Bolivia remains an afterthought for many travelers, but has breathtaking scenery and many sites worth a visit. Here are five places and things to do in Bolivia that will make any traveler’s mouth water!
Things to do in Bolivia
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1. Salar de Uyuni
The Uyuni salt flats are the largest in the world, where the white landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. There are one to seven-day tours available, all of which take you out onto the salt flats to explore one or more of the weird and wonderful sites there, from thousand-year-old cacti
to rare flamingos. There is a range of accommodation options, mostly tents and hostels. There are also hotels made of salt, but these are illegal as they damage the salt flats.
How to get there: Take a bus from Oruro or La Paz to Uyuni, where you will find multiple tour operators offering trips of varying lengths and prices.
2. La Paz
La Paz is a city of contrasts, from the busy witches’ market around Sagarnaga Street to the tranquil Plaza Murillo with its historic governmental buildings. The National Museum of Art exhibits Bolivia’s art history, and the Bolivian Andean Textile Museum is a must-see for all interested in the
beautiful weavings of the Andes. At night, make sure to check out Peña Huari on Sagarnaga for some traditional pipe music and dancing, or head to A Lo Cubano on Aniceto Arce Street for some Cuban food and music.
How to get there: Take a taxi or bus from the airport into town. There are bus services to La Paz from most other Bolivian cities, as well as from cities in Peru, Argentina and Chile.
3. The Yungas
Between the Andes and the Amazon, the Yungas valley has a subtropical climate that attracts visitors for a few days of relaxation after time in La Paz. There are two main towns in the Yungas. Coroico is busier and has a range of accommodations with pools, tennis courts and other amenities. Chulumani is a slightly smaller, laid-back town.
The most fun accommodation there is Country House, a cozy B&B just outside town, where owner Javier will regale you with stories of his youth in 1960s La Paz, and can suggest and organize a variety of tours.
How to get there: There are buses to Coroico and Chulumani from La Paz. More adventurous travelers choose to go by bike along the incredibly steep ‘Death Road’.
One of the oldest mines in the Americas looms over the world’s highest city: Potosi. Visitors can go to the National Mint, one of the most comprehensive museums of silver in the world, or just wander around the city and soak in its atmosphere.
Some visitors choose to visit the mines at Cerro Rico, where they can see the grueling conditions in which the miners live and work.
For many, this is a highlight of their trip to Bolivia – but safety considerations must be taken into account.
How to get there: There are buses to Potosi from most other cities in Bolivia.
5. Parque Nacional Toro-Toro
Though this is Bolivia’s smallest national park, it has one of the country’s main attractions: dinosaur footprints. In addition, the park includes hanging valleys and deep canyons, with some of the most breathtaking scenery travelers here say they have seen.
The most-visited parts of the park are the limestone caves and the pre-Inca fort named Llama Chaqui, and any hikes will take visitors past the dinosaur footprints. Camping is permitted, and there are a variety of hostels and other places to stay in Toro-Toro town.
How to get there: There are buses from Cochabamba direct to Toro-Toro town on Thursdays and Sundays.