Bolivia is bright, the most high-mountainous and isolated country in the world. Shining colors of Indian carnivals and folk costumes, vivid tastes of national cuisine, breathtaking high-mountain landscapes and the great heritage of ancient civilizations – all this makes Bolivia stand out among the others.
Is Bolivia safe to travel to? In general, Bolivia is considered a safe country for tourists. Recently, there has been a slight increase in the level of crime against foreigners, this concerns fraud. That’s why you must follow standard precautions. Keep all your things, including cell-phone and wallet, with yourself. Also, you should drink only mineral water. It is recommended to wash fruit and brush your teeth using such water as well. You can take a picture of local residents only with their permission. In large cities, it is necessary to cross the street more cautiously – the movement there is extremely disorderly, and the Bolivians rarely use brakes. In the evening, it is better to call a taxi by phone.
Bolivia: Top 10 things to do
Rise above the clouds. La Paz, the largest city in the country, is full of contrasts. Walk along small streets, look at the majestic Christian cathedrals and feel the spirit of the Spanish colonial era. After that, visit the mysterious Witches’ Market, where everything is for shamans, sorcerers and healers.
La Paz is located at an altitude of 3600 m. Here is the highest mountain in the world. What is more, here is the highest mountain cableway, lifting to a height of 4114 m.
Walk along White City. Sucre is the official capital and the most beautiful city of Bolivia. Sucre is often called the White City because of the white facades of buildings. The most important sight of Sucre is the colonial architecture. La Glorieta Castle and the largest university in Latin America, founded in the XVII century, are among the most visited places here.
Visit the world’s largest salt flat. Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat with an area of 10 000 sq. km. Rent a jeep and drive to Isla de Pescadores to look at the giant cacti. Some of them are more than 1000 years old. Here you can also observe sculptures created by wind and water. It takes 1-2 days to examine this place. You can stay in a salt hotel, where even the beds are made of pure salt.
Transfer to another planet. Laguna Colorada is one of the most unusual places on Earth, located in the reserve of Eduardo Avaroa. Sedimentary rocks and bright algal pigments colored the lake water in a saturated dark red color. The main decoration of Laguna Colorada is pink James’s flamingo. The surrounding landscape – rocks and sparkling salt deserts – complement the stunningly beautiful picture.
To make a walk on the lake. Lake Titicaca – even the name sounds mysterious and intriguing. This is the highest mountainous lake in the world, located at an altitude of 3812 m. If you are lucky enough to be here, do not miss the opportunity to board a comfortable catamaran, take a seat near a panoramic window and enjoy the opening landscapes. Be sure to visit the Island of the Sun and explore the ancient ruins.
Fly to the moon. To set foot on the surface of the moon, you do not need to leave your native planet – just drive 10 km from La Paz, and you will find yourself surrounded by an unearthly landscape. These labyrinths of rock formations are called Moon Valley. All this is created with the help of rains, winds and time. Walk along the path to the highest observation deck and admire the fantastic panorama.
Survive on the Road of Death. The narrow rocky road in the mountains between La Paz and Coroico was officially called “The most dangerous road in the world”: every year an average of 26 buses and cars fall into the abyss, taking the lives of dozens of people. Since 2007, this road has become a tourist attraction. A lot of tourists get adrenaline, going down by bicycles on the Road of Death.
Try boiling soup with a volcanic stone. Calapurca is the name of the traditional dish of Potosi. Soup with meat, corn and potatoes is served in ceramic bowl with a volcanic stone inside. It keeps the soup so hot that it literally boils in a plate!
To bask in hot springs. In the south-west of Bolivia there is a geothermal zone of Sol de Manana, consisting of 50 hot mud pools. They differ in composition, smell and color, but they are equally boiling and bubbling.
Immerse yourself in the Amazon Jungle. There is a huge national park Madidi, which is famous for its record biodiversity. The area of almost 19 000 sq. km. has become a home for thousands of species of animals and plants. In the Amazonian jungle you will see luxurious flowers, bright birds, monkeys, ocelots and Peruvian deer. There are also dangerous pumas and jaguars, poisonous snakes and spiders, boas and anacondas. Accommodation in eco-lodges and walks through the jungle with experienced guides minimizes the chance of unwanted meetings.