Sarah Ketchum is detailing the final word adventurous two-week itinerary for Bolivia!
In search of a visit the place you’ll see some unbelievable pure wonders, go on superior adventures, expertise a vibrant tradition, and never break the financial institution? Then look no additional than the attractive nation of Bolivia!
After I first moved to La Paz, Bolivia in 2016 for a instructing job, I didn’t actually know what to anticipate. I shortly fell in love with this nation’s wealthy tradition and pure magnificence. For vacationers who like to discover and are in search of an off-the-beaten-path expertise in South America, I extremely suggest a visit to Bolivia.
When you’re up for an journey, this jam-packed itinerary will present you how you can spend two weeks in Bolivia having the time of your life!
Earlier than You Go
Bolivia is an superior nation, however, as with every journey, particularly one to a growing nation, flexibility is essential to your enjoyment.
Generally buses run late, roads are closed, and plans get delayed. Keep constructive and keep in mind that the sudden components of your journey are sometimes the moments that make the perfect recollections!
Following this itinerary, you may be seeing loads of totally different components of the nation, which means that you may be shifting from metropolis to metropolis very often. As such, I recommend packing in a really transportable suitcase; one thing light-weight or perhaps a backpack can be excellent. It’s going to make shifting between areas a lot simpler.
This itinerary entails utilizing loads of public transportation all through Bolivia. You possibly can learn extra about how you can keep secure whereas doing so, and more basic tips and tricks for traveling in Bolivia, here.
When planning your journey to Bolivia, keep in mind that the winter months from Could via October are colder, however drier, whereas the summer time months from November via April are hotter however a lot rainier. Plan and pack accordingly!
Day 1 – Arrive in La Paz
You’ll begin your Bolivian journey in La Paz, almost definitely with a flight into El Alto Worldwide Airport (LPB). Sitting at 13,325 ft (4,061 m) above sea degree, it’s the highest worldwide airport on the earth.
That being stated, be sure you keep hydrated in your flight in order that once you land you gained’t be overcome by altitude illness.
For guests that aren’t used to such a top, the altitude can result in psychological lapses in addition to bodily discomfort, so please, don’t neglect your baggage on the airport! (You’d be shocked how typically that occurs.)
Upon getting your baggage, you’ll head outdoors and be greeted by a view of Huayna Potosí, one of many peaks within the surrounding mountain vary. Seize an official taxi and head to your lodge.
When you’re something like me, the next step will probably be a pleasant lengthy nap to proceed permitting your physique to regulate, adopted by a scrumptious dinner someplace close by.
You possibly can learn extra concerning the varied types of public transportation in La Paz, in addition to nice choices for lodging, actions, and eating places in my native’s information to La Paz!
A Native’s Information to La Paz, Bolivia
Outside adventures, mountain views, genuine tradition, and scrumptious meals await the traveler who ventures to this unimaginable Bolivian metropolis in South America.
Day 2 – Discover La Paz
Time to discover one of many world’s coolest cities! Hop on the teleférico, store on Calle Sagarnaga, wander down Calle Jaén, catch a soccer sport, hike within the Valle de la Luna, and munch on a salteña or two!
Want extra concepts for what to see and do in La Paz? Try this guide.
Day 3 – Calm down in Copacabana
The charming lakeside city of Copacabana sits a couple of hours away from La Paz on the shores of the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca.
After I lived in La Paz, Copacabana was my absolute favourite weekend getaway.
Learn how to Get to Copacabana
To get to Copacabana from La Paz, head to the Cementerio neighborhood. You are able to do this by flagging down one of many many collectivo types of transportation with a Cementerio signal within the entrance window, taking the pink teleférico line to La Paz’s common cemetery, or flagging down a taxi and telling the driving force you are attempting to get to the Copacabana buses.
When you arrive, you will note a number of buses heading to Copacabana, indicated by the indicators within the home windows. Relying on whether or not you are taking a bus or minivan, tickets may be bought for as little as 30 BOB (lower than $5 USD).
After about three hours, you’ll arrive on the small city of Tiquina the place you’ll need to disembark from the bus and ferry over to the opposite aspect of the strait individually. The ferry prices 2 BOB (lower than $0.30 USD).
That is additionally an excellent alternative for a loo break, or to purchase a snack to tide you over for the remainder of your journey. Maybe you’ll take pleasure in pasankalla, the enormous, typically sweetly flavored popcorn offered in giant baggage in cities close to the lake.
As soon as on the opposite aspect, you should have one other hour or so on the bus earlier than arriving in Copacabana. The bus will almost definitely drop you off on the plaza in entrance of the city’s white basilica. From there, you can also make your approach to your lodgings.
The place to Keep in Copacabana
The most effective place to remain in Copacabana is certainly Hotel La Cupula. That includes distinctive structure, cozy suites, and a beautiful on-site restaurant, Lodge La Cupula is one in every of Bolivia’s greatest.
Spend a while in one in every of their hammocks overlooking the lake enjoyable with guide and also you’ll see why this place is so endearing.
What to See and Do in Copacabana
Besides spending a relaxing afternoon on the grounds of La Cupula, you can also hike up the stations of the cross trail, rent a motorcycle to zip around the countryside for the day, or visit one of the islas flotantes (floating islands) on the lake for a delicious meal of fried trucha (lake trout).
You can get to several of these floating fish restaurants by walking along the lakeside outside of town or taking a ferry from the main harbor.
Interested in a more rustic trip to Lake Titicaca? Check out this guide to trekking in the area.
Day 4 – Hike Throughout the Isla del Sol
In your second day at Lake Titicaca, it is best to undoubtedly take a look at the Isla del Sol. Legend holds that this island is the “birthplace of the Inca,” and there are a number of Inca ruins on the island for guests to discover.
So as to get probably the most of your time on the island, you’ll want to begin early and get the primary ferry over, which leaves round 8:00 am. Remember to take a ferry to the northside village of Challa Pampa. Two-way tickets value round 40 BOB (lower than $6 USD).
When you arrive in Challa Pampa, you’ll start mountaineering alongside the island’s Inca path. Comply with the indicators to the Chinkana ruins. This archaeological web site, whereas not as giant or well-known as others in South America, remains to be a very neat place to discover.
Wandering via the ruins and seeing the Inca non secular websites makes guests really feel like they’re stepping again in time.
Leaving Chinkana, you’ll proceed on the island’s predominant Inca path, the Ruta Sagrada, which runs alongside the ridge via the middle of the island. The views of the island, the lake, and the mountain ranges on the mainland are breathtaking!
Carry some bolivianos so that you could pay the small charges at checkpoints alongside the route.
All in all, the hike is roughly 6 miles lengthy (10 km) and takes about Three hours to finish. This, in fact, doesn’t embody stops for lunch or exploring the ruins.
After arriving again in Copacabana, head to the principle plaza the place you’ll see loads of buses with indicators for La Paz. Head again to La Paz for an evening of relaxation earlier than tomorrow’s adventures!
Have you ever heard of “The Loss of life Street”?
Day 5 – Discover Coroico
It’s time to go away the mountains for some time and expertise the jungle!
The World’s Most Harmful Street
The city of Coroico is a few hours and about 6,00Zero ft. (a little bit greater than 1,800 m) down from La Paz. For thrill-seekers, there is just one approach to get to Coroico from La Paz, and that’s by rumbling down the World’s Most Harmful Street on a mountain bike!
Though there are a number of firms providing Loss of life Street biking excursions, I undoubtedly suggest Gravity Bolivia above all the remainder. The guides are educated bike mechanics, and so they all communicate English very effectively.
The bikes themselves are of the best high quality, which makes for a a lot safer journey. A journey on the Loss of life Street is among the prime vacationer actions in Bolivia, and it’s an absolute blast!
On the finish of your thrilling journey, you’ll have the chance to fly over the jungle on a three-part zip line!
Senda Verde Wildlife Rescue
If you choose to ride with Gravity, you’ll also visit Senda Verde, a wildlife rescue that’s working to offer a house for and rehabilitate most of the area’s monkeys, unique birds, and different animals that need assistance. A journey with Gravity consists of lunch on the refuge.
You’ve gotten a alternative for the night time to remain in Coroico or head again to La Paz. You possibly can truly guide your Loss of life Street bike tour with Gravity and embody an evening at one in every of Senda Verde’s eco-lodge options. This consists of excursions of the wildlife sanctuary and breakfast. There are many different lodge choices in Coroico as effectively.
In case you are not a lot of a bike owner, you may merely take a minibus to and from Coroico. Buses to Coroico go away La Paz from the Villa Fatima bus station. You possibly can nonetheless expertise Senda Verde and other activities in Coroico when you arrive!
Most important bus terminal in La Paz — designed by Gustave Eiffel
Day 6 – La Paz to Uyuni
Relying on the place you determined to spend your night time, you’ll both be spending this morning in Coroico or again in La Paz. When you’re in Coroico, remember to take a look at M&M’s coffee shop, or higher but, tour their espresso plantation! The household is obsessed with sustainable farming within the area and their espresso is scrumptious.
Both approach, ensure that you make it again to La Paz in time to take pleasure in a meal at one of many metropolis’s many eating places. A few of my favorites embody Vinapho in Sopocachi or the English Pub close to Calle Sagarnaga. For vegetarian delicacies, the Magic K Cafe is one other nice possibility.
Learn how to Get to Uyuni
You gained’t want lodging in La Paz for the night time as a result of you may be taking an in a single day bus to Uyuni.
The primary bus station in Bolivia was truly designed by Gustave Eiffel (sure, that Eiffel). You possibly can both arrive on the bus station and discover a bus heading to Uyuni, or you should buy tickets forward of time utilizing an internet site like Tickets Bolivia.
The bus journey to Uyuni from La Paz will take about Eight hours, and most Uyuni excursions begin early within the morning, so you’ll want to guarantee that no matter in a single day bus you select will arrive in Uyuni by 8:00 am.
Days 7, 8, and 9 – Marvel at Uyuni’s Natural Wonder
The Uyuni salt flat is the largest in the world, and when it rains, it turns into the world’s largest mirror! A trip to Bolivia just isn’t complete without a visit to the salt flat and the surrounding region full of extraordinary geographic wonders.
Many tour operators offer tours of the area lasting for one, two, or three days, but in my opinion, a three-day, two-night tour is the best option. You will see not only the incredible salt flat but also the train graveyard, colorful mineral-rich lagoons, high altitude deserts, and geyser fields.
Many tours also include stays in hotels made out of salt and the opportunity to take a dip in a natural hot spring.
I highly recommend the Quechua Connection tour company. Day one of many tour begins round 10:30 am, and ends again in Uyuni at round 6:00 pm on day three. They are going to be sure you see all that Uyuni has to supply. Remember to snap a couple of of the cool perspective or mirror photographs that Uyuni is thought for!
You will want to guide lodging in Uyuni for the ultimate night time following your tour. There are numerous choices for budget-friendly lodges and hostels, together with the Toñito Lodge which can be dwelling to an excellent pizza store.
Cerro Rico Silver Mountain
Day 10 – Potosí
Learn how to Get to Potosí
You should have an early begin this morning to catch the primary bus from Uyuni to Potosí. Operated by the Expreso 11 de Julio bus firm, the earliest direct bus to Potosí departs at 7:30 am and arrives at 11:30 am. Once more, I like to recommend reserving your tickets forward of time via Tickets Bolivia with a purpose to safe your journey time.
What to See and Do in Potosí
When you’re a pupil of historical past, you’re most likely aware of Potosí and the Cerro Rico mine that has lengthy stood as a testomony to colonial exploitation. The silver from Potosí made the Spanish Empire extremely rich within the sixteenth century, but additionally led to the deplorable remedy of indigenous miners.
In the present day, the mine remains to be functioning, and nonetheless harmful. Ex-miners provide excursions of the mine to guests. If you wish to don a hardhat and headlamp and enterprise into the mines, you definitely can! Simply remember that it’s nonetheless a working mine, you may be venturing under floor, and accidents can occur.
Potosí has extra to supply than simply touring the mine. Wandering the streets, the colonial structure reminds you that this was as soon as one of many world’s wealthiest cities.
Go to the San Francisco Convent and get a view of the complete metropolis from its roof. Study extra about Bolivia’s historical past from the Casa Nacional de la Moneda Museum, which used to accommodate the mint to show Cerro Rico’s silver into cash.
Depart Potosí for Sucre
Somewhat than spending the night time in Potosí, you’ll proceed on to Sucre. There are a number of direct buses to Sucre from Potosí operated by the Trans Emperador bus firm. The journey takes about three hours, so be sure you plan your arrival time accordingly to provide your self the power to verify in to your lodgings when you arrive in Sucre.
Days 11 and 12 – Sucre
Sucre is the constitutional capital metropolis of Bolivia. Its iconic, white-washed colonial structure and historic significance make it one of the vital in style Bolivian cities to go to.
Right here, you may see a wall crammed with dinosaur footprints, wander via a pink citadel, and go to a number of museums the place you may find out about all the things from Bolivia’s independence motion to indigenous artwork. Considered one of my favourite spots to snap photographs of the “white metropolis” is the roof of the San Felipe de Neri convent.
There are a number of clear, secure, and budget-friendly lodges in Sucre to select from, resembling el Hotel de Su Merced, Hostal Condor, or the Parador Santa Maria la Real, in addition to an excellent number of AirBnbs.
Sucre is one in every of my favourite cities in Bolivia and there’s plenty to see and do throughout your two-day go to!
Day 13 – Again to La Paz
The bus journey again to La Paz is a protracted one – twelve hours! – which implies it’s possible you’ll wish to benefit from one other in a single day bus.
Not solely will you keep away from spending an entire day in transit, however additionally, you will lower your expenses because you gained’t need to pay for one night time in a lodge.
Day 14 – Fly Dwelling
Your action-packed journey to Bolivia has lastly come to an finish. Time to pack up your baggage and fly dwelling!
Wave goodbye to the twinkling metropolis lights and the breathtaking Mount Illimani as the town of La Paz disappears into the clouds out your airplane window!