Experience the historical and natural highlights of breathtaking Bolivia.

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 Sucre, 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 world.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Destination
Bolivia
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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 for more important information on this. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

  • 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.

  • Please note that this trip can be joined with other adventures into a ‘combination trip’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today, and some may carry on to further destinations at the end of this tour. If you’d like to spend more time in South America, have a look at the combination trips that include this trip’s itinerary: Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Kamisaki! At around 3600 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 2pm welcome meeting, enjoy an orientation walk with your leader and get to know the winding streets and pokey alleys. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. 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).

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.
This morning, leave La Paz behind and travel by private vehicle to Uyuni – the gateway to Bolivia’s acclaimed salt flats. You’ll head off around 8.30 am this morning and will arrive late in the afternoon, so be sure to have a book or some podcasts ready, and some snacks on hand. Along your way, stop for some lunch with your group. Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano – a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. Once arrived, check in and relax into your hotel in Uyuni town. Although basic, your accommodation for tonight is clean and comfortable, and may be the last time you’ll have a hot shower for a few days!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Food With Altitude Urban Adventure - USD57
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond Urban Adventure - USD41
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB15
  • 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
It’s sightseeing time! Uyuni is the starting point of your 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni and the Andean desert. This morning you 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 abandoned 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! You’ll also have time to visit 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. After a big day of driving, you will arrive at your dormitory-style accommodation at around 6.30 pm. Settle in and enjoy an included dinner.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
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. Toilet facilities are simple, and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory style. 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, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers.

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, and this may include omitting the Inca Wasi visit from today.
Continue driving through the incredible landscapes of the Andean Desert, with another day dedicated to its natural wonder. Today, you’ll reach an altitude of 4900 metres above sea level, so it’s not just the backdrops that will take your breath away! Visit Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde, lakes where algae and minerals have turned the waters a vivid red and green. One of the strangest sights in such arid and inhospitable land is the abundant wildlife, It's truly a photographer’s paradise. Look out for llamas, flamingos, vicunas, and foxes. Once all the sightseeing is over for another day, retire to your dormitory accommodation for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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 multi-share accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Bid a final farewell and snap some last-minute photos of the Bolivian salt flats with some time spent meandering your way through the desert while you head back to Uyuni for the night. Depending on the time you arrive back in town, you’ll have some time to explore (or relax!) at your own pace. Spend the night here, and perhaps find a local restaurant for some dinner and drinks with your travel crew.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada & Laguna Verde
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, say goodbye to Uyuni, and 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 on a leader-led 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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Visiting the Potosi Mines 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 group leader is strictly prohibited from recommending or assisting travellers to book other mine tours.
After a lazy morning to explore Potosi, take a local bus early in the afternoon and arrive in Sucre after approximately 4 hours, 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 some free time to get your bearings of the city before you go for an optional dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Potosi - National Mint of Bolivia - BOB48
  • Potosi - Santa Teresa Convent Museum - BOB33
  • Potosi - Cerro Rico mine tour - BOB150
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 - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Church of San Felipe Neri
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. In the afternoon, perhaps head up to Recoleta, an old convent on top of the hill, giving some great views of the city. Adrenaline junkies might also like to take to the surrounding peaks for some excellent mountain biking options or perhaps give hang gliding a shot. Most of today and tomorrow are free to take up some additional optional activities in and around town, so it’s up to you what you’d like to do and see! Bolivian dance show, or textile museum, anyone?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek
Optional Activities
  • Sucre - Casa de la Libertad - BOB21
  • Sucre - Museum of Textiles - BOB22
  • Sucre - Bolivian Dance Show - BOB100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning is free to explore Sucre before catching a flight back to La Paz.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB15
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond Urban Adventure - USD41
  • La Paz - Food With Altitude Urban Adventure - USD57
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Departure Tax – Please note you will be required to pay an airport departure tax, for the flight today which is approximately BOB 11.
Today is the final day of your tour and there are no activities planned, so you are free to leave at any time. With so much to see and do, you might want to spend an extra day or two checking out the city. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, 4x4, local bus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights), Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada & Laguna Verde
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Church of San Felipe Neri
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip except for Days 4 & 5 where accommodation is multi-share.
2. The excursion to Uyuni salt lake is on shared basis and your group size may be larger than 12 travellers.
3. Nationals from the USA and South Africa need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate. 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.
4. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance and transport tickets. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
5. This trip starts with a Welcome Meeting at 2pm on Day 1.
6. Parts of your trip go above 2800m/9200ft where it is common for travellers to experience health effects due to altitude. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness prior to travel and see your doctor if you have health concerns.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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