Sarah Ketchum is detailing the last word adventurous two-week itinerary for Bolivia!
Searching for 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 rapidly fell in love with this nation’s wealthy tradition and pure magnificence. For vacationers who like to discover and are looking for an off-the-beaten-path expertise in South America, I extremely suggest a visit to Bolivia.
In the event you’re up for an journey, this jam-packed itinerary will present you tips on how to 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 surprising components of your journey are sometimes the moments that make one of the best reminiscences!
Following this itinerary, you may be seeing plenty of completely different components of the nation, that means that you may be transferring from metropolis to metropolis very often. As such, I recommend packing in a really moveable suitcase; one thing light-weight or perhaps a backpack can be excellent. It is going to make transferring between areas a lot simpler.
This itinerary entails utilizing plenty of public transportation all through Bolivia. You may learn extra about tips on how to keep protected 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 Might by means of October are colder, however drier, whereas the summer season months from November by means of 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, probably 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 overlook your baggage on the airport! (You’d be stunned 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.
In the event you’re something like me, the next step will likely be a pleasant lengthy nap to proceed permitting your physique to regulate, adopted by a scrumptious dinner someplace close by.
You may 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 unbelievable 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 recreation, 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? Take a look at this guide.
Day 3 – Chill out 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.
Tips on 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 purple teleférico line to La Paz’s basic cemetery, or flagging down a taxi and telling the motive 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 will have to disembark from the bus and ferry over to the opposite facet of the strait individually. The ferry prices 2 BOB (lower than $0.30 USD).
That is additionally an awesome alternative for a loo break, or to purchase a snack to tide you over for the remainder of your journey. Maybe you’ll get pleasure from pasankalla, the large, typically sweetly flavored popcorn offered in giant baggage in cities close to the lake.
As soon as on the opposite facet, you should have one other hour or so on the bus earlier than arriving in Copacabana. The bus will probably drop you off on the plaza in entrance of the city’s white basilica. From there, you may make your approach to your lodgings.
The place to Keep in Copacabana
The very best place to remain in Copacabana is certainly Hotel La Cupula. That includes distinctive structure, cozy suites, and an exquisite on-site restaurant, Lodge La Cupula is one in every of Bolivia’s finest.
Spend a while in one in every of their hammocks overlooking the lake stress-free with e-book 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
On your second day at Lake Titicaca, you need to positively try 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 essentially the most of your time on the island, it would be best to begin early and get the primary ferry over, which leaves round 8:00 am. Make sure you 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 mountain climbing alongside the island’s Inca path. Comply with the indicators to the Chinkana ruins. This archaeological website, whereas not as giant or well-known as others in South America, remains to be a very neat place to discover.
Wandering by means of 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 major Inca path, the Ruta Sagrada, which runs alongside the ridge by means of 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 as to 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 embrace 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 Dying 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. (somewhat 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 Dying Street biking excursions, I positively suggest Gravity Bolivia above all the remaining. The guides are educated bike mechanics, and so they all converse English very nicely.
The bikes themselves are of the very best high quality, which makes for a a lot safer journey. A journey on the Dying 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 lots of the area’s monkeys, unique birds, and different animals that need assistance. A journey with Gravity contains lunch on the refuge.
You’ve got a alternative for the evening to remain in Coroico or head again to La Paz. You may truly e-book your Dying Street bike tour with Gravity and embrace an evening at one in every of Senda Verde’s eco-lodge options. This contains excursions of the wildlife sanctuary and breakfast. There are many different lodge choices in Coroico as nicely.
In case you are not a lot of a bicycle owner, you may merely take a minibus to and from Coroico. Buses to Coroico depart La Paz from the Villa Fatima bus station. You may 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 evening, you’ll both be spending this morning in Coroico or again in La Paz. In the event you’re in Coroico, be sure you try M&M’s coffee shop, or higher but, tour their espresso plantation! The household is keen about sustainable farming within the area and their espresso is scrumptious.
Both manner, ensure that you make it again to La Paz in time to get pleasure from a meal at one of many metropolis’s many eating places. A few of my favorites embrace Vinapho in Sopocachi or the English Pub close to Calle Sagarnaga. For vegetarian delicacies, the Magic K Cafe is one other nice possibility.
Tips on how to Get to Uyuni
You gained’t want lodging in La Paz for the evening 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 may both arrive on the bus station and discover a bus heading to Uyuni, or you should purchase 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 it would be best to make it possible for 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 may be sure you see all that Uyuni has to supply. Make sure you snap a couple of of the cool perspective or mirror images that Uyuni is understood for!
You will have to e-book lodging in Uyuni for the ultimate evening following your tour. There are lots of choices for budget-friendly motels and hostels, together with the Toñito Lodge which can also be house to an awesome pizza store.
Cerro Rico Silver Mountain
Day 10 – Potosí
Tips on 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 by means of Tickets Bolivia to be able to safe your journey time.
What to See and Do in Potosí
In the event you’re a pupil of historical past, you’re most likely acquainted with 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 in addition led to the deplorable therapy of indigenous miners.
Immediately, 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 bear in mind that it’s nonetheless a working mine, you may be venturing beneath 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 all the metropolis from its roof. Be taught 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
Fairly than spending the evening 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 offer 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 common Bolivian cities to go to.
Right here, you may see a wall full of dinosaur footprints, wander by means of a pink fortress, and go to a number of museums the place you may study every little thing from Bolivia’s independence motion to indigenous artwork. One in every of my favourite spots to snap images of the “white metropolis” is the roof of the San Felipe de Neri convent.
There are a number of clear, protected, and budget-friendly motels in Sucre to select from, resembling el Hotel de Su Merced, Hostal Condor, or the Parador Santa Maria la Real, in addition to an awesome choice 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 an extended one – twelve hours! – which suggests you could need to make the most of 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 evening in a lodge.
Day 14 – Fly Residence
Your action-packed journey to Bolivia has lastly come to an finish. Time to pack up your baggage and fly house!
Wave goodbye to the twinkling metropolis lights and the breathtaking Mount Illimani as town of La Paz disappears into the clouds out your airplane window!