely, tourists wouldn't have a problem with seeing concrete being mined right next to millions-of-years-old fragile dinosaur footprints, right? :P

Digging out concrete, right next to the dinosaur park.

Anyway, after the lot of us went on a guided, English tour of the plastic monuments, we finally got to see the footprints themselves. Unfortunately, as of three months ago, you can no longer go and look at them close up: you have to observe them from a lookout area, which is about 30 metres away from the actual rock wall. You can look at the footprints through some in-place binoculars in the viewing area; but of course, the binoculars are operated by tokens rather than coins, and the guy selling the tokens hadn't started his shift yet, when we arrived there. So all we had was our naked eyes, and the zoom of our cameras.

Wall of ancient footprints.

So, that's Parque Cretácico for you. Apparently, it's in the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it isn't one yet. When that happens, UNESCO is planning to donate USD$8 million, towards a project of building a massive fibreglass protective screen over the footprint wall, in order to better protect it from the forces of erosion. Lots of rock, lots of cement, and lots of plastic. Best attraction in Sucre. :(

Filed in: SucreDinosaursPlasticToursFake