Bolivia Tour Plan

Bolivia 3

As a country that starts with B listed on Countryaah.com, Bolivia is the only country in South America to have an indigenous majority; in addition to the state language Spanish, 35 indigenous languages ​​are recognized as official languages. In the southeast there is even a small German-speaking colony of around 3,000 Mennonites who live strictly religiously according to rules from the 17th century. Visit Itypeusa.com for other countries that start with B.

Bolivia 3

  • Day 1: Welcome to Bolivia: Arrival in Santa Cruz and drive to the Amboró National Park
  • Day 2: Amboró National Park
  • Day 3: El Fuerte de Samaipata – Inca ruins
  • Day 4: Drive to Sucre
  • Day 5: Hike to Maragua
  • Day 6: Incomparable La Paz
  • Day 7: Hiking along old paths on Isla del Sol, the cradle of the Inca
  • Day 8: Isla del Sol
  • Day 9: Hike in the Königscordillera: Pico Austria
  • Day 10: Hike in the Königscordillera: Tuni Condoriri
  • Day 11: Sajama National Park
  • Day 12: Sajama – Jirira
  • Day 13: Ascent of the Tunupa volcano and mummy cave
  • Day 14: Salar de Uyuni and the cactus island Incahuasi
  • Day 15: Colorful Laguna Colorada
  • Day 16: Laguna Verde and Salvador Dalí desert and flight to La Paz
  • 17th day: departure day

Between the calvary and the virgin statue, colorfully decorated cars are blessed once a week in Copacabana, Bolivia’s most important pilgrimage site: by a monk and a shaman. Bolivia is strictly Catholic, but indigenous customs still play a major role. We get into a boat here in Copacabana and sail out onto the largest freshwater lake in South America, Lake Titicaca, out to Isla del Sol. It is here that the sun god Inti is said to have let his children, the first Inca, come to earth on a rock on the sunny island. On ancient paths we get to the Inca stairs, the Pilcocaina ruins, the sacrificial place and the fountain of eternal youth. In the evening we are posed when the sun sets behind the Königscordillera.

We can’t quite climb the 5,432 meter high Tunupa volcano, because the summit is made of brittle rock. But we come up to 4,900 meters, that’s enough for a tremendous view. On the way we visit the mummy cave: seven huddled bodies, thousands of years old, some with long black hair, the colors of the clothes can still be seen. Beside them jugs, coins, bottles – offerings of the residents of Coquesa. The next day we move through the huge white salt desert, the largest salt pan on earth, and visit the cactus island of Incahuasi. Their patient residents: old columnar cacti that do not grow more than one centimeter per year, but are now several meters high.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Welcome to Bolivia: Arrival in Santa Cruz and drive to the Amboró National Park

Bienvendio en Bolivia! We are picked up by our tour guide at Santa Cruz International Airport Then we drive together to the Amboró National Park and after about 3 hours we reach our destination for today, Lodge Volcanes. The Amboró National Park is located in the west of the Santa Cruz Department and thus in the eastern foothills of the entire Andes. Depending on how we feel after the long journey from Europe, there is the possibility to discover the area around the lodge on foot.

Please note that international flights are not included!

Driving time: approx. 3 hours
overnight in a lodge
(- / – / A)

2nd day:

Amboró National Park

The national park has an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Three major ecological regions meet: the Amazon, the Andes and the dry forest area of ​​the Gran Chaco.
After lunch we start our first hike: we go through dense rainforest to a waterfall. Lookout points offer perfect opportunities to let the beautiful surroundings work on us. Our guide keeps his eyes open to keep an eye out for local wildlife. The national park is known for its great diversity of birds – there is one of the highest concentrations of bird species per km2 in the world!
In the evening we slip into our hiking shoes for a short walk, because the sunset is best enjoyed from this one vantage point!

Hike in the afternoon: approx. 3-4 hours (hardly any height differences)
Hike in the evening: approx. 45 min.
Overnight stay in a lodge
(B / L / D)

3rd day:

El Fuerte de Samaipata – Inca ruins

We leave the Refugio Volcanes early in the morning and after a 1.5 hour drive we reach the starting point of our today’s hike “Codo de los Andes”. We enjoy wonderful views over the Amboró National Park and powerful Andean condors are often spotted here.
Then we drive to the small town of Samaipata and visit the archaeological monument “El Fuerte de Samaipata”. It is a ruin site of the Inca culture in Bolivia, is over 3,500 years old and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. The sandstone rocks adorn countless lines, channels, steps, figures and depictions of animals that were painstakingly carved by hand. The meaning in detail is still not fully clarified, but there is agreement that it is a ceremonial site of the Inca. The guided tour of the ruins takes about 2 hours.

Driving time: approx. 1.5 hours.
Hike in the afternoon: approx. 3-4 hours (+/- 400 m)
Hike in the ruins: approx. 2 hours.
Overnight stay in the hotel
(B / – / -)

4th day:

Drive to Sucre

Today the trip to the Bolivian capital Sucre is on the program, which we repeatedly interrupt with small stops at beautiful viewpoints to stretch our feet. During the trip we can see how the landscape is constantly changing. Once in Sucre we take a walk through the city center.

Driving time: approx. 7 hours
overnight in the hotel
(B / – / -)

5th day:

Trek to Maragua

Today we hike in the mountain range “Los Frailes”. Early in the morning we drive about an hour towards the village of Chataquilla (3600 m) and start our hike along an old Inca path. In the village of Maragua the vehicle was waiting for us, which will bring us back to the hotel in Sucre.
Here in the vicinity of Sucre, another highlight awaits us: dinosaur prints that were made 70 million years ago. The paleontological finds are very well preserved and can be assigned to at least 294 species. These originated from the end of the Cretaceous period to the beginning of the Tertiary, when the former plain was part of a lake that served as a drinking place. It is impressive to be able to see traces of the prehistoric fauna with your own eyes!

Driving time: approx. 1.5 hours, hike approx. 5 hours (+200 m / -350 m)
Overnight in hotel
(B / BL / -)

6th day:

Incomparable La Paz

In the morning we fly from Sucre to La Paz. The flight already offers spectacular views of the Andean highlands with its snow-capped peaks and shows how the city is nestled in the narrow valley basin, with the majestic local mountain Illimani (6,439 m) as a protective cover Setting and landmark of the Paceños. La Paz is breathtaking in many facets, the airport is located at an altitude of 4,100 m in the El Alto district, is the highest seat of government in the world and the difference in altitude between the highest and the lowest point is over 1,000 m. The city offers many contrasts, traditional and modern merge into a special synthesis.
We take a city tour and visit the most important sights, the Plaza Murillo, the Calle Jaén, the witch market and the moon valley. A ride on the cable car is of course a must!

Flight duration: approx. 35 min.
Overnight stay in the hotel
(B / – / -)

7th day:

Hiking along ancient paths on Isla del Sol, the cradle of the Inca

We drive to Copacabana early in the morning. This small town lies directly on the shores of the 3,810 m high Lake Titicaca and is the most important pilgrimage site in Bolivia. Lake Titicaca is the highest water in the world that can be navigated by ships. Once there, we get on a boat that takes us to the tranquil island of the sun. The Isla del Sol plays an important role in Inca mythology. The sun god Inti is said to have left his children, the first Inca Manco Cápac and his wife Mama Ocllo, on a rock on the sunny island.
Created on the island, we hike along an old Inca trail to our lodge. On the way we visit the Inca stairs, the old Inca Sun Palace (ruins), the place of sacrifice and the fountain of eternal youth. Since the path mostly runs on the island’s ridge, we are accompanied by wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains of the Königscordillera, the seemingly endless, deep blue Lake Titicaca and the neighboring lunar island.
At sunset we lace up our hiking boots again and take an evening walk. The view of the sun that sets behind the Königscordillera is unforgettable!

Driving time: approx. 3.5 hours.
Boat trip: approx. 1 hour.
Hike in the afternoon: approx. 1 hour (hardly any height differences)
Walk in the evening: approx. 1 hour (hardly any height differences)
Overnight in a lodge
(B / – / -)

8th day:

Isla del Sol

We start the day with a hike on the sunny island. Our destination is the Pilcocaina ruins from the Inca era. Then we go back to Copacabana by boat. Once there, we first walk on the Calvary of the place, from which we have a wonderful panorama over the largest freshwater lake in South America. Locals have small, symbolic objects blessed here, which should thereby become a reality.
We visit the beautiful basilica in Copacabana with its dark-skinned statue of the Virgin, the Virgen Morena, and stroll through the colorful market.
Bolivia is actually strictly Catholic, but customs and practices of its indigenous origin play an important role in everyday life. Once a week, brightly decorated cars are blessed by both a monk and a shaman in the important pilgrimage site. The major ceremonies take place on weekends, but blessings can be seen daily.

Hike on the sunny island: approx. 3 hours (hardly any height differences)
Hike to the Kalvarienberg: approx. 2 hours (+/- 200 m)
Overnight in the hotel
(B / – / -)

Day 9:

Hike in the Königscordillera: Pico Austria

Today it goes high! From Copacabana we drive into the Königskordillere to Jurikota Lake. We hike past lagoons to the Pico Austria pass. If you feel strong, you can climb Pico Austria at 5,360 m here (duration approx. 1 hour). The way back to our camp leads along some small mountain lakes and offers us an impressive panorama of snow-covered peaks. Llamas are our constant companions. At Lake Chiarkotasee we move into our tent in the Condoriri base camp (4,600 m) and let the evening end in the open air. Our luggage is carried by pack animals and a cook accompanies us. Our main luggage will be brought directly to La Paz where it will be ready at the hotel after the hike.

Driving time: approx. 3-4 hours.
Hike: approx. 5-6 hours (+/- 500 m) / when climbing Pico Austria an additional approx. 1 hour (+/- 300 m)
overnight stay in a tent – sleeping bag is essential necessary
(F / BL / A)

10th day:

Hike in the Royal Cordillera: Tuni Condoriri

In the morning we hike over one last pass, the Tuni Condoriri. We are at almost 5,000 m above sea level and the blue of the sky on the Altiplano is even more intense due to the thin air! The view of the surrounding mountain panorama accompanies us constantly and when we arrive at our destination, our transport is already waiting. We drive back to La Paz, past the imposing Huayna Potosí, which protrudes from the Cordillera Real at 6,088 m.

Driving time: approx. 2.5 hours.
Hike: approx. 3-4 hours (+/- 350 m)
Overnight stay in the hotel
(B / BL / -)

11th day:

Sajama National Park

Today we go over the Altiplano towards Sajama National Park, where we will arrive in the course of the afternoon. The landscape of the Altiplano is breathtaking, herds of vicuna and llama, imposing volcanoes and small Aymara villages adorn our geysing trail. Afterwards, thermal springs invite you to a relaxing bath, which is crowned with an unforgettable view of the highest mountain in Bolivia, the Sajama (6,542 m). We’ll be back at our accommodation for dinner.

Driving time: approx. 4 hours.
Hike: approx. 3-4 hours (+/- 250 m)
Overnight in the hostel
(B / – / D)

12th day:

Sajama – Jirira

Today it goes over the Altiplano to Jirira, a good starting point on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni to visit the salt desert and to climb the colorful volcano Tunupa. The journey is repeatedly interrupted to stretch our feet. We drive through the typical landscape of the plateau past small villages and the horizon of this incredible expanse is adorned by volcanoes from afar.

Arrived in Jirira, the salt desert shows its concentrated beauty at a sunset. There couldn’t be a better way to end a long day and make up for the rigors of the long drive.

Driving time: approx. 6 hours overnight in the salt hotel – sleeping bag recommended
(B / L / D)

13th day:

Ascent of Tunupa volcano and mummy cave

Early in the morning we hike towards the Tunupa. The volcano is 5,432 m high and is located on the northern edge of the Salar de Uyuni. Since the summit consists of brittle and loose rock, it is not possible to climb the summit. We will still come to 4,900 m and be rewarded with a tremendous view. The day starts from Coquesa and we visit a cave with mummies on the way. They are thousands of years old from a time before the Incas, spiritually buried in a place that, in the imagination of the natives, lies between Tunupa’s imaginary spread legs – a fertility ritual. The color of their clothing can still be seen and the small offerings made by the residents of Coquesa show the attachment of today’s population to their indigenous origins. We go at a height of about 4.
We spend another night in Jirira before we drive tomorrow to the great salt desert and on to San Juan.

Hike: approx. 3 hours (+/- 400 m)
Overnight stay in the salt hotel – sleeping bag recommended
(F / BL / D)

14th day:

Salar de Uyuni and Incahuasi cactus island

Today we spend the whole day in the bizarre landscape of the salt desert. With more than 10,000 km2, this is the largest salt pan on earth and the crust was formed over 10,000 years ago when the Paleo Tauca dried up.
We visit the cactus island of Incahuasi, which is populated by many meter-high column cacti, some of which are more than 1,200 years old. During a short hike on the island we can see it up close. Incahuasi (Quechua for house of the Inca) is also the highest point of the salt desert, offers an impressive panorama and shows us infinite white with snow-capped mountains in the background!

Driving time: approx. 2-3 hours.
Hike: approx. 1.5 hours (+/- 100 m)
Overnight in the hostel – sleeping bag recommended
(B / L / D)

15th day:

Colorful Laguna Colorada

We leave our accommodation early in the morning and drive to the Avaroa National Park. Another highlight awaits us! Smoking volcanoes, colorful lagoons in which pink flamingos stalk, steaming geysers and fumaroles and bizarre rock formations characterize this national park. The fauna and flora are equally unique and are characterized by the presence of many endemic species that have adapted to the extreme conditions. Viscachas, vicunas, numerous birds such as flamingos, Andean geese and rheas can be seen with pleasure. With a bit of luck, an Andean condor will circle over our heads. The air here is clear, thin and since there is no light pollution anywhere, there is a great starry sky in the evening.

Driving time: approx. 6-7 hours
overnight stay in a simple shared accommodation in a multi-bed room – sleeping bag absolutely necessary
(B / L / D)

16th day:

Laguna Verde and Salvador Dalí Desert and flight to La Paz

We set out for Laguna Verde, which lies at the foot of the Licancabur volcano at 4,329 m.
It has a noticeable greenish color and depending on how the wind blows, the color changes from light turquoise to dark green.
On the way to the Salvador Dalí Desert, which is part of the Siloli Desert, thermal springs at 4,800 m invite you to take a bath with a panoramic view. The gentle, pastel-colored mountain slopes with the typical rock formations are said to have inspired the artist. We are only a few kilometers from Chile here. Here at the latest we understand why the locals always throw a small piece of their food or drink on the floor – “para Pachamama” – for our mother earth, who is revered as personified nature by the Andean peoples.

Our jeep tour ends after a long journey back in Uyuni, from where we fly back to La Paz in the evening. Shortly before Uyuni we make a detour to a railway cemetery and make another stop to see how salt is extracted. The flight on the following day goes from Santa Cruz back to Europe, but from Uyuni there is no direct flight connection to Santa Cruz, which is why we pay a short visit to La Paz.

Travel time: approx. 8 hours
overnight in the hotel
(B / L / -)

17th day:

Departure

“Hasta luego” impressive Bolivia, for a long time we will feed on your unique beauty and the many unforgettable impressions.

Depending on the flight connection, we will be brought to the La Paz airport to take the feeder flight to Santa Cruz, because the flight back to Europe is only from the Bolivian capital.

There is also the option of adding an extension to Peru or the Bolivian Amazon – I’ll be happy to make you an offer!

Arrival and departure is not included!

Travel time: approx. 45 minutes
(B / – / -)

 

Bolivia 4