Days
8
Price from
£1,875GBP

Be dazzled by the historic cities and otherworldly landscapes of Bolivia

Explore Bolivia’s vibrant towns and cities on this independent tour starting and ending in La Paz. Travel between towns via plane, bus and private vehicle as you enjoy UNESCO World Heritage-listed towns, abandoned train graveyards and dinosaur footprints on a vertical canvas. Visit the town of Sucre and enjoy the colonial buildings and stop overnight in Potosi to explore its grand churches and bustling streets.

Independent Journeys

Independent travel, without the stress. This tour has been specifically designed for independent travel for 1-3 people. It departs on any day and comes accompanied by a Peregrine guide in each location and 24/7 support from the local Peregrine office. 


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Countries
Style
Independent Experiences
Code
PSBOJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 3

Why we love this trip

  • Plenty of free time in La Paz provides insight into Bolivian culture. Young people flock to the city for its booming industries, while traditionally-dressed residents sell ancient potions at the Witches' Market

  • The landscapes of Salar de Uyuni are so unique they're almost extra-terrestrial. Embark on a two-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert and the largest salt lakes in the world

  • Discover the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi. The silver-rich Andean mountain of Cerro Rico stands guard over the town

  • Uyuni was once a distribution centre for trains carrying minerals to the Pacific. Walk among rusty, abandoned trains in the town's eerie Train Cemetery

  • Enjoy free time to discover the elegant colonial architecture of historical Sucre. For something completely different, see the prehistoric landscape of Cal Orko and tread in 60-million-year-old dinosaur footprints

  • Wander among the craters and lunar landscapes of Moon Valley, where you can enjoy unique panoramic views of La Paz

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip travels to some remote places, as well as locations at high altitude (La Paz, Potosi and Uyuni are all examples). At 2,900 metres above sea level it can take a bit of time to adjust. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy. Please see the important ‘Fitness’ sections of the trip notes for more information.

  • Please note that our leaders are not able to organise a trip to the ‘Death Road’ to Coroico for you, due to safety concerns. Injuries are common along the road and there have been a number of fatal accidents. Our leaders are also unable to organise tours to the Potosi Mines for safety reasons.

  • You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure.

Itinerary

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia. Your adventure begins on arrival at La Paz's El Alto International Airport where you'll be transferred to your hotel in the city. Please look for your transfer guide at the airport - they'll be holding a sign with your name on it. At around 3,600 metres, La Paz feels like the top of the world. Head out on a guided city tour around 12 pm and then onto visit Moon Valley. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. Why not head out for dinner in the evening during your free time.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, especially La Paz, some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Fitness' sections in the trip notes for detailed information.
Accommodation
  • Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz city tour
  • La Paz - Moon Valley tour
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take a flight from La Paz to Uyuni. The flight time will be advised at your evening meeting on Day 1. The remote town of Uyuni sits on the edge of the high altiplano, which extends towards the border with Argentina and Chile. The town was once a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals on their way to Pacific Ocean ports. In the 1940s the mining industry collapsed and many trains were abandoned. Today you'll head out on an included visit to the Train Cemetery and then later to Pulacayo - famous for the closure of their silver mines.
Accommodation
  • Jardines De Uyuni or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uyuni Salt Flats tour
  • Train Cemetery Visit
  • Pulacayo Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Uyuni's salt flats are a 12,000-square-kilometre expanse of perfectly flat salt. Spend a full day exploring the lake by 4WD. Make sure you snap some classic perspective-bending photographs with your group. Discover the cacti and coral-like structures on the rocky island of Isla inca wasi and visit the small town of Colchani, where you'll see how the locals farm and process salt from the Salar. Head to the tiny village of Jiria at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano. Here you'll visit the Coquesa Caves, which are home to ancient ceramics and a mysterious family of mummies who have remained untouched for over 1,200 years. At the end of the day, drive to your accommodation on the salt plains.

Note: If you are travelling between December and April (the wet season), please see the 'Important Notes' section of the trip notes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Tawa (Uyuni Salt Flat) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Inkawasi Island visit
  • Tanupa Volcano Visit
  • Colchani Visit
  • Coquesa Caves Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue your journey across the altiplano by private vehicle to the silver-mining town of Potosi, which should take around three hours. Arriving in Potosi, check in to your hotel and then take a short stroll around the main plaza, taking in the colonial architecture of this old city. This colonial mining city sits at the base of Cerro Rico, a mountain rich in silver ore. A tour and brief history of Cerro Rico could be a highlight of your trip here, but due to safety concerns we strongly advise you not to enter the mines (please see notes below). Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls.

Notes: We strongly recommend against doing a Potosi Mine Tour, which actually enters the mine. Should you decide to go against our advice, you will do so at your own risk. Please note that our leaders are not able to organise this activity for you due to safety concerns.
Accommodation
  • Colonial Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • City tour of Potosi
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Bolivia's capital of Sucre today, which should take around three hours along a well-maintained road. Descending more than 1,000 metres to the temperate valleys of Chuquisaca, small rivers, cactus fields, fruit and vegetable plantations dominate the valley. Sucre is a pleasant city set in a valley surrounded by low mountains and has retained the flavour of its colonial heritage in its churches, museums and ancient mansions. On arrival, you'll have plenty of free time to explore the city and get your bearings.
Accommodation
  • Colonial Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre City tour- Half Day
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, head out on an included visit to the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world. There are over 5,000 footprints set into the Cal Orko cliff, which is only five kilometres away from the city centre. In the afternoon, travel back to Sucre for a guided city tour. Bolivia’s World Heritage-listed capital is a hub of progressive culture and Spanish colonial architecture. You might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta in your free time. This 400-year-old convent provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • De Su Merced Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a flight back to La Paz from Sucre airport today, which should only take around 30-40 minutes. The rest of your day is free to explore. The city is renowned for its markets, especially the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches' Market), which sells potions, incantations, stones and artefacts. Ask a local about their significance - most people are happy to explain. Perhaps visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district.
Accommodation
  • Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your independent journey of Bolivia's highlights comes to an end this morning. As there are no more activities planned, you're free to book your departure flights when you like and you can leave the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Bus, On foot, Private van

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • La Paz city tour
  • La Paz - Moon Valley tour
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Uyuni Salt Flats tour
  • Train Cemetery Visit
  • Pulacayo Museum
  • Inkawasi Island visit
  • Tanupa Volcano Visit
  • Colchani Visit
  • Coquesa Caves Visit
  • City tour of Potosi
  • Sucre City tour- Half Day
  • Sucre - Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Wet season itinerary alteration:

From December to March/April during the wet season it’s likely we will not be able to cross the Salt Lake due to flooding, therefore your itinerary will be altered slightly and alternative activities will be scheduled as it won’t be possible to complete all activities listed on this itinerary.
During this time there are countless photo opportunities. The water covering the slat lakes creates a mirror effect. The mirroring effect of the water results in the striking illusion of there being two skies, two sunsets and two sunrises.
You will still have a full day on the salt lake and it will be mainly spent driving around searching for best photos.
The night usually spent in the Salt Lake hotel will instead be spent in the hotel in Uyuni town.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.