Bolivia, as a landlocked country with limited exposure to external influences over time, proudly boasts one of the most preserved cultures in South America. It's truly remarkable that you can still visit places where people inhabit reed floating islands, maintaining their traditional way of life, even if these communities are well-maintained for tourism. The language and music in Bolivia have endured the tests of time, remaining largely unchanged.
Lake Titicaca, shared with Peru, is a standout feature, being the highest navigable lake globally and revered as the "Birthplace of the Incas." Spending at least two days in this area is well worth it. The ancient Incas blazed their path through the magnificent Royal Andes Mountains to Tiwanaku, where you can explore ruins that whisper of a storied past. Their journey continued to La Paz, which now serves as the capital city. Bolivia is a truly unique country that promises to reward you with enduring memories and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Lake Titicaca Located at the border of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is one of the highest lakes in the world. Discover the unique floating Uros Islands and gain insights into the lives of the people who call these floating communities home.
La Paz Prepare to be amazed as you explore one of the highest cities in the world, where the thin air might literally take your breath away. Stroll through the Witches Market and witness traditional medicines being peddled by bowler-hatted Indian ladies. For a panoramic view of the city, take a ride on a gondola, and don't miss the otherworldly lunar landscape in the Valley of the Moon.
Potosi This famous colonial mining city, nestled at the base of Cerro Rico Mountain, was once the wealthiest city in the Americas during Spanish rule. Delve into the history of Potosi by exploring a working silver mine, where you can witness the mining process and the hardworking miners, much as it was during colonial times.
Salar de Uyuni Find tranquility in the vast expanse of the world's largest salt flats, the Uyuni Salt Flats. During the summer months, these flats transform into a photographer's paradise, with the water's surface creating a stunning mirror effect.
Sucre Renowned for its charming white-washed buildings and remarkable museums, Sucre invites you to explore its beauty on foot. This fabulous city offers a delightful journey through history and culture.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Bolivia is a land of striking contrasts, and its climatic conditions exhibit a wide range, spanning from arctic to tropical, largely influenced by the varying altitudes across the country.
When it comes to visiting Bolivia, there's no wrong time to do so. However, it's important to be prepared with layers of clothing, as the temperature variations between daytime and nighttime can be quite dramatic, akin to the difference between summer and winter in other regions. This clothing strategy ensures comfort and adaptability to the ever-changing weather conditions in this diverse and captivating country.
Currency: The official currency of Bolivia is the Boliviano.
Language: Bolivia is a linguistically diverse country with over 30 languages spoken. However, the official languages are Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and Tupi Guarani.
What makes it special: Bolivia's breathtaking landscapes, coupled with its high concentration of indigenous peoples in Latin America, are major attractions for us. The Incan route from Lima to La Paz (or vice versa) is particularly popular. We recommend concluding the journey in La Paz, given its high altitude. La Paz holds the distinction of being the highest capital city globally, perched at 3,600 meters. The city's topography, with its descent from a seemingly giant crater down to the downtown area, provides a unique and almost otherworldly experience. The higher you live within the city, the more breathtaking it becomes! Bolivia's historical contrasts are also intriguing, as it once reaped great wealth from silver mines during Spanish colonial times but is now among the poorest countries in South America. And then there's Lake Titicaca, the legendary 'birthplace of the Incas.' Exploring the floating reed islands of Uros, where locals reside, is a fascinating experience. The sight of women in traditional derby hats and full skirts, creating unique handicrafts for tourists, is both incongruous and captivating. Bolivia is truly one-of-a-kind!
Weather: Bolivia exhibits sharp climatic contrasts, spanning from arctic to tropical conditions. The country is divided into three distinct eco-zones: the high plain known as the altiplano, the intermediary valley region, and the eastern tropical flat lowlands, which make up approximately 70% of the country.
Social Customs: Central to Bolivian life is the concept of Pachamama, or Mother Earth, which is held in high reverence by Bolivians. This belief, intertwined with Christian customs and local Andean folklore, plays a significant role in the daily lives of Bolivianos. For a glimpse of local folklore, the La Paz witches market is a unique and memorable experience. Tipping is customary in Bolivia, with 10% on top of the bill being the standard practice, and a tip of US$0.50 per piece of luggage is common for porterage services. As a piece of trivia, the infamous outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are still remembered in the small mining town of Tupiza in Southern Bolivia, where they met their fate in a shoot-out in 1908.