Bolivia Tourism...
One of the world’s top trekking destinations

 

If you want to immerse in South American culture and History experience Bolivia tourism, where all things started.

On the high plains of the Altiplano, the much venerated Lake Titicaca - shared by Peru and Bolivia - sits at the very core of it.

Nearly a millennium before the Incas, a very sophisticated civilization flourished on the west bank of lake Titicaca of modern-day Bolivia: the Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) culture, between 500 and 900 AD.

Bolivia is a land of extremes and superlatives where nothing comes short of definition, whether poverty or history and just about everything in between: rugged terrain, highest altitude in the hemisphere, harsh climate and the biggest concentration of indigenous population in South America, with over 60% of Aymara, Quechua and Guaraní origins, plus thirty or so other ethnic groups.

 
 

However, with all its idyllic landscapes and endless opportunities to the nature lover and sports oriented traveler, beaches is something you won't find in your Bolivia tourism experience.

In fact - together with Paraguay - are the only two landlocked countries in the continent. It borders with Peru to the NW, Brazil to the North and East,Paraguay to the Southeast, Argentina to the South and Chile to the West.

Here's some Bolivia facts and figures...


Bolivia Facts

 bolivia flag

Capital: La Paz (administrative). Sucre (constitutional)
Language: Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census)
Population: 9,775,246 (July 2009 est.)
Area: 1,098,580 sq km .
Currency: Boliviano (BOB).
Exchange Rate: 1 Boliviano = 0.13939 US Dollar ( May 2009)
Religion:Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%
Read more Bolivia facts

Bolivia's Top Destinations:


La Paz - Bolivia's capital - sitting at a breathless altitude of 3,360 m.a.s.l. (12,000 feet) - will most likely mark the beginning of your Bolivia travel experience, an exciting mix of modern and ancient, remote and accessible, at the very heart of South America.

Located in Manco Kapac province, La Paz is a city filled with old cobbled streets and interesting museums (check Museo de la Coca for instance).

Must-see places here are the famous Witches market (Mercado de las Brujas), Plaza San Francisco, Plaza Murillo and the Mercado Negro (black market).


Nearby attractions include the Chacaltaya ski resort, world's highest run at 5,000 m.a.s.l. and lake Titicaca (take a ferry from Copacabana to Isla del Sol, where the Inca civilization started), on the Altiplano, second largest mountain plateau in the world after that of Tibet.

 
 

The Altiplano originates in southern Peru and extends about 965 km to the southwestern corner of Bolivia, in the border with Argentina and Chile.

This is one of the most desolated and beautiful places in the Andes. Bolivia travel at its best.

The Cordillera occidental has some impressive volcanoes, among others the Nevado Sajama, Bolivia's highest peak at 6,542 meters above sea level.

While in the area, visit the breathtaking Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flats), world's largest salt flat and breeding ground for three species of flamingos, in the departments of Oruro and Potosi.


Its biggest island: Isla de los Pescadores (or Incahuasi) has giant cacti, some are thousand-year-old and reach up to 10 meters high.
Another interesting sight, in the Eduardo Avaora Natural Reserve, are Laguna Verde and Laguna Colorada.

The vast extension of land between Uyuni and Titicaca was known as Quillasuyo, the south quarter of Tawantinsuyo or Inca empire.

For hikers and mountaineers, Bolivia tourism should include Sorata and the Cordillera Real (royal range). It's Bolivia's climbing region par excellence, with eight peaks over 6,000 meters, among others Illimani, Huayna Potosi and Illampu.


If you love trekking try the Takesi trail (from Ventilla to Chollja) or the famous Choro trail (from La Cumbre to Coroico, capital of the north Yungas). Other, tougher trails, are the Illampu circuit and Mapiri trail.

For mountain biking lovers the descent from La Paz to Coroico - a 69 km stretch on the North Yungas road - is not for the faint of heart, often referred to as Camino de la Muerte or death road. Truly an adrenaline-pumping Bolivia tourism experience! There is, however, a new, safer road inaugurated in 2006.

Among Bolivia's most well known national parks, Amboró National Park, Noel Kempff Mercado, Torotoro National Park and Madidi National Park stand above the rest.
The Bolivian share of the Amazon rainforest is considered to remain comparatively intact, with the 7th most bio-diversity on the planet.

 
 

Bolivia's World Heritage Sites:


If you love history, archaeology and architecture, your Bolivia tourism experience should include the following sites listed by UNESCO...

  • City of Potosi (1987):
    A monument of colonial architecture, Potosi was founded in 1545. The silver mines of Cerro Rico (rich hill) converted Potosi in the biggest industrial complex in the world, larger than London and richer than Paris.
    When the mines became exhausted by the time of the independence of Bolivia (1825), the city receded to oblivion leaving behind a wealth of colonial architecture that counted 86 churches at one time.
  • Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos (1990):
    Between 1696 and 1767 the Jesuits created a number of missions (reducciones indígenas) in the Spanish Americas to catechize Guaranis Indians.
    Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, in the Gran Chiquitania region includes San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San Jose.
    Other missions are found in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina (visit Jesuit Missons of the Guaranis as well as Jesuit Block and Estancias de Cordoba for more info).
  • Historic City of Sucre (1991):
    Founded in 1538, Sucre was the first capital of Bolivia.
    Throughout history it's been known under different names: La Plata, Charcas, Ciudad Blanca (white city) and Sucre. It has a number of well preserved religious buildings such as San Francisco, San Lazaro and Santo Domingo.
  • Fuerte de Samaipata: (1998):
    An archaeological site of pre-columbian origin, Samaipata was built by the Chanes culture, later expanded by the Incas and finally destroyed by the Guaranis Indians, who took control of the region well into the Spanish colonial period.
  • Tiwanaku (2000):
    The architectural legacy of the Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) culture is one of the most important of all pre-Hispanic civilizations in the Americas.
    The spiritual and political center of Tiwanaku was built on the Bolivian side of lake Titicaca and flourished between 500 and 900 AD.
  • Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (2000):
    With 1,5 million hectares, it's known to have the most unique and intact ecosystem in the Amazon rainforest, with extraordinary fauna and flora.
    Located in the department of Santa Cruz, near the border with Brazil, Noel Kempff Mercado National Park was initially created in 1979 under the name of Huancacha National Park.

If you are after an unforgettable South America adventure vacation, experience Bolivia tourism, you will be surprised and astonished at the same time...

 
 

Where to Stay:


For the independent/solo traveller, budget accommodation (hostels) is the best way to go.
Book hostels in Bolivia here.

If on a family vacation, on business or simply need more comfort and services Find and compare best hotel rates in Bolivia.