Highlights of Bolivia

Highlights of Bolivia

Start: Santa Cruz Finish: Santa Cruz

Visiting: Uyuni, Sucre, Copacabana, Recoleta, Atacama Desert, La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Altiplano


Duration: 14 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour code: APL

Tour operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 100

Tour operated in: English


From: $4402 $4314

Extra tourhub saving: $88

Tour Overview

Landlocked Bolivia is a quintessential South American country both in terms of the immensity of its landscapes and its strong indigenous culture. Although little-known, Amboró National Park boasts almost unparalleled bio-diversity and the charming, albeit rustic, gateway town of Samaipata also gives access to the nearby Pre-Columbian UNESCO site of El Fuerte. Nowhere else on Earth can you find salt flats of comparable scale to Salar de Uyuni; a comprehensive three-day 4WD adventure reveals its multi-coloured lagoons, cacti islands and spouting geysers. In stark contrast to these natural wonders are the vibrant cities of Sucre, Potosi and La Paz whose heritage was shaped by both the Incas and the Spanish Conquistadores. Finally, wind down with a night in an eco-lodge on the Isla del Sol overlooking the deep, tranquil waters of Lake Titicaca - fringed by snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real.

Highlights

  • iconDaywalk to see the Giant tree ferns and spectacular landscape of Amboró National Park
  • iconVisit La Recoleta viewpoint overlooking the 'White City' of Sucre
  • iconDiscover the colonial and silver mining heritage of Potosí
  • iconThree-day Salar de Uyuni 4WD adventure including the train cemetery, salt flats, Incahuasi (cactus) Island, colourful lagoons, geysers and ancient volcanoes
  • iconPre-Columbian UNESCO World Heritage Sites of El Fuerte and Tiwanaku 
  • iconWalk to the 'Fountain of Eternal Youth' on the Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca
  • iconAfternoon city tour of La Paz including the cathedral and cable car ride
  • iconThree-day Salar de Uyuni 4WD adventure including the train cemetery, salt flats, Incahuasi (cactus) Island, colourful lagoons, geysers and ancient volcanoesPre-Columbian UNESCO World Heritage Sites of El Fuerte and Tiwanaku Daywalk to see the Giant tree ferns and spectacular landscape of Amboró National ParkVisit La Recoleta viewpoint overlooking the 'White City' of SucreDiscover the colonial and silver mining heritage of PotosíWalk to the 'Fountain of Eternal Youth' on the Isla del Sol, Lake TiticacaAfternoon city tour of La Paz including the cathedral and cable car ride

Itinerary

icon Day 1 :  Start Santa Cruz and drive to Amboro N.P  

Meals: lunch, dinner

The group flights are scheduled to arrive into Santa Cruz early this morning.
Upon arrival we will transfer (approx. 3 hours) to our first hotel located on
the border of Amboro N.P.  Please note that the road to the entrance to the
hotel is unpaved and we´ll be taking a 4x4 vehicles for the last stretch of
this journey (approx. 30 mins).  After checking into our hotel we will have
lunch and afterwards we will have the afternoon at leisure. For those
wanting to stretch their legs, we will have some optional walks on
offer.Accommodation: Refugio de los Volcanes (or similar)

icon Day 2 : Amboro trek; drive to Samaipata

Meals: breakfast

This morning we have an early start and we set out on foot for a day walk
(approx. 4 - 6 hours). We will see Giant tree ferns which reach up to an
impressive thirteen metres tall and visit a viewpoint which unveils a
panorama of sheer sandstone cliffs rising high above an endless expanse of
tropical jungle.Amboró National Park is vast, containing some 830 bird
species (including Cock of the rocks, Blue horned curassows, hummingbirds,
toucans and macaws) - we may see a few of these with the help of our local
guides who will also identify some of the endemic plants. Elusive mammals
(ocelots, Spectacled bears, tapirs, jaguars and pumas to name a few) also
reside within Amboró but we are not likely to see them, especially in the
daytime.Afterwards we have an opportunity to shower and have lunch before we
transfer to the little-visited laidback town of Samaipata (approx. 1.5
hours) and check into our hotel for the next 2 nights. On route we will
visit Las Cuevas Waterfalls, where it is possible to take a quick swim in the
clear water if you wish. The evening is free for you to explore the town or
rest after this morning’s walk.Accommodation: Hotel Quinta Pirai, Samaipata
(or similar)

icon Day 3 : Morning guided tour of the Pre-Columbian UNESCO site of El Fuerte; afternoon at leisure

Meals: breakfast

This morning we visit ‘El Fuerte de Samaipata’ (or Samaipata Fort), a
Pre-Columbian archaeological site of UNESCO World Heritage status, located
about 10km outside the town. The hilltop ruins form an excellent vantage
point over the picturesque valley and although no standing structures remain,
excavations (which continue today) have revealed over five-hundred dwellings.
It incorporates buildings from three different cultures: Chanè, Inca, and
Spanish. The main site is a gigantic stone slab (over 100m in length),
covered in Inca and Pre-Inca carvings of geometric shapes and animal figures,
thought to have been of religious/ceremonial significance.  We will also
visit the museum which contains artefacts from El Fuerte.Accommodation: Hotel
Quinta Pirai, Samaipata (or similar)

icon Day 4 : Return to Santa Cruz; short flight to Bolivia's capital, the 'White City' of Sucre (2,800m)

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we make our way back to Santa Cruz airport (approx. 4.5hrs
drive). In the afternoon we fly to Bolivia’s capital, Sucre (approx. 45min
flight), which with its narrow streets and fine colonial white-washed
buildings, is often said to be Bolivia’s most beautiful city; protected by
its UNESCO status.Accommodation: Capital Plaza Hotel (or similar)

icon Day 5 : Morning city tour; afternoon at leisure

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we’ll embark on a guided tour of the sights, including La
Recoleta viewpoint, monastery and museum of indigenous art, situated at the
base of Churuquella Mountain overlooking the city. We’ll visit the main
square, ‘Plaza 25 de Mayo’ and adjacent historic Casa de la Libertad
(House of Liberty) where Simon Bolivar signed the Act of Independence in
1825. Following on from this we’ll come to the San Francisco Basilica,
complete with its ‘freedom bell’, so named as it was allegedly rung so
hard to mark Bolivian independence that it broke! A stroll through the
manicured Bolivar Park and cemetery are also part of the
tour. Accommodation: Capital Plaza Hotel (or similar)

icon Day 6 : Drive to Potosí (4,060m); walking tour to discover its colonial and silver mining heritage

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we drive (approx. 3.5 hours) to Potosí. You will notice the
increase in elevation as Potosí lies at 4,060m. This afternoon we have a
tour of the city, which was the centre of the silver rush in the
16th century. The silver was mined from nearby Cerro Rico (‘rich
mountain’) and was predominantly used to make coins but also other objects
as it was so plentiful. Potosí developed into a large and prosperous city
with thousands of colonial buildings. The consequences for the indigenous
miners and African slaves, however, were tragic – some estimates speculate
that there were as many as nine million casualties.Accommodation: Hostal
Patrimonio (or similar)

icon Day 7 : Morning tour to the entrance of the Cerro Rico mine; afternoon transfer to Uyuni

Meals: breakfast, dinner

This morning we have a tour to the entrance of the Cerro Rico mine.  We
will have an explanation about the mine and its importance from a former
miner. In the afternoon we drive to Uyuni town (approx. 4 hours
driving) with some wonderful landscapes on the way. Accommodation: Hotel
Palacio de Sal (or similar)

icon Day 8 : Begin a three-day 4WD adventure to discover the incredible landscapes of Salar de Uyuni

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

We spend today on the salt flats. Pyramids of salt are mounded up and in the
dry season the ground is desiccated and hexagonal tiles of salt form as far
as the eye can see. There are wonderful photo opportunities and we'll have
time today to create some fun pictures. In the middle of the salt flats we
come to Incahuasi Island, known for its giant cacti and unusual fossils. This
small island on the middle of the salt flats is an amazing sight and we have
the chance to walk across it for 360 views from the top. After more photo
opportunities, we'll make our way to a spot to watch the sun come down and
watch the light cast shadows and reflections on the water. Today's driving
time is approx. 5-6 hours.Accommodation: Hotel Palacio de Sal (or similar)

icon Day 9 : Second day to discover more sights of Salar de Uyuni by 4WD

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning after an early breakfast we will head south towards the
Bolivian border with Chile. Firstly, we will make a quick stop in San
Cristobal town, which is one of Bolivia's largest silver mining facilities.
We will not enter the mine but will have a quick explanation of the history
of the mine. Afterwards we will drive to the Turkiri Lagoon where we will
get to see a variety of local flora and fauna (mainly birds). We will
continue heading south with beautiful sights of the Ollagüe Volcano until
we arrive at the lakes of Cañapa, Hedionda and Honda. Flamingo breeding
grounds are found here and we’re certain to see flocks of them at the
lagoons, as well as possibly vicunas and Andean geese. Before we arrive at
our hotel for the night, we will drive to the Siloli desert and view the
Mountain of seven colours at the national park `Eduardo Avaroa National
Reserve'. Today's driving time is approx. 6-7 hours.Accommodation: Hotel
Tayka del Desierto/Mallku Cueva Hotel (or similar)

icon Day 10 : Third day to discover more sights of Salar de Uyuni by 4WD

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

A different highlight awaits today as our 4WD adventure brings us into
Eduardo Avaroa National Park. Our first stop is at Laguna Colorada, the
colours of the lake are a result of algae or the chemical
composition. Afterwards we will visit Sol de Mañana geysers (4,926m),
meaning 'morning sun'. This sulphur spring field is one of the few places
where you can get up close to volcanic (hydrothermal) activity. Across this
expanse, lie boiling mud lakes and steam pools, and there are several
geyser-like features where pressurised steam spouts up to fifty metres into
the air! Set against a backdrop of volcanoes and mountains. is Polques
Thermal Baths, where those who can brave the cold air temperatures before
getting into the warm waters can enjoy a dip. Later we will visit Laguna
Verde (green lagoon) and Laguna Blanca (white lagoon).Today's driving time is
approx. 8-9 hours.Accommodation: Hotel Tayka del Desierto/Mallku Cueva Hotel
(or similar)

icon Day 11 : Drive back to Uyuni; fly to La Paz (3,640m); afternoon city tour

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we will start making our way back to Uyuni airport and fly to
La Paz. We leave the amazing landscapes of Uyuni and fly to La Paz (3,640m),
the highest administrative capital in the world. We begin the tour by riding
the innovative cable car system for views over the entire city. Afterwards
we will get back on the bus and head to the main square, Plaza Murillo, in
the old town, where we find the Presidential Palace, government congress
buildings, and the Cathedral. Next, we visit the Basilica of San Francisco,
famed for its mestizo-baroque façade depicting masks, dragons, tropical
birds and snakes. Accommodation: Hotel Qantu (or similar)

icon Day 12 : Travel to Isla del Sol (4,100m) on Lake Titicaca; walk to our eco-lodge

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

We drive towards Copacabana, crossing the Tiquina Strait by boat (a short,
ten minute ride) and following the shores of Lake Titicaca for much of the
journey (the total drive time is approx. 4.5 hours). On arrival at Copacabana
we board another boat and travel for an hour to Lake Titicaca’s beautiful
Isla del Sol, disembarking at Pillkokaina port where we ascend to the Sun
Temple. We will walk (approx. 1.5 hours) to our eco-lodge, which allows us to
take in the stunning surroundings; deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca in
contrast to the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real. From the lodge the
setting sun in the west casts a lovely light across the mountains ahead.Your
main luggage will be left on the transport (which we leave at Copacabana) so
you need only take an overnight bag to Isla del Sol. We recommend keeping any
valuables with you.Accommodation: Ecolodge La Estancia (or similar)

icon Day 13 : Free day to explore Isla del Sol; optional boat trip to Island of the moon

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today has been left free to enjoy walking around this beautiful island or we
can organise an optional boat trip to another highlight of this area: Moon
Island.Accommodation: Ecolodge La Estancia (or similar)

icon Day 14 : Walk to the Eternal Youth Fountain; transfer to La Paz; fly back to Santa Cruz

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we will walk to the Fountain of Eternal Youth before we make
the same return journey back (by boat to Copacabana, bus and then a short
ferry ride across the Tiquina Strait) and head towards the Pre-Columbian
ruins of Tiwanaku, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (approx. 3.5hrs driving).
Founded around 1500BC, Tiwanaku became the capital of a massive empire that
lasted almost a thousand years, developing into a sophisticated urban
ceremonial complex. After lunch we have a guided visit of the site. In the
late afternoon we drive approximately one hour and a half to the airport in
La Paz and then have an evening flight back to Santa Cruz. Accommodation:
Armonia Hotel (or similar)

icon Day 15 : End Santa Cruz

Meals: breakfast

For those travelling on a land only basis, the tour ends after breakfast. The
group flight is scheduled to depart very early this morning.

What's Included

  • icon
    All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

  • icon
    Arrival and departure transfers (for group flights only)

  • icon
    All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinnersAll accommodation All transport and listed activitiesArrival and departure transfers (for group flights only)Tour leader throughoutFlights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • icon
    Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • icon
    All accommodation 

  • icon
    All transport and listed activities

  • icon
    Meals

    14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners.

  • icon
    Tour leader throughout

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Visas or vaccinations

  • icon
    Single accommodation (available on request)

  • icon
    Travel insuranceSingle accommodation (available on request)Visas or vaccinations

  • icon
    Travel insurance

Food

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners are included. Some of the lunches are box lunches whilst others are restaurant meals. Where meals are not included your leader will be able to recommend a variety of local restaurants.Drinking water will be provided in large containers to minimise the amount of single-use plastic bottles; please bring a refillable bottle with you.Bolivian cuisine is a fusion between Spanish and Andean traditions and varies from one region to another. In the lowlands fruit, vegetables, yucca and fish are abundant whereas in the altiplano these are less readily available and there are more spiced dishes to combat the cold. Bolivian cuisine has a reputation for its meat dishes but corn (maize), quinoa and potatoes are also part of the staple diet.Common street food and snacks include ‘salteñas’ (baked pastries filled with spiced meat or vegetables), ‘buñuelos’ (sweet or savoury bread – often stuffed with cheese) and ‘papas rellenas’ (deep-fried battered stuffed potatoes).Popular main dishes include ‘pique a lo macho’ (a kind of beef stir-fry, served with chunky chips), ‘picante de pollo’ (spicy chicken) and ‘tucumanas’ (a sort of pasty). In Sucre try ‘mondongo’ (a dish made of chicharron – crispy fried pork usually accompanied by corn, potatoes and a rich chilli sauce) and in La Paz check out a ‘sandwich de chola’ (pork sandwich).

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Reviews

Read all 6 reviews
A wonderful introduction to Bolivia.
An energetic holiday that packed things in, on a daily basis. We saw all that was promised & much more. Although tiring, as we moved on for most days, but ....more An energetic holiday that packed things in, on a daily basis.

We saw all that was promised & much more.

Although tiring, as we moved on for most days, but extremely enjoyable, informative and interesting.

We learnt a lot about a country we knew little about before we went.

Highly recommended, but you need to be able to walk.

; ....less
Great Experience but too full on at times
Bolivia is stunning and the salt flats and Lake Titicaca did not disappoint. It was incredibly cold despite thermals and down jacket etc so be prepared. Accommodation was outstanding in ....more Bolivia is stunning and the salt flats and Lake Titicaca did not disappoint.

It was incredibly cold despite thermals and down jacket etc so be prepared.

Accommodation was outstanding in some cases (Palace of Salt and Lake Titicaca) and in others the best available eg in the desert it was basic but the only one available.

Very rushed with a lot of early starts and not time to get bored! Would have preferred more time to explore La Paz and felt rushed at times.

Great food and as a vegetarian I was pleasantly surprised.

Melanie was a fantastic guide who worked her socks off to make the trip work with a big group and diverse dietary requirements.

Go with a sense of adventure and expect to have flights delayed and itinerary changes which are an inevitable part of travelling in Bolivia.

Overall an awesome but exhausting experience.

Thanks Melanie and Trehan from Exodus.

; ....less
Lots of variety and stunning scenery
This was the second trip to Bolivia that Exodus organised, and there are still perhaps a few things that could be changed in terms of the itinerary, that said we ....more This was the second trip to Bolivia that Exodus organised, and there are still perhaps a few things that could be changed in terms of the itinerary, that said we had a brilliant holiday which exceeded our expectations in terms of what we saw and did.

From crowded cities, to the countryside, the salt plains and iconic Lake Titicaca, with flamingos and lamas along the way.

It is a very scenic and vibrant country with people dressed in fabulous colours.

There is something for everyone in this trip, history, culture, nature and different food to try.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a trip to Bolivia to experience all it has to offer.

; ....less
Highlights of Bolivia
This holiday provided a great introduction to a fascinating country. Wonderful landscapes , busy but picturesque towns and cities. Very friendly people wherever we went and colourful too. This holiday provided a great introduction to a fascinating country.

Wonderful landscapes , busy but picturesque towns and cities.

Very friendly people wherever we went and colourful too.

;
Beautiful Bolivia
There are areas of Bolivia that are outstanding and I feel very unique in the world.It was so satisfying and enjoyable travelling around the Alti Plano, it is out of ....more There are areas of Bolivia that are outstanding and I feel very unique in the world.

It was so satisfying and enjoyable travelling around the Alti Plano, it is out of this world.

; ....less
Excellent first experience of South America
This was a really good trip.Came home with a real sense of having seen the diversity and contrast between the different areas that Bolivia has to offer.Having quite a few ....more This was a really good trip.

Came home with a real sense of having seen the diversity and contrast between the different areas that Bolivia has to offer.

Having quite a few two night stop overs in some of the locations added to the whole trip.

We crammed a lot in, but it didn’t feel too rushed.

; ....less

Dates & Availability

Nov 07, 2021

Sunday

From

$4314

Nov 21, 2021

Sunday

7 +

Places Available

Nov 21, 2021

Sunday

7 +

Places Available

From

$4314


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