Bolivia’s extreme geography of deserts, mountains, canyons, and jungle hide untold mysteries waiting to be uncovered. In the most isolated country in the Americas, visit the delightful colonial city of Sucre, enjoy family hospitality at an old hacienda, and visit the homes of the some of the finest Andean weavers. Next, it’s off to the historic mining town of Potosi and then a trip through twisting canyons to the largest salt desert in the world. Discover the stunning contrasts of Bolivia and meet the warm people of this uncharted Andean nation.
Day 1 : Arrive in La Paz Day 2 : Sucre and Hacienda Candelaria Day 3 : Tarabuco Market Days 4-5 : Potosi Days 6-8 : Salt Desert of Uyuni Day 9 : Return to La Paz Day 10 : Return Home
Visit and meet several weavers in the village of La Candelaria
Try your wits with local vendors at the Tarabuco Market
Explore the streets and mines of Potosi, a World Heritage Site
Journey through canyons and villages to the Salt Desert of Uyuni
A short flight brings you to the colonial city of Sucre. At 9200 feet above sea level, Sucre enjoys the perfect spring climate year round. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch and transfer on to Hacienda Candelaria. Although well into her golden years, Dona Aby still runs this working hacienda, overseeing the planting and harvesting of corn, potatoes, and chili peppers each year. Visit the village of La Candelaria where the women are famous for their fine weavings, and visit the textile museum. Dona Aby's daughter, Elizabeth, is a local expert on these tapestries and good friends with the Quechua speaking artisans. Visit several homes to talk with weavers before heading back to Sucre this evening.
Sunday is market day in the village of Tarabuco, where farmers and weavers from the countryside join together in a festive atmosphere to trade foodstuffs, fine weavings, and exchange gossip with far away friends and relatives. After trying your wits with the local vendors, the rest of the day is yours to explore Sucre's colonial buildings, museums, and churches. For dinosaur buffs, you can take a half-day trip out of town to see 60-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex tracks.
At over 13,000 feet above sea level, Potosi is the highest city of its size in the world. After the discovery of silver in Cerro Rico (Rich Hill), Potosi grew into the largest and most opulent city in the Americas. The city’s rich colonial architecture and tragic history as a colonial mining town has earned recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Your time here is free to explore the cobblestone streets and possibly visit the working mines of Cerro Rico. With no mechanization in the mines, a visit into the maze of tunnels is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Today it’s off in four wheel drive trucks to the Salt Desert of Uyuni. From Potosi you travel through tortured canyons and past adobe villages where time seems to stand still. Cross a pass of over 15,500 feet before arriving to your rustic accommodations in the town of Uyuni. Spend your first night at the well known Salt Hotel, a historic hotel actually built of salt. Visit Incahuasi Island, a bizarre island surrounded by salt and studded with 20 foot tall cactus. Also explore the train cemetery, learn about the production of salt bricks in the village of Colchani, and watch graceful flamingos wading through briny water. On your last day visit Volcano Tunupa for a spectacular view of this great expanse of salt.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.