Things to do in Bolivia

Things to do in Bolivia


Our top activities in Bolivia

Pass the salt…

The Salar de Uyuni is one of the world’s most stunning and surreal sights. Covering a whopping 10,582 sq km of Andean plateau, this epic salt pan stands at 3,650m above sea level, meaning it’ll take your breath away in more than one sense.
Today, this prehistoric salt lake is Bolivia’s biggest attraction, and three-day jeep tours take intrepid travelers across the salt crust to the inhospitable, giant cacti-covered “island” of Incahuasi, in the middle of the blinding whiteness. Highlights include staying in a hotel made entirely of salt, witnessing one of the biggest sunrises you’ll ever see, and taking photographs of the unusual loss of perspective created by the endless pan.
Most tours of the Salar will also visit the high desert – with rock formations worthy of a Dali painting, flamingo-filled lagoons, gurgling mud pools and strange lakes that change colour in the welcome warmth of dawn.

Discover the Amazon

The “lungs of the earth” shelter fantastic creatures – from pink freshwater dolphins to macaws and capybaras, spider monkeys and anacondas. Trek through the jungle – or take a river cruise in the pampas, where the sparse vegetation means wildlife is viewed more easily. Stay in a community-owned lodge for a real Amazonian immersion – or visit a gaucho cowboy ranch to discover the landscape on horseback.

Meet the Aymara

… and the Quechua, the Tacana, the Chimán, the Guaraní…
Around two thirds of Bolivia’s population is indigenous, the highest in South America. The Aymara dominate the western highlands, including La Paz and Lake Titicaca, and discovering this ancient culture is a highlight for many travelers – from the strange potions available at the witches’ market, to the llama herders and quinoa farmers of the Andes and the gorgeous handwoven crafts. Visit the markets of Sucre and La Paz – how many varieties of potato can you count?
In the Amazon, indigenous communities are dispersed throughout the jungle and pampas, many still living without electricity and running water. A jungle trek with a native guide is a unique and revealing way to discover this emerald kingdom – revealing not just the abundant wildlife but the medicinal uses of the plants, and traditional techniques such as piranha fishing, cooking using bamboo leaves and extracting sugarcane juice. Delicioso!

Cruise across Lake Titicaca

South America’s largest lake sits at over 3,800m high, straddling the Peruvian border. The islands of Sol (sun) and Luna (moon) are a jumble of Inca ruins and hardy Aymara residents. Trek across the islands along ancient stone paths, passing shepherds, fishermen – then reward yourself with a dinner of grilled trout – freshly from the lake.
Photo credits: [Pass the salt...: fabulousfabs] [Discover the Amazon: Vicki Brown] [Cruise across Lake Titicaca: Vicki Brown] [Meet the Aymara: M M]
Written by Vicki Brown
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