In Depth Bolivia
Santa Cruz, Samaipata, Sucre, Potosí, La Paz, Uyuni Salt Flats, Lake Titicaca
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Santa Cruz, Samaipata, Sucre, Potosí, La Paz, Uyuni Salt Flats, Lake Titicaca
HOME > DESTINATIONS > LATIN AMERICA > BOLIVIA > In Depth Bolivia
Designed by Evie
This example itinerary from
£6818 / $8103
per person for 12 days.
Today is all about getting to know Bolivia’s warm and tropical-feeling city, Santa Cruz. The tour begins at the Main Square ‘Plaza 24 de Septiembre’ with a spectacular view of the cathedral ‘Basílica Menor de San Lorenzo’. You’ll visit the Arte Campo (a local craft shop located in a fascinating traditional house), and then continue to El Abasto Indian Market.
Aside from exploring the city’s famous sites, you’ll also visit some residential neighbourhoods in the city, in order to get a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of the people who live in Santa Cruz and your guide will show you some great local spots for a coffee and a typical Bolivian snack.
Over the course of the next two days, you’ll be exploring Bolivia’s lesser known but spectacular national parks! You’ll have an early start, heading for Samaipata (120 Km away from Santa Cruz, on paved road) via a beautifully scenic highway. After about 2.5 hours, you’ll arrive at El Fuerte, the most important archaeological site in Eastern Bolivia, included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1998.
This archaeological monument reaches a height of 1950m above sea level and is on the ridge of a hill of a sandy rock where ancient cultures created sculptures, in particular snakes and pumas, as well as waterways and wells, triangular and rectangular seats, vaulted niches, amongst others. You’ll be able to visit the Archeological and Anthropological Museum, which contains important pieces from excavations that were made in El Fuerte and its surrounding areas.
Amboro National Park
Today you will explore Bolivia’s cloud forest, where the 2 hour (easy) hike will take you back to the time of the dinosaurs. There are plenty of photo opportunities, not just of the misty giant tree fern forest but the area is also abundant with birdlife, such as the beautiful and busy hummingbirds, as well as the flora of the region, with numerous varieties of mosses, bromeliads and orchids. You’ll return back to your hotel in Santa Cruz in the evening after an adventurous day.
Your next two days will be spent in Bolivia’s constitutional capital, Sucre. You will visit the House of Liberty, where Simon Bolivar signed the Independence of Bolivia, along with the ASUR Museum (fascinating for textiles lovers) and some colourful local markets selling a wealth of tropical fruits, local garments and other fresh and local produce.
There are a couple of optional tours for the rest of your time in Sucre. The first option is a full day excursion to the village of Tarabuco, which has a large community of weavers who belong to the Yampara culture. Tarabuco is one of the best places in Bolivia to visit if you are interested in indigenous communities and is a great place to see the living ancestral culture of the Yampara with their fairs, music, clothing and traditions.
The other option is a full day visit to the vestiges of a pre-Hispanic road in the Chataquila mountain range, which was used as a means of communication between towns in the area. It consists of a smooth downhill walk of approximately 4.5km, where you will appreciate the wonderful mountainous landscapes and vegetation that make this a place of extraordinary natural beauty. The area is full of history and your guide will get you engrossed in the stories of the indigenous communities and leaders that once lived here.
Today you’ll embark on a private overland journey to Potosí, a famous colonial city, but also a great source of silver during the colonial period. The empowering mountains tower over the city, and legend states that it has produced enough silver to build a solid silver bridge from Potosí to Madrid. On your tour of the city, you’ll visit the Casa de la Moneda (Royal Mint), showcasing its wooden machinery used to make the silver coins for Spain, as well as a visit to the miners market. Potosi was also declared by UNESCO as The Historical and Cultural Legacy of Mankind.
Uyuni Salt Flats
Your day will start with a private overland transfer from Potosí to the Deluxe Airstream camp site. You will be visiting one of South America’s marvels: the Great Uyuni Salt Flats. At the amazing Uyuni Salt Lake, the sound of silence makes the heart beat faster and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky and the giant cacti certainly make you feel that there is no other place comparable on the planet. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending into the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography-lovers.
With a few stops en route, you’ll arrive at the wonderfully unique Deluxe Airstream Campers, especially re-designed to make your voyage an extraordinary experience in the middle of the salt flats, with all your creature comforts. The flavoursome chef’s specialty meals are cooked with fresh local ingredients and you’ll enjoy cocktails served at Andean sunset, as well as comforting hot beverages and an atmospheric bonfire. You will be given a menu of activities to choose from during your stay and they can also be tailored to your preferences.
Today you’ll be exploring the magical city of La Paz. The city and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where every street and corner is a hidden treasure where adventure begins; a living history which treasures the pre-Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic rites on its streets. The indigenous, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Witch Doctor’s Market and breathtaking panoramas are all framed by the majestic Illimani mountain. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon, and you’ll also take La Paz’s renowned 21st century cable car, offering you a unique bird’s eye view of the city concluding this memorable experience.
In the morning, you’ll enjoy a visit to one of Bolivia’s most magnificent ruins, Tiwanaku, which is also one of the oldest civilisations of the Americas. You’ll explore The Sun Gate, the Temple of Kalasasaya and the Pyramid of Akapana and learn about the fascinating Tiwanaku culture. The next stop will be Huatajata, a small town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where you will spend the afternoon learning about the cultures and natural healing traditions in the area. In the evening, you’ll be able to visit the Native Observatory Alajpacha, learning from the Aymara cosmo worldview and watching the southern constellations.
Today you will take the hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island, visiting the Sun Virgins Temple “Iñak Uyu”, an important sacred place on Lake Titicaca where the insistent beating of the waves whispers memories of the past. The next stop will be Sun Island, a pastoral paradise, where you’ll visit the Pilcocaina Palace, and then embark on a llama-trek to Posada del Inca. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a welcoming coca tea in the garden and have the evening at leisure to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The next morning is at leisure. Around noon you’ll visit the Incan “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain, and taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness. After lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological Restaurant and a market visit, you’ll take the hydrofoil cruise to Copacabana, where you’ll spend some time exploring this picturesque lakeside town before taking a private road journey to your hotel in La Paz via Huatajata. The road runs parallel to the most mesmerising snow-capped mountains of the Andes.
Lovely holiday, one to never forget, designed and delivered excellently.
Everything went smoothly. Quite a complex holiday. Everything went perfectly to plan.
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