Crossing Bolivia: from Argentina to Peru, 10-days trip
- Take a Jeep tour through the beautiful national park Avaroa and see the world's second-largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni;
- Go on a City Tour in the interesting metropolis full of contrasts, La Paz;
- Bike downhill on the most dangerous road in the world from La Paz to Yolosa;
- Visit the fascinating ruins of Tiwanaku;
- Sail on Lake Titicaca to the mystical island Isla del Sol and spend the night on the island.
Compose your own Bolivia Trip
This is an example trip; it can be customized in consultation.
Route: Villazón - Tupiza - N.P. Avaroa, Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni - La Paz - downhill biking to Yolosa - Tiwanaku - Copacabana - Lake Titicaca - Isla del Sol - Puno
|This 10-days Bolivia Trip is a connection trip between Argentina and Peru. |
At the border between Argentina and Bolivia you will be met and taken to the desert town of Tupiza. You may have time to explore the special town and its surroundings with huge cacti and eroded colourful rock formations on your own or during a tour or horseback ride this day. The next day you start the 4-days Jeep tour with a visit to Bolivia's most impressive attraction, the Salar de Uyuni. You will cross the second largest salt flats in the world and in national park Avaroa you will see coloured lakes, geysers and volcanoes. From Uyuni you fly or take the tourist night bus to La Paz. You will explore this special (government) city together with your guide during a City Tour. Then it's time for action and you'll go downhill biking on the Most Dangerous Road in the World from La Paz to Yolosa. Through the pre-Columbian ruins of Tiwanaku you will travel to the pleasant town of Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca. You will visit the islands Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna with their Inca culture for 2 days. After returning to Copacabana you will travel on to Puno, the end destination of this trip.
Day 1: Villazón - Tupiza (2,850 m)
You will be picked up in Villazon, on the Bolivian side of the border crossing between Argentina and Bolivia, and brought to Tupiza by taxi with a Spanish-speaking driver. The journey takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Depending on your arrival time in Tupiza, you may be able to make a nice half-day excursion in the afternoon. This can be a Jeep tour or you can go horseback riding for a few hours in the area of Tupiza.
|Day 2: Tupiza - Quetena (4,190 m) |
Today starts your beautiful 4-days Jeep tour from Tupiza to Uyuni.
You will depart from Tupiza around half past seven. You first visit the Quebrada of Palala, a spectacular rock formation serrated by erosion. After this you will continue to the Sillar where you can enjoy the dramatic scenery and then you head to Nazarenito, a small mining community.
You will drive through the abandoned ghost town of San Antonio, once famous for its wealth in gold. According to local legends the place was under the control of the devil and the villagers were forced to flee ...
After San Antonio you pass Laguna Morejón and the area with the same name, with volcanic eroded rock formations. At the end of the day you will arrive in Quetena where you will spend the night. Despite the temperature (-18/-20°C), we recommend that you go outside to see the immense Milky Way above you, because the sky is really breath-taking here.
Today lunch and dinner are included. Stay overnight in a simple accommodation in Quetena.
* The route of the Salar de Uyuni tour depends on the type of overnight stays that you choose; in basic accommodations in dorms or in private rooms with private bathroom, or in 3* hotels.
The route described here is for the tour with overnight stays in basic accommodations.
You can also choose between a Spanish speaking driver or an English-speaking guide.
Day 3: Quetena - Huallajara (4,278 m)
You travel via Laguna Kolpa, where raw materials are extracted for making soap, and the Salar de Chalviri to the hot springs. There you can take a warm bath before the ride continues to the Lagunas Blanca and Verde, located at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano (5,868 m), which marks the border between Chile and Bolivia.
You see Laguna Verde which green colour is caused by the high content of arsenic and magnesium in the water.
You will also visit the Sol de Mañana Geyser at an altitude of 5,000 m. This area is extremely volcanic with temperatures in the mud pools up to 90°C. In the Dalí Desert, a very beautiful mountainous area with rock formations of petrified lava, the surreal colours of which remind of the works of Salvador Dalí. Then you will travel to Huallajara for your overnight stay near Laguna Colorada, the red lake.
Today lunch and dinner are included. Stay overnight in a basic accommodation in Huallajara.
|Day 4: Huallajara - Villa Candelaria (3,600 m) |
The first attraction of the day is Laguna Colorada, where flamingos can be seen in the warm season. The lake is fairly shallow and has islands of borax and ice. The deep red colour of the lake is caused by chlorine bacteria and water deposits.
Further on you will pass through the Silolí Desert and see the famous Árbol de Piedra, a rock formation in the shape of a tree that was eroded by erosion.
You will pass some lagoons. At Laguna Hedionda, where you can see flamingos, vicuñas and maybe even an Andean fox, you will use your lunch.
Then you will pass the Ollagüe Volcano, from which smoke is released constantly, and you will travel through the Salar de Chigüana to Villa Candelaria, where you will spend the night.
Today lunch and dinner are included. Stay overnight in a basic accommodation at Villa Candelaria.
Day 5: Villa Candelaria - Uyuni - La Paz (3,600 m)
On the last day of this Jeep tour you will cross the immense salt flats, stretching in all directions as far as the eye can see. From here you can see the Tunupa Volcano. The salt plains consist of 11 separate layers with a thickness between 2 and 20 m. It is the largest reserve of minerals such as lithium, magnesium, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and borax in the world. It has 14 small islands, the most important of which are Incahuasi and Isla del Pescado.
When you leave the salt plain, you visit Colchani, the village where salt is processed into table salt. Here you can buy souvenirs from salt and alpaca wool, the most important industries in the area.
Then you arrive at the Train Cemetery just outside Uyuni. Here you will see Bolivia´s first fleet of trains, powered by steam and now decommissioned.
The tour ends in the centre of Uyuni between 13.00 and 14.00 hrs.
You have time at leisure until you go to the airport for your flight to La Paz. You can also choose to travel by tourist night bus from Uyuni to La Paz.
|Day 6, La Paz (3,600 m) |
Today you will explore the city of La Paz; in the morning or in the afternoon you take the exclusive 5-hours city tour.
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel to go to the Miraflores district, where you will see the Hernando Siles Stadium and the archaeological square. Then you go to Balcón viewpoint from where you have an unparalleled view of the city. Here you can take a 20-minutes' walk.
You continue the city tour with a visit to the Tiwanaku Archaeological Museum, where ceramic from the Tiwanakota and Inca cultures is exhibited.
Then you go to the Plaza Murillo, where you will see the cathedral, the government palace and the parliament building. Here you will also be able to taste a traditional salteña.
You visit Calle Jaén, a street that stands out for its colonial architecture and small museums.
After this you go to the place where your cable car ride starts, from the centre of La Paz at 3,600 m to the city of El Alto at 4,100 m. From El Alto you have a beautiful view of the bowl in which La Paz is located. The return to the centre of La Paz is also by cable car.
Finally you will visit the handicrafts market, the witches' market and the San Francisco church.
Stay overnight in La Paz.
Day 7: La Paz - downhill biking to Yolosa (1,200 m)
A wonderfully active day: by mountain bike you will cycle downhill on the Most Dangerous Road in the World. From La Cumbre at an altitude of 4,700 m you go downhill biking to Yolosa, near Coroico. During the 64 km trip you will descend 3,500 m in height! The road changes from wide and asphalted to narrow and rocky. From the dry cold Altiplano you descend to the tropical Yungas where it is hot and humid!
Just outside the village is the place where you get a late lunch and can rest a few hours at the swimming pool. You will be brought back to La Paz at the end of the day.
Today lunch is included. Stay overnight in La Paz.
|Day 8: La Paz via Tiwanaku to Copacabana (3,840 m) |
Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) is the most important pre-Columbian site in Bolivia, perhaps even in South America. It is believed that it is the oldest form of civilization in the Andean region (1,300 BC to 1,200 AD). The fascinating culture, religion as well as the brilliant architectural and astronomical knowledge - these existed for around 3,000 years. Tiwanaku was the greatest place of its time; the city is estimated to have had between 20,000 and 120,000 inhabitants.
The ruins of Tiwanaku are approximately 72 km from La Paz. As a cultural heritage of humanity, the ruins are protected by UNESCO.
The most important sights are the Temple of Kalasasaya, the Pyramid of Akapana, the Sun Gate Intipunku as well as the underground temple.
You will be picked up from your hotel in La Paz at 8.00 hrs. to go to Tiwanaku. Along the way you will visit Lloko Lloko viewpoint where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Cordillera Real and the town of Laja, where La Paz was originally founded. You will arrive at Tiwanaku around 10.30 hrs. The tour takes about 3 hours.
After lunch you leave for Copacabana, where the tour ends around 18.00 hrs.
Today the lunch is included. Stay overnight in Copacabana.
Day 9: Copacabana - Lake Titicaca - Isla del Sol (3,800 - 4,000 m)
The next 2 days you will sail on Lake Titicaca and visit Isla del Sol and Isla de La Luna.
You will be picked up at your hotel early in the morning. In Copacabana you first visit the central square and visit the Cathedral.
After lunch you will go to the harbour to board the boat that will take you in 1½ hours. to the south side of Isla del Sol. Along the way you will enjoy unforgettable views of the Cordillera Real (Andes mountain range).
Once you arrive at Isla del Sol you can walk to your overnight address Eco Lodge La Estancia or to your hostal, depending on your choice.
On the island you will visit the town of Yumani and the Inca ruins such as the Inca Steps (Escalinatas) of Yumani, the Source of Eternal Youth and Pilkokaina Palace.
Today lunch is included (drinks not included). Stay overnight on Isla del Sol.
Note: We advise you to take as little luggage as possible to Isla del Sol in a daypack or a small backpack. You must carry this yourself. You can store and leave larger luggage in Copacabana to pick it up upon your return.
|Day 10: Isla del Sol - Copacabana - Puno (3,827 m) |
From Isla del Sol you will sail to Isla de la Luna in around 45 minutes. During the short boat trip, you will enjoy the beautiful views of the lake again and of the Cordillera Real. On Isla de la Luna you visit the Inca ruins of El Palacio de las Vírgenes (virgins) del Sol or Inaj Uyo.
(You may also visit Isla de la Luna on the 1st day and then sail to Isla del Sol and spend the night there.)
After this visit you will return to Copacabana by boat, where you will arrive around noon.
You have time for lunch (not included) before you travel from Copacabana by bus or private transport to Puno in Peru.
If you wish, we can also organize your subsequent programme in Peru.