Travel to Bolivia: useful information and recommended itineraries

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Characterized by a varied territory that includes the Andes chain, Titicaca lake on the border with Peru, high altitude deserts and the Amazon rainforest Bolivia is one of the countries of South America that is still not very crowded with tourists.
During a trip to this land you can admire lunar landscapes formed by salt pans, lakes inhabited by flamingos, expanses of cacti, snow-capped volcanic peaks and the highest capital in the world at 3.600m: La Paz!


  1. Travel informed: useful information, safety and necessary documents
  2. Where it is
  3. 20-day itinerary in Bolivia: from the Andes to the Amazon
  4. 14-day itinerary: the best of Bolivia
  5. Bolivia do it yourself: flights, costs, best time and advice
  6. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information, safety and necessary documents

  • Inhabitants: about 11 million
  • Capital: Bolivia is one of the few countries in the world to have two capitals, La Paz (administrative capital) and Sucre (constitutional capital)
  • Languages: Spanish and some native languages
  • Local currency: Boliviano, BOB (€ 1,00 = 7,81 BOB)
  • Weather: equatorial, dry cold all year round on the Andean plateau and humidity and rain in the southernmost area. The seasons are reversed compared to ours. Their winter (June, July, August) is probably the best time. Temperatures range from a minimum of -5 ° to a maximum of + 20 ° in the northernmost area (more or less stable during the year); while in the south the minimums are + 17 ° and the maximums + 25 °
  • Time zone: GMT-4 (-5 hours compared to Italy)
  • vaccinations: yellow fever and malaria are present in the area of ​​the valleys and the Amazon rainforest. Therefore, prophylaxis and vaccine are highly recommended, but not mandatory. A common ailment, being many places at high altitudes, is altitude sickness which contrasts with acclimatization, chewing coca leaves and drinking plenty of water.
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months at the time of entry and return ticket. The visa is not required for stays of less than 3 months.
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    Bolivia is a landlocked nation in South America; it borders Brazil to the north-east, Paraguay to the south-east, Argentina to the south, Chile to the south-west and Peru to the west.

    20-day itinerary in Bolivia: from the Andes to the Amazon

    1. First day: Arrival in santa cruz de la sierra and overnight at the hotel
    2. Second day: Visit of the beautiful city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
    3. Third day: Internal flight from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Sucre at 2.800m, actual capital of Bolivia: visit of the "Villa Blanca" with its palaces and museums.
    4. Fourth day: From Sucre in 3 hours you can reach the city of Potosì (4.000 m) at the foot of Cerro Rico: visit what was once the silver mining city with a very nice museum, a church and old squares. Overnight in Potosì.
    5. Fifth day: From Potosì, passing through a wonderful landscape made of canyons, pinnacles, labyrinths and colored rocks, we arrive in Tupiza, a small town on the border with Argentina.
    6. Sixth day: From Tupiza aboard a 4x4 Jeep you enter the heart of Bolivia at an altitude of more than 4.000 m: travel to Uyuni, gateway to the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt desert in the world. Overnight in a refuge in Uyuni.
    7. Seventh day: From Uyuni visit the train cemetery and then start crossing the track that leads to the Salar: cross the Colchani salt pans, stop at the Incawasi island with the giant cactus and arrive in the late afternoon in Tahua, a small community at the foot of the Tunupa volcano, where we spend the night.
    8. Eighth day: Departure to the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve where the lagoons of Canapa, Hedionda, Chiarkota, Honda and Ramadites follow one after the other. We then cross the Salar di Chiguana to admire the Ollague volcano and before evening we arrive in the Siloli desert where we will spend the night in a refuge.
    9. Ninth day: Departure to admire the Laguna Colorada with thousands of red flamingos, visit the Sol de Manana geysers, stop at the thermal waters of Polques for a quick bath at 38 °.
      In the afternoon we will cross the Dali Desert with its famous Green Lagoon and return to Uyuni for the night.
    10. Tenth day: Departure for La Paz with an internal flight and day dedicated to visiting the second capital of Bolivia.
    11. Eleventh day: Full day visit to La Paz (3.640 m).
    12. Twelfth day: From La Paz transfer to Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca (3812 m) and arrival in the afternoon in La Isla del Sol where you will spend the night.
    13. Thirteenth day: After a trek on the Isola del Sol, return to La Paz in the evening.
    14. Fourteenth day: From La Paz in flight you reach Rurrenabaque (270 m) starting point for the splendid Madidi National Park between the Amazon and the Andes.
    15. Fifteenth day: From Rurrenabaque you enter the heart of the Madidi park and on board a motorboat you will sail the Beni and Tuichi rivers to observe the flora and fauna. In the afternoon trekking in the rainforest and overnight stay in an eco-lodge.
    16. Sixteenth day: In the morning trekking along some paths to spot the different species of plants and animals while in the afternoon guided excursion along the Biwa trail to see the black spider monkeys. Overnight in the forest in the eco-lodge.
    17. Seventeenth day: This day is entirely dedicated to the excursion of Lake Santa Rosa where you can practice piranha fishing, canoeing and spot caimans, tapirs, squirrel monkeys and capuchin monkeys. For the night we return to the eco-lodge inside the Madidi Park.
    18. Eighteenth day: Transfer day from Madidi Park to Trinidad where we will spend the night.
    19. Nineteenth day: In the morning flight from Trinidad to Santa Cruz and connections with flights to Italy.
    20. Twentieth day: return to Italy.

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: € 3.200
    • The price includes: the fee includes international flights and domestic flights, overnight stays, shelters and eco-lodges in the Amazon; transfers by bus and 4x4 Jeep.
    • The fee does not include: The fee does not include meals and anything not specified in the fee includes.

    14-day itinerary: the best of Bolivia

    1. First day: Arrival in Santa Cruz and overnight at the hotel.
    2. Second day: Departure to visit the Amboro Park, a natural reserve with an incredible biodiversity where you can observe the American Tiger and the Gold mammal of the Andes. Return to Santa Cruz in the evening.
    3. Third day: Flight to Sucre, capital of Bolivia also known as "White City" and visit of its buildings. Overnight in Sucre (2800m)
    4. Fourth day: By bus you reach Potosì, famous for the extraction of silver; visit of the colonial center with its squares and alleys kept as they once were. Overnight in Potosì (4000 m)
    5. Fifth day: Visit of the still functioning Cerro Rico mine where lead, zinc and tin are extracted. Return to Potosi and bus to Uyuni where we will spend the night.
    6. Sixth day: Day dedicated to visiting the Salar de Uyuni, stop at the Inkawasi island and crossing the immense salt desert you arrive in San Juan where you will stay overnight in a simple refuge.
    7. Seventh day: Day aboard a 4x4 jeep to cross the Sioli desert between rock formations and volcanoes. In the afternoon we reach the Laguna Colorada where we will spend the night in a refuge.
    8. Eighth day: Visit of the area of ​​the Colorada, Green and White Lagoons; stop at the geyser for a dip at 38 ° and return in the evening to Uyuni where we spend the night.
    9. Ninth day: Transfer to the airport and flight to La Paz, the second capital of Bolivia; in the afternoon visit of the highest capital in the world (3650 m).
    10. Tenth day: Departure by bus for Lake Titicaca (3812 m) and then by boat to reach the Isola del Sole; visit of the temple of the sun and overnight stay in Humany.
    11. Eleventh day: Day dedicated to visiting the island with a simple trek to reach the Fuerte del Inca. Return to the shores of the lake by boat and then by bus for the night to La Paz.
    12. Twelfth day: Visit the ruins of Tiahuanaco and Puma Punku the oldest sites in South America wrapped in charm and mystery. Night in La Paz.
    13. Thirteenth day: Return flight to Italy
    14. Fourteenth day: Return to Italy

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: € 1.700
    • The price includes: includes internal flights, guide, driver and transport to and from airports, accommodation in double room or shelters, breakfasts, excursions as per itinerary, museum entrances
    • The fee does not include: international flights, meals, options and extensions and tips

    Bolivia do it yourself: flights, costs, best time and advice

    In Bolivia it is possible to organize a DIY trip to save some money, however it is essential to have a driver and guide for the part that includes the visit of the Salar and the Lagoons.
    Furthermore, in the Salar area, there are few accommodation facilities, often sleeping in shelters or private homes without heating, therefore suitable clothing is recommended. In cities, however, you can choose hotels or hostels depending on how much you intend to spend.
    The cost of living (meals, drinks, etc.) is quite low but tours and excursions, on the other hand, are quite expensive as they require expert guides.
    Particular attention should be paid to the altitudes since most of the journey takes place between 2800 m and over 4000 m

    • Minimum period for a tour in Bolivia: to visit the main things you need at least 14/15 days (including round trip travel)
    • Recommended cities for base: Among the cities to base are Santa Cruz, La Paz, Uyuni, Humany (on Lake Titicaca) and Rurrenabaque (if you want to visit the Madidi Park).
    • Getting around: In the Salar and Lagune area it is necessary to use a 4x4 jeep with driver / guide; between the main cities you can move by bus or internal flights.
    • Flights: they can have a cost ranging from € 668,00 to € 1700. The main companies that connect Italy to La Paz or Santa Cruz are Iberia, Tam and KLM - Compare flights - from € 668,00
    • Accommodations and accommodations: While in the cities it is possible to find both hostels and more luxurious hotels with prices that therefore vary from € 25,00 to € 100,00 per person, in the most remote areas it is necessary to stay overnight in shelters or private houses where the cost is around around € 15,00 - Hotels and b & b in Santa Cruz from € 25,00 per room -

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