The Grandest Holidays to Bolivia
16-day holidays to Bolivia from £3295pp
When people think of Bolivia they tend to have a set of images in mind: vibrant indigenous traditions on Lake Titicaca, pretty colonial towns and the snow-capped Andes usually figure fairly prominently, but there is much, much more to Bolivia than that...
These full-length holidays to Bolivia take you to see all the above, but also gives you some time in the sub-tropical Yungas valley, takes you on an extended trip across the weird and wonderful Salar de Uyuni salt flat, and even takes you down into Bolivia's under-explored Amazon rainforest.
- Day One: Arrival in La Paz
- Day Two: Tour of La Paz & Moon Valley
- Day Three: Free day
- Day Four: Titicaca and the Isla del Sol
- Day Five: Tour of the Yungas Valley
- Day Six: Travel to Sucre
- Day Seven: Free Day in Sucre
- Day Eight: Overland to Uyuni via Potosi
- Day Nine: Tour of the Salar de Uyuni
- Day Ten: Volcanoes and Lagoons
- Day Eleven: Back to La Paz
- Day Twelve: Into the jungle...
- Day Thirteen: Madidi National Park
- Day Fourteen: Madidi National Park
- Day Fifteen: Back to La Paz
- Day Sixteen: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of your Holidays to Bolivia
Your holidays to Bolivia begin today as you arrive in La Paz, one of the most fascinating cities in South America. With its dramatic setting and a heady mix of colonial and indigenous traditions, there’s nowhere else quite like it. On arrival you are likely to feel the altitude so we will take you to your hotel so you can relax and rest up before heading out to explore the sights...
Day Two - Tour of La Paz & Moon Valley
La Paz is famous as a city of contrasts, from the modern skyscrapers of the centre, through to the faded grandeur of the colonial churches and public buildings. Today’s half-day tour will allow you to see the highlights of the city and the best of the colonial architecture, before heading out of the city to the famous Moon Valley, where centuries of erosion have created some truly other-worldly landscapes that have to be seen to be believed. (Breakfast included)
Day Three – Free Day in La Paz
We have left you with the whole of today free to make sure you’re able to explore La Paz at your own pace. As well as the highlights you’ve already seen, perhaps might be a good chance to visit some of the quirky attractions that make La Paz so interesting, like the Coca Museum or the Witches’ Market? (B)
- Why not use today to visit the amazing Tiahuanaco ruins just outside La Paz?
Day Four - Titicaca and the Isla del Sol
After breakfast this morning we will drive you north out of the capital for a full-day tour of the beautiful Lake Titicaca. We will enjoy some fabulous scenery as we drive alongside the Royal Range of the Andes before we reach the lakeside town of Copacabana. Here we’ll have a short visit to the town’s famous cathedral before boarding a hydrofoil for the short cruise across Lake Titicaca to the stunning island of Isla del Sol. On arrival on the island, we will walk up an Inca stone stairway to a sacred fountain which is believed to grant health and happiness, before we enjoy lunch with some stunning views across the island and lake.
After lunch we will head back down to the jetty and take a boat across the lake to the small village of Huatajata. Here you can visit the pre-Inca funerary towers known as Chullpas and the Altiplano Museum, where you can see traditional houses and handicrafts, and also replicas of the tortora reed boats that the explorer Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. The boats were built by the Limachi brothers who still live in Huatajata and are happy to discuss the boats’ construction and use if you ask them. After this short visit we will drive back to La Paz, arriving in the late afternoon. (B/L)
Day Five - The Yungas Valley
Today we will show you a completely different side of Bolivia to the dry, high altiplano. As we drive east out of La Paz our route initially takes us higher, as we approach the “La Cumbre” pass at 4,650m, and from here we will have some great views of the snow-capped Royal Range to the north. From this point on, however, we descend into a lush sub-tropical landscape of rivers, waterfalls, fruit trees and coca plantations: a radically different environment to the Bolivia we have seen so far. We will be travelling on the new Yungas Road, but on the other side of the gorge, you will periodically be able to see the original route, which is often described as the world’s most dangerous road, sadly with good reason. We will arrive in time for lunch in the small town of Coroico, which is a popular weekend retreat for La Paz residents, who come to enjoy the balmy climate and thicker air of the Yungas. After enjoying lunch and a stroll around the town we will return to La Paz by way of the Senda Verde animal refuge, where you can see a huge variety of animals which have been rescued from hunters. As well as several species of monkeys and birds, you can see ocelots, coatis and even two rare Spectacled Bears, which are one of the Andes most threatened species. (B/L)
Day Six - Tour of Sucre
This morning we will pick you up and take you to the airport in La Paz for a flight south to Sucre, Bolivia’s constitutional capital. You’ll arrive in time for lunch, and then this afternoon we will take you for a guided tour of the city. We will begin the tour with a visit to what is arguably the most important building in Bolivia, the Casa de la Libertad (House of Freedom), where the declaration of Bolivian Independence was signed in 1825 and which today houses a museum with some fantastic exhibits from Bolivia’s colonial history. From the Casa de la Libertad, we will visit the nearby convent of San Felipe Nery, which is one of the largest and richest in Bolivia, with towers ornamented with silver from the mines of nearby Potosi. From its fine terraces, we can enjoy a lovely view over the tiled roofs and churches of the city. We will end the tour with visits to the churches of San Lazaro (Bolivia’s oldest church) and Santo Domingo before finishing at the lovely French-style Parque Simon Bolivar, from where you can enjoy en evening stroll for the few blocks back to your hotel. (B)
Day Seven - Free Day in Sucre
We have left you with a free day here in Sucre because it’s somewhere that just about all visitors fall in love with. With its lovely colonial architecture, quiet cobbled streets and shady squares, it’s a great place to relax and explore. If you want to look at things a little further afield, then why not visit the dinosaur park just outside the city, where you can see huge dinosaur tracks, beautifully preserved in fossil marks revealed by recent quarrying? (B)
Day Eight – Potosi and Uyuni
This morning we will leave Sucre and drive west to the mining town of Potosi, where we will have a guided tour of the city after lunch. At one point the richest place on earth because of the huge quantity of silver extracted from the huge Cerro Rico mountain which towers over the city, Potosi today is an excellent example of both the glories and the horrors of Spanish rule in South America and is an important site for understanding many of the issues that continue to affect Bolivia and other Andean countries today. Later in the afternoon we will drive further west, arriving at the famous Salt Hotel in Uyuni in the early evening. (B/L)
Day Nine - Salar de Uyuni
Today we will head out for a full-day tour of the incredible Uyuni salt flats. You will visit the bizarre Isla Pescado, a cactus-covered island in the middle of a salt sea, and enjoy lunch right in the middle of the Salar, with the bright white salt flats extending as far as the eye can see, ringed by snow-capped volcanoes. It really is like nowhere else on earth and is a fantastic experience. After a full day on the Salar, we will head back to the town of Uyuni. (B/L)
Day Ten - Volcanoes and Lagoons
We will have a second day out exploring the Salar de Uyuni today, as we travel to the majestic Thunupa volcano. We will climb the lower slopes of the volcano in our Land Cruiser, as we head to a small canyon dotted with caves which contain mummies dating back to the year 1000. After some time exploring the canyon and understanding the history of this sacred site, we will head on to the fabulous Laguna Colorada – one of the Salar’s strange mineral lakes where the various minerals leach out of the soil giving the water bizarre colours (in this case red) and consistencies. After some more time exploring the edge of the Salar, we will head back to Uyuni itself, where you will stay in a local hotel. (B/L)
Day Eleven – Back to La Paz
After breakfast this morning we will pick you up from your hotel for your flight back to La Paz, where you will arrive just before 11am. We will be there to meet you and take you back to your hotel so you can freshen up and get ready to head out and enjoy your last full day here in the Andes. (B)
Day Twelve - Into the jungle...
Today we will take you to back to the airport in La Paz for a flight down into Bolivia’s jungle, and the small town of Rurrenabaque, known throughout the country as Rurré. Most people don’t associate Bolivia with the Amazon, but in fact some of the best-preserved and protected parts of the Amazon are here in Bolivia. On arrival in Rurré we’ll meet you and take you to a local hotel so you can head out and explore this lively little jungle town. (B/L/D)
Day Thirteen - Madidi National Park
This morning we will head down to the River Beni and board our boat which will take us downstream into the Madidi National Park, with some fabulous scenery along the way such as the Bala Canyon, as well as the chance to see some of the birds and animals that thrive here in this protected refuge. After heading up the Tuichi tributary, we will disembark and have a short walk through the jungle to the fantastic Chalalan Lodge, on the shores of Lake Chalalan. This community-owned lodge is one of the best in South America for seeing wildlife and is a superb example of sustainable eco-tourism in action. On arrival at the lodge we will have some time to freshen up before lunch, and then in the afternoon we can swim or enjoy a canoe ride on the lake, or head out and explore some of the trails around the lodge. In the evening we will have a short briefing session after dinner, before a chance to go for a night walk to see the animals which are only active after dark... (B/L/D)
Day Fourteen - Madidi National Park
In the morning we will hike along a variety of trails from the lodge to learn about the various medicinal herbs, fruits and exotic plants that are present here in the Madidi National Park. After returning to the lodge for lunch, we will enjoy a second hike through the rainforest to a lookout point which gives us some beautiful views over Lake Chalalan and the rich primary rainforest of the National Park. On our way to and from the lookout, we will be keeping our eyes open for all the different species of birds and animals we can see here in Madidi, including several species of monkeys, tapirs, macaws, peccaries and even the elusive jaguar... We will return to the lodge in time for dinner, and this evening there will be a second chance to enjoy a night walk through the jungle. (B/L/D)
Day Fifteen - Back to La Paz
After an early breakfast we will have a last chance to walk through the jungle to spot some more wildlife, before we take you downriver to Rurré. We will have a packed lunch on the way before taking you to the airport for the flight back up to La Paz. On arrival we will meet you and take you back to your hotel so you can relax before heading out to enjoy your last night here in the Andes... (B/L)
Day Sixteen - Last day of your holidays to Bolivia
Sadly all good things must come to an end, and today is the last day of your holidays to Bolivia. Depending on your international flights, you may have some free time to make sure you haven’t missed an inch of La Paz, or we may just have to pick you up after breakfast to take you to the airport in plenty of time to check in for your international flight home. (B)
The standard price for our "Gran Boliviano" holidays to Bolivia is £3295 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes all your meals in the Madidi National Park, lunches on your full-day tours, and breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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