Perfect for travelers looking to explore Bolivia's bustling cities and UNESCO-designated natural wonders, this 10-day itinerary combines cultural experiences with outdoor adventures. Discover the colonial gem of Sucre, visit a historic hacienda that dates back to the 1550s, and enjoy the colorful lagoons of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Then continue onward to see the magical Uyuni Salt Flats, Siloli Desert, and beautiful Lake Titicaca before finishing the trip in La Paz.

Highlights

  • See the famous Uyuni Salt Flats & Incahuasi Island
  • Spot wild flamingoes in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna reserve
  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tiwanaku
  • Soar above La Paz on a cable car tour of the city

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 2 Tour Sucre's Historic Center Sucre
Day 3 See Dinosaur Footprints at Cal Orck'o Cayara
Day 4 Explore the Cayara Hotel Museum  Colchani
Day 5 Discover the Uyuni Salt Flats Colchani
Day 6 Visit the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna Reserve Siloli
Day 7 Go for a Dip in Thermal Baths  La Paz
Day 8 Enjoy a Cable Car Tour of La Paz La Paz
Day 9 Day Trip to Tiwanaku & Lake Titicaca La Paz
Day 10 Depart Bolivia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Jesuit church in Santa Cruz de la Sierra
A Jesuit church in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Welcome to Bolivia! You’ll arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a city of 1.5 million inhabitants. Considered Bolivia's commercial center, it's located at a staggering 1,312 feet (400 meters) above sea level. You can relax at the hotel and go for a dip in the pool before embarking on a guided city tour in the afternoon. You'll learn about how the city was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and visit Plaza 24 de Septiembre, the central square, home to the stately Metropolitan Cathedral

Day 2:  Tour Sucre's Historic Center

View from a rooftop in Sucre
View from a rooftop in Sucre

This morning, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia. This is the place where early resistance movements began, seeking to overthrow the Spanish colonial government. On your guided tour of the city, you will learn about the city's role in Bolivian history and in the history of Latin America. You will visit La Casa de la Libertad, where Bolivia's proclamation of independence from Spain was signed. You will also visit the Museum of Indigenous Art (ASUR), featuring textiles from the southern Andes, art by indigenous groups from the region, and original pieces by local artists.

Day 3: See Dinosaur Footprints at Cal Orck'o

Bolivian textiles and blankets in a market
Bolivian textiles at a market in Sucre

You will have the morning free to relax at your accommodation, explore Sucre on your own, or book an activity. One excellent option is a visit to Cal Orck’o on the outskirts of Sucre, where you'll see the largest collection of dinosaur tracks in the world. The footprints, pressed into a massive slab of limestone, were discovered when workers from a cement plant started expanding the adjacent quarry. After lunch, you'll go on a three-hour drive to Cayara. Take the evening to relax before the adventure continues tomorrow. 

Day 4: Explore the Cayara Hotel Museum 

Cayara Hotel-Museum near Potosi
Inside the Cayara Hotel Museum

You'll start your day with a guided visit to the Cayara Hotel Museum, a restored colonial hacienda that dates back to 1557. The museum hosts a collection of notable paintings and pieces of furniture along with two impressive libraries. Military history buffs will be especially interested in the museum's collection of armor, muskets, and sabers that were used during the War of Independence.

After your tour of the house and the surrounding grounds, a driver will take you to Potosí for a walking tour of the city with a local guide. In the late afternoon, your driver will take you on a three-hour ride to the salt-harvesting village of Colchani, the gateway to the Uyuni Salt Flats. Spend the night here before tomorrow's exploration of the salt flats.

Day 5: Discover the Uyuni Salt Flats

View of the Uyuni Salt flats
The Uyuni salt flats

After breakfast, you will visit Uyuni's small salt museum (which was constructed with salt). Then you'll continue to tour the salar, or salt flat, and walk around the otherworldly Incahuasi Island. Covered in enormous cacti, it boasts amazing views of the flats. Continue onward to the salt-harvesting village of Colchani to see how the locals produce salt. Then you'll visit the famed "train cemetery" that's filled with rusting train cars once used to transport minerals and people to and from Uyuni.

Day 6: Visit the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve

The Red Lagoon
The Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada) 

Continue the highland adventure with a long, scenic drive through the high desert. You will see lunar-like landscapes, volcanoes, deserts, and colorful lagoons as you approach the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. The reserve is also home to Andean wildlife like pink flamingos and llamas. Go on a short walk around the reserve, enjoying a picnic lunch next to one of the region’s many-colored lagoons, then continue on to the Siloli Desert. You'll see the famous Stone Tree, formed by years of wind erosion. The excursion will end with a visit to the Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada). Then transfer to your hotel in Siloli for some well-earned rest.

Day 7: Go for a Dip in Thermal Baths 

The geysers impress no matter what time or season you visit
Steam from the thermal pools in Siloli

After an early breakfast, go for a relaxing dip in the thermal pools nearby. Then you'll get back in the car and travel through the Siloli Desert (also known as the Salvador Dalí Desert, as the topography resembles the artist's surrealist paintings), passing by the Green Lagoon along the way. You'll reach Uyuni Airport in the afternoon and board your flight to La Paz. You'll have a free evening in the city to sample Bolivian cuisine in a local restaurant and get some rest.

Day 8: Enjoy a Cable Car Tour of La Paz

A cable car above the city of La Paz

A unique adventure awaits today: you'll explore La Paz on the city's new cable car system. Established in 2017, the Mi Teleférico transit system features a network of lines that criss-cross the city. Your full-day tour will take you on six different lines, from the adjacent city of El Alto to La Paz's bohemian neighborhood of Sopocachi with its modern buildings, bustling squares, and public parks. The tour will end with a stroll along colonial Jaen Street.

Day 9: Day Trip to Tiwanaku & Lake Titicaca

Tranquility on Lake Titicaca
Cloud reflections on Lake Titicaca

This morning, a guide will take you to the ruined city of Tiwanaku, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the main temples, some of which are still under excavation, including the Pyramid of Akapana, Kalasasaya, and Puma Punku, and the inspiring Gateway of the Sun and Gateway of the Moon. In addition to these traditional examples of Tiwanaku's architecture, giant monoliths and figurative representations are scattered throughout the archeological complex. Their construction remains a mystery: huge stone blocks (the heaviest weigh 45 tons each!) were placed with such precision that not a single gap exists between them.

The Tiwanaku culture was tightly linked to Lake Titicaca, and the second half of today's tour blends the past with the present, making for a wonderful excursion through time and across landscapes. After lunch, you will set off for Huatajata, a small farming village on the shore of Titicaca, and visit the interpretation center. You will learn about regional boat-building traditions before taking one of the reed boats out for a spin. Following your outing on the lake, your driver will return you to your accommodation in La Paz. 

Day 10: Depart Bolivia

View of the Andes mountains outside La Paz
View of the Andes mountains outside La Paz

It's time to say goodbye to Bolivia! You'll be taken to the airport to catch your flight. Safe travels!

More Bolivia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Bolivia? Check out these other Bolivia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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Map

Map of Highlights of Bolivia - 10 Days
Map of Highlights of Bolivia - 10 Days