Your day-by-day itinerary
Wandering through the Lanes of La Paz
When you arrive into La Paz our representative will be waiting for you. They’ll drop you off at your colonial hotel in the centre of La Paz, within walking distance from the Witch’s Market and the San Francisco Cathedral. Since it’s impossible to know how your body will react to the altitude, there are no activities planned. If you feel okay, you can walk through the city and enjoy your stay at your own pace.
Flamingos and Volcanoes
Set off on an unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most bizarre and challenging landscapes, where geysers bubble on the surface and flamingos flock around brightly coloured lakes. Travelling by 4×4 in a small group and staying in basic lodges, you’ll pass through the beautiful Uyuni Salt Flats, before heading up to the high altitudes and strange volcanic landscapes of the Atacama Desert.
You’ll spend 2 nights in a hotel in the dusty salt-mining town of Uyuni, and 2 nights in basic lodges during your jeep tour. This trip is low on luxury, but you will have private facilities and an English-speaking guide throughout, and we think this once-in-a-lifetime experience makes it well worth roughing it a little!
Searching through the Silver Mines
Potosí is an unassuming little town, so you may be surprised to learn that in the 17th century it was one of the richest cities in the world. Nowadays the Cerro Rico silver mine is almost depleted, and Potosí is no longer the affluent city it once was, however the grand colonial buildings remain. Potosí is also one of the world’s highest cities, at over 4000m elevation. You’ll notice the thin air as you climb the steep streets, so on arrival at the bus station it’s best to take a taxi to your hotel.
Tonight you’ll be staying in a small, comfortable hotel in the historic centre. The next morning you’ll be picked up for your tour into the silver mines. It can be very claustrophobic down here and you should be aware that you’re likely to be briefly exposed to numerous noxious gases as you wriggle through small spaces and hear the sound of dynamite explosions nearby. This is a working mine and a visit isn’t for the feint-hearted. If you’d rather skip the tour, just let us know.
Springtime in the White City
Sucre is the constitutional capital city of Bolivia and has an agreeable, colonial elegance. The central plaza is lined with pastel-coloured colonial buildings and waving palm trees, and the climate is pleasantly warm and sunny. You’ll spend two nights in a comfortable hotel in the city centre which includes breakfast. You can spend the day wandering round the old churches, monasteries, museums and markets.
Siesta in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is the most affluent city in Bolivia and due to its relatively eastern location it attracts a lot of Brazilian companies and students. The city has a buzzing, international atmosphere and a pleasant sub-tropical climate. On arrival at Santa Cruz airport you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
The city’s central plaza is just a short walk from your hotel, where you can find yourself a sunny spot at one of the many outdoor cafes and take in the colourful street scenes. Around the Mercado los Pozos you’ll find lots of street vendors and it’s a great place to shop for souvenirs. In the evening try ordering a typical Bolivian ‘pique a lo macho’ for dinner: strips of braised beef, onions and peppers in a spicy sauce served with chips.
In the Footsteps of Che
You’ll be picked up at your hotel for the three hour drive to Samaipata in the east Bolivian countryside, the rolling green hills are dotted with small villages. Notice how the traditional dress of the village girls and women is very different to the ponchos and bowler hats in the Bolivian highlands. You’ll spend two nights in a converted farm tucked away in a peaceful green valley.
The finca is run by a Dutch couple and the rooms have private bathrooms and breakfast is also included. On the third day you’ll be head off in the footsteps of Che Guevara. En route you’ll stay in the former post office in La Hiquera, explore Che’s hide out in the hills and get a feel for what life was like for him here. At the end of the trip you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in Santa Cruz.