Magical Bolivia presents numerous ways to take the breath away. Quite literally, in fact, if you find yourself hiking one of the ancient Inca trails high up among the peaks of the Cordillera Real. But in other ways too. In a world where Instagram travel has made the exotic familiar, Bolivia somehow manages to produce landscapes that grab the imagination, and discovering Bolivia still feels new. There are the historic landmarks and ancient ruins, but without the lines of tourists waiting to take their selfie. There are wildernesses to explore from the jungle to the high plains, but without a convoy of tours leaving their trace through each one. Here are just some of the highlights on offer.

Live the experience: 16 days.

Itinerary

Day 1: La Paz

Arrival to La Paz, relax and a convenient hour we will explore the city, After lunch and an introductory talk on the city of La Paz from your guide you will set out to discover the city from a different perspective than usual, cable car. The people of La Paz are a mix of indigenous peoples and immigrants which has given birth to a specific type of cultural syncretism with people from all social groups still believing in indigenous Aymara deities such as the God of Abundance and Mother Earth, and observing a myriad of traditions and rituals. This programme gives you an insight into this side of the everyday life of the people of La Paz. This programme includes a walk through the Witches’ Market, where you will see the different materials needed to perform traditional ceremonies and rituals, and listen to local myths and legends. Close by is where the Kallawayas (traditional healers) work and you will have the chance to take part in a ceremony to ensure good luck and blessings.  Coca-leaf reading.

Day 2: Palca Canyon and Animas Valley

After breakfast set out for the south zone of the city passing through residential neighbourhoods to reach Valle de las Animas (Valley of the Souls), geological formations shaped by erosion to look like spires or organ pipes. Continue driving to the small community of Palca to take a short walk with the snowy peaks of Illimani in the background. Pass through small Aymara communities on a quaint road far from the noisy streets of La Paz. Finish the day we will stay in the country side and stay in our glamping, the dinner will be prepared for one of the most prestigious Chefs in La Paz that will cater an special moment for you.

Day 3: La Paz

At a convenient time we will return to La Paz, to keep exploring La Paz a Paz has recently been designated a “Marvellous City” and as the seat of government has an endless range of wonders to delight all visitors. Her culture and identity lie beneath her facade fusing a mix of Aymara and Spanish cultures in the faces of her inhabitants and their syncretism.  Leave the hotel early in the morning to sample a typical breakfast of Api con Llauchas (a hot corn drink and cheese-filled pasty) in one of the city’s oldest markets. Watch the city wake up and visit the “mañaneras”; ladies who sell locally-designed and produced clothes from 6:00 am. La Paz is a symbiosis of identity and culture best seen on the street of embroiderers who make the typical costumes used during local festivities. Watch them at work keeping the identity alive of the creole class that is fast becoming an economic force to be reckoned with. Continue on up through the sprawling hillside neighbourhoods to the city of El Alto perched on the brow above La Paz to see the luxury homes of the Aymara nouveau riche. These “Cholets” (a combination of the word Cholo – an indigenous man who has migrated to the city – and the word Chalet) are built by local entrepreneurs who have accrued a fortune in the informal economy and are a blend of pre-Colombian symbols and vibrant colours. At midday float high above the city of La Paz on the red line of the teleférico (cable car) to enjoy the city from a different angle. Stop off at the Cemetery station for a lunch of fresh trout from Lake Titicaca at the Fish Market. Enjoy a “Quitapenas” (comforter) cinnamon ice-cream and cheese pasties traditionally eaten in the afternoon in La Paz. Visit the Cemetery to see the multi-story resting places of the ordinary folk and luxurious tombs of the city’s greatest. Observe the everyday traditions surrounding death in this fascinating city.

Day 4: Coroico

After breakfast we will move to the north part of La Paz the small town of Coroico is located in the subtropical area north of La Paz, which is classed as a cloud forest due to its location. On the way there are two roads – a new paved one or the old one built over 60 years ago. The old road is narrow and is quite an adventure with dramatic scenery and breath-taking hairpin bends. The area is surrounded by banana, citrus fruit and coca fields. The 3-hour journey down from the highland plain to the Yungas covers the region’s different ecosystems and climates. You will be captivated by panoramic views of singular beauty as you reach 4,700 m, before descending to 1,150 m to the village of Yolosa in just one hour. The road winds up to Coroico where you visit coffee, coca and citrus fruit plantations. In the village of Coroico you will be able to visit the market, see people going about their daily life and look out at the stunning views from a lookout point. Have lunch and enjoy the subtropical surroundings.

Day 5:  Cotapata National Park

After breakfast the next day go to the Cotapata National Park which is a bird, butterfly and orchid reserve amazing paths take us to the most impressive bolivian cloud forest this is the heart of the coffee-growing region, we will visit Tocaña and share with one of the few groups of Afro-Bolivians that still preserve their culture. We will drink “sultana”, which is a delight to all of our senses, made from the hull of the coffee bean and enjoy local music, food and dancing, which are all part of the ritual of coffee production in the region.

Day 6: La Paz

During the morning we will leave from Coroico and return to La Paz. Relax afternoon.

Day 7: Uyuni

Morning flight from La Paz to Uyuni, or arrive in Uyuni by train. Breakfast and set out for the salt flats past a small settlement called Colchani where the locals process salt. We will not stop for much time as we are aiming to get to the middle of the salt flats to see the eyes, salt mountains and salt blocks. This singular route takes us into one of the world’s most isolated areas where we will be alone surrounded by a glittering white landscape. After a couple of hours arrive at Isla del Pescado or Incahuasi Island to look at giant cacti, birds and vizcachas that have made this island their own. At midday stop for a buffet of delicious local produce in the middle of the salt flats, and then we will move on to the salt flats. In the afternoon we take one of the hundreds of routes across the salt flats to watch the sun go down in a blaze of intense colours.

Day 8: Uyuni

Leave from the hotel for the Tunupa Volcano, Chantani Museum and the Coquesa Mummies, discover the salt flats and appreciate the scenery. If it is the rainy season we will provide you with boots so that you can discover the wonderful reflections on the salt flats.

Return to the salt hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 9: Potosí

After breakfast we will drive to Potosi once we arrive we will enjoy an amazing typical lunch, that includes “kalapurca soup ” in the afternoon we visit the Royal Mint (Casa de la Moneda) the most important mining centre which became the world’s largest industrial complex in the 16th century. Stroll down cobbled streets to peer into colonial churches that reflect Potosí’s once wealthy past.

Day 10: Sucre communities

Bolivia is home to many different cultures and traditions. Jatun Yampara is a Jalka and Yampara community that enjoys receiving visitors and showing them their culture, traditions and way of life. You will visit their homes, their small local museum, places where the locals make offerings to Mother Earth, and the local school. You can try local dishes and chichi – fermented corn juice. You can also buy handicrafts and ceramics directly from the artisans.

Day 11: Sucre

This visit to the city of Sucre allows us to get to know the most representative sites of the capital. In the morning the visit begins with the Recoleta Mirador (lookout point), the Museum of the Recoleta, then the ASUR Textile Museum, which is one of the best collections of textiles in the Bolivian valley region. We will go on to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the museum of the Merced, the Church of San Lázaro, Santo Domingo, the Casa de la Libertad, the patio of the University of San Francisco Xavier, and the Parque Bolivar where many important monuments are located. Also, after enjoying a traditional lunch in a typical restaurant we will visit the Convent of San Felipe Nery. At the end of the afternoon we will move on to the General Cemetery where we can have a look at different mausoleums containing the remains of famous Bolivians.

Day 12: Sucre – Cochabamba

In the afternoon we will take a regular flight ot Cochabamba, we discover this Bolivian valley understanding the essence of this zone, We begin this exploration by going to the main plaza “14 de Septiembre”, and then to Palacio Portales (house of the ‘Tin Baron’ Simón Patiño). We will also see the “Heroines of the Coronilla” Monument, the Christ of the Concordia and La Cancha – one the traditional markets, where you can find everything from fruit to handicrafts.

Day 13: Toro Toro

Set out from Cochabamba in the morning for the Toro Toro National Park passing though the villages of Tarata and Anzaldo, and crossing the Caine River. After around 4 hours we will arrive at Toro Toro and have lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Umajalanta Cave, 10 km from Toro Toro. This cave is thought to be the deepest cave in Bolivia and reaches around 7 km in depth. You will see amazing stalactites and stalagmites, flowstones, rimstones and columns. In the cave there is a small lake which is home to blind fish.

Day 14: Toro Toro

After breakfast visit the museum and walk along the Toro Toro River to the Toro Toro Canyon looking out for dinosaur prints and water holes. We will continue on to the lookout point for an impressive view out over the canyon with red-fronted macaws wheeling around below you. We will continue on through this stunning landscape until El Vergel where you can take a dip in pools of crystalline water. At the end of the afternoon descend around 1000 stone steps to the bottom of the canyon. In the afternoon return to our glamping.

Day 15: Santa Cruz

After breakfast we will drive to Cochabamba and then take a short flight to Santa Cruz relax in the city.

Day 16: Transfer Out

ACCOMODATION

Day 01  | Atix Hotel
Day 02 | Glamping Animas Valley
Day 03 | Atix
Day 04 | Glamping Cotapata National Park
Day 05 | Glamping Cotapata Nacional Park
Day 06 | Atix
Day 07 | Luna Salada Hotel
Day 08 | Luna Salada Hotel
Day 09 | Museo Cayara
Day 10 | Glamping Sucre nearby textile communities
Day 11  | Parador Santa Maria
Day 12  | Gran Hotel Cochabamba
Day 13  | Glamping in Toro Toro National Park
Day 14 | Glamping in Toro Toro National Park
Day 15 | Hotel Los Tajibos Santa Cruz

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