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Milenka Omireis

Saludos! My name is Milenka and I was born in the city of Potosí and grew up in the beautiful city of La Paz, where I studied tourism at San Andres University. Every time I have the opportunity to travel around my country and know more about it it makes me more excited to share the rich cultural and natural history of Bolivia and the Andes with visitors from near and far.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Over the past five years, I have organized responsible travel in the highlands of Bolivia, including the spectacular Uyuni Salt Flats, Lake Titicaca, Sajama National Park and the city and valley of La Paz. Each destination has something different to offer and I love traveling to them and helping visitors make plans for their trips."

How did you get involved in travel?

"While I was studying tourism at the university, one of my professors took my class to visit a small community in the countryside and that experience showed me just how much Bolivia has to share with visitors and how tourism can help communities to value and protect their history, traditions, and nature. It was then that I knew I wanted to be a travel specialist and to help Bolivia and Bolivians through protecting its natural and cultural history. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"When I begin work in tourism I had the opportunity to work as a guide for a couple from France who wanted to visit the community of Santiago de Okola. Helping them to understand the culture and nature of the community and the lake was an amazing, unforgettable experience. "

Featured trips & expertise

Uyuni Salt Flats
Uyuni Salt Flats - 3 Days

This incredible expedition takes you to and through some of the world's most extreme —and beautiful—landscapes. Start in the dusty town of Uyuni, visit the famous train cemetery, and stay in a hotel made mostly from salt. Spot unique Andean wildlife in the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve and experience the wild Mars-like landscapes of the Salvador Dali Desert.

Musicians from Kutapampa share their traditional music and instruments
Apolobamba National Park Trek- 3 Days

Trek for 3 days in the Apolobamba National Park between villages on a "PachaTrek" to experience life and nature in the high Andes. Accompanied by your local guide, learn about traditional medicine, sacred sites, and indigenous farming methods. Stay the night in comfortable lodges and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals.

Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Explore the Farms and Markets of Bolivia's Andes - 12 Days

Welcome to the Central Andes! On this 12-day adventure, you'll get to know the rich farming history of Bolivia's highlands as you visit lively markets, speak with local farmers and their families, and enjoy the traditional flavors and foods of the region. Dividing your time between the countryside and the city, you'll discover La Paz and Lake Titicaca, the Uyuni Salt Flats, and eastern farming valleys on this best-of-Bolivia trip.

View of Salar de Uyuni from Volcán Tunupa, Bolivia
Bolivian Cities, Cloud Forests & Salt Flats - 9 Days

Immerse yourself in Bolivia's diverse beauty as you travel from the city to the cloud forest to the desert on this 9-day trip. Begin and end your tour in the world's highest capital city, and discover its many cultural treasures. Explore otherworldly red lakes and salt flats, engage with local communities, and travel on the exhilarating Death Road.

Toro Toro National Park, Potosi, Bolivia
Toro Toro National Park Adventure - 3 Days

Get off the beaten track with a visit to Bolivia's Toro Toro National Park — a small, beautiful park known for its caves, canyons, and dinosaur footprints! Explore ancient caverns, hike deep into verdant canyons, and seek out cave paintings, giant iguana-shaped rocks, and dinosaur footprints preserved in the stone.

Sunset view from Rurrenabaque
Exploring the Andes and Amazon Rainforest - 10 Days

From the world's highest capital in the Andean highlands to the lush Amazonian hotbed of ecological diversity, Bolivia's natural wonders will enchant every visitor. Explore the hilly streets of La Paz, located above 11,000 feet. Experience a community-based agritourism village run by indigenous craftspeople, and learn traditional ways of life. Walk along the shores of the sacred Lake Titicaca, the second-largest lake in South America. Visit the Amazon river basin and see wildlife in their native habitat, including capybaras, macaws, caimans, anacondas, and the unique pink river dolphin.

Recent trip reviews for Milenka

Darina

Explore bolivia, Bolivia - Apr 26 - May 12, 2019

Traveler: Darina B. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

This was our 2nd time using Kim Kim for international travel & we were very satisfied again. Milenka was very helpful in building the itinerary we requested & was also very flexible when we needed to make modifications mid trip.
The local guides were all exceptional, bringing their expertise & knowledge of the area, as well as warm & welcoming personalities. The accommodations & activities all met or exceeded our expectations. We would definitely consider using Kim Kim again for a unique travel experience.
Regards, Darina & Tim Bellman

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Darina & Tim,

Thank you very much for your kind words. In name of all the team, we are so happy you enjoyed your time in Bolivia and it was a pleasure to organize the tour for you.
Hope you will return soon!

Best regards,
Milenka

Uyani tours , Bolivia - Apr 6 - Apr 8, 2019

Traveler: Shaun B. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

Rachel was an excellent guide! Very informative and attentive to our needs. We had a great 2 days during out tour of the salt flats and Uyuni.

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Shaun,

Thank you very much for your words. In name of all the team, it was a pleasure to coordinate the tour for you and we are so glad you enjoyed your tour with us.

Hope you can return in another time.

Thanks for visiting Bolivia!

Dave

Bolivia highlights, Bolivia - Feb 27 - Mar 7, 2019

Traveler: Dave F. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

We have now returned from our recent trip to Bolivia which you organised on behalf of KimKim. As I will outline below, there were a lot of things which did not go to plan, which led to a very unpleasant holiday experience. I will start from the beginning and outline the failing's chronologically and then make some general observations at the end:

27th Feb: Our driver arrived 30min after we had exited the airport. We were the only foreigners in a strange airport and I wish I had not paid... read more

We have now returned from our recent trip to Bolivia which you organised on behalf of KimKim. As I will outline below, there were a lot of things which did not go to plan, which led to a very unpleasant holiday experience. I will start from the beginning and outline the failing's chronologically and then make some general observations at the end:

27th Feb: Our driver arrived 30min after we had exited the airport. We were the only foreigners in a strange airport and I wish I had not paid extra for your transfer. I should have simply paid for a taxi off the rank to avoid an uncomfortable experience (we were approached several times which was discomforting). Surely your drivers have access to the internet to check flights details? A very poor start to our trip.
28th Feb: Anna-Marie was our guide for the Sucre 1/2 day city tour. Although she knew her town well, she spoke poor English making it very difficult for us to understand her points. We stayed far too long in the 2 museums we visited, the textile museum was of limited interest (max 30mins), but the museum containing all of Bolivia's presidents was frankly boring and we were there nearly 90mins. I made it quite clear that we wanted to move-on, but she kept to her script. We were very bored and frustrated by the tour - I told her I liked Architecture and was keen to photograph many of Sucre's best buildings, we saw little of interest and didn't really establish much about the Bolivian way of life. We were disappointed with Anna-Marie and left her no tip.
1st Mar: Our driver met us on time to drive from Sucre to Potosi. The man spoke no English and drove like a maniac. He drove more than double the speed-limit for most of the journey, so much so that we were sweating in the back seats, unable to talk as we hung on to the car interior handles petrified that we were going to crash over the steep precipice and die. He completed the 3 hour journey in just over 2 hours. We didn't stop for photo's (one of the main reason we were on this trip). We mentioned it to Willie in Potosi and he was shocked and said he'd look into it.
1st Mar: Willie was our guide and he spoke good English and was very informative and also a good driver. However we were unable to undertake the main highlight of our visit to Potosi (the Mint House) as it was unexpectedly closed. To make matters worse we then set-off on a 4hr drive to Uyuni? At no stage was this long drive ever mentioned (it's not in our information pack PDF) and we were certainly not expecting 7 hours of scheduled driving on this day. Willie generally provided good service, so we tipped him.
2nd Mar: Jamie our guide for the longest part of the trip (3 long days) spoke no English. This was a major disappointment as he was unable to explain the day's schedule and we only had your itinerary to refer to (which didn't include any times). We missed out massively as we had no understanding on how the salt flats were formed, the wildlife or how they change through the seasons. Jaime wasn't a guide, he was a driver. We got so confused at one stage, that Jaime had to ring his colleague Oscar in the office who spoke excellent English. Oscar should have been our guide for the money we paid.
2nd Mar: To make matters worse, I contracted Salmonella and Paula food poisoning and we had to spend 2 days in hospital. We incurred a bill over $1000 during our stay in hospital. After carefully researching Salmonella, we are certain that this was caused by the chicken lunch served by Jaime. He had no refrigeration services in his vehicle (not even ice blocks). The only other food we ate before falling ill was in the hotels chosen by yourself.
3rd Mar: I had experienced a dreadful night's sleep with a temperature and bad dreams/hallucinating. I tried to explained this to Jaime at the start of our day, but he couldn't comprehend - so we set off for what would be a 5 hour drive morning drive. At no stage were we told to expect a 5 hour drive on unsurfaced roads. Needless to say at this stage I was nearly unconscious and unable to eat lunch. Tourists from another group could see I was in trouble and came to my rescue interpreting to tell Jaime how ill I was. I decided we should avoid another 5 hour drive on more unsurfaced roads in the afternoon and instead go straight to our hotel - nowhere did our information pack state we'd be spending 10-11 hours on gravel roads in a single day, this is very poor indeed. Nearly 3 hours later we arrived and the hotel owner could see how ill I was and took my temperature (nearly 40C) and said we must drive straight to hospital. Jaime drove well into the night for another 3 hours to get us to the hospital whereupon the doctor was visibly shocked by my condition and insisted I was given immediate oxygen and placed on a medical drip and stay overnight under multiple medications. I was very ill indeed and Paula was also treated for food poisoning by the hospital.
4th Mar (my birthday): We spent most of the day in Uyuni hospital, eventually leaving and having to pay a further $350Bol for a day room in Uyuni before Jamie took us to the airport for our flight to La Paz. We obviously missed numerous inclusive meals whilst we were unwell/in hospital and were unable to travel to the colourful lagoons or hot springs. At the time I was unsure as to the exact root cause of my salmonella, so we did tip Jaime to thank him for driving me to hospital into the night.
4th Mar: Laz Paz hotel was ok, but our room faced over the main road and with it being carnival we were kept awake with loud music until 2:30am, only to be awoken at 5:00am with fire-crackers - there was no double-glazing. We endured 2 dreadful night's sleep despite the hotel staff being very helpful. The buffet breakfast was very poor at the hotel - dried meat which had curled up at the edges, warm cheese/butter and the pineapple had turned brown. Certainly not what we needed with our salmonella and food poisoning!
5th Mar: We met our guide Carlao who was a very bubbly individual. Sadly his English was dreadful. He said "Oh My God" or "Yes" almost every time he opened his mouth. This was both annoying and very unhelpful as we could never get a straight answer from him. We quickly established he was Brazilian and his main job was an Archaeologist, he'd only done guide-work twice before and he implied that he was only doing this job as a big favour to his friend Tomas?! He also confirmed 100% that our salmonella/food poisoning would definitely have been caused by Jaime's chicken lunch. He knew virtually nothing about Bolivia and by the 2nd day we realised we needed to refer to Lonely Planet to get the real information as he frequently made up stories. eg in Copacabana Cathedral he stated that the British Army had robbed the gems from the carvings. I researched this online and the British Army has never even been to Bolivia and would certainly never do such a thing. The actual theft was in 2013, alleged by a Swiss collector. Such lies and deceit were not helpful. This man is not a guide and should never be employed again as one.
5th Mar: Carlao didn't take us to the Moon Valley as listed in our itinerary, though we did visit the horrible Witch Market which stunk of urine and was displaying grotesque 'toys' of baby llama's that Carlao said had been killed for the carnival - this really isn't what today's eco-friendly tourists want to see. We would have much sooner been told information such as: www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2018/feb/22/rise-bolivia-indigenous-cholitas-in-pictures

The rise of Bolivia’s indigenous 'cholitas' – in pictures | World news | The Guardian - News, sport and opinion from the Guardian's US edition
In Cholita’s Rise, the photographer Eduardo Leal has created an exhibition of work that portrays their accomplishments and celebrates their success while also looking to inspire others
www.theguardian.com

6th Mar: We endured a further drive to Copacabana, and Carloa said it would be over 4 hours - again we had not been expecting such a long drive. Yet again the driver drove way too fast, putting all of our lives in danger and not stopping for photo's, unless I loudly shouted 'Stop!'. It was a very unpleasant drive which he completed in just over 3 hours after taking far too many risks on dangerous roads. We checked into our hotel (Las Olas - very nice) and then set off on the boat to the Sun Island. When we got there we were shocked at the walk Carlao lead us on - according to our phones we climbed 46 flights of stairs that day, something that we were not prepared for. Paula broke her ankle last October and at no stage does the itinerary indicate how physical the trip would be with quite so much climbing. We managed it, but better communication is needed.
7th Mar: Perhaps the final straw, our boat was hit hard by another boat whilst making the ferry crossing - Paula was badly shaken by this experience as the boat missed her head by a few cm.

As you can read, the whole trip from start to finish was a disaster. We requested to be part of a group wherever possible, but instead ended-up paying more for a private tour with dreadful guides who spoke little to no English and knew very little about Bolivia.

We are experienced travellers and both work in the travel industry. We have visited over 150 countries and have never encountered such poor service, or indeed set foot in a local hospital. We paid a good price for this trip, but after careful consideration I must now request a full refund for the reasons listed above.

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dave, I am finally able to respond to your last email. I hope that Kimkim's resolution to your complaints and the partial refund and generous travel credit you received was helpful to you and to bring closure to the matter. I would like to mention, once again, that many of the experiences you complained of were events that were out of our control and/or total anomalies, such as the possible source of your gastrointestinal problems. For better or for worse, many travelers to Bolivia do... read more

Dave, I am finally able to respond to your last email. I hope that Kimkim's resolution to your complaints and the partial refund and generous travel credit you received was helpful to you and to bring closure to the matter. I would like to mention, once again, that many of the experiences you complained of were events that were out of our control and/or total anomalies, such as the possible source of your gastrointestinal problems. For better or for worse, many travelers to Bolivia do experience food-related illness and we are very sorry that you had to be one of them, whatever the source may have been.

That said and as you already know, we do accept responsibility for the transfer conditions between Sucre and Potosi and have made the necessary follow up and quality control measures with your driver.

Respetuosamente,
Milenka

Incatour, Bolivia - Jan 4 - Jan 18, 2019

Traveler: Eric M. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

The trip to La Paz, Sucre and the Altiplano including Potosi, Uyuni and southern altiplano was excellent. We had a few days to adjust to the altitude flying in from NYC and Mexico City in La Paz (we all speak Spanish so no need for English guides etc and well connected to diverse local communities). We headed of to Copacabana and Titicaca Isla del Sol with Carlao a fine guide and caring individual and stayed at the excellent EcoLodge before heading back to Tiwanaku and la Paz. The walk was... read more

The trip to La Paz, Sucre and the Altiplano including Potosi, Uyuni and southern altiplano was excellent. We had a few days to adjust to the altitude flying in from NYC and Mexico City in La Paz (we all speak Spanish so no need for English guides etc and well connected to diverse local communities). We headed of to Copacabana and Titicaca Isla del Sol with Carlao a fine guide and caring individual and stayed at the excellent EcoLodge before heading back to Tiwanaku and la Paz. The walk was strenuous on Isla and perhaps too long. Would have made more sense to visit the ruins and then take the boat closer to the Lodge. Breathtaking experience.

We flew to Sucre for a few days enjoying the amazing art of the Tarabucu and Jalka indigenous groups before a drive by Wilfredo to Potosi and trip into the mines. Wilfredi was exceptional. Both a local Potosino and from a mining family he graciously shared all of his intimate knowledge and insured we were well looked after. A trip highlight as we paid respects to El Tio and imagined Cerro Rico's impact over centuries.

From there W drove us to Uyuni where we stayed at fine lodge and were handed off to Carolina del Norte tour group with Ariel our driver and guide. Spectacular day at the Salar. And then a deep drive south into the desert, lagos, lagoons, flamingos, vicunas, llamas, volcanoes, etc at the border with Chile and back up to Uyuni for flight to La Paz.

Extraordinary trip we will remember deeply and a long list of things to look up, come back to and savor.
Milenka mil gracias por tu atencion y cuidado. Un abrazo fuerte. eric

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Eric,

Thank you very much for your kind words. It was a pleasure for me and all the team to give you a good experience her in Bolivia. I really hope you come back soon and meet us again.

Saludos y abrazos.
Milenka

Yifan

4 days private trip, Bolivia - Dec 22 - Dec 25, 2018

Traveler: Yifan L. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

It was an amazing trip and exceeded my expectation! Despite I was there during the dry season so it was a pity that I did not see the beautiful reflection, I saw the breathtaking flamingo and Red Lagoon and I took many amazing photos. Andrea is an excellent guide, and she is very friendly and informative. I would say she is a huge plus for our trip. All the accommodations we had for the four days were great, and the food they provided either by hotels or our guide was delicious. I really feel I mad either right decision by choosing Kimkim.

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Yifan & Zhiyuan,

Thank you very much for your review, we are so glad you enjoyed your time with us, and if you return to Bolivia it will be a pleasure to assist you.

Saludos!

Bolivia, Bolivia - Oct 11 - Oct 22, 2018

Traveler: Mary A. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

I can't say enough good things about our experiences in Bolivia with kimkim. Our guides were all very knowledgeable. Guida was especially good in explaining the history of indigenous people of the AltoPlano. Each one was personable and experienced. Xemina showed us the wonders of the cable cars system and let us experience LaPaz in the air and on foot. Teresa did a fabulous job interacting with the ladies of C.O.M.C.A. collective. That experience was especially meaningful, as my son... read more

I can't say enough good things about our experiences in Bolivia with kimkim. Our guides were all very knowledgeable. Guida was especially good in explaining the history of indigenous people of the AltoPlano. Each one was personable and experienced. Xemina showed us the wonders of the cable cars system and let us experience LaPaz in the air and on foot. Teresa did a fabulous job interacting with the ladies of C.O.M.C.A. collective. That experience was especially meaningful, as my son Warren is a weaver, too. We enjoyed the ladies of the collective and the work they are preserving. Elias in Uyuni was very experienced in maneuvering in the Salar. Although he didn't speak English, we managed to get a lot our of our tour with him. He provided us with a delicious meal in the most remote place in the world. How he navigated the salar is still a mystery to me. The Palacio de Sal was a beautiful hotel. Juan the driver was a professional. I can't imagine navigating the streets of LaPaz on my own. The help you provided on the last day was most appreciated. You were so prompt and flexible in meeting our sudden changes. Thank you for the unforgettable days we spent in Bolivia. Mary and Warren Aldrich

Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Mary & Warren,
Thank you very much for your kind words about our guides and drivers. It was a pleasure to organize your trip to Bolivia and it is important for us to give you good services to you can enjoy the beauty of this amazing country.

Thank you again!