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Bolivia Classic Tour - Culture and Heritage

  • Off the beaten track
If you're looking to immerse yourselves in Bolivia's fascinating cultural heritage, 17 days is the perfect amount of time to get to grips with the country's must-see sites. From the Choqueyapu River Canyon, the weird and wonderful limestone formations at the Valley of the Moon, Titicaca Lake, the snow-capped mountains of the Royal Cordillera, Sun Island, the Inca...

If you're looking to immerse yourselves in Bolivia's fascinating cultural heritage, 17 days is the perfect amount of time to get to grips with the country's must-see sites. From the Choqueyapu River Canyon, the weird and wonderful limestone formations at the Valley of the MoonTiticaca Lake, the snow-capped mountains of the Royal Cordillera, Sun Island, the Inca Empire next to the Fuente del Inca (fountain of the Inca), the Inca ruins of Chincana ('labyrinth'), a village stay to discover local customs, lifestyles, and cuisine, a dip in the Laguna Huaña Khota, to the famous 'Stone Tree' of the Siloli Desert, this is a trip back in time through thousands of years of natural and man-made history!

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Customisable trip itinerary

This tour idea is fully customisable

The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Arrival at the Airport

Pick up at the airport of El Alto and transfer to your hotel. On the way from the airport, located at 4,100m above sea level, you will get an impressive view of the city of La Paz all the way down to the city centre, located 300m lower.

Included: transfer upon arrival, hotel, breakfast

Visited:
La Paz
Accomodation
Rosario (La Paz)

Day 2: The Capital of The Andes

Meet at the hotel at 9am for a private transfer to one of the most spectacular viewpoints over the city, located at the bottom of the Choqueyapu River Canyon, with the 'Giants' of the Ryal Cordillera in the background: Huayna Potosi, Mururata and Illimani. This tour, perfect for photo lovers, first takes us to the 'K´Illi K´Illi' Mirador and to Laykakota Park (closed on Mondays), in the north-western part of the city.

Afterwards, we'll cross the Americas Bridge to the 'Plaza de España' Mirador, in the colonial neighbourhood of Sopocachi. From there, an abrupt descent leads us on to the 'South Zone,' passing through the 'Garden Cemetery.' We will finally reach the Valley of the Moon, a place where we will be able to walk between weird and wonderful limestone formations. In the afternoon, our vehicle brings us back to the city centre and drops us off in the heart of the colourful and animated Andean market of La Paz. You'll return on foot to the hotel with your guide.

​Included: entrance fees, private transport, excursion, English-speaking guide, hotel and breakfast

Visited:
La Paz
Accomodation
Rosario (La Paz)

Day 3: Heading West to Sun Island

Departure from the hotel at 9 am via private transport. We will head west towards Titicaca Lake, following the Royal Cordillera and its beautiful snow-capped summits. We will reach the charming port city of Copacabana after a 3 ½ hour-drive. Start off with a visit of the most interesting sites of Copacabana, such as its cathedral. Then, we will continue up to the hill of the Way of the Cross and enjoy an impressive view across the bay. An hour and a half motorboat ride across the lake will take us to Sun Island. 

Entering the most sacred island of the lake - passing through the ancient Inca Empire's door located right next to the Fuente del Inca (fountain of the Inca) - we will then climb up to the village of Yumani (around 500 steps). From there, you'll enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped peaks of the Ryal Cordillera in the background. 

Included: private transport, guide expenses, entrance fees, box lunch, English-speaking guide, boat ticket, hotel and breakfast, dinner

Accomodation
Puerta del Sol (Copacabana)

Day 4: Trek to Inca Ruins

From Yumani, we begin our 3 to 4-hour trek by following the ridges of the Island to the northern part. On the way, we will have the chance to admire Inca terraces (many of which are still being used), indigenous villages, sandy beaches, and beautiful landscapes. Arriving at the northern part, we will find the vestiges of the Inca ruins of Chincana ('labyrinth' in Aymara language). The labyrinth offers impressive views across the lake and the far distant shores of Peru.

It is difficult to believe that these cobalt-blue waters are almost 4,000m above sea level. After lunch, we'll hop on our boat taking us back to Copacabana. A private transfer will take us to the Aymara community of Tuni, at the foot of Mont Condoriri, and in the heart of the Royal Cordillera. (4 hours). 

​Included: guide expenses, entrance fees, English speaking guide, boat ticket, private transport, dinner, hotel and breakfast

Accomodation
Night at Ecolodge Tuni Hotel (Tuni)

Day 5: Meet the Local Communities

After long years of friendship between the members of the community and our agency, we launched a responsible tourism project which aims at accompanying the community of Tuni in the valorisation of its traditional Andean culture.

Over two days, we will have the opportunity to enjoy community tourism by sharing village life and customs, discover local activities, and sample typical Aymara dishes. Among many things, we'll learn about the importance of the llama, the education system, local beliefs and rituals, and the social organisation of an Aymara village.

​Included: hotel and breakfast, private transport, excursion, lunch, dinner, English-speaking guide

Visited:
Tuni
Accomodation
Night at Ecolodge Tuni Hotel (Tuni)

Day 6: Living like a Local

In the morning, you'll have a choice of activities according to what takes your fancy (and depending on the season): trout fishing with a local guide in the lagoons at the foot of Mount Condoriri, harvesting in the fields, visiting the village school, preparing chuño, a dehydrated potato with ancestral symbolism highly appreciated by the Aymaras (June-July), or hiking in the Cordillera. We will leave in the late afternoon to head to La Paz. 

​Included: hotel and breakfast, private transport, all inclusive meals, English-speaking guide

Visited:
TuniLa Paz
Accomodation
Rosario (La Paz)

Day 7: Sajama National Park

Departure from the hotel at 9 am in a private vehicle for the beautiful crossing of the Altiplano to the entrance of the Sajama National Park (around 4 hours). On the way, we will pass the village of Curahuara de Carangas, with its colonial church known as the Sixteen Chapel of the Altiplano (because of its perfectly-preserved intricate frescoes).

We will also stop at the Chullpas (carangas sepultures), now empty because of regular pillaging. The wildlife in the park abundant and diverse: alpacas, vicuñas, ñandus (a parent of the ostrich), and if we are lucky, flamingos on the Laguna Huaña Khota, which we will follow to the Hot Springs at the foot of Sajama Volcano. 

​Included: lunch, entrance fees, private transport, excursion, hotel and breakfast, dinner

Visited:
La PazSajama
Accomodation
Oasis (Sajama)

Day 8: Sajama's Geyser

In the morning, we'll head off to the geyser in our 4WD. This particularly active area offers a unique show of bubbling baths spread over hundreds of square metres. From there, we walk to the natural hot springs for a relaxing bath at the foot of Sajama Volcano, venerated by the local population (about a 2-hour walk). Packed lunch en-route.

​Included: private transport, excursion, guide (hiking), box lunch, hotel and breakfast, dinner

Visited:
Sajama
Accomodation
Oasis (Sajama)

Day 9: Direction: Salinas

Heading south through the country of 'Urus,' we'll follow sandy and dirt roads. After crossing Lauca River, we'll come across some of the most beautiful polychromatic chullpas of Bolivia (chullpas were the tombs of the Aymara lords; pre-Inca era). We'll then cross the Coipasa salt flat, in the heart of the wild Altiplano, surrounded by arid landscapes and volcanoes. At the end of the day we'll reach the village of Salinas where we will spend the night. 

​Included: lunch, entrance fees, private transport, excursion, hotel and breakfast, dinner 

Visited:
Sajama, Salinas

Day 10: En Route to Jirira

Early departure for the ascent of the volcano dominating Uyuni salt flat (with a guide – not technically difficult, but good physical condition required). In about 4 hours, we'll reach the viewpoint (4700 m.a.s.l.) offering an exceptional panorama across the salt flat and the surrounding volcanoes. Return to Jirira in the afternoon where we will be hosted by Doña Lupe and Don Carlos’ (basic comfort). Packed lunch en-route.

Included: lunch, local guide, private transport, excursion, hotel and breakfast, dinner

Visited:
Salinas, Jirira
Accomodation
Dona Lupe (Jirira)

Day 11: The Salar of Uyuni

In the morning, we'll visit Coquesa, a little village on the shores of the salt flat, famous for its Chipaya mummies. Then, we enter the Salar of Uyuni (3650m above sea level), the biggest salt desert in the world. We'll stop off in the heart of the salt flat, on Incahuasi Island. This island, of volcanic origin, is covered with stromatolites (fossilised bacteria representing the first traces of life on earth) and giant cacti. In the afternoon, we head south towards the village of San Juan (3/4 hours), where the famous mummies of the 'Lipez Lords' and a small museum are located.

Included: lunch, entrance fees, private transport, excursion, hotel and breakfast, dinner

Visited:
JiriraSan Juan

Day 12: Laguna Colorada

After leaving San Juan, we cross the Chiguana salt flat. From there, the dirt road climbs from 3,600 m to about 4,200 m above sea level. We'll drive past the foot of Tomasamil and Ollague volcanoes, near the Chilean border, before stopping at the viewpoint of Ollague volcano, still active and sheltering one of the world’s highest sulfur mines.

We then skirt the Chilean border heading south, following the 'Road of the jewels': lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Ch’arkota, Honda, sanctuary to three species of flamingo. The track continues through the beautiful scenery of the Siloli Desert and its famous 'Stone Tree,' where we may spot some viscachas, before arriving at the Laguna Colorada later in the afternoon. The intense red-brick colour of this lagoon is due to the light-sensitive phytoplancton present in its water.

​Included: lunch, private transport, excursion, hotel and breakfast

Visited:
San Juan, Laguna Colorada

Day 13: Sol De Mañana Geysers

Early departure in the morning for an excursion to the Sol de Mañana Geysers (4850 m above sea level), a volcanic crater with sulfurous fumes and bubbling waters. After breakfast in Polques Thermal Baths, we will drive along the Laguna Salada and cross the Dali Desert (which does indeed look like one of his paintings). By midday, we will have reached the Laguna Verde, at the foot of Juriques and Licancabur (el. 5960m above sea level) volcanoes.
There, we will enjoy a curious phenomenon: the wind changing the colour of the Laguna Verde into a spectacular emerald-green. Return to Laguna Colorada in the afternoon before heading north towards the village of Villamar.

Included: lunch, dinner, entrance fees, private transport, hotel and breakfast 

Visited:
Laguna ColoradaVillamar
Accomodation
l'auberge Las Piedritas (Villamar)

Day 14: Uyuni - La Paz by Bus

Early start for the last day of our 4WD expedition (5 to 6 hours on a dirt road). On the way to Uyuni, we'll visit the Valley of Stones, 'Rio Grande,' an area where vicuñas and ñandus (Ostrich family) abound, the villages of Culpina K and San Cristobal (famous for its beautiful ancient church).

In the late afternoon, we will enter the far-west atmosphere of the train cemetery, at the entrance of Uyuni. Transfer to the bus station. Departure at 8 pm to La Paz by a confortable direct night bus. Arrival in La Paz at 7:30 am the following day.

​Included: lunch, entrance fees, private transport, excursion, transfer departure, bus ticket

Visited:
Villamar, Salar de UyuniLa Paz

Day 15: Hiking to Lagoons & Nature

Pick up at the bus station and transfer to your hotel. We will leave the hotel at 8 am for the community of Chacaltaya, located 12 miles away from La Paz at 4300 m above sea level. A beautiful hike will take us to different viewpoints and lagoons, a perfect opportunity to spot Andean wildlife.
We will pass a first lagoon located at 4620 m.a.s.l, before going down to another lagoon located at 4560m.a.s.l, passing by pastures full of alpacas. Other activities are possible: trekking, fishing, participation in the daily activities of an Aymara community, and animal watching. Lunch in Pampalarama. Return to La Paz in late afternoon.

​Included: private transport, lunch, excursion, local English-speaking guide, guide expenses, hotel and breakfast

Visited:
La Paz
Accomodation
Rosario (La Paz)

Day 16: A Final Dose of Adrenaline

Meet up at 6:30 a.m. to start our mountain bike tour! A vehicle will take us to the Cumbre Pass (4750 m.a.s.l. – 1h), in the Royal Cordillera. Here begins our thrilling mountain bike descent! On the way down this winding road, the scenery becomes greener, the air more humid, the wind warmer. Some 100 km lower (more than 3500m of elevation loss), you'll find the Amazon Basin, and the intermediate region known as the Yungas.

A final 7-kilometre steep ascent (650m of elevation gain) leads us to the village of Coroico, the paradise of the Yungas region (possibility of completing this last part by vehicle). Lunch in the village, and take a swim in the pool to cool down before returning to La Paz at the end of the day.

​Included: lunch, English-speaking guide, private transport, hotel and breakfast

Visited:
La Paz
Accomodation
Rosario (La Paz)

Day 17: Departure

Private transport from the hotel 3 hours prior to departure time, and transfer to the airport for your international flight. See you soon!

​Included: transfer

Visited:
La Paz

La Paz Copacabana Yumani Tuni Sajama Salinas Jirira San Juan Laguna Colorada Villamar Salar de Uyuni

Price details

This tour idea is fully customisable

The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. £2,490 / 17 days
Excluding international flights
Price per person, double occupancy

Included in price:

  • All mentioned as included in the tour description

Not included in price:

  • International flights not mentioned
  • Airport taxes (international and national)
  • meals not listed as included (allow 3 to € 10 per meal / person)
  • Visa fees
  • Insurance
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Gratuities
Book your flights to Bolivia
International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
Check out the many benefits:
  • Competitive rates
  • All-inclusive prices with no hidden fees
  • Elsa, in Bolivia will inform you of any changes to your flights
For more information or to book your flights directly, head to our partner site.

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