Destination

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Duration
11 Days
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Tour Type
Adventure
Traditional
Bolivia

Best of Bolivia (La Paz, Uyuni, Potosi & Sucre) – 11 Days

Tour Details

Best of Bolivia

Explore the best of Bolivia on this adventure through lively cities, breathtaking scenery and colourful market towns. From the extreme elevation of bustling La Paz through the history of Potosi and Sucre, and on to the surreal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, there’s a diverse mix of adventures and activities that deliver excitement, intrigue and pleasure. Discover the highlights of this fascinating part of South America and be swept away by the colour and natural beauty flourishing in this corner of the world.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip arrives to places of high altitude, it is possible to suffer from altitude sickness because of this, regardless of your age or physical health. Please see the ‘trip planning’ section of our website for more important information on this. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
  • You’ll be spending a fair amount of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure.
  • In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), quite often things don’t go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn’t happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility.
  • Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. Temperatures in the area can be very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothes with you. Meals are simple, toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold, and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. This is all part of the adventure. Without a doubt, this amazing experience will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America.

Departure & Return Location

La Paz (Google Map)
Departure Time 3 Hours Before Flight Time
Price Includes
  • Air fares
  • 3 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location
Price Excludes
  • Guide Service Fee
  • Driver Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees

 

Highlights

  • See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you.
  • Empty, haunting, and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert.
  • Choose to explore the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Valle de la Luna, a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires that feels like the surface of the Moon.
  • Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre.
  • Delve into the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi – once one of the richest cities in the world.

Details

Itinerary

At 3,600 masl, you’ll feel like you’re among the stars in La Paz. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. After a welcome briefing you can maybe head out into the city, situated in the middle of a vast volcanic crater. Breathe the ‘thin’ air, marvel at the sight of buildings clinging to the canyon sides, and explore the lively streets like Calle Jaen.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
This morning, leaving La Paz behind you'll travel by private vehicle to Uyuni – the town & gateway to Bolivia’s acclaimed salt flats. You’ll head off around 8.30 am this morning and will arrive late in the afternoon, so be sure to have a book or some podcasts ready, with some snacks on hand. Along your way, stop for some lunch with your group. Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano – a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. Once arrived, check in and relax into your hotel in Uyuni town. Although basic, your accommodation for tonight is clean and comfortable, and maybe the last time you’ll have a hot shower for a few days!
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
Uyuni is the start point of your 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni and the Andean Desert. This morning you'll stop by the Train Cemetery, three kilometres outside of Uyuni Town, connected to it by the old train tracks, and see where families of abandoned locomotives rust slowly in the sun. Continuing on to the town of Colchani, which produces salt the old-fashioned way, before heading into the salt flats. Endless skies meet endless white plains, and it's a pretty hypnotic sight – don't forget to snap loads of photos! Stop by an intriguing salt hotel and drive to an island of cacti that rises like a jagged reef in the desert. Known as Isla Inca Wasi, or Fish Island, this fossil-strewn outcrop was once the top of an ancient volcano, and you’ll have the chance to go on an optional hike here. Following a long day, you'll head south to a small village and your homestay-style accommodation. Settle in and enjoy dinner this evening.
  • Accommodation: Dormitory
  • Included Activities: Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Information Accommodation in the desert is very basic. Shower facilities, if any, can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Toilet facilities are simple, and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. Electricity is generated by solar panels and generators, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. The desert is at high altitude and can experience extremely cold weather, particularly at night, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers. Please be aware that from December to March, there’s a risk of the salt lake being flooded. If this is the case, the itinerary will be adapted to accommodate this.
After breakfast, continue driving through the incredible landscapes of the Andean Desert, with another day deep in the wilderness. Pass by Chiguana Salt Lake, the still-active Ollague Volcano, and other small lakes of different colours – perhaps with a flamboyance of flamingos standing nearby!
Continuing on to Siloli Desert, which is known for its mountain of seven colours, Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree) rock formation, and some pretty epic vistas. You’ll also get the chance to venture into an Andean wildlife reserve (Reserva de Eduardo Avaroa) and hike around the Laguna Colorada (Red Lake), keeping an eye out for llamas, flamingos, vicunas, and foxes along the way.
Once all the sightseeing is over for another day, retire to your dormitory accommodation in a local Huayllajara community for a well-earned rest and included dinner.
  • Accommodation: Dormitory
  • Activities: Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada & Laguna Verde
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Information Despite all the delights, this trip can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities, and multi-share accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Leaving your lodge nice and early to try and catch the sunrise over the surrounding geysers. These bubbling fumaroles are especially active in the morning, thanks to the cold air. There may be an opportunity to stop at a local hot spring for a quick dip (optional), then to Laguna Verde to take some pictures of the water’s striking green hues. Afterward, pass through more barren desert landscapes, some of which are frequently compared to Salvador Dali’s paintings. Onwards to Capina Lake, Valle de Rocas (Rock Valley), and the San Cristobal mining town. You’ll arrive back in Uyuni around 5 pm to spend the night at your leisure – after the last few days in the Bolivian wild, this could be the right time to find a comfy local restaurant for an optional dinner and drinks with your travel crew.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Saying 'goodbye' to Uyuni, you'll catch a local bus for about 4 hrs along the scenic route to Potosi, where you’ll arrive in the early afternoon. Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. Once; it was the predominant supplier of silver to colonial-era Spain, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. Explore the architectural remnants of this period of industry on a leader-led orientation walk, then the afternoon and evening are yours. Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls or the National Mint Museum.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
Information Visiting the Potosi Mines can be a thrilling yet dangerous experience. This tour involves visiting the miner’s market, a minerals distillery as well as entering the first 150-200 meters into the Grito de Piedra mine. We believe this experience offers a great understanding of the socio, cultural, and economic importance of the mine to Potosi and the region while avoiding the risks associated with entering deeper sections of the mine. This activity is not for the faint-hearted or those that suffer claustrophobia.
After a lazy morning to explore Potosi, take a local bus early in the afternoon and arrive in Sucre after approximately 4 hours, disembarking in the temperate valley city. Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991 and has retained the flavour of its colonial heritage in its churches, museums, and ancient mansions. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning it the nickname the 'White City'. On arrival, you'll have some free time to get your bearings of the city.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
Take a few days to explore Bolivia’s capital. After an orientation walk, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 68 million-year-old footprints have been discovered. This is the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, over 12,000 of them! Then, you might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta, a 400-year-old convent on top of the hill that provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. Or maybe head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to rub shoulders with Sucre's affluent residents and investigate the extravagant interior of the Senora de la Merced.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
Today, set out for an included hike along the ancient Pre-Incan path known as the Chataquila trek. The trek is relatively easy being that it is mostly downhill. On the way down enjoy the stunning views of the Andes and the valleys. In the afternoon,you will have time to further explore. Adrenaline junkies might like to take to the surrounding peaks for some excellent mountain biking options or perhaps give hang gliding a shot. Most of today and tomorrow are free to take up some additional optional activities in and around town, so it’s up to you what you’d like to do and see! Bolivian dance show, or textile museum, anyone?
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
This morning is free to explore Sucre before catching a flight back to La Paz (approx 40 min).
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
Information Please note you will be required to pay an airport departure tax, for the flight today which is approximately BOB 11. Depending on availability the flight today may be via Santa Cruz de la Sierra or Cochabamba, with a total flight time of 2-3 hours.
Today is the final day of your tour and there are no activities planned, so you are free to leave at any time. With so much to see and do, you might want to spend an extra day or two checking out the city. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Meals: Breakfast

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