Stretching from the majestic icebound peaks and bleak high-altitude deserts of the Andes to the exuberant rainforests and vast savannas of the Amazon basin, Bolivia embraces an astonishing range of landscapes and climates. While three centuries of Spanish colonial rule have left their mark on Bolivia's language, religion and architecture, this European influence is essentially no more than a thin veneer overlying indigenous cultural traditions that stretch back long before the conquest. Due to its remoteness, Bolivia remains one of South America's least-visited countries, despite its myriad attractions. On this tour, we explore 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and go far beyond Lake Titicaca and La Paz. Visit the pre-Incan remains at Tiwanaku and Samaipata, explore the colonial architecture of Sucre and Potosí, experience the living heritage of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos and much more.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||City of Potosí||4.||Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos|
|2.||Fuerte de Samaipata||5.||Tiwanaku: Spiritual and Political Centre of the Tiwanaku Culture|
|3.||Historic City of Sucre|
|Price (From)||:||US$ 5560|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive La Paz
Welcome to Bolivia! We are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Check in time starts from 1500 hrs. The remainder of the day is free to relax and get accustomed to the altitude.
Overnight: Hotel Europa, La Paz (2 nights)
Day 02: La Paz
This morning, we head for the epic city of Tiwanaku*, the capital of an ancient civilization. Located 72 kilometers away from the city of La Paz, these ruins are near the south-eastern shores of Lake Titicaca. During its greatest times, the capital of Tiwanaku was the largest in the world and considered to be the cradle of all American civilizations. The most recent radiocarbon 14 tests show that these pre-Inca ruins date back to 1580 B.C. In this ancient, breathtaking city, we will visit the Kalasasaya (Sun) temple, semi subterranean (Earth) temple, Akapana Pyramid and the legendary Sun Gate. The tour also takes us to an impressive museum filled with ancient objects and tools that stand as proof of just how advanced this civilization really was.
Afternoon we visit the famous Witch Doctor's Market, San Francisco Colonial Church and the typical handicrafts of the Sagarnaga Street. The tour continues to Plaza Murillo, where the Cathedral, the Government Palace and the National Congress buildings are located. Then, visit the famous colonial street Jaen where interesting museums are clustered together. A change of scenery as we continue on to the residential areas of Obrajes, Calacoto and La Florida. The tour ends with a visit to the unique Moon Valley, where passengers will have the opportunity to walk around and visit a ceramic workshop with a demonstration of the art of pottery. (B)
Day 03: La Paz/Copacabana (Drive)/Sun Island (Cruise)
Early morning, we are transferred to Copacabana to visit its sanctuary. All services on this day and next day are on seat-in-coach/share basis. Then head to Titicaca Lake and board a catamaran cruise ship to Sun Island, the legendary birthplace of the Inca Empire. En route, we will enjoy buffet lunch on board. Visit Challapampa Village, where we have the opportunity to interact with one of the most unspoiled indigenous Titicaca villages through an innovative program organized with the local community. We will visit their museum, chapel, school and a typical house. We will also have the chance to sail in their vessels to an Inca holy temple, witness an Andean ritual and walk through Inca trails.
Overnight: Catamaran, Sun Island (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 04: Sun Island/Inti Wata Complex/Chua (Cruise)/La Paz (Drive)
Our catamaran cruise sails across the lake. Savour breakfast and the incredible panorama of the surrounding mountains. We stop to visit the Pilkokaina Inca Palace. Then continue to the Inti Wata Cultural Complex, including the Ekako Underground Museum, the traditional medicine and the Titicaca Reed Shipbuilders display centers, the Pachamama agricultural Inca terraces, a handicraft center and the Intica lounge. At the Manco Kapac, look out for the largest variety of Andean camelids. We also explore the Inca Garden, steps and Inca fountain. We end our visit with a fantastic sailing experience aboard a huge Titicaca traditional reed vessel. Buffet lunch will be on board while sailing to Chua harbor. Afterwards, we will transfer back to La Paz city and arrive at our hotel in the evening.
Overnight: Hotel Europa, La Paz (1 night) (B, L)
Day 05: La Paz/Uyuni (Flight)/Ojo de Perdiz (Drive)
This morning we are transferred to the airport for a short flight to Uyuni (cost not included). Upon arrival, we head out to visit the train cemetery. Next stop is at Alota and Kulpina villages before we continue to the mining town of San Cristobal and the valley of gigantic rock formations. Later afternoon, we arrive at Ojo de Perdiz.
Overnight: Hotel Tayka del Desierto, Ojo de Perdiz (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 06: Ojo de Perdiz/Green Lagoon/Ojo de Perdiz
A fascinating day ahead as we have the chance to explore the Siloli Desert, where we will see an interesting rock formation known as Stone Tree. We will also observe the famous llamas and vicuñas, as well as a particular rodent known as viscacha. Later, we enter the National Reserve of Andean Fauna Eduardo Avaroa and visit the Red Lagoon. This lagoon has an impressive red color due to a fine reddish sediment accumulation on the surface, as well as the pigmentation of the algae found in the lake. This lagoon is populated by three species of flamingos (among them the famous James). The trip continues towards Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun), where we see colourful geysers and volcanic holes. The final part of our descent leads us to the Green Lagoon, an impressive lake that resembles a giant emerald, with a particular brightness in the mornings and afternoons. Its color is due to the high magnesium content in the water. Close by, the Licancahur Volcano sits 5,868 meters above sea level. A box lunch will be provided for today’s excursion. (B, L, D)
Day 07: Ojo de Perdiz/Salt Flat/Colchani (Drive)
Depart from Ojo de Perdiz towards Uyuni. En route, we experience Cañapa, Hedionda, Honda, Chiarkhota and Ramaditas lagoons, as well as Ollagüe´s viewpoint, the Galaxy caves (famous for their rock formations) and Incahuasi Island. This island is located in the heart of the salt flat and is the greatest of a group of islands that represents an isolated ecosystem. The island is populated with a cacti species that measures up to 12 meters high (26.25 feet), providing an impressive view. After a box lunch break, we continue to Colchani.
Note: During the rainy season, from November to March, the salt flat could be flooded. In this case, we will substitute the above with a visit to the Colchani village, where it is possible to observe the process of extracting salt by hand. When the salt flat is completely covered with water, it becomes a giant white mirror where the sky is reflected perfectly and everything seems to be floating on air. The scenery is a paradise for photography lovers because of the effects that can be achieved.
Overnight: Hotel Luna Salada, Colchani (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 08: Colchani/Potosi (Drive)
Today we drive to the City of Potosi*, with a stop to visit a private mine on the Cerro Rico. This mine is currently managed by the miners, who bought it from the State. We will be able to see the miners performing their job, often using the same techniques as when miners worked under the Spanish colonies. After a box lunch, we continue to Potosi. In the 16th century, this area was regarded as the world’s largest industrial complex. The extraction of silver ore relied on a series of hydraulic mills. The site consists of the industrial monuments of the Cerro Rico, where water is provided by an intricate system of aqueducts and artificial lakes. Potosi is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at 4,090 metres (13,420 ft). Founded in 1546 as a mining town, it soon produced fabulous wealth, becoming one of the largest cities in the Americas and the world, with a population exceeding 200,000 people.
Overnight: Hotel Coloso, Potosi (1 night) (B, L)
Day 09: Potosi/Sucre (Drive)
This morning, visit San Lorenzo Church, where we will appreciate its beautiful façade, Casa de la Moneda Museum (shared guide provided by the museum), the exterior of the Tower of Company, the exterior of the Arch of Cobija and the artisans market in the colonial area of the city. Next explore the museum of Santa Teresa Convent, the exterior of the Cathedral and San Francisco Church museum. In the afternoon, we drive to the Historic City of Sucre, the first capital of Bolivia, founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century. Its many well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with styles imported from Europe.
Overnight: Parador Santa Maria Hotel, Sucre (2 nights) (B)
Day 10: Sucre
Today, explore the Historic City of Sucre*. We experience the Convent of La Recoleta Museum and its viewpoint, the Asur Textile Museum, the facades of the churches of San Lazaro and Santo Domingo, the University's Museum, the Cemetery and other main historical monuments. After our lunch break, we continue our tour, visiting the House of Freedom Historical Museum, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Museum of the Treasure, which has a high level display of Bolivian precious and semiprecious stones, the Historical courtyard of the San Francisco Xavier University, Santa Monica's Church exterior, San Francisco's Church and the Convent of San Felipe de Nery. (B, L)
Day 11: Sucre/ Santa Cruz (Flight)/San Javier/Concepcion (Drive)
We are transferred to the airport for our short flight to Santa Cruz (cost not included). Upon arrival, we are received and drive to the Chiquitania region for our exploration of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos*. Between 1696 and 1760, six ensembles of reducciones (settlements of Christianized Indians) inspired by the ‘ideal cities’ of the 16th-century philosophers were founded by the Jesuits in a style that married Catholic architecture with local traditions. We visit San Francisco Javier, the westernmost and the earliest. It is now a small village whose traditional habitat preserves some characteristics of the domestic architecture of the Jesuits. The school has survived, as well as the church, the work of Father Martin Schmidt. After a lunch break, we continue to Concepción.
Overnight: Hotel Chiquitos, Concepcion (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 12: Concepcion/Santa Cruz (Drive)
We drive to the Santa Teresita Stone for a panoramic view of the Valle Chiquitano and visit the church of Concepción, built in 1725 by Father Martin Schmidt. We also visit the Museo Misional to see different wood sculptures before our return drive to Santa Cruz.
Overnight: Hotel Los Tajibos, Santa Cruz (2 nights) (B, L)
Day 13: Santa Cruz
We take a full day excursion to Fuerte de Samaipata*, the largest carved stone in the world. The archaeological site of Samaipata consists of two parts: the hill with its many carvings, believed to have been the ceremonial centre of the old town (14th–16th centuries), and the area to the south of the hill, which formed the administrative and residential district. The huge sculptured rock, dominating the town below, is a unique testimony to pre-Hispanic traditions and beliefs, and has no parallel anywhere in the Americas. (B, L)
Day 14: Depart Santa Cruz
After our incredible journey of marveling at Bolivia's cultural and natural heritage, we are transferred to the airport. Or continue our adventure with Bestway tours to other parts of South America, including Peru and Chile. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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