Perfect for travelers who want to experience the best of the Bolivian highlands, this weeklong itinerary combines excursions and hikes with the urban comforts of La Paz. Begin your trip with a walking tour of the high-altitude city before being transported to the breathtaking Uyuni Salt Flats. You'll be able to enjoy remote sites like the Tunupa Volcano, Incahuasi Island, and colored lagoons filled with flamingoes before heading back to La Paz to sample more Andean cuisine and stroll through markets filled with art and textiles.

Highlights

  • Get lost in the colorful markets of La Paz
  • Explore the famous Uyuni Salt Flats
  • See giant cacti on Incahuasi Island
  • Spot hundreds of flamingoes in Laguna Colorada
  • Take a hike through Palca Canyon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in La Paz La Paz
Day 2 Walking Tour of El Alto La Paz
Day 3 Transfer to the Uyuni Salt Flats Tahua
Day 4 Transfer to San Pedro de Quemes San Pedro de Quemes
Day 5 Rainbow Lagoons Expedition - Flight to La Paz La Paz
Day 6 Day-Trip to Palca Canyon La Paz
Day 7 Depart La Paz  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

An aerial view of La Paz
An aerial view of La Paz

Welcome to Bolivia! A representative will greet you at El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz and transfer you to your hotel. Once you check in and get settled, you can share a cup of coca tea with your guide and go over your itinerary, ask questions, and learn a bit more about Bolivia.

We recommend that you take it easy today since there is 50% less oxygen at this altitude, and steady acclimatization is essential to enjoying your trip.

Day 2: Walking Tour of El Alto

Cable car in La Paz
Cable car in La Paz

Today, you will take a cable car ride on the famous Mi Teleférico transit system up to El Alto, a large city adjacent to La Paz. Once your cable car arrives, you'll take a four-hour walking tour through the center of the city.

At a dizzying 13,615ft (4,000m) above sea level, El Alto is one of the highest cities in the world, and you will tour colorful streets, alleyways, neighborhoods that seem to hang on the mountains, plazas, and historic landmarks. 

Near the end of the tour, you will take a micro or local bus to the heart of the city's district of markets. Here, you’ll be able to shop around and go to different markets, including the famous Witch’s Market

You'll take the cable car back to La Paz in the late afternoon, and you will have the evening free to rest or explore more of the city.

Day 3: Transfer to the Uyuni Salt Flats

A view of the Tunupa Volcano
A view of the Tunupa Volcano

Today, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and drive you 323 miles (530 km) to the south of the altiplano or "high plateau."

In the middle of your eight-hour trip, you will make a stop in the mining city of Oruro, where you will have a traditional lunch and stretch your legs. Then, you will continue to Tahua, a village situated on the edge of the salt flats that is surrounded by views of colorful fields of quinoa and herds of alpacas.

You will spend the night in a hotel made of salt at the base of the Tunupa Volcano.

Day 4: Transfer to San Pedro de Quemes

View of the salt flats from Incahuasi Island
View of the salt flats from Incahuasi Island

After breakfast today, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to visit the local museum in Coqueza where you will be able to see pre-Columbian mummies and artifacts. You will also be able to enjoy the views at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano before continuing on to Incahuasi Island to see enormous cacti and an amazing view of the salt flats.

After lunch, you will continue south until you reach your accommodation in San Pedro de Quemes. After you check in, you will be able to enjoy a delicious dinner. 

Day 5: Rainbow Lagoons Expedition - Flight to La Paz

Wild flamingoes in a lagoon
Wild flamingoes in a lagoon

After breakfast,  a driver in a 4x4 vehicle will pick you up for your excursion to some of Bolivia's famous rainbow lagoons, including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde.

Each lagoon is a different (and often shocking) color, and you'll have the opportunity to take photos and observe wildlife like flamingoes and vicuña.  In the early afternoon, you'll have a picnic lunch before taking some short walks to few vista points.

At the end of the afternoon, your driver will take you to the Uyuni Airport (UYU) in order for you to catch your evening flight back to La Paz. When you land in La Paz, a driver will take you straight to your hotel.

Day 6: Day-Trip to Palca Canyon

A view of Palca Canyon
A view of Palca Canyon

Your itinerary for the day is centered on a day-trip to Palca Canyon, a stunning high-desert canyon that is notable for the dramatic colors of its walls.

A driver will pick you up in the morning, and you will set out on a short drive to the farming village of Uni, which has excellent views of Illimani Mountain and the bizarre and enormous sandcastle-like formations of the Valle de las Animas (Spirit Valley).

You will take a leisurely walk downhill through small farming villages and fields until you reach the striking red canyon. You'll walk through the canyon's striking walls before stopping to enjoy a delicious lunch, and then you will continue hiking to Palca where your driver will be waiting to return you to La Paz.

Day 7: Depart La Paz

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

It's time to say goodbye to Bolivia! After you have breakfast and spend a final morning enjoying La Paz, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport to catch your flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Bolivia: La Paz & Great Uyuni Salt Flats - 7 Days
Map of Explore Bolivia: La Paz & Great Uyuni Salt Flats - 7 Days