Incahuasi Island, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia Holidays

why we like bolivia

Bolivia is a rugged jewel nestled in the very heart of South America. Landlocked by its affluent neighbours, it remains the poorest country in South America but what it lacks economically is more than compensated for with a wealth of indigenous culture, striking scenery and unique people. A combination of colourful clothing, bustling markets and wide landscapes make Bolivia a photographic paradise.

what to expect on your bolivia holiday

The first thing you'll notice in Bolivia is the altitude, which takes time to adjust to. The capital La Paz sits at 3,600m above sea level. Potosi is the highest city in the world, sitting at 4,090m and of course Lake Titicaca famously sits at 3,800m. Don’t rush into a busy schedule of sightseeing. Take it gently and allow time to acclimatise for the first couple of days.

Even more noticeable than the altitude is the contrast in climate between the chilly highlands, where temperatures drop dramatically at night, and the hot steamy jungles which support such a glittering display of wildlife and plants.

Hotels tend to be small, privately owned and, while being full of atmosphere and delightful, are simple. Rooms will have private bathrooms and air conditioning or heating, but while facilities are perfectly adequate, they will be limited.

some ideas for a bolivia holiday

  • Visit indigenous market of Tarabuco where coins are not necessarily the best currency to use.
  • Drive across the salt flats of Uyuni and stay at one of the salt hotels made purely from salt.
  • Explore the remote high altitude deserts, volcanoes and coloured lakes of Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.
  • Take a canoe ride in the Madidi Amazon National Park, spotting iconic pink river dolphin.
  • The colonial town of Potosi was the centre of Spanish silver mining. Visit the mint museum or go down into the old silver mines.
  • Stroll the streets of the 16th century UNESCO town of Sucre with its whitewashed buildings.

Beyond the ordinary

No need to compromise on comfort when camping in Salar de Uyuni – stay in a deluxe Airstream campervan.

our bolivia expertise

We've been tailor-making holidays to Bolivia for well over a decade now. Our Bolivia specialist James has explored many of the highlights of travel in Bolivia and is continually seeking out new and off-the-beaten track destinations in this hidden gem of South America.

The incredible Salar de Uyuni is a must when travelling in Bolivia and the best time to travel is usually from April through to October. June to August are the coldest months so you do need to be prepared to wrap up warm, particularly at night. During the coldest months there is also a chance of snowfall that can sometimes disrupt overland border crossings into Chile.

Absolutely. From the salt flats then it works particularly well to travel to or from Chile’s Atacama desert. From La Paz and Lake Titicaca then you can easily reach Peru and Argentina is another possibility from the South of Bolivia. 

Bolivia is certainly a country with a lot of beautiful areas at high altitude so it is pretty much impossible to travel here and avoid being high above sea level. We can share lots of tips about how to prepare for altitude and to cope with it. The planning of your trip is also essential and we always take into account a slower pace to allow for acclimatisation. 

Luxury isn’t usually a label applied to Bolivia holidays but it is certainly possible to travel fairly comfortably. Part of the charm of the country is that a relatively simple infrastructure prevents more visitors from arriving. In reality this can make for some bumpy road journeys but internal flights work well for any larger distances. There are some quirky accommodation options such as airstream campers on the salt flats, salt hotels, beautiful colonial hotels and also some boutique options in La Paz.

Traditional Bolivian cuisine often includes corn, potatoes, beans & rice as well as chicken, pork and beef. Around Lake Titicaca fresh trout is the speciality. Food is tasty and hearty with lunch being the main meal of the day. In La Paz there are some wonderful restaurants including Gusto, a Claus Meyer restaurant. As well as local food there are international options available in hotels and larger towns and cities.

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(via Bogota/Lima)

Holiday Ideas in Bolivia

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