Adventurous travelers interested in Bolivia's indigenous communities will love this two-week tour through the country. You'll start in the high-altitude metropolis of La Paz before heading to Lake Titicaca. Boating around the lake's islands, you'll come into contact with native people who will teach you about their ways of life. Continue on a guided trek through some of the most beautiful villages in the Bolivian Andes, then head to Apolobamba National Park in the Amazon rainforest for canoeing, hiking, and birdwatching. You'll have a free day back in La Paz to shop, sightsee, and enjoy Bolivian street food before the trip ends.

Highlights

  • Take a walking tour of the vibrant city of El Alto
  • Relax in a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Titicaca
  • Trek through the Andes and see pre-Colombian ruins
  • Go on a canoeing trip through the Amazon
  • Enjoy two free days in the exciting city of La Paz

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in La Paz La Paz
Day 2 Walking Tour of El Alto La Paz
Day 3 Explore Lake Titicaca & the Island of the Sun Isla del Sol
Day 4 Visit the Community of Santiago de Okola Santiago de Okola
Day 5 Tour Apolobamba National Park Charazani
Day 6 See the Chullpa Pata Citadel  Chari
Day 7 Trek to Charazani  La Paz
Day 8 Free Day in La Paz La Paz
Day 9 Go on a Canoeing & Hiking Expedition Rurrenabaque
Day 10 Birdwatch & Raft in Madidi National Park Madidi National Park
Day 11 Experience a River Safari in Yacuma Forest Preserve Santa Rosa Beni
Day 12 Hike in the Jungle & Return to La Paz La Paz
Day 13 Sightsee & Shop in La Paz La Paz
Day 14 Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

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

Welcome to Bolivia! Today you'll have your breath taken away (literally!) at 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) above sea level in La Paz. A colorful jumble of tradition and modernity where cholitas (Bolivian women in typical dress) travel in the world’s most modern urban gondola system, this one-of-a-kind city is a travelers' favorite. Spend the rest of the day settling in and adjusting to the altitude. Venture out to a restaurant in the evening to get your first taste of traditional Bolivian cuisine.

Day 2: Go on a Walking Tour of El Alto

Cable car in La Paz
The cable car system 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 (4,000 meters) above sea level, El Alto is one of the highest cities in the world. You will walk around colorful streets, alleyways, plazas, and historic landmarks that seem to hang suspended in the mountains. Do some market shopping in the afternoon, browsing woven textiles and pottery, before taking the cable car back to La Paz in the late afternoon. You will have the evening free to rest and enjoy dinner. 

Day 3: Explore Lake Titicaca & the Island of the Sun

Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca
Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca

Today you'll move on to Lake Titicaca. Drive along the lakeshore, crossing the Strait of Taquina to arrive at Copacabana. The main port town on the Bolivian side of the lake, Copacabana has indigenous origins and important Inca ruins. Take some time to explore the village before boarding a boat to Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun). On the island, ascend the 500 steps of the famous Escalera del Inca staircase to viewpoints overlooking the stunning azure waters below. A local guide will take you along the crest of the island above the terraced slopes, still farmed by the Aymara people. As the light fades, enjoy the sunset over the highest navigable lake in the world.

Day 4: Visit the Community of Santiago de Okola

Local weavers in Santiago de Okola
Local weavers in Santiago de Okola

In the morning, explore the island on a short but beautiful hike. Then you will board the ferry once again for a trip to the farming and fishing village of Santiago de Okola. This village operates a small, community-based agritourism project, and visitors are welcome to stay and learn. You will be welcomed by the community members, who will host you in their homes and show you their way of life. Go for a hike around the nearby mountain ridges after touring the community buildings and participating in a weaving workshop. In the evening, enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal and sit by an open bonfire under a magnificent star-filled sky. 

Day 5: Tour Apolobamba National Park

View of the Andes on the trek to Kaluyo
View of the Andes on the trek to the community of Kaluyo

You'll get an early start this morning to make the most of your day in Apolobamba National Park. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up and drive you north along the coast of Lake Titicaca and into the mountains. Your destination is the tiny village of Qutapampa, located about four hours from La Paz. When you arrive in the village, a local guide from a community-based tourism program will be waiting for you. You will be able to enjoy a traditional Andean lunch with some locals and learn about their work as llama and alpaca herders.

After lunch, you will set off on a four-hour trek to the community of Kaluyo, located at an altitude of 13,307 feet (4,056 meters). Along the way, enjoy stunning mountain views and stop at the Suraqucha Lagoon, a breeding sanctuary for Andean birds. In Kaluyo, your guide will introduce you to members of the Quechua community and teach you about the Kallawayas, herbalist doctors who possess an enormous apothecary of medicinal plants. Then tour the village museum to learn more about the region's cultural history. At the end of the day, you will check in to your accommodations in Charazani.

Day 6: See the Chullpa Pata Citadel 

Llamas and alpacas on the path to Chari
Llamas and alpacas on the path to Chari

This morning, begin your trek to the village of Chari. You will make a stop at the Chullpa Pata Citadel archeological site, which offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding Charazani Valley. At the site, you can observe and carefully walk among the pre-Colombian ruins. Later, you will descend to the village of Chacarapi to visit with a local gardener and learn about the foods and medicinal plants that are important to the region's indigenous communities. Visit the town's museum and take a break for lunch before you continue descending.

As you make your way down the mountain, you will see an increasing diversity of crops and flowers. When you arrive in Chari, a guide will take you to visit the local cabildos (sacred places) and participate in the Ch’alla ceremony of reciprocity with the Pachamama (earth mother). You'll also have the chance to participate in a short weaving workshop and learn more about the local textile tradition.

Day 7: Trek to Charazani 

A path through a pre-Colombian village
A path through a pre-Colombian village

After breakfast at the community lodge in Chari, your guide will take you on your final trek along a winding path back to the regional capital of Charazani. You will reach town in the early afternoon and have lunch, and you will also have the opportunity to take a dip in the natural hot springs. Then a private driver will take you back to La Paz, where you'll check in at your accommodation and get out to explore some of the city's restaurants, bars, and shops.

Day 8: Free Day in La Paz

La Paz, Bolivia
Looking down at La Paz, Bolivia

You'll have time today 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, continuing onward to the southern neighborhoods and a fascinating geological anomaly called Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna) because of its bizarre, moon-like surface. End with another cable car ride, taking in panoramic views of La Paz.

Day 9: Go on a Canoeing & Hiking Expedition

Relax in a hammock
Hammocks on the shore of the Tuichi River

Today you'll fly from the highlands of La Paz to the heart of Bolivia's Amazon Rainforest. You will land in Rurrenabaque and meet your guide for a quick overview of the next part of the trip. Then you'll board a canoe and paddle along the Beni and Tuichi Rivers towards Madidi National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. 

Around noon, you will reach the eco-lodge and meet your hosts, members of the Tacana indigenous group. Enjoy a delicious lunch with tropical fruit juices before venturing out into the rainforest for a guided hike. You'll learn about native uses for plants: here, they're used for everything from medicine to building materials. As the sun sets and you head back to the lodge, keep your eyes open for wildlife — you may spot a monkey or two. When you close your eyes tonight, you'll relax to the nighttime sounds of the surrounding rainforest. 

Day 10: Birdwatch & Raft in Madidi National Park

A monkey in the trees
A monkey in the trees

You will get an early start this morning for your excursion to the Cliff of the Macaws, one of the best places in Madidi National Park, to view macaws, parrots, and other colorful birds. From the hiking trail, beneath towering trees, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the Amazonian Basin and the rivers that flow through it. 

Afterward, go on a rafting adventure down the Tuichi River. You'll help your guides to build a traditional log raft, then float downstream for a couple of hours towards the eco-lodge. In the late afternoon, relax in the colorful hammocks by the water's edge.  

Day 11: Experience a River Safari in Yacuma Forest Preserve

Trekking through the Yacuma Wildlife Preserve
Trekking through the Yacuma Wildlife Preserve

Get another early morning start today, returning to Rurrenabaque. From here, head to the town of Santa Rosa, situated in the grasslands of Beni Pampas, and look around for wildlife.  You might spot sloths, anteaters, and exotic birds. From Santa Rosa, you will travel by boat down the Yacuma River to another eco-lodge. In the afternoon, after checking into the lodge, you'll go out on a river safari.  Cruise through the forests that line the jungle waterways: they're home to hundreds of animal species. This is a wonderful opportunity to see caimans, capybaras, turtles, and the unique freshwater Amazonian pink river dolphin.

Day 12: Hike in the Jungle & Return to La Paz

Sunrise over the Yacuma River
Sunrise over the Yacuma River

Early risers will love this morning in the rainforest. Wake up at dawn and listen to the sounds of the jungle — howler monkeys and birds are the loudest, but you will hear other animals and birds, too, if you listen closely. Return to the lodge for breakfast and then head back to the Yacuma River for a short hike and another wildlife excursion. This time, you'll be on the lookout for anacondas, caimans, turtles, and capybaras. In the afternoon return to Rurrenabaque and catch a flight back to La Paz.

Day 13: Sightsee & Shop in La Paz

Sunrise in La Paz

You'll have today free to explore La Paz and its surroundings. One option is to go on a culinary tour of the city, sampling unique Andean ingredients and cooking styles. You might sample a sanduíche de chola (pork sandwich), cuñapé (cheesy bread), or if you're feeling especially adventurous, anticucho (a skewer of beef heart with potatoes). Later in the day, head over to El Alto to catch a popular show featuring a wrestling match between cholitas — think native Andean culture meets the WWF. Enjoy one last Bolivian dinner and a night on the town in La Paz before the itinerary ends.

Day 14: Depart 

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. Safe travels!

More Bolivia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Bolivia? Check out these other 14-day Bolivia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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Map

Map of Trekking in the Bolivian Andes & Amazon - 14 Days
Map of Trekking in the Bolivian Andes & Amazon - 14 Days