This itinerary offers the best of Bolivia in 3 weeks, combining independent and organized tours/activities. Wander the picturesque town of Copacabana on the Bolivian shore of Lake Titicaca. Take a day trip to Isla del Sol, the legendary birthplace of the Sun God. Explore the colorful and crazy administrative capital of La Paz. Defy death along the World’s Most Dangerous Road to Rurrenbaque. Head to the jungle for a fun-filled adventure in the Amazon. And travel across the Andean Plateau to experience the otherworldly vistas of the Uyuni Salt Flats and the Atacama Desert. Enjoy your wanders in Bolivia!
Days 1-3: Copacabana
Situated on the Bolivian shore of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana is a picturesque town with pastel buildings and beautiful vistas. From Plaza Sucre, wander the cobblestone streets lined with colorful homes and stop in the 16th century Spanish pilgrimage site, Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Fnjoy a variety of hikes such as Horca del Inca (Inca Gallows), one of the area’s most sacred sites, and Cerro Colvario (Calvary Hill) for panoramic views of Lake Titicaca. For more details, visit our post on Copacabana, Bolivia.
Day 4: Isla del Sol
From Copacabana, take a day trip to the “Island of the Sun.” A local boat company at the waterfront can arrange transportation by way of a two-hour boat ride. Upon arrival in Challapampa, the north end of the island, make the four-hour hike to Yumani, the town at the south end. Take in the various archaeological sites along the way, such as the natural markings of the Huellas del Sol (“Footsteps of the Sun”) and the Inca Table, an ancient stone platform used for human sacrifices and religious rituals. For more details, visit our post on Isla del Sol, Bolivia.
Days 5-9: La Paz
From the lakeside town of Copacabana, head to La Paz in the Andes Mountains, the world’s highest administrative capital at 12,000 feet above sea level. Browse the eccentric wares at the Mercado de Las Brujas (Witches Market). Learn about the history and craft of Bolivia’s beautiful embroidered rugs at the Museum of Andean Textiles. Wander the well-to-do Sopocachi neighborhood and join the locals for a cheap dinner at the food stalls in Plaza San Francisco. For more details, visit our post on La Paz, Bolivia.
Day 10-17: The Amazon
From La Paz, take the harrowing journey by bus or shared car along the Death Road to the sleepy town of Rurrenbaque, gateway to the Amazon (alternatively, take the safer option of a flight.) From “Rurre,” get ready for an adventure into the jungle through a pre-booked tour of the Amazon. A local company such as Madidi Travel supports conservation through sustainable tourism. A typical tour includes a stay at Serere Reserve, a 4000-hectare private nature reserve located within the Madidi Mosaic. Here, you can learn about different flora and fauna, seek out the elusive howler monkey and fish for piranha. Allow for an overnight in Rurrenbaque, both at the beginning and end of this trip. For more details, visit our post on The Amazon, Bolivia.
Days 18-23: Uyuni Salt Flats & Atacama Desert
From the jungle of the Amazon, make your way back to La Paz (ideally, by flight) to take an overnight bus to Uyuni. This unassuming town is the starting point for a multi-day tour through Bolivia’s most fascinating region. The trip is not for the faint-hearted. Depending on the time of year, temperatures can drop 20 below zero Fahrenheit. Accommodations are varying levels of comfort, from dorm-style huts to a modest room in a guesthouse. If you can get past the inconveniences, it is an unforgettable trip.
Highlights include the magical salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, the wind-shaped rock formations of the Siloli Desert and the incredible landscapes and wildlife of Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. The trip ends in Tupiza – from there, it’s possible to take a bus to Argentina. For more details, visit our post on the Uyuni Salt Flats & Atacama Desert, or join us on our wanders in Argentina: The best of Argentina in 4 weeks.