Bolivia stays an afterthought for a lot of vacationers visiting South America, but it surely has dazzling surroundings and lots of websites that can depart you speechless. From the majestic peaks of the Andes to the huge expanses of its rainforests, Bolivia is a treasure trove of distinctive experiences ready to be found. These are the very best issues to do in Bolivia that can make any traveler’s mouth water!
Situated within the coronary heart of the continent, this landlocked nation is bordered by the nations of Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile. Bolivia boasts a myriad of points of interest that cater to each sort of traveler. So are you prepared to start your Bolivia journey? Let’s go!
Top Things to Do in Bolivia, South America
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These are the highest excursions and actions in Bolivia. Don’t overlook to plan forward when visiting Bolivia!
Top Bolivia Tourist Attractions and Tours:
1. Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats)
A tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats is the most well-liked factor to do in Bolivia. The Uyuni salt flats are the world’s largest salt flats, the place the white panorama stretches so far as the eye can see. Read extra: Salar de Uyuni – How to Visit The Bolivia Salt Flats
There are one to seven-day excursions accessible, all of which take you out onto the salt flats to discover a number of of the strange websites there, from thousand-year-old cacti to uncommon flamingos.
Gazing out over the Salar de Uyuni is like stepping right into a dream. The largest salt flat on this planet stretches out in an unlimited expanse of white, creating illusions of an countless horizon. When crammed with a skinny layer of water, it turns into the world’s largest mirror, reflecting the sky in a surreal spectacle.
Beyond its pure magnificence and otherworldly rock formations, the Uyuni Salt Flats have a vibrant ecosystem and are house to many flamingo species. A journey to the Salar is not only a visible feast, however a soulful expertise, providing a glimpse of nature’s creative prowess. Check out Best Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
There is a spread of lodging choices, largely tents, and hostels close to the Uyuni Salt Flats. The salt flats are one of many prime Bolivia vacationer points of interest so it’s endorsed to ebook your excursions upfront.
How to Get to Uyuni Salt Flats: Take a bus from Oruro or La Paz to Uyuni, the place one can find many tour operators providing journeys of various lengths and costs. You may ebook a guided tour from Lapaz. This 3-day tour is extremely rated.
2. La Paz
With an elevation of three,650 meters (11,975 ft) above sea stage, La Paz is the very best capital metropolis on this planet. La Paz is a metropolis of contrasts, from the busy Witches’ Market round Sagarnaga Street to the tranquil Plaza Murillo with its historic governmental buildings.
The National Museum of Art displays Bolivia’s artwork historical past, and the Bolivian Andean Textile Museum is a must-see for all within the stunning weavings of the Andes. At evening, ensure that to take a look at Peña Huari on Sagarnaga for some conventional pipe music and dancing, or head to A Lo Cubano on Aniceto Arce Street for some Cuban meals and music.
Venture into its bustling streets and markets, just like the well-known La Paz Witches Market, to find a wealthy tapestry of tradition and custom. Whether admiring colonial structure or tasting native delicacies, La Paz gives an city expertise like no different, balancing its historic roots with a recent beat. This personal La Paz metropolis tour is a good way to discover the highlights.
3. Ride The Cable Cars in La Paz
Perched at dizzying heights, La Paz is greater than Bolivia’s administrative capital; it’s a metropolis that gives a mix of old-world attraction and modern-day dynamism. The metropolis’s skyline, a combination of conventional red-brick properties and gleaming skyscrapers, is about towards the backdrop of the looming Mount Illimani.
The greatest option to see La Paz is to take a wide ranging journey on a cable automobile from La Paz to El Alto. These are the very best cable automobile system on this planet and the highest vacationer attraction in La Pas. And for good motive, it presents unparalleled views of town and the Cordillera Real mountains.
How to Get There: Take a taxi or bus from the airport into city. There are bus providers to La Paz from most different Bolivian cities, in addition to from cities in Peru, Argentina, and Chile.
4. Valle de La Luna – (Valley of the Moon)
Located only a brief distance from La Paz, Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) boasts a panorama that feels otherworldly. Eroded rock formations, with their intricate patterns and maze-like constructions, give the place a surreal, moon-like look, therefore its title. Seeing Moon Valley at Sonsuet is likely one of the prime issues to do in La Paz.
Walking via Moon Valley throughout sundown is a transcendent expertise. The mushy gentle paints the rock formations in shades of gold and crimson, making the place come alive in a riot of colours. The tranquility, mixed with the dramatic surroundings, presents guests a second of reflection amidst nature’s marvels. This tour features a tour of La Paz, the Cable Cars, and the Valley of the Moon.
5. Lake Titicaca
Resting on the crossroads of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is a shimmering marvel, holding the title of the very best navigable lake on this planet at 3,810 meters above sea stage. But past its geographical information, it’s the cultural richness and serenity that makes it a must-visit. You can ebook a day tour from La Paz, however to go to Lake Titicaca actually requires a couple of days. This day tour is an effective choice you probably have restricted time.
Vast expanses of blue waters are interspersed with islands, each pure and man-made, that protect the traditional methods of life. From the floating Uros Islands, constructed totally out of reeds, to the terraced landscapes of Isla del Sol, believed to be the birthplace of the Incan Sun God, Titicaca is a mix of historical past, mythology, and unparalleled scenic magnificence.
6. Isla del Sol
Day journeys from La Paz are widespread to see Isla del Sol and this personal tour features a boat journey to Isla del Sol, Copacabana, and highlights of Lake Titicaca at your personal tempo. However, it would be best to spend extra time to see its Inca ruins, and discover the Lake’s different sacred island, Isla de la Luna.
Located on Lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol is a spot of myths, and legends. According to Incan folklore, it’s right here that the world started when the God Viracocha emerged from the waters and created the solar.
The island is a sanctuary of tranquility, free from fashionable autos, and presents picturesque climbing trails that weave via historic ruins and terraced hills. The serenity right here, complemented by the sacred vibes of its archaeological websites, gives a reflective escape, making it a should for each traveler searching for each magnificence and introspection.
Book an organized tour from downtown La Paz to Isla del Sol and Lake Titicaca. It features a boat journey from Copacabana to the island’s hottest vacationer points of interest.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana is a gateway to the Isla del Sol however it’s value spending a while at by itself. Copacabana is a tranquil retreat reflecting Bolivia’s deep-rooted spirituality and fascinating pure magnificence. With its whitewashed buildings and blue waters, the city feels nearly Mediterranean, but its essence is unmistakably Bolivian.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana stands because the city’s crown jewel, drawing pilgrims and vacationers alike with its ornate structure and a revered statue of the Virgin Mary. As one wanders via the city’s cobbled streets, vibrant markets brimming with native handicrafts beckon, whereas conventional eateries supply a style of Bolivia’s wealthy culinary heritage.
But Copacabana’s attract doesn’t finish with its streets. Venturing to the Cerro Calvario, a hill overlooking the city, gives panoramic views of Lake Titicaca, particularly enchanting throughout sundown. You can ebook an organized tour from La Paz. This tour will take you out of your lodge within the metropolis centre to the lakeside city of Copacabana, go to Isla del Sol, its Inca Ruins and Lake Titicaca.
8. Ruins of Tiwanaku
As one among South America’s most vital archaeological websites, the traditional metropolis of Tiwanaku gives insights right into a civilization that thrived lengthy earlier than the Incan Empire. It is likely one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bolivia and one of many prime vacationer points of interest within the nation. This personal tour is a good way to essentially discover the historical past and sweetness at your personal tempo.
Located close to the southern shores of Lake Titicaca, the ruined metropolis stands as a silent witness to the area’s wealthy historical past. Intricately carved stonework, monumental statues, and sunken temples inform tales of the Tiwanaku individuals’s ingenuity and religious beliefs. With a historical past spanning over a millennium, it’s a vacation spot that beckons historical past buffs and curious vacationers to delve deep into Bolivia’s pre-Columbian previous.
9. Explore The Amazon Rainforest
Nestled between a number of South American nations, Bolivia’s slice of the Amazon rainforest beckons with its lush landscapes and unparalleled biodiversity. The Amazon Rainforest is likely one of the prime vacationer points of interest in all of South America and no journey to Bolivia can be full with out seeing it. Read extra: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Bolivian Amazon
Venturing into this sprawling wilderness, vacationers will uncover a realm the place nature reigns supreme. Vibrant wildlife fill each nook, with the cacophony of chicken calls and the hushed whispers of the forest making a symphony of life. It’s not merely in regards to the visuals; it’s the sensation of being engulfed in an ecosystem that has thrived for millennia. An Amazonian exploration is an ode to nature’s grandeur.
Bolivia’s portion of the Amazon Jungle is a haven for adventurers and nature fanatics alike. Teeming with life, the Amazon’s huge ecosystem presents guests a uncommon probability to immerse themselves in a world dominated by dense forests, winding rivers, and an astounding number of wildlife.
River cruises present a singular perspective, permitting one to witness the majesty of river dolphins or the occasional caiman basking on the shores. The deeper one ventures, the extra the rainforest reveals, from indigenous tribes preserving historic traditions to uncommon chicken species flitting via the cover. See our time within the Peruvian Amazon
10. Selva Soliviana (Selva Boliviana) within the Amazon Basin
Deep inside Bolivia’s boundaries, the Selva Soliviana or Selva Boliviana stands as one of many nation’s most pristine and numerous ecosystems. Part of the bigger Amazon Basin, this dense tropical rainforest harbors a world teeming with life, from elusive jaguars and playful spider monkeys to vibrant macaws portray the sky with their colours.
The richness of this area isn’t simply in its wildlife. The indigenous communities, deeply rooted throughout the Selva Boliviana, carry the knowledge of the forest, dwelling harmoniously with nature for generations. Visitors have the possibility to not solely witness the Amazon’s breathtaking biodiversity but in addition immerse themselves within the age-old traditions of its native inhabitants. Canoeing via its tranquil waterways, one will get a way of the forest’s vastness and thriller. Every rustle, each chicken name, and each ray of daylight filtering via the dense cover tells a narrative of a world untouched by time. For those that actually wish to expertise the guts of the Amazon and recognize the fragile steadiness of life inside, the Selva Soliviana is a vacation spot like no different.
11. The Wildlife of Amboro National Park
Located close to Santa Cruz, Amboro National Park is a testomony to Bolivia’s biodiversity. Spanning numerous ecosystems, from rainforests to cloud forests, the park is a sanctuary for an array of fauna, together with jaguars, pumas, and over 800 chicken species. The numerous landscapes supply thrilling climbing alternatives, with trails resulting in cascading waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints. For these seeking to actually perceive the park’s essence, guided excursions reveal hidden gems and supply insights into the fragile steadiness of this ecological wonderland.
12. Dinosaurs of Sucre
In the outskirts of Sucre, Bolivia’s official capital, lies Cal Orcko, a cliff showcasing hundreds of dinosaur footprints, a relic of a bygone period. A go to right here is like stepping again in time, providing a glimpse of those majestic creatures’ once-dominant presence. With tracks from over eight totally different species, together with the T-Rex, it serves as a monumental file of the Cretaceous interval. The close by Cretaceous Park additional elevates the expertise, with life-sized replicas and interactive displays, guaranteeing that historical past fanatics and households discover equal delight.
13. See Flamingoes at Laguna Colorada
In the southwestern area of Bolivia lies the arresting Laguna Colorada. This shallow salt lake, with its reddish hues, is a spectacle in itself. But what makes it actually particular are the flocks of flamingoes that make it their house, providing a placing distinction towards the reddish backdrop. These elegant birds, seen feeding on the lake’s wealthy minerals and tiny organisms, are a sight to behold, particularly throughout dawn when the world exudes a magical aura. The lake’s distinctive colour palette, mixed with the mesmerizing dance of the flamingoes, makes it a photographer’s dream and a must-visit spot.
14. Cycle the World’s Most Dangerous Road
For adrenaline junkies, Bolivia presents the Yungas Road or Death Road, usually dubbed because the “World’s Most Dangerous Road.” Descending from the high-altitude La Paz to the tropical city of Coroico by mountain bike is an expertise that many vacationers wish to add to their bucket listing. This slender path has sheer cliffs, sharp turns, and breathtaking views.
While its popularity as loss of life street, might sound intimidating, biking down this street is an exhilarating expertise. Guided excursions guarantee security whereas permitting thrill-seekers to absorb the panoramic vistas, cascading waterfalls, and the ever-changing panorama. An journey on this street is a testomony to Bolivia’s numerous topography and is certain to depart an indelible mark.
15. The Yungas
Beyond the notorious street lies the Yungas area itself, a transition zone the place the Andes meet the Amazon. This space is characterised by cloud forests, terraced hills, and occasional plantations. The lush landscapes, wealthy in biodiversity, are a paradise for nature lovers. Hiking trails result in hidden waterfalls, whereas the native communities supply a heat welcome, sharing their traditions and methods of life. A visit to the Yungas is not only in regards to the scenic magnificence however an immersion in Bolivia’s cultural tapestry.
Between the Andes and the Amazon, the Yungas Valley has a subtropical local weather that draws guests for a couple of days of leisure after time in La Paz.
There are two primary cities within the Yungas. Coroico is busier and has a spread of lodging with swimming pools, tennis courts, and different facilities.
Chulumani is a barely smaller, laid-back city. The most enjoyable lodging there may be Country House, a comfy B&B simply outdoors city, the place proprietor Javier will regale you with tales of his youth in Sixties La Paz and may counsel and arrange quite a lot of excursions.
How to get there: There are buses to Coroico and Chulumani from La Paz. More adventurous vacationers select to go by bike alongside the extremely steep ‘Death Road’.
Once famend because the richest metropolis on this planet as a result of its huge silver mines, Potosi stands as a testomony to Bolivia’s wealthy colonial historical past. Nestled on the foot of the Cerro Rico mountain, this UNESCO World Heritage website boasts a wealth of Spanish colonial structure, reflecting its affluent previous.
The Cerro Rico mines, though stark reminders of colonial exploitation, supply a deep dive into town’s historical past. Guided excursions present insights into the lives of miners and town’s silver increase. But Potosi is not only about its mines; its bustling markets, grand church buildings, and the National Mint supply a mosaic of experiences, every revealing a distinct side of this fascinating metropolis.
One of the oldest mines within the Americas looms over the world’s highest metropolis: Potosi. Visitors can go to the National Mint, one of the crucial complete museums of silver on this planet, or simply wander across the metropolis and soak in its ambiance. Some guests select to go to the mines at Cerro Rico, the place they’ll see the grueling situations through which the miners reside and work.
For many, it is a spotlight of their journey to Bolivia – however security concerns have to be taken into account.
How to get there: There are buses to Potosi from most different cities in Bolivia.
17. Parque Nacional Toro-Toro
Located within the coronary heart of Bolivia, Toro-Toro National Park is a geologist’s dream and an adventurer’s delight. Famous for its historic dinosaur footprints, deep canyons, and underground caves, the park invitations guests to journey via time and witness the Earth’s evolutionary tales.
Trekking via its landscapes, one would possibly come throughout fossilized stays, gorgeous rock formations, or the roaring Vergel waterfall. The Umajalanta Cavern, one among South America’s most intensive cave techniques, beckons the courageous with its darkish chambers and stalactite formations. A visit to Toro-Toro is not only a go to; it’s an journey, every path resulting in a brand new discovery.
Though that is Bolivia’s smallest nationwide park, it has one of many nation’s primary points of interest: dinosaur footprints. In addition, the park consists of hanging valleys and deep canyons, with some of essentially the most breathtaking surroundings vacationers right here say they’ve seen.
The most-visited elements of the park are the limestone caves and the pre-Inca fort named Llama Chaqui, and any hikes will take guests previous the dinosaur footprints. Camping is permitted, and there are a number of hostels and different locations to remain in Toro-Toro city.
How to get there: There are buses from Cochabamba direct to Toro-Toro city on Thursdays and Sundays.
18. Madidi National Park
Stretching from the Andean highlands to the Amazonian lowlands, Madidi National Park is a biodiverse marvel. Encompassing an unlimited vary of habitats, from tropical rainforests to grasslands, the park shelters an unbelievable array of wildlife, from jaguars and pumas to over 1,000 chicken species.
River cruises via the park’s waterways supply intimate encounters with the Amazon’s vibrant wildlife. The indigenous communities, dwelling in concord with nature, improve the expertise, sharing their age-old traditions and deep-rooted reference to the forest. Madidi is just not merely a park; it’s a dwelling, respiratory entity, ready to share its tales.
19. Sajama National Park
Nestled within the Oruro Department, Sajama National Park borders Chile and is about 240 km west of La Paz. With an space that spans roughly 1,000 sq. kilometers, this park proudly homes the very best peak in Bolivia, the dormant Nevado Sajama volcano, which rises to an imposing 6,542 meters above sea stage.
It is famend for its flourishing vicuña inhabitants. Vicuñas, one of many two wild South American camelids (the opposite being the guanaco), was as soon as on the point of extinction as a result of rampant looking. But they’ve made a dramatic comeback in current a long time, due to rigorous conservation efforts. Today, Sajama National Park presents a sanctuary to those delicate creatures, permitting them to thrive of their pure habitat.
In addition to the vicuñas, the park’s ecosystem is a mosaic of high-altitude lakes, scorching springs, geysers, and huge ‘puna’ grasslands, every providing refuge to numerous species.
20. Explore the El Samaipata Ruins
Perched within the japanese foothills of the Bolivian Andes, the El Samaipata ruins are a fusion of indigenous and Spanish cultures. Often known as the “Fortress,” this archaeological website is shrouded in thriller, its carved rock surfaces sparking quite a few theories about its objective and origins.
While its historical past may be enigmatic, its magnificence is simple. Overlooking the plush valleys, the positioning presents panoramic views, making it a favourite spot for each historical past buffs and nature fanatics. The close by city of Samaipata, with its colonial attraction and vibrant arts scene, enhances the expertise, guaranteeing guests depart with cherished reminiscences.
How to Get to Bolivia
Bolivia homes a number of worldwide airports, essentially the most outstanding being El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz and Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) in Santa Cruz. Regular flights from North America, Europe, and different elements of South America make accessing Bolivia comparatively simple.
Airlines reminiscent of American Airlines, Boliviana de Aviación, and LATAM ceaselessly function out and in of Bolivia.
Bolivia shares a border with 5 nations, Bolivia presents a number of land entry factors:
From Peru: The Desaguadero and Copacabana crossings close to Lake Titicaca are widespread. From Argentina: The Villazón – La Quiaca border is ceaselessly utilized by vacationers. From Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay: Various border crossings can be found, every offering a singular panorama to traverse.
If you’re in for a scenic journey, trains from Argentina and Brazil could be a gorgeous choice. The Wara Wara and Expreso del Sur are two major trains linking Bolivia with its neighbors. These Scenic Rail Routes may be slower however supply a singular probability to see South America’s ever-changing panorama. Make positive to ebook upfront, particularly throughout peak vacationer season.
Getting Around Bolivia
Once in Bolivia, transportation choices abound. Domestic flights join main cities, whereas an intensive bus community can get you wherever from the excessive Andes to the lowland tropics. For adventurous souls, renting a automobile may be an choice, although Bolivia’s rugged terrains could be difficult.
When is the Best Time to Visit Bolivia
The greatest time to go to Bolivia relies upon largely on the actions you want to pursue and the areas you plan to discover. Bolivia, with its numerous geography starting from Amazonian rainforests to high-altitude Andean plateaus, experiences a variety of climatic variations. Here’s a breakdown to assist information your journey plans:
Dry Season (May to October):
Highlands (together with La Paz, Lake Titicaca, and the Uyuni Salt Flats): The dry season, additionally the Bolivian winter, brings clear skies and daytime temperatures which can be snug for sightseeing. However, nights could be fairly chilly, particularly on the salt flats. This interval is good for exploring the Altiplano and the Uyuni Salt Flats. Amazon Basin (together with Madidi National Park and Rurrenabaque): Lower rainfall throughout these months makes it the very best time for jungle treks and wildlife recognizing within the Amazon areas. Rivers may be decrease, however most are nonetheless navigable.
Rainy Season (November to April):
Highlands: This is the summer time season, characterised by day by day rains. While the landscapes turn out to be lush and verdant, some roads, particularly these resulting in the salt flats, can turn out to be impassable. Amazon Basin: Expect heavy rains and better river ranges. While wildlife could be tougher to identify as a result of dense vegetation, it’s a primary time for birdwatchers.
Shoulder Season (April and November):
Traveling in the course of the shoulder months could be rewarding, as you would possibly expertise fewer crowds and nonetheless take pleasure in comparatively good climate, although with some unpredictability.
Festivals and Events:
Consider aligning your go to with Bolivia’s vibrant festivals.
Carnaval (February/March): Celebrated all through the nation with essentially the most well-known being in Oruro. Independence Day (August 6): National vacation with parades and celebrations. All Saints’ Day (November 1-2): Traditional day the place households honor their deceased family members with elaborate choices.
For these eager on out of doors actions and exploring the highlands and salt flats, the dry season (May to October) is preferable. However, for those who’re seeking to expertise the lushness of Bolivia’s landscapes and aren’t deterred by day by day showers, the moist season presents its personal attraction. Always preserve regional variations in thoughts when planning, as what’s true for the highlands won’t maintain for the Amazon Basin and vice versa.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bolivia
What actions do individuals do in Bolivia?
Trekking and Hiking: Bolivia’s numerous terrain, from the Andes mountains to the lowland jungles, presents quite a few trekking alternatives. The Takesi and Choro treks are widespread amongst hikers. Exploring Uyuni Salt Flats: This is a prime exercise the place vacationers can witness surreal landscapes, particularly in the course of the wet season when the flats flip into a large mirror. Amazon Rainforest Tours: The Bolivian Amazon, particularly round Rurrenabaque, presents wildlife recognizing, birdwatching, and jungle treks. Cultural Exploration: Cities like Sucre, Potosí, and La Paz supply deep insights into Bolivia’s historical past, colonial structure, and indigenous cultures. Mountain Biking: The Yungas Road, usually termed “The World’s Most Dangerous Road” or Death Road attracts thrill-seekers for downhill biking adventures.
What is Bolivia well-known for?
Uyuni Salt Flats: The world’s largest salt flat, providing mesmerizing landscapes. Rich Indigenous Cultures: Bolivia boasts a majority indigenous inhabitants, with wealthy traditions, festivals, and rituals. High-Altitude Cities: La Paz is the world’s highest capital metropolis. Historic Sites: Tiwanaku ruins, a pre-Incan archaeological website, and Potosí, as soon as a significant silver-extracting heart, are UNESCO World Heritage websites. Diverse Ecosystems: From the Andes to the Amazon, Bolivia is house to all kinds of ecosystems and wildlife.
What is a standard vacationer attraction in Bolivia?
Salar de Uyuni: These huge salt flats are maybe Bolivia’s most iconic attraction, drawing guests from all over the world. Lake Titicaca: Situated at over 3,800 meters, it’s the world’s highest navigable lake, with the well-known Isla del Sol believed to be the birthplace of the Incan solar god. La Paz: The metropolis itself, with its distinctive topography and vibrant markets just like the La Paz Witches’ Market, is a significant attraction. Madidi National Park: One of essentially the most biodiverse parks on this planet, situated within the Amazon basin.
Is 5 days in Bolivia sufficient?
While 5 days in Bolivia can supply a glimpse into the nation’s numerous points of interest, it’s a short while given the nation’s vastness and selection. In 5 days, one may deal with a particular area, like exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats and close by points of interest or diving into the cultural experiences of La Paz and its environment. However, to totally recognize Bolivia’s vary from its highlands to the Amazonian heartlands, an extended keep can be extra appropriate.