Bolivia Holidays: an Overview

Landlocked Andean Bolivia is rich in ancient culture, music and folklore and perhaps because of the country's relative lack of sophistication and infrastructure, is far less visited than its neighbours. While you won't find luxurious hotels or restaurants here, what you will find in abundance is indigenous culture, dramatic landscapes, and welcoming and friendly people. The colourful Bolivian people, mostly Aymara and Quechua Indians, continue to follow ways of life little changed in hundreds of years.

Of particular interest is the indigenous culture in the Altiplano and round Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, which, visited from Bolivia, allows the chance to meet the Uros Indians on their floating islands.

At El Alto, the Altiplano drops dramatically 400m into a rocky canyon and to the city of La Paz. In the shadow of Mount Illimani, it is a city of cobbled streets and markets selling anything and everything.

In the remote south-west corner of Bolivia are salt lakes and high altitude deserts. El Salar de Uyuni is the largest and highest salt lake in the world. The Laguna Colorada attracts flamingos whose pink hues contrast with a shoreline of brilliant white salt and deposits of gypsum. The dark green waters of Laguna Verde, in the shadow of the Licancabur volcano are yet another contrast in this surreal landscape, reminiscent of Dali.

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Salar de Uyuni
If You Do Three Things
Visit the Salar de Uyuni

Explore the surreal white landscapes of the iconic Salar de Uyuni and stay in either an Airstream caravan, which allows you to find the most remote spots to spend the night, or a hotel made entirely out of salt blocks. Both provide incredible and completely unique ways to experience this stunning corner of the world.

City of Sucre
If You Do Three Things
Explore the City of Sucre

Explore Bolivia's second city of Sucre, whose white colonial architecture provides an excellent insight into the country's Spanish colonial past. The food markets here are a great way experience and understand local life, while sampling as much local produce as you can is an absolute must. Nearby, and well worth a visit, is the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, which are nearly a billion years old.

Potosi, Bolivia
If You Do Three Things
Visit Cerro Rico in Potosi

Potosi was once the wealthiest place in South America thanks to the immense wealth its silver mines yielded. These days the mines of the Cerro Rico still operate in largely the same way as they did in colonial times, providing a rather sobering insight into the incredibly difficult conditions miners have to work in.

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Where to go

What to do

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When to go

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Uyuni, Sucre & Potosi
La Paz & Lake Titicaca
Uyuni, Sucre & Potosi
La Paz & Lake Titicaca
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Low season
Off season

Map of Bolivia

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A Note on Price

Bolivia is all about the experience - but despite the lack of flashy hotels and fine dining, it is isn't as cheap as you might think. Most people visit Bolivia alongside Peru or Chile, as flights from Europe into Bolivia aren't very regular. A two week trip combining Bolivia with one of its neighbouring countries would start from approximately £4000 per person.

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