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Bolivian Lakes and Amazon - 12 Nights Itinerary

Yes. Bolivia has the Amazon. As a matter of fact, more than half of the country is rainforest. Nowadays, travelers here aim for the famous salt flats. However, have you ever wondered, what else to do in Bolivia besides Uyuni? It is a very “colorful” country. You have a rich culture, contrasting landscapes, unique wildlife… This program is great for someone who would like a taste of a “compressed version” of the country. You would be surprised to find out what this country has to offer; let’s take a look.

 

The nation’s largely indigenous population has preserved its native languages and much of its traditional way of life, making this nation a fascinating and exciting destination that shouldn’t be missed. On this tour of the “rooftop of the world,” you will visit the highest capital in the world — colorful La Paz — and then proceed to world’s highest navigable lake: Lake Titicaca, where you can visit traditional Aymara villages on the lakeshore and on Sun Island. Here, by the way, there are lodging available and would be a great complement for immersing into this sacred lake. The silence you “hear” during the night, the moon reflecting on the lake… As with the mystery that surrounds the ruins around the lake, you will feel it surrounding you. Later, you will discover the arid and inhospitable landscapes of the Salar de Uyuni, the expansive salt flat that covers an area the size of the island nation of Jamaica (just… wow…). Just imagine yourself in the middle of this vast white-and-blue land. The solitude you will feel will be different from that you would have felt in Titicaca. This is wonderful; it is unique, real and “moving” experiences emerging from somewhere. All these intertwined with the thrill of exploration, satisfaction of discovery, and humble joy with the “little details”. After encountering spectacular enchanting colonial towns and bustling markets of the highlands, your Bolivian Amazon tour beings. You will spend three days deep in the rainforest – paddling your canoe through tropical rainforest rivers while sighting varieties of otherworldly birds, mammals and plants. So these are the “highlights”; but we shouldn’t summarize this program with “Bolivian Amazon and Uyuni Tour” or “Uyuni and Titicaca”. Add the whitewashed architecture of the city of Sucre, the silver mines of Potosi, and a three-day city tour of vibrant La Paz, and you will find this to be a captivating introduction to the country that has retained the most authentic indigenous character in all of Latin America.

 

We aren’t finished yet; take these places and add our “touches”: you will find wineries (impressive in all honesty), specialty coffee (very rare to get out of the country), hotels made of salt, and unique gastronomic experiences that will even deepen the Bolivian experience. Let’s roam into the Witch’s Market; though “creepy”, as some would describe, definitely depicts its culture. Since you’re there, check out unique souvenirs to bring back home. You will find alpaca scarfs (and we’ll teach you how to look for one), curious keychains, literally unique gemstones (Ametrine, or commonly known as Bolivianite), and so much more. Make sure you try the coca tea and empanadas! Just make sure you get them before noon.

 

Bolivia Uyuni Salt Flat Sunset
Testimonials

“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini

Highlights
La Paz, Titicaca Lake, Sun Island, Uyuni Salt Flat, Sucre, Potosi, Madidi National Park.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: La Paz (the Bolivian Capital)
Day 2: La Paz –Lake Titicaca – Copacabana – Sun Island
Day 3: Copacabana – La Paz – Rurrenabaque
Day 4: Rurrenabaque – Chalalan Eco-lodge
Day 5: Chalalan Eco-lodge Activities
Day 6: Chalalan Eco-lodge – Rurrenabaque – La Paz
Day 7: La Paz – Uyuni Salt Flat
Day 8: Uyuni Salt Flat
Day 9: Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat – Potosi Silver Mine
Day 10: Potosi – Sucre
Day 11: Sucre – La Paz
Day 12: La Paz
Day 13: La Paz
South America Map
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1
La Paz (the Bolivian Capital)

Upon your arrival at the airport or bus station in the Bolivian capital — La Paz — you will be welcomed by our guide, who will explain the program and itinerary prepared for you. Then the guide and driver will take you to you and the other travelers to your hotel. Once all of the passengers have checked in, we will have dinner there at the hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Casa Grande, or comparable hotel

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Dinner
Day 2
La Paz –Lake Titicaca – Copacabana – Sun Island

Very early, after the passengers have had breakfast, our guide and driver will pick up the passengers and drive to the city of Copacabana, a three-hour drive. Copacabana is situated on a peninsula of the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. Before reaching Copacabana, we will cross the Strait of Tiquina on board local barges, which will also carry our vehicle over the water. Once in Copacabana, we will take a walk around the town to get a sense of the mysticism and deep religious sentiments still held by the population. After our tour of Copacabana, we will travel by boat to the south side of Sun Island, where we will have lunch. The excursion on this beautiful island will be guided by our staff, who will lead us to a panoramic viewing site where the passengers will also find their hotel (dinner included).

Accommodations: Hotel La Estancia, or comparable hotel

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Breakfast - Dinner
Day 3
Copacabana – La Paz – Rurrenabaque

After getting up early, and once the passengers have had breakfast, our guide will lead us back to Copacabana. On the bank of the lake, our driver will be waiting to take us to La Paz. We will once again cross the Strait of Tiquina, and have lunch along the way. Finally, reaching the La Paz airport, we will fly to the Bolivian rainforest town of Rurrenabaque, the gateway for visits to Madidi National Park.  Upon our arrival in Rurrenabaque, the local guide will direct you to your hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel La Isla de los Tucanes, or comparable hotel

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Breakfast
Day 4
Rurrenabaque – Chalalan Eco-lodge

After spending a restful night in Rurrenabaque, our guide will lead passengers to a port on the river to take our boat to the Chalalan Eco-lodge, in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. This trip down the Beni and Tuichi rivers takes approximately 5 hours, during which time you can marvel at the incredible landscapes as we pass through the Bala Canyon and tropical rainforests while sighting varieties of exotic birds, mammals and plants. Disembarking at the port of Chalalan, we will hike for 25 minutes along the Jaguar Trail to reach the Chalalan Eco-lodge, where passengers will be welcomed with a delicious Amazonian lunch. In the afternoon, you will go on a thematic tour which will explain how natural resources are used by local people, and how these resources of the jungle are obtained. We will return to the lodge by paddle canoe, observing various species of birds and monkeys on the way. The tour culminates with a dinner and an evening stroll to appreciate the wildlife of the area.

Accommodations: Chalalan Eco-lodge, or comparable hotel

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Day 5
Chalalan Eco-lodge Activities

Once the passengers have breakfast at the eco-lodge, we will go on a tour of the Tapacare Trail, where our guide will explain the characteristics of the rainforest ecosystem and its natural wealth. After returning to the lodge for lunch, we will continue with a visit to a breathtaking lookout point where you can appreciate Lake Chalalan and the vastness of the Madidi National Park. To finish the day, members of the indigenous Quechua-Tacana people will demonstrate some of their customs and rituals, accompanied by music and traditional drinks. Afterwards, you can enjoy a traditional dinner served buffet-style.

Accommodations: Chalalan Eco-lodge, or comparable hotel

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Day 6
Chalalan Eco-lodge – Rurrenabaque – La Paz

We will get up early to see more wildlife as we conclude the program at Chalalan Eco-lodge. Travelers will have lunch before noon, and then make their way back to Rurrenabaque. After three hours on the river, we will disembark and be driven to airport for our flights back to La Paz.  Once back at the La Paz airport, waiting for you will be your guide and driver, who will drive you to your capital city hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Casa Grande, or comparable hotel

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Day 7
La Paz – Uyuni Salt Flat

At the scheduled time, we will drive to the airport and board a flight to the expansive Uyuni salt flat. After landing, we will immediately proceed to the great Salar de Uyuni. The world’s largest salt deposit — covering more than 10,500 km2 (4,000 sq. miles) — it is roughly the same size at the island nation of Jamaica. We will also stop in the town of Colchani to visit artisanal salt processing plants, then piles of salt and the Ojos del Salar. From there we will head to Incahuasi Island, situated in the middle of the Salar and spectacularly populated by giant candelabra cactuses.

Accommodations: Hotel Luna Salada

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Day 8
Uyuni Salt Flat

You will be picked up from your hotel this morning to continue the adventure in the Salar de Uyuni. Today we will visit the mummies of Kaka, the Llama Museum and piles of salt, stopping for lunch at the Salt Hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Luna Salada

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Day 9
Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat – Potosi Silver Mine

Early in the morning, you will be driven to the city of Potosi, climbing up from the temperate valleys to reach the Bolivian highlands. After arriving and settling in at your hotel, we will immediately head out on a city tour: walking through the main square and then going to the “Royal Mint,” where indigenous people and black slaves used to mint coins with silver mined from the local hillside. We will then wander through the adjacent streets to discover and admire facades of the most outstanding buildings, such as the church of San Francisco and San Lorenzo, in addition to masterpieces of baroque art in the city. In the afternoon, we will visit the mining market and then stop at a mine in the bowels of Cerro Rico (“Rich Hill”) where miners still worship the devil Tio (“Uncle”) Oscar, the master of all the riches in the interior of the earth.

Accommodations: Hotel Hacienda Cayara

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Day 10
Potosi – Sucre

This morning we will begin our trip to the city of Sucre, which is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and a UNESCO-declared “World Heritage Site.” Reaching the city this afternoon, we will walk on the rooftop of the San Felipe Neri convent. From there, we will meander through the main square, around which you will discover the Cathedral and the Casa de la Libertad, where the act marking the country’s independence was signed. Later, we will visit the museum of the ASUR Foundation, which preserves the textile art of the indigenous Jalq’a and Tarabuco communities; and later visit the Recoleta lookout point, which allows for a great view over the city.

Accommodations: Parador Santa Maria La Real, or comparable hotel

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Day 11
Sucre – La Paz

Following breakfast at your hotel, you will be driven to the Sucre airport for your return flight to La Paz, where you will have the rest of the day free to explore the city.

Accommodations: Hotel Casa Grande, or comparable hotel

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Day 12
La Paz

After breakfast, we will visit the “Valley of the Moon,” the product of erosion onto ancient sedimentary formations. Later, returning to town, we will take a La Paz city tour: walking around the main square where the government palace and the Plurinational Assembly of Bolivia are located. You will also visit the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore to see an interesting collection of indigenous masks, textiles and feather art. Continuing on to the popular Las Brujas (“Witches”) market, you can buy any and every magical remedy you need to cure ailments of the body and soul.

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Day 13
La Paz

At the scheduled time, you will be driven to the Laz Paz airport for you flight back home.

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Included in the price:
  • Private transport
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary
  • Excursions indicated in the itinerary
  • Excursion admission and tickets, as required
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English-speaking) guide
Not included in the price:
  • Personal expenses
  • Domestic flights
  • Additional meals or snacks
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Alcoholic and bottled brinks
  • Travel Insurance (highly recommended)
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“We loved the time at the lodge in Cuyabeno. It was so genuine and natural there and the crew was so knowledgable and helpful. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the real Amazonia-experience.”Elena

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