Strikingly beautiful and mountainous, Bolivia invites you for a full week of discovery in the land of the ancient Inca. Your arrival in the La Paz – the world’s highest capital city – will literally take your breath away the moment you touch down. But it’s not just the altitude; the mix of Western culture and the customs and the ancestral values of the indigenous Aymara and Quechua peoples are enough to make anyone heady. After exploring the capital, you will continue your South America tour by venturing to Lake Titicaca ...a name that evokes our childhood dreams and remains a true symbol of South America. Crossroads of the most ancient of Amerindian civilizations, you will find out why this site has been of such enormous historical significance through the ages. After returning to your home-base in La Paz, it will then off to the vast Salar de Uyuni, an expansive salt flat almost the same size as the island nation of Jamaica. You will stop in the town of Colchani, which is the easiest point to start the visit of this superb salt flat, and itself a fascinating stop. Though perplexing, vexing, rough around the edges and occasionally taxing, his well-designed Bolivia tour will allow you to discover the superlative natural beauty of this nation – the essence of South America.
“Thank you again for making our holidays in Ecuador unforgettable. Both of us will definitely recommend Surtrek as well as Cuyabeno Lodge.”
AM: You will be welcomed at the El Alto International airport in La Paz, and driven to your hotel.
PM: After you have had a chance to get situated, you will meet in the hotel lobby with your guide at 2:00pm and then head out on a city tour of La Paz, a city located at almost 4,000 m.a.s.l. Some of the highlights will undoubtedly be Sagárnaga Street and its local handicrafts market (one of the most famous in South America), “Witches’ Street,” the San Pedro food market, the ancient area, and the historic-colonial district. Duration 3:00 hours
AM: Meeting in the hotel lobby at 9 a.m., we will leave in private transportation on a “discovery tour” to the most spectacular lookout point over the city. Surprisingly, it is located at the bottom of the Choqueyapu River canyon, with a background formed by the Royal Mountain Range “Giants” (the Huayna Potosi, Mururata and Illimani volcanos). Designed particularly for photo lovers, this tour then takes us to the Jach´a Apacheta lookout point, on the edge of the precipice of the city of El Alto. Then we will go to the K´Illi K´Illi lookout point and to the Laykakota Park (closed on Mondays), on the northwestern side of the city. Afterwards, we will cross the Americas Bridge to visit the “Plaza de España” lookout point in the colonial neighborhood of Sopocachi. From there, an abrupt descent leads us to the “South Zone,” passing through Llojeta and the “Garden Cemetery,” and finally to the “Valley of the Moon,” a place where we will be able to walk between psychedelic-looking limestone formations.
PM: In the afternoon, our vehicle will bring us back to the downtown area and drop us off in the heart of the colorful and animated Andean market of La Paz. We will return to the hotel on foot, accompanied by our guide.
AM: Leaving the hotel early in the morning, we will drive to Lake Titicaca. Once we arrive, we will board a catamaran for a cruise to Sun Island, the mythical birthplace of the Inca Empire. After breakfast on board the ship, we will disembark the vessel to visit Challapampa, a small isolated village on the north side of the island. The people of Challapampa receive visitors through an innovative program they have developed themselves, encouraging people to visit a typical home, school, chapel and a small museum they have organized. As a guest, you will be able to participate in authentic ancestral rituals, observe folklore demonstrations, and sail on board typical fishing boats.
PM: The program includes a walking tour of the Inca roads that lead to the Chinkana site. That evening you can also enjoy a romantic dinner by the candlelight on board the catamaran, where you will spend the night in one of its private cabins (with its own private bathroom).
AM: After a breakfast buffet, today we will continue sailing on Lake Titicaca and enjoying the majestic panorama to the south of Sun Island and the Inca Pilkokaina Palace. We will then visit the Inti Wata Cultural Complex, one of the main private tourist attractions in Bolivia. We will tour its underground Ekeko museum, and a center of traditional medicine and workshop for building Totora boats, in addition to a number of other points of interest. You will discover the Inca Pachamama terraces and a variety of Andean camelids.
PM: In the afternoon, we will return to the city of La Paz along a scenic ground route, arriving there late in the day.
AM: You will be driven from your hotel by private transport to the airport in La Paz two hours prior to your departure on your domestic flight (La Paz – Uyuni). Upon your arrival in Uyuni, you will be met at the airport driven in a 4WD vehicle to the Salar de Uyuni (el. 3,650 m.a.s.l.), the world’s largest salt desert. On the way, we will visit the salt works in Colchani and the “Salt Hotels” (closed since November 2001). We will stop in the middle of the Salar on Incahuasi “island.” This volcanic island is covered with giant cacti and stromatolites, which are the fossilized bacterial colonies that evidenced the first traces of life on earth.
PM: We will return to Colchani in the afternoon.
AM: In a private car, we will leave the hotel to the airport for a domestic flight (Uyuni – La Paz). Once arriving back in La Paz, you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel.
PM: In the afternoon, we will visit the museum of folklore and ethnography. That evening we will have dinner at the Peña Huari Restaurant (meal and transportation included).
AM: In private transportation, you will be picked up at your hotel 3 hours prior to your flights departure and driven to the airport for your international flight.
“I enjoyed the scenery and the exotic wildlife on the islands very much. The airport transfers in both directions went smoothly and the service on board was very good.”