Travel to Bolivia and experience the highlights of this breathtaking region

Explore the best of Bolivia on this adventure through lively cities, breathtaking scenery and colourful market towns. From the extreme elevation of bustling La Paz through the history of Potosi and on to the surreal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, there's a diverse mix of adventures and activities that deliver excitement, intrigue and pleasure. Discover the highlights of this fascinating part of South America and be swept away by the colour and beauty flourishing in this corner of the earth.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Destination
Bolivia
Style
Original
Code
GGSV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you

  • Choose to explore the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Valle de la Luna, a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires that feels like the surface of the Moon

  • Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre

  • Delve into the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi, once one of the richest cities in the world

  • Empty, haunting and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important information on this.

  • You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure.

  • In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn't happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility.

  • Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. Temperatures in the area can be very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothes with you. Meals are simple, toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. This is all part of the adventure. Without a doubt, this amazing experience will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

At around 3,600 metres, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world in La Paz! Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of industry – the country’s brain. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. After a 6 pm welcome meeting, enjoy an orientation walk with your leader and get to know the winding streets and pokey alleys. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. After the meeting, maybe head out into the city, situated in the middle of a vast volcanic crater. Breathe the ‘thin’ air, marvel at the vistas of buildings clinging to the canyonsides, and explore the lively streets like Calle Jaen.

Death Road Biking To Coroico - Please note that our leaders are not able to organize this activity for you due to safety concerns. Injuries are very common and there have been a number of fatal accidents.
Today you’re free to explore the nooks and side-streets of La Paz or, alternatively, venture out of the city in search of crisp mountain air. Perhaps hop on a local bus out to the extraordinary landscape of Moon Valley. Actually a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires, these rugged oddities make for staggering views. If you’d prefer to see some man-made oddities, why not take a cable car to the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches’ Market)? Though we can’t guarantee the potions, incantations and voodoo dolls will work their magic, the experience is reliably fantastic. This trip is part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip in Lima, 15 days ago on Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB8
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market' - Free
  • La Paz City Tour & Moon Valley - USD40
  • La Paz - Tiwanaku Archeological site (Shared service) - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
This trip is part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip in Lima, 15 days ago on Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).
Say goodbye for now to chaotic La Paz and begin your 8 am journey into the Bolivian wilderness. At around 9 hours, the drive will take most of the day and fittingly, Uyuni feels a bit like the edge of the world. This remote town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wild and rugged terrain that stretches of hundreds of kilometres towards Argentina and Chile. After a brief orientation walk of this quaint town you might want to get some rest – tomorrow you’ll be hitting the salt flats. Make sure you have a hot shower, as you may not have the opportunity over the next few days!
Accommodation
  • Basic Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The area is notorious for being extremely cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers.
Uyuni is the starting point of your three-day 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni and the Andean desert. This morning we will stop by the Train Cemetery three kilometres outside of Uyuni Town, connected to it by the old train tracks, and see where families of geriatric locomotives rust slowly in the sun. The remainder of the day is spent mostly on the salt lake itself. Heaving with around ten billion tonnes of salt, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt plain. Endless blue skies meet endless white plains, and it's a pretty hypnotic sight - don't forget to snap loads of photos! We will arrive at the Salt Flats dorm at around 6:30 pm. Settle in and enjoy an included dinner.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
December to March departures:
Please be aware that from December to March, there’s a risk of the salt lake being flooded. If this is the case, the itinerary will be adapted to accommodate this.

Accommodation:
Our accommodation tonight is very basic. Toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style.
Continue to trip through this mindboggling locale, reaching an island of cacti in its centre that rises like a jagged reef in the desert. Known as Inca Wasi, or Fish Island, this fossil-strewn outcrop was once the top of an ancient volcano. Visit Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde, lakes where algae and minerals have turned the waters a vivid red and green, respectively. One of the strangest sights in such arid and inhospitable land is the abundant wildlife, It's truly a photographers paradise. Look out for llamas, flamingos, vicunas, and foxes. Despite all the delights, this trip can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation in the desert is very basic. Shower facilities if any can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Electricity is generated by solar panels and generators, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. The Desert is at high altitude and can experience extremely cold weather, particularly at night.



Despite a sunrise wake-up call, you might still feel like your dreaming when you arrive at Sol de Manana geysers. Mud bubbles and geysers spurt like kettles giving off steam across this geothermal field. Descend to Polques and stop by the desert’s natural thermal baths for an optional – though highly recommended – soak. Continue through the Southern desert, making stops at the surreal landscape of suitably named Salvador Dali Valley and Volcano Licancabur. Back in Uyuni town wander around the streets of this outback settlement and chill out after a long day of sights and sulfur.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Catch a local bus for about 4 hours along the scenic route to Potosi, where you’ll arrive in the early afternoon. Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. Once the predominant supplier of silver to colonial-era Spain, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. Explore the architectural remnants of this period of industry in an orientation walk, then the afternoon and evening are yours. Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls or the National Mint Museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Potosi - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Potosi - National Mint of Bolivia - BOB48
  • Potosi - Santa Teresa Convent Museum - BOB33
  • Potosi - Cerro Rico mine tour - BOB150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Potosi Mine Tours:
Visiting the mines in Potosi can be a thrilling yet a dangerous experience. We at Intrepid have partnered with a local operator to offer travellers what we have assessed to be a safer and rewarding option for this visit. This tour involves visiting the miner’s market, a minerals distillery as well as entering the first 150-200 meters into the Grito de Piedra mine. We believe this experience offers a great understanding of the socio, cultural and economic importance of the mine to Potosi and the region while avoiding the risks associated with entering deeper sections of the mine. This activity is not for the faint hearted or those that suffer claustrophobia. Your Tour Leader is strictly prohibited from recommending or assisting travellers book other mine tours.
Arrive in Sucre with the locals after 4 hour bus ride, disembarking in the temperate valley city. Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991 and has retained the flavour of its colonial heritage in its churches, museums and ancient mansions. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning it the nickname the 'White City'. On arrival, you'll have plenty of free time to explore the city and get your bearings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a few days to explore Bolivia’s capital. After an orientation walk, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 68 million-year-old footprints have been discovered. This is the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, over 12,000 of them! Then, you might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta, a 400-year-old convent on top of the hill that provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. Or maybe head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to rub shoulders with Sucre's affluent residents and investigate the extravagant interior of the Senora de la Merced.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today set out for an included hike along the ancient Pre-Incan path known as the Chataquila trek. The trek is relatively easy being that it is mostly downhill. On the way down enjoy the stunning views of the Andes and the valleys.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek
Optional Activities
  • Sucre - Casa de la Libertad - BOB21
  • Sucre - Bolivian Dance Show - BOB100
  • Sucre - Museum of Textiles - BOB22
  • Sucre - Church of San Felipe Neri - BOB15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A 40-minute flight delivers you back to La Paz, where you can do as you please. Maybe head to the Mirador Killi Killi Lookout, located on top of a steep hill in the neighbourhood of Villa Pabon, and one of La Paz’s most impressive viewing points. Nearby is the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, which exhibits a wide collection of stunning works that takes you through Bolivian history. Perhaps visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district. If there’s time, you might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure tours. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, gather together you travel buddies and join the locals in seeking warmth in a bar or restaurant, and celebrate the end of your Bolivian adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Departure Tax: Please note you will be required to pay an airport departure taxt today which is approximately BOB11.
Your exploration of Bolivia's highlights comes to an end this morning. As there are no more activities planned, you're free to book your departure flights when you like and you can leave the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Plane, 4X4, Local bus, Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights), Hotel (9 nights)

Included activities

  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
  • Potosi - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS:
A single supplement is available on this trip except for Day 4 & 5 at Salar de Uyuni and the desert where accommodation is multi-share

GROUP SIZE IN UYUNI:
The excursion to Uyuni salt lake is on shared basis and your group size may be larger than12 travellers.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Bolivia Highlights trips score an average of 4.47 out of 5 based on 161 reviews in the last year.

Bolivia Highlights, September 2018

Owen Gaughan

Bolivia Highlights, September 2018

Andre Huguet