From the high Andes to the Amazon basin, Bolivia is a country of diverse, captivating scenery, colourful culture and fascinating history.
The altiplano is a high grassland plateau of desolate beauty where vicuña graze among giant cacti, ringed by volcanoes and the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real. The dazzling crystalline Uyuni salt flats, mineral-rich lagoons and wind-sculpted rock formations of the southern deserts must rank among the world’s most surreal landscapes, and a night in a salt hotel is an experience not to be missed.
Bolivia suffered a long spell under the thumb of the Spanish conquistadors, epitomised by the silver mines of Potosí which produced fabulous wealth at a terrible human cost. Despite this it has proudly maintained its indigenous culture, seen in the vivid flowing skirts and bowler hats of the Aymara people, and La Paz’s witches’ market where you can buy amulets, charms and even dried llama foetuses.
Straddling the border with Peru is Titicaca, the sacred lake of Inca creation myths. From the surrounding mountain peaks, the land plunges dramatically through cloud forests to the semi-tropical lowlands and the rainforest. Here you’ll find the Jesuit missions, founded in the 17th and 18th centuries and uniquely still thriving, which host a superb biennial festival of baroque music.
Here are some of our Bolivia highlights
Endless salt flats
Home to three species of flamingo, 10 billion tonnes of salt and used by Nasa to position its satellites, the Salar de Uyuni is one of South America's most unique landscapes and a must for everyone visiting Bolivia.
UNESCO Heritage City
The beautiful 'white city' of Sucre is Bolivia's legal capital and home to the country's best colonial architecture. Aside from its beauty, one of the main draws is the city's relaxed atmosphere, tempting visitors to stay longer than they bargained for.
The unique capital
Surrounded by the snow capped peaks of the Andes, the scenery around La Paz is breathtaking. The unique city is the highest capital in the world and is home to colourful markets, cobbled alleys and some fine museums.
All the arrangements/pick-ups went to plan including all the flights. The guides/drivers especially in Bolivia were superb - our guide in Bolivia was excellent and was with us the whole journey. I don't need to tell you that the Uyuni salt flats were unbelievable. We also really enjoyed Sucre - what great city and glad we had few days at the wonderful Parador. The city was refreshing and a joy to wander around and we had some lovely meals. La Paz was a great place to finish - El Alto on the way from the airport was so fascinating and the views over La Paz quite spectacular. We really enjoyed the streets of La Paz and the visit to Tiahuanaco was very good with also some great mountain views on the way. We had no real issues with the altitude apart from a few headaches but are glad we didn't begin in La Paz. Many thanks again for the advice and organisation. - DH