Travel itinerary in Bolivia

alone or in company you will literally be left breathless
Travel itinerary in Bolivia

Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America, unfortunately it has been the scene of a lot of pain and abuse, it has a very intense history that not everyone knows, but which could change your perception of the trip, which is why I recommend you read The open veins of Latin America by Edoardo Galeano. In addition to the wonders of nature, I suggest you focus on the culture of this state, its Latin origins and the importance it gained in the kingdom of Spain after the Conquest.; you will be amazed by the number of treasures and works found inside.



Traveling in Bolivia is not at all dangerous, I was there alone for a month backpacking, you just have to be prepared for the fact that the levels of hospitality are lower than in other states and that if you don't want to travel in luxury hotels you will have to question your ability to adapt.

I would like to say a few words about altitude sickness, which will almost certainly affect you given that the altitude is really important; when you get to heights above 2500 don't drink alcohol, don't eat meat, drink a lot of mate de coca and chew coca leaves in your cheek like all the locals do. You can find them conveniently at the market, it is the most natural remedy to combat this bad feeling. If you have any doubts that it is illegal, don't worry, the Andean people have the physical need to grow and chew coca, it is allowed here. If things don't improve you can go to any local shop and buy sorochi pills, which will make you feel better. From personal experience at those heights the mucous membranes of the nose tend to dry out and bleed a lot. If you want to avoid this, buy a mentholated nose balm, it can be found everywhere even at the tobacconist.



Travel itinerary in Bolivia

Travel itinerary in Bolivia:

We will begin this journey starting from the south, as I did, from the border with Chile entering the most famous point of Bolivia: the Salar di Uyuni. It's called that even though the Salar, in my opinion, is the least spectacular thing. In practice you cross an extensive stretch of the Andes, completely virgin by jeep and you observe majestic lagoons, thousand-year-old volcanoes, gayzers, deserts of many colors and then the largest expanse of salt in the world. In addition to the wonderful view of the salar, the thing that amuses everyone is the manipulation of perspective; being a very flat and very white surface you can play all those games that you have surely seen in which it seems that your friends fit into your shoes or which turn out to be very small with "Darling, I'm too small for the boys".

If you have a good ability to adapt, a 3/4 day trip to the Uyuni salt flat is not expensive, you will certainly spend less buying it in Bolivia rather than in Chile, but know that you will sleep in rather cold mountain refuges, the hot shower will be electric and that you will have to bring your own drinking water. There are few luxury alternatives and prices go up at least 10 times.

The town of Uyuni is really very poor, if it is not strictly necessary I suggest you not to stay overnight and head directly with a bus to Potosì, the highest city in the world at 4068 m above sea level.


Travel itinerary in Bolivia

For me HomiesIt is the most interesting city in Bolivia, it was for 200 years the richest city in the Spanish colony, in the XNUMXth century it had more inhabitants than Paris and London, it is the city of Rich Hill the largest silver deposit in the world! 8000 Indians died in that mountain! They were made to work without food and water, providing only coca leaves for 20-36 hours at a time! It is said that the city was so rich that the streets were covered with silver plates. You can understand the richness of this land by visiting its churches, you will see that the altar and the transept are covered in solid silver. One of the most requested activities is to visit the silver mines, which are still active even if the silver is no longer collected, you dress like miners and literally go down the same tiny tunnels that the miners use, the tourists see it as a game, but even today so many people die, I don't advise you to go down, rather stay on the surface and chat with some miners.


 

Sugar, the capital of Bolivia, few people know it but only the seat of government has moved to La Paz, the capital has remained Sucre for centuries. A really pleasant town, we go down a lot in altitude, the air is pleasant, the climate is mild, it's not hard to breathe. In addition to relaxing and having fun, it is the place where you can fully appreciate Bolivian history and art. Definitely worth a visit Liberty House it is the most important historical building in Bolivia, where the declaration of independence was signed.


Don't miss the visit to cathedral and to its attached museum, where you will see the amazing Virgin of Guadalupe 17th century; a canvas completely dressed in silver and precious stones of inestimable value.

Drop by Convent of San Felipe Neri, it is inside a school, the view from the terraces is breathtaking. I am a lover of convents so I also recommend you San Francisco in Recoleta e Convent of Santa Clara.

Travel itinerary in Bolivia

In my Bolivian trip I continued to Cochabamba, one of the least touristy cities in Bolivia, but strategic for breaking up the journey. Many foreigners choose this place to stop and study Spanish, given the climate and the very low costs. The main attractions are: visit the Christ of Concord (which is higher than the one in Rio!!) you can go up with the cable car and go down on foot with a nice walk; and spend a morning at the Mercado de la Cancha, the largest in South America. If you are a nature lover nearby I definitely suggest the Toro Toro Park, you can go there either independently or with an authorized guide.

La Paz , if you get there by flying the landscape will be truly breathtaking and the head will be too! We are at 3660 meters above sea level and you have landed in El Alto, which is actually another city even higher than La Paz. La Paz is perhaps the ugliest city in Bolivia, it is likely that you will pass there several times because it is strategic for many places, but certainly not beautiful, it is rather gloomy, dark and chaotic. Like many of the cities on this continent it has two souls, the really messy historic center and the embassy district where all the expats and richest families live, I recommend you live and visit both sides of it.


Travel itinerary in Bolivia

There are certainly monuments that you cannot miss Murillo Square with Cathedral and the Museo Nacional de Arte, la Jaen Street   Museum of Musical Instruments , Murillo House.

A place that I love very much is the Mercado de las Brujas (literally meaning witches' market) in this area there is a lot of syncretism, or perhaps we should say that many ancestral rituals are still undertaken and this is the place where you can find everything that it is used for traditional medicine or traditional ceremonies, from herbs to alpaca fetuses. The Coca Museum is a really nice place to learn more about this wonderful plant that has allowed people to live at these heights for hundreds of years.

 

From La Paz you can take a plane to rurrenabaque, the small village immersed in the Bolivian Amazon Forest. I have been to the Amazon twice, both in Peru and in Bolivia and I loved Bolivia more, the variety of landscape and things to do near Rurre is truly incredible.

Travel itinerary in Bolivia

To move to the Bolivian side of the Lake Titicaca just buy a bus ticket for Copacabana, a cute, welcoming but very touristy town. I don't know if your trip will also continue in Peru, but if not, if you have more days available I recommend you visit both sides of the lake. Among the curiosities you will discover in Copacabana is the Catedral de la Virgen de la Candelaria, the most important sacred image for Bolivians, where cars are blessed to avoid accidents. Spend the sunset on the long lake taking photos and early the next morning take the boat to theSo Islandwhere I recommend you sleep at least one night, but better two. You sleep in the southern part of the island but you can cross it all on foot, the beaches and landscapes are wonderful, it definitely feels like the Mediterranean even though we are at 3500m. The air is really clear and the colors vibrant, the large snow-capped mountains on the horizon are the only warning not to think of being enveloped in the sea.

Bolivia welcomes many other beauties especially in the Andes, breathtaking trekking, canyons and boundless nature, I haven't been back yet, but I hope to do so as soon as possible to tell you about it.

Travel itinerary in Bolivia

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