Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm
Read about the Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia from our travel guru Adam Haynie.
In a continent with so many world-famous destinations – Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, Patagonia, and so much more – Bolivia often falls under the radar for travelers. What people don’t realize is that Bolivia offers a wide variety of sights, destinations, and culture, making it a fantastic addition for any trip to South America. Consider adding the Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia to your travel plans for the ultimate Bolivian adventure.
1. La Paz – Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia
La Paz is the highest capital in the world; it sits in the Altiplano of the Andes at an elevation of just under 12,000 feet. With such an altitude, I recommend taking it easy upon arrival in order to acclimate. Once rested and acclimated, be sure to take a city tour and visit the famous Witches’ Market and Moon Valley. For the adventurers out there, the Death Road Biking tour is an amazing 40 mile bike ride (almost all downhill) with dramatic cliff-sides and viewpoints along the way.
For more travel tips on La Paz, read our blog post on the Top 5 Things to do in La Paz.
2. Lake Titicaca Cruise – Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia
Just a short drive from La Paz is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca sits on the border between Bolivia and Peru. This is a fantastic destination that offers unique opportunities to experience a whole new culture. Highlights include visiting Uros floating islands and man-made reed islands, where people still live today! The catamaran cruise offers a fantastic opportunity to travel between La Paz and Puno, Peru – offering a chance to travel throughout the lake along the way. This is a great way to combine a scenic and natural gateway trip with Machu Picchu!
Lake Titicaca was easily one of my favorite places to visit in Bolivia. Read more about our combining Peru and Bolivia tours here.
3. Potosi – Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia
Potosi is a quaint town in Southern Bolivia and is the ideal destination to experience Bolivian culture and history. Since it was once a major supplier of silver for the Spanish empire, Potosi still has many old, but active mines. In fact, machinery and new mining technology still has not yet reached the miners. Be sure to take a short tour of a mine, where you can talk with miners and pay homage to El Tio (the devil of the mine). To feel like a real Bolivian miner, sip on the local 192 proof alcohol – the miner’s drink of choice – and chew on some coca leaves. Don’t be surprised if they offer you sticks of dynamite! This is truly a unique, once in a lifetime experience.
Check out this Bolivian Tour combining Potosi, Uyuni & La Paz for tour ideas.
4. Noel Kempff Park –Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia
Outside of Santa Cruz, this park is one of the most advantageous areas to visit wildlife and natural beauty in South America. This is not the easiest park to get to, it take time and a good dose of healthy adventure to reach the park from Santa Cruz. Noel Kempff Park is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to over 2700 plant species, 600 birds, and 130 mammals. With luck, you’ll have a chance to see giant river otters, pink river dolphins, pumas, jaguars, and so much more. You’ll also be in a stunning setting with waterfalls, plateaus, and lagoons, with plenty of great opportunities for hiking and swimming.
For any traveler with some extra time in Bolivia, be sure to consider a visit to the Noel Kempff Park.
5. Uyuni Salt Flats – Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia
Last but most certainly not least and perhaps my absolute favorite place to visit in all of Bolivia, if not in all of South America, is the Uyuni Salt flats tour. Starting in Uyuni, this tour takes you through some of the most beautiful, remote landscapes in the Altiplano. Visit the train graveyard and salt factories, and then see the expansive salt flats for phenomenal photo opportunities. Take a walk on the banks of the red lagoon and spend a night in a hotel made entirely from salt! At then end of the tour you’ll return to Uyuni with some of the most spectacular photos to share with your friends and family.
Read more about customizable Uyuni Tours in Bolivia.
After your Bolivia tour, I recommend continuing your trip to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, the driest desert in the world. Check out how easy it is to combine La Paz and the Atacama Desert.
If you’d like to start planning a trip to South America and see the Top 5 Places to Visit in Bolivia, simply fill out the form below or contact us directly at 800-747-4540. Our travel consultants can put together a customized South America tour itinerary for you. We look forward to hearing from you!