- Visit the city of La Paz
- Enjoy surreal views at the Uyuni Salt Flats
- Get to know local farmers and their families
- Eat regional Bolivian food
|Day 1||Arrive in La Paz||La Paz|
|Day 2||Visit the markets of La Paz||La Paz|
|Day 3||Travel to the Valley of Achocalla||Copacabana|
|Day 4||Visit Copacabana and J'iska Q'ota on Lake Titicaca||Isla del Sol|
|Day 5||Explore the Isla del Sol||Isla del Sol|
|Day 6||Travel to Santiago de Okola||La Paz|
|Day 7||Experience the Uyuni Salt Flats||Uyuni Salt Flats|
|Day 8||Head to Volcan Thunupa||Potosi|
|Day 9||Traverse the Andean Valleys from Potosi to Sucre||Sucre|
|Day 10||Go to the farms and markets of the High Valleys||Sucre|
|Day 11||Head back to La Paz||La Paz|
Day 1: Arrive in La Paz
Today, gently get to know La Paz's buzzing downtown area with a light walk around the city center. Take it easy as you adapt to the altitude at a cool 12,139 feet above sea level.
Day 2: Visit La Paz's Food Markets
Hit up some of the city's main food markets and get an idea of what farmers and food mean for the two million people living in the La Paz area. After a traditional lunch, visit some of the city's cool little museums before a feast of a dinner in the city.
Day 3: Head to the Valley of Achocalla
Time to leave the city for the Achocalla valley, which is less than an hour from downtown La Paz. Visit some of the local food producers and learn how Bolivian yogurts and (seriously delicious) cheese are made. Eat food made right here, then walk it off with a two-hour jaunt through the countryside. Head back to the city for the night, stopping off for coffee and pastries along the way.
Day 4: Visit Copacabana and J'iska Q'ota on Lake Titicaca
Today, leave La Paz for Lake Titicaca and one of the most important Inca cultural sites in the Central Andes — the Isla del Sol. First up, check out Copacabana for lunch then enjoy an afternoon hike by the lake, through little farming villages and past fields filled with vegetables and grains. Along the way, learn all about the history of human settlement around Lake Titicaca and the challenges faced by farmers in the area.
Day 5: Explore Isla del Sol
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Isla del Sol is the legendary birthplace of the Inca, and it holds spiritual and cultural significance for Andean peoples throughout the region. Today, walk across the island, checking out pre-Columbian terraces along the way and — of course — stopping off for food at some great local cafés and restaurants. Spend the night on the island, and look out for stars when the sun goes down.
Day 6: Check out Santiago de Okola
Complete your time in the Lake Titicaca region with a visit to Santiago de Okola, a little village about a 1.5-hour ferry ride from Isla del Sol. Cross the lake after breakfast and go on a tour of the town before a traditional apthapi lunch. Once you've eaten, the afternoon's plans are up to you. Walk along the beach, hike up Sleeping Dragon, join a weaving workshop — whatever you like! Return to La Paz in the evening and spend the night there.
Day 7: Visit the Uyuni Salt Flats
Ready to head south? Today leave La Paz for Uyuni. It's the gateway to the Uyuni Salt Flats, and it's the key quinoa producing area in Bolivia. Over the next couple of days, you'll be traversing those famous salt flats as you visit the local llama and alpaca ranches, check out quinoa farms, and visit salt mines. Sleep at the base of Volcan Thunupa where there are hotels made of actual salt.
Day 8: Get to Know the Volcan Thunupa Area
As you circle the base of Volcan Thunupa, stop in at a little community museum in Coquesa and learn all about life on the edge of the world's largest salt flats. Take a break in the village of Jirira and after lunch visit some local quinoa producers. As the sun starts to set, head back to a remote valley on the outskirts of Potosi to bed down for the night.
Day 9: Cross the Andean Valleys from Potosi to Sucre
The valleys around Potosi were important farmlands for local miners and their families working in the area's silver mines. Most of the haciendas from the old days are no longer around, but you can visit a local hacienda museum that's been restored to show how colonial life, and farming, would have looked. Spend the night in the lively city of Sucre, passing through the Frailes Mountain Range along the way.
Day 10: Visit the Farms and Markets of the High Valleys
Have breakfast at one of the public markets in the city, then head off into the countryside to learn about farming in the inter-Andean valleys where some of the greatest diversity of crops in the country are found. Head back to Sucre for dinner and your bed for the night.
Day 11: Explore More of La Paz
Spend the day in La Paz searching for handicrafts and visiting all the great local markets and museums. You could check out the fascinating Witches' Market and some wonderful handicraft museums, the handicraft stores along Sagarnaga Street and the pretty colonial buildings on Calle Jaen.
Day 12: Departure
It's the end of your Central Andean adventure. So where to next? Perhaps home is calling, or maybe you'd rather hop across the border and get to know Peru. Take your pick!