- Side-trip from Sucre to the vibrantly hued Maragua Crater
- Descend into the silver mines of Potosí
- See the desert that inspired Salvador Dalí's artwork
- Ride a cable car high over the city in La Paz
- Spend the evening in the home of a quinoa farmer's family
- Hike around traditional villages near Lake Titicaca
|Day 1||Tour Sucre's Historic Center||Sucre|
|Day 2||Visit Maragua Crater||Sucre|
|Day 3||Enjoy a Walking Tour of Potosí||Potosí|
|Day 4||Take the Scenic Drive to Cerro Rico||Uyuni|
|Day 5||See the Uyuni Salt Flats||Uyuni|
|Day 6||Explore Lakes & the Siloli Desert||Laguna Colorada|
|Day 7||Go on a Tour to Geysers & the Dalí Desert||Santiago K|
|Day 8||Learn About Village Life||Uyuni|
|Day 9||Sightsee in La Paz||La Paz|
|Day 10||Go on a Cable Car Tour of La Paz||La Paz|
|Day 11||Explore Lake Titicaca||Isla del Sol|
|Day 12||Hike from Yampupata to Copacabana||La Paz|
|Day 13||Explore the Ruins of Tiwanaku||La Paz|
|Day 14||Discover Chacaltaya & the Valley of the Moon||La Paz|
|Day 15||Depart La Paz - End of Trip|
Day 1: Tour Sucre's Historic Center
Welcome to Bolivia! You'll start the tour in 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. Enjoy a relaxing dinner before your overnight in Sucre.
Day 2: Visit Maragua Crater
Today you'll trade the white walls of Sucre for the towering red-rock wall of the Maragua Crater. The green of the surrounding hills make the red sandstone strata glow even more vividly, but no scarlet hue is brighter than that of the Jalq'a tapestries hand-woven in the homes of the crater's villages. As you pass, Quechua villagers may lay down their hoes or shepherd's crooks and invite you into their adobe huts to show you how their traditional techniques. Keep your eyes open for fossils in the petrified Jurassic mud beds — sometimes exposed by rain and wind — as you continue hiking in the afternoon. Return to Sucre in the evening.
Day 3: Enjoy a Walking Tour of Potosí
After breakfast this morning, a guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a three-hour journey to the colonial city of Potosí, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once you arrive, you'll go on a walking tour of the city, strolling down streets lined with colonial architecture, stopping into the artisan market and the Cathedral Basilica of Potosí, and visiting the famous National House of the Mint (Casa Nacional de la Moneda). Considered one of South America’s finest museums, it takes up a whole city block. Since its construction in the mid-18th century, the building has also served as a prison and the headquarters of the Bolivian army.
Day 4: Take the Scenic Drive to Cerro Rico
Above the stone mansions and cathedrals of Potosí, and above the adobe houses, cinder-block walls, and tin roofs of its outskirts, rises Cerro Rico. The mountain holds veins of silver so rich that they continue to be mined 500 years after their discovery. But methods for mining have changed little in all that time, as you can experience for yourself in a tour of the mine. You'll be outfitted out with a hard hat, light, and coveralls before you plunge down the twisting, anthill passageways to where crews are hacking at the stone walls with pickaxes. If you are feeling so inspired, you can leave a gift for Tío, the god of the underworld and mines, to which the miners pray for safety and fortune.
Day 5: See the Uyuni Salt Flats
First thing in the morning, you'll begin an unforgettable excursion through the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Start by visiting Uyuni's small salt museum (which was constructed with salt). Then you'll continue to tour the immense white expanse of the salar, or salt flat, stopping for one-of-a-kind photo ops as you go. Then you'll 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. 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. You'll also have a chance to around the Salt Palace Hotel, the only one in the world built entirely of salt. Watch the dazzling sunset over the salt flats before checking into a nearby hotel in the evening.
Day 6: Explore Lakes & the Siloli Desert
After breakfast, you'll enjoy a scenic drive with views of Ollague Volcano and several lagoons — Cañapa, where you can spot flamingos, and Hedionda and Chiarcota, where you will see a variety of birds and fauna. Then you'll arrive at Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve and visit the Desert of Siloli, the highest and driest desert in the world! Next, you will arrive at Laguna Colorada, a shallow salt lake in a spectacular setting. Here, with the deep crimson lake in stark contrast to the clear blue sky and the white snow on the distant mountains, you will observe three of the world’s six species of flamingo!
Day 7: Go on a Tour to Geysers & the Dalí Desert
Start early today with a quick breakfast and a visit to the Sol de Mañana Geyser. As the sun comes up, you’ll walk around the geyser's plumes and steaming craters filled with boiling mud. Continue to the open-air hot springs of Polques and go for a dip! Afterward, you will visit the Dalí Desert, where the great Spanish artist Salvador Dalí found visual inspiration for his work. You’ll then see the striking Green Lagoon at the foot of two volcanoes. Finally, head back to Uyuni, passing beautiful views along the way. You'll spend the night with a Quechua-speaking community of quinoa farmers.
Day 8: Learn About Village Life
Today you'll step into a life very different from your own. Early in the morning, you can help your host family let their llamas out of their stone corrals. Then assist their herder in driving them to their pastureland, giving you a chance to learn about the vital importance of this sacred animal throughout the Andes. You can also visit plots of quinoa to see how they grow the grain. Later, a visit to the pre-Colombian site of Laqaya will give you an overview of the region’s history, from the Inca conquest to the Spanish invasion. You'll then say goodbye to your hosts and set off to Uyuni for a restful night.
Day 9: Sightsee in La Paz
After a short domestic flight, spend the day exploring La Paz. You'll have time to explore the popular Witches' Market, where you can purchase medicinal herbs, and visit the San Francisco Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the city. You’ll see the main square, Plaza Murillo, and sample modern Bolivian cuisine before getting some rest at your hotel in the city.
Day 10: Go on a Cable Car Tour of La Paz
A unique adventure awaits today: you'll explore La Paz on the city's cable car system. Established in 2017, the 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. The evening is free to explore and dine on Bolivian cuisine in a local restaurant.
Day 11: Explore Lake Titicaca
Today you'll move on to the glimmering shores of Lake Titicaca. First thing in the morning, transfer to Copacabana. Enjoy a brief visit to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Copacabana, then board a catamaran and sail to the Island of the Sun. On this legendary island, known as the cradle of the Inca Empire, you'll go to the Inti Wata Cultural Complex, the Pachamama terraces, a handicraft center, and several scenic lookout points. You'll also have the chance to sail on a traditional Totora raft. Enjoy a majestic panorama of Lake Titicaca at sunset before spending the night on the island.
Day 12: Hike from Yampupata to Copacabana
A private boat ride from the island brings you to the villiage of Yampupata on the mainland. From here, you can walk along the ancient stones of an ancient path through the villages of Sampaya and Jinchaca. Untouched by tourism, these villages' residents will be hoeing their fields of purple-flowered broad beans or tending to their flocks of llamas between a bright blue expanse of sky and the sparkling waters of the lake. A private car will take you from the hike's end back to Copacabana, where you will transfer to La Paz.
Day 13: Explore the Ruins of Tiwanaku
Today your 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. In the evening, head back to La Paz.
Day 14: Discover Chacaltaya & the Valley of the Moon
In the morning, begin with a journey through La Paz up to El Alto and onto the altiplano towards the mountain range where Chacaltaya Mountain is located. Along the way, you will see alpacas and llamas grazing in the hills and views of the surrounding mountains. Continue to the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), famous for its lunar-like landscapes of eroded rock. Take photos while walking around the different formations, keeping your eyes open for several species of cactus. At the end of the walk, there is a wonderful view of La Paz. Head back to the city for one last night on the town.
Day 15: Depart Bolivia - End of Trip
It's time to say goodbye to Bolivia! Head to the airport to catch your flight. Safe travels!
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