Bolivia //

Itineraries

The following itineraries feature a mix of popular and off-the-beaten-path attractions, taking you right across the country, from Inca trails through Andean scenery to boat trips down wildlife-rich Amazonian waterways. Given the distances involved, you may not be able to complete the full lists. But even doing a partial itinerary – or mixing and matching elements from different ones – will give you a wonderful insight into Bolivia’s stunning diversity.

The grand tour

Nature and wildlife

Indigenous culture and Spanish colonialism

This four- to five-week trip takes in dramatic Andean landscapes, colonial cities and former Jesuit missions, colourful fiestas, ancient sites and Amazonian rainforests.

1 La Paz

The world’s highest de facto capital city is also one of its most compelling, a riot of indigenous colour, vertiginous markets and street protests.

2 Tiwanaku

Though a mere fraction of this iconic pre-Columbian, pre-Incan city has been excavated, its mysterious, monumental slabs of sandstone are a must-see.

3 Lago Titicaca

A vast, striking blue expanse standing at 3810m, the lake is dotted with sacred islands and surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

4 Salar de Uyuni and the Reserva de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa

Best visited together, the world’s largest salt lake and this stunning high-altitude reserve have a desolate, otherworldly beauty.

5 Potosí

The highest city on earth has a tragic history, stunningly preserved colonial architecture and a legendary silver mine.

6 Sucre

Bolivia’s most appealing city has a welcoming atmosphere, atmospheric whitewashed buildings, leafy plazas, and a year-round spring-like climate.

7 The Jesuit missions of Chiquitos

These Jesuit-founded towns in remote eastern Bolivia boast a series of stunning churches and a fascinating history.

8 Rurrenabaque and the Amazon

Perfectly sited on the Río Beni, buzzing Rurrenabaque has the biodiverse wonders of the Amazon on its doorstep.

For travellers who want to explore the country’s stunning natural diversity, this three-and-a-half-week tour takes in the country’s key national parks and protected areas.

1 Yungas, Cordillera Real and Cordillera Apolobamba

This Andean region is home to several excellent treks along pre-Columbian trails.

2 Salar de Uyuni and Reserva de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa

Blindingly white lakes of salt, volcanic peaks and colonies of flamingos are just a few of the attractions at these two protected areas.

3 Cordillera de Chichas

A stark landscape of cactus-strewn badlands and canyons, evocative of the Wild West.

4 Parque Nacional Amboró

This park is home to over 830 different types of birds – the highest number of any protected area in the world – including the cock-of-the-rock.

5 Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado

Remote, inaccessible and truly spectacular, this national park is a lost world of diverse ecosystems and abundant animal and bird life.

6 Parque Nacional Madidi

Perhaps Bolivia’s most famous national park, Madidi is readily accessible and amazingly biodiverse –the flora and fauna includes pink river dolphins.

This two-week tour allows you to explore Bolivia’s cultural, artistic and musical diversity, as well as its distinct Spanish colonial heritage.

1 Mercado de Hechicería, La Paz

The outlandish Witches’ Market offers a fascinating window onto the arcane world of Aymara folk medicine, with a bizarre array of wares.

2 Peña

A late-night showcase for traditional Andean music, performed on instruments such as charango, zampoña and quena, peñas have long been a La Paz institution.

3 Tiwanaku

The ancient ruins of Tiwanaku offer a tantalizing insight into the mysterious civilization that once had its centre in today’s Aymara heartlands.

4 Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna, Lake Titicaca

These sacred islands, considered the birthplace of the sun and the moon, were once among the most important religious sites in the Andean world.

5 Casa Real de la Moneda, Potosí

The country’s former royal mint, now its finest museum, has an outstanding collection of colonial religious art.

6 Sucre

An evocative cluster of churches, monasteries and mansions, as well as a fascinating museum showcasing indigenous textiles.

7 San Ignacio de Moxos

This Amazonian former mission town has as rich a musical heritage as it does a religious one, with an archive of antique scores and a thriving Baroque music school.