Still relatively untouched by tourism, Bolivia offers some of the most dramatic scenery the continent has to offer, an interesting local lifestyle and cities rich in cultural and colonial history. The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the salt flats (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere!), where perspective is completely distorted. It’s a photographer’s paradise, so get your cameras poised. Combined with the magical markets and bustling streets of La Paz, the silver mining history of Potosí and the colonial glories of Sucre it’s a trip that’s a little bit off the beaten track but shows off this marvelous country.
Bolivia is a charming and energetic country with lots to offer visitors, including the ancient Bolivian historical monuments, the renaissance beauty and fashion metropolis cities. Bolivian culture has been shaped and influenced by over 30 native ethnic groups and numerous immigrant (foreign) cultures and each has contributed its own beliefs and lifestyles to the potpourri of Bolivian customs and traditions. This is precisely what makes Bolivia one of the most colorful nations in South America.
Formed as a result of complex transformations between several prehistoric lakes, Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt plains in the world (10,582 square km) and one of the most awe-inspiring tours you can take. The Uyuni salt beds accommodate around 10 billion tons of salt and the locals extract over 25,000 tons a year. The area is so extensive and flat, that you cannot see the end of it. You may use that to take some unique pictures: as there is no horizon, an optical illusion is created and if you place object near your camera, walk far behind and make a picture, it looks like you are standing on it or next to it. Another interesting optical illusion is created when it rains and a thin sheet of water covers the salt, making it look like a large lake. Despite the fact that it is only few millimetres deep, the salt absorbs the water, and acts like a mirror.
The world's highest navigable lake and one of the most fascinating lakes is Titicaca, located between Bolivia and Peru. For the Inca civilization Lake Titicaca is sacred place, as the first Inca king, Manco Capac, was born there. The mythology says that this is exactly the place where god Viracocha came out of the lake and created the first people, the sun and the stars. Therefore, according to the legend, the lake is "birthplace" to the Inca civilization and the world. On the Bolivian side of the lake you could also find its biggest island - Island of the Sun (Isla del Sol) and the magnificent town of Challapampa, which is home of the famous labyrinth Chinkana.
When it comes to visiting South America, your visit would not be complete without a tour to one of the most diverse and beautiful rainforests in the world - the Amazon Jungle. There one could find huge range of plant and animal life that cannot be observed anywhere else on the planet. When choosing a group, make sure it is trustworthy and could offer you protection from disgruntled local tribes. Once you have arranged everything in organizational term, you can bravely dive into the exotic world of this amazing place. It is hard to make a choice among all the options for different activities. You could do canoe trip, piranha fishing, day or night treks in the jungle, or make some untraditional jewellery from nuts and seeds.
Once thrived as the most important centre in Andean South America, today Tiwanaku is important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia and one of the oldest cities in the world. Many of the monuments there carry close resemblance to those created by other ancient cultures all over the world. The impressive megalithic monuments, which go without explanation as to their mathematical construction and design, provoke researchers to speculate on their origins and remain enigma until today. Temples, Gods, metaphors and idols create the convoluted puzzle of this mystical powerful pre-Hispanic empire that humanity still finds hard to reveal. The most imposing monument one could see in Tiwanaku is the 18-metre-high pyramid with seven superimposed platforms with stone retaining walls, called the temple of Akapana.
One King plus one sofabed
Children two and under are permitted within maximum occupancy at no additional cost using existing bedding. Up to two children three to 12 are permitted in addition to the double occupancy for $40 per child, per night, using existing bedding or a roll-away bed (for an additional cost).
Additional Adult Policy: Up to two adults 13 and over are prmitted in addition to the double occupancy for $40 per adult, per night, using existing bedding or a roll-away bed (for an additional cost).Roll-away beds are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed; they can be requested for $5 per bed, per night.
Additional Person: and bedding fees will be collected by the property. For additional person and bedding requests, please highlight in the Special Instructions field after purchase.
Handicap-Accessible: No, the resort is not accesible by wheel chair.
Arrive into the rather fabulously named La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (the City of Our Lady of Peace) at any time today and begin to adjust to the high altitude. At almost 4,000m (13,120ft), this is the highest city in the world. Soak up its spirit as you take an easy stroll around its bustling streets.
Transfer by bus or train to Uyuni, an isolated town built seemingly in defiance of its desert-like surroundings in the southwestern corner of Bolivia. Check-in to your hotel, go for a quick wander around and stock up on a few snacks and essentials as you prepare for the salt flats excursion.
You’ll spend the next three days exploring the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and Chile’s Atacama Desert on an exciting 4WD adventure. Take your sunglasses – the already strong sun bouncing off the whiter-than-white salt flats is pretty intense and frazzled eyes isn’t such a good look this coming season. The sights are quite simply astounding, particularly once you hit Fish Island, so make sure you’ve charged your camera well – it’s a photographer’s dream come true. Carry on along the rugged terrain stopping at the incredible coloured lagoons, home to beautiful flamingos standing elegant and proud. Pass geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal baths and the whopping Licancabúr Volcano (5,960m) that looms in the distance. Cacti lovers will also be in for their share of spiky surprises, few other plants can grow in such a harsh environment.
Travel by bus to Potosí, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a tumultuous history and reputation as a silver mining centre during colonial times. Many thousands of indigenous people and slaves brought here from Africa lost their lives in the silver mines, due to the appalling working conditions. Though things have improved today, you still need a sense of adventure if you want to enjoy an optional trip deep underground into a modern-day working mine for a close-up look at the methods of extracting the precious metal deposits. There’s also time to explore the city and to visit the interesting Casa de la Moneda museum.
Continue by bus over to the fascinating, historic town of Sucre which serves as Bolivia’s official and political capital. The city’s fine museums, colonial buildings and ties to the independence movement make it a city of great historical interest. There’s the option to visit an old tin baron’s mansion, a textile co-operative or head off mountain biking and hiking. If none of those float your boat, then you can follow in the footsteps of some older visitors too – dinosaurs – with a visit to see some ancient and massive footprints!
Fly from Sucre to La Paz this morning, where you have the chance to enjoy an optional city tour including a visit to the dramatic Valley of the Moon, just outside La Paz. Alternatively, just relax with a free afternoon to explore the city’s markets and winding streets. Today is a last chance for souvenir shopping and if that’s the order of the day be sure to check out the Witches’ Market where you can cure your real and imagined ailments with a whole host of herbal remedies and mysterious lotions. We can’t vouch for their medicinal qualities, but it certainly makes for a weird and wonderful way to spend the afternoon!
It’s not even a case of swapping numbers or e-mail addresses these days, is it? Good old social networking – perfect for sharing all those stupendous photos, as you say goodbye to your travelling buddies.