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Best Of Bolivia

Breathtaking bonanza of the best of Bolivia's ethnographical, archaeological and geological riches.

Overview

Spanning the Andes Mountains, Atacama Desert, and the Amazon Basin rainforest, the country of Bolivia is a beautiful and diverse destination. During this 10-day Best of Bolivia tour, you’ll have the chance to discover its myriad beauty and the many incredible things it has to offer. Along the way, you’ll enjoy your choice of 4-star or 5-star accommodations and learn about the country’s history, culture, and nature with the help of local English-speaking guides.

Discover Bolivia’s Culture and History in Santa Cruz, Sucre, and Beyond

Your introduction to Bolivia begins in beautiful Santa Cruz, its largest city and hub for spectacular museums, historic buildings, restaurants, and shops. Situated on the Piray River, east of the Andes, the city is filled with tradition and culture while also being modern, making it the ideal place to begin your Best of Bolivia tour.

From here, you’ll fly to Sucre located in the southern highlands, one of the most beautiful and charming cities in all of South America. Often called the symbolic heart of Bolivia, Sucre was founded in the early 16th century by the Spanish and still shows European influences intertwined with its local architecture.

Spend time exploring historic religious buildings, stunning museums, exquisite town squares, and narrow streets. Learn why it was once called the richest city on the planet, and meet the native populations while admiring their crafts.

Excursions soon take you from Sucre to Potosi to learn of its silver history, then to Uyuni to discover the largest salt flat in the world, along with its incredible scenery and wildlife, and the chance to marvel at the fossil formations and giant columnar cacti of Isla Incahuasi.

Explore Lake Titicaca, the Birthplace of the Incan Empire

Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, and its surroundings are considered the birthplace of the Incan Empire and will be your next destination in Bolivia. Here you will explore villages, islands, Inca ruins, and famed cities unlike any other.

Start your Titicaca tour with a roam among the archaeological ruins of Tiwanaku, often referred to as the “Stonehenge of the Americas”, before a stay in Huatajata. Sitting on the southeastern shore of the lake, you’ll explore its historical and spiritual characteristics, both past and present. Spend time on Sun Island (La Isla Del Sol), exploring its historical ruins, natural sights, and famous landmarks of the Sacred Fountain and the Grand Stairs. Venture by boat to Moon Island and roam through the ruins before heading to the lake’s southern shore and the famed city of Copacabana.

End Your Tour in the Diverse City of La Paz

Your tour ends in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia. Full of indigenous, colonial, and modern influences, La Paz is the perfect place to wrap up your time here in Bolivia, providing you with bustling squares, cathedrals, local landmarks, and incredible markets for last-minute souvenirs and gifts. As a way to say goodbye to this beautiful country, take a ride in the highest cable car in the world to the tops of El Alto for spectacular views.

Itinerary & Prices

10 Day - Best Of Bolivia
itinerary map

Welcome to Santa Cruz!

Welcome to Bolivia! After arriving at Santa Cruz Airport you’ll be warmly greeted by your awaiting bilingual guide and private tranportation for the short transfer to your chosen hotel.

Today you’ll embark on a half-day cultural tour to witness the must-see sights, main monuments and residential neighborhoods of the city, beginning at the Main Square “Plaza 24 de Septiembre” for a close-up view of the Cathedral “Basílica Menor de San Lorenzo”. You’ll later have the chance to visit Arte Campo, a crafts shop located in a very traditional house, and “El Abasto”, the fascinating and mysterious indigenous market. Your tour ends with a welcome reenergizing coffee, typical to the city, before returning you to you hotel.

The rest of the day is yours to spend at your leisure.

Meals (X)

Location
Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 10

Leaving Santa Cruz & Arriving to Sucre

On day two, after having a full breakfast at your hotel, you’ll head to the Santa Cruz airport for your short 45 minute flight to Sucre.

Once you arrive in Sucre, you’ll experience a half-day tour of the notable sites in the city. Highlights will include the Liberty House, which is where the famed Simon Bolivar signed the declaration of independence for Bolivia. You’ll also see the ASUR Textile Museum, where you’ll learn about how the indigenous people make various items like blankets and clothing in the same manner they have done for centuries. For gorgeous views of the city and surrounding countryside, you’ll climb up to the Recoleta Viewpoint, which also houses a monastery and school.

After your tour, you’ll have time to explore the city and partake in the local cuisine. Sucre has lots of things to do in the evening, but get plenty of rest for your full-day tour tomorrow!

Meals (B)

Location
Sucre
Day
2 / 10

Sucre Through The History

Rise and shine and enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel. You’ll need to eat hearty because today you’ll be taking a full-day excursion to the Tarabuco Native Market (Sundays only). Here is where you can experience the joys and wonders of Bolivian culture and heritage. Did you know that Bolivia is home to 39 officially recognized native peoples? Many of them are represented at the market, and you can buy a piece of their workmanship, and indeed history, as souvenirs of your journey.

At the market, you’ll learn about its history and how the natives have thrived in the region. You’ll browse a seemingly endless line of stalls, where you can find handcrafted blankets, clothing, idols, and food. Speaking of food, lunch will be provided during the tour, although feel free to buy snacks or take-out dishes to bring back to the hotel. The market is a little over an hour away from the city.

After the tour, you’ll be able to spend the evening exploring Sucre and discovering any hidden gems that you might have spotted the night before. You’ll be staying in the same hotel as day two.

Meals (B, L)

Location
Tarabuco Market
Day
3 / 10

Sucre & Uyuni

Say goodby to Sucre as you enjoy your last breakfast in the city. Today is going to be full of history and adventure, as your first stop will be the colonial city of Potosi. This town is most notable for its vast silver mining operation, which helped the Spanish empire extract untold riches from the region. Potosi is home to the world’s second-largest silver mine, and during its heyday, locals said that they could build a solid silver bridge from Potosi to Madrid with the amount they mined.

Because of its heritage, Potosi is named a site of “Historical and Cultural Legacy of Mankind” by UNESCO. During your visit, you’ll stop by the Royal Mint, where you can see how raw silver was turned into Spanish coins. You’ll also get to witness how workers used to mint the coins with old-fashioned wooden machinery. Lunch will be provided during your stay.

After Potosi, you’ll undertake an overland journey to the great Uyuni Salt Flat. Be sure to get plenty of rest tonight, as the salt flat offers many sights and activities tomorrow. Dinner will be served at your hotel once you check in.

Meals (B, L, D)

Location
Potosí
Day
4 / 10

Uyuni Salt Flats

Today you’ll embark upon an unforgettable full-day excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flat and Incahuasi Island. Uyuni, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano, is the largest salt flat on Earth covering an astonishing 10,500 sq km, and offers some of the most stunning scenery imaginable that can’t be seen anywhere else. The sound of silence makes the heart beat faster, and the pentagonal canvas of crystalline salt, dotted with cacti and balletic flamingos set against a pure sky will make for one of the most memorable moments of your lifetime.

You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at the island oasis of Incahuasi, surrounded by its astonishing algae and fossil formations. It is covered in thousands of giant columnar cacti, some more than a hundred years old and over 12 meters tall. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography hunters. Your guide will help you taking surrealistic photos due to the optical effect of the Salt Flats before returning to your hotel.

Meals (B, BL, D)

Location
Uyuni
Day
5 / 10

Uyuni To The Impressive Titicaca Lake

Day six will be one of the most packed days on your trip. Enjoy a full breakfast at your Uyuni hotel, then head over to the airport for your flight to La Paz.

Once you arrive in La Paz, you’ll depart for your next destination, the archeaological site of Tiwanaku. You’ll spend half the day in Tiwanaku learning about this ancient civilization that vanished practically overnight. The ruins at Tiwanaku are impressive as the people here were masters of agricultural technology. The city thrived for about 500 years, until an extended drought forced residents to flee to nearby areas. You’ll receive a delicious boxed lunch while you’re here.

After Tiwanaku, you’ll venture up to Huatajata, which sits on the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca. Since you’ll explore the lake tomorrow, you can enjoy Huatajata tonight. Highlights of the city include the Andean Roots Eco Village, which shows off the impressive items made by the indigeous locals, the Uyu Chipayas. You’ll also get to experience the natural healers of Bolivia, the Kallawayas. Tonight will be both a spiritual and historic journey through Bolivia’s past, present, and future.

You’ll spend the night in Huatajata.

Meals (B, BL)

Location
Huatajata
Day
6 / 10

The Grandeur Of The Sun Island

Today you’ll get to visit Bolivia’s largest and most famous lake, Lake Titicaca. This body of water marks the border between Bolivia and Peru, and it’s also the birthplace of the Incan Empire. You’ll enjoy a full breakfast in Huatajata, and then take a boat to La Isla Del Sol (Sun Island). This island is home to many historical ruins and sites, including the Pilcocaina Sun Temple. Legend says that this is where the Sun God Inti was born, and he created the Incan empire from this very spot. Lunch will be provided as you explore this culturally significant landmark.

After lunch, you’ll get to ride llamas to your hotel. From there, you’ll have the evening to see what else Sun Island has to offer, such as the Cerro at the northwestern tip and the various ruins nearby. There are many hidden gems to discover on the island, so keep your eyes peeled and your mind sharp. Dinner will be provided at the hotel before you turn in for the night.

Meals (B, L, D)

Location
Sun Island
Day
7 / 10

Return To La Paz

There’s nothing like waking up on Sun Island to watch the sunrise with your meal. You’ll have a hearty breakfast at the hotel, and then you’re free to explore the island for the rest of the morning. At about noon, you’ll meet your guide to visit the Incan Grand Stairs and the Sacred Fountain. Legend says that the fountain can grant eternal youth and happiness to whomever drinks from it. Will you test the waters to see if the legend is true?

After exploring the ruins, you’ll have an incredible lunch by the water at Uma Kollu Archeological Restaurant. Outdoor dining is perfect on Lake Titicaca since you can enjoy the serene landscape while listening to the soft lapping of waves.

After lunch, you’ll take a boat to La Isla de la Luna (Moon Island), which also houses some significant Incan ruins, such as the “Iñak Uyu”, better known as the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. From there, you’ll take the boat to the famed city of Copacabana on the lake’s southern shore. This city is the site of the shrine to the Dark Virgin. Locals celebrate her every February, as they’ve done for the last several hundred years. You’ll spend the night in Copacabana, and you’ll get to explore the city to find a delicious dinner.

Meals (B, L)

Location
La Paz
Day
8 / 10

A Walk In Moon Valley

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at your hotel ready for this morning’s half-day city tour of La Paz, including a visit to Moon Valley and chance to take the Teleferico. Beneath the majestic Illimani mountain, La Paz is a chaotic carnival of color and noise, where indigenous, colonial and modern worlds meet and new adventures lurk around every street corner. Explore the local landmarks of its historic center, taking in the bustling squares, palaces and cathedrals, not to mention the mysterious Witches’ Market. Later, visit the lunar landscape of the nearby Moon Valley – a nickname given by Neil Armstrong himself in 1969 when he came to La Paz after the region reminded him of his famous moonwalk – and admire its colossal clay spires steeped in legend.

For the finale, you’ll hop aboard the city’s towering Teleferico for a sky-ride between the depths of Zona Sur to the heights of El Alto, and enjoy the incredible views that only the world’s longest and highest cable-car can afford. The afternoon is yours to spent at your leisure, a chance to rest up after the morning’s exertions or for the adventurous to discover the city’s hidden treasures. Why not head out in search of the House of Congress’ backwards clock, paying homage to Bolivia’s indigenous heritage, or the ‘hidden’ works of famous architect Eiffel in the form of the bus station and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Meals (B)

Location
Moon Valley
Day
9 / 10

Departing La Paz

Today we bid a fond farewell to Bolivia. After breakfast you’ll be transferred from your hotel to La Paz Airport, approximately half an hour from downtown, in good time for your international flight home.

Meals (B)

Location
La Paz
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

Accommodations

Hotel Options

5 Star

Los Tajibos

Santa Cruz
5 Star

Santa María La Real

Sucre
Patio Of Santa Maria Hotel In La Paz
4 Star

Luna Salada

Salar de Uyuni
Boutique

Inca Utama

Lake Titicaca
Boutique

Posada del Inca Eco Lodge

Lake Titicaca
5 Star

Casa Grande

La Paz