Located in the center of South America, Bolivia is a small but highly contrasting country. In addition, it is considered the most multiethnic country in Latin America since its indigenous population is over 50%.
From the beautiful city of Sucre to the famous white desert of Uyuni, you will love all its corners. Here, we present you the 10 best places that you cannot miss in your trip through Bolivia:
La Paz is the city with the largest population in Bolivia and one of the cities with the highest altitude in the world, between 3200 and 4000 meters. It is also Bolivia’s best-known city, and although it is not the capital, it has some important government buildings and houses the country’s executive and legislative branches.
If you visit La Paz you can visit:
- Plaza Murillo, the most important meeting point in Bolivia
- The Basilica of St. Francis, considered the most beautiful temple of mixed baroque style in the city, is located in the square of the same name.
- Mercado de las Brujas, where they sell all kinds of amulets that according to their beliefs attract luck, including stuffed llama fetuses!
Salar de Uyuni
The Salar de Uyuni is the biggest attraction in Bolivia and one of the main attractions in South America. Many tourists come to the country looking for this place. Choosing well when to go to the Salar de Uyuni is important, although it offers impressive images at any time of the year.
Salar de Uyuni is a curious place is a salt desert of more than one million hectares (one million soccer stadiums) at 3650 meters above sea level.
To visit it, although you can go on your own from the town of Uyuni, the best idea is to make an excursion of several days and thus get to know the whole Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve.
To go to Salar de Uyuni, the routes start from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, or from Uyuni directly in Bolivia. In them, you will also be able to observe the amazing landscapes that surround it and know the Siloli Desert, the Altiplano Lagoons or the Geysers Field, spend the night there and even bathe in the Polques hot springs.
The city of Sucre is the capital of Bolivia and another place you should visit if you travel around this country. It is a place with history, a multitude of churches, and very interesting architecture.
What to see in Sucre:
- Its old town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks to its excellent state of preservation that takes us back to the days when Bolivia was a Spanish colony.
- The Franciscan monastery of La Recoleta, on the slopes of the Churuquella hill, where the Recoleta viewpoint is located from where you have a privileged view of the whole city.
- Paleontological site Cal Orcko, only 20 minutes from the city of Sucre, is the paleontological site Cal Orcko, where you can find more than 5000 dinosaur footprints.
National Reserve Pampas del Yacuma
The Pampas del Yacuma is one of the treasures of the Bolivian Amazon. It is a virgin wetland turned into a labyrinth with unique landscapes and ecosystems.
To visit the Pampas National Reserve it is recommended to go with a guide because he knows the area well and can take you sailing along the river and walking through the jungle.
In addition, you can stay at an Ecolodge, which is part of a rural community tourism project run by a native community. A perfect plan to be able to travel the Amazon for several days and get to know it better.
Lake Titicaca is one of the most touristic places in Bolivia. It is considered one of the largest lakes in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world at 3812 meters above sea level. It is located in the Andean altiplano, in the central Andes, and is shared almost equally between Bolivia and Peru (56% and 44% respectively).
From the lake, you can visit other places of interest such as:
Next to Lake Titicaca is Copacabana, a small but charming town with an important pilgrimage center. There you can find the Virgin of Copacabana, who is known as “the Queen of the Nation”.
In addition, it is the main port of Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side and therefore has an important influx of tourists who make the way up or down South America. As Bolivia has no sea, Copacabana beach is the only one in the country.
Isla del Sol
The famous Island of the Sun is the largest island in Lake Titicaca and to get there it is necessary to leave from the port of Copacabana. In English “Isla del Sol” would mean “Island of the Sun”.
In addition, it is on this island that the Inca Empire is believed to have been born. The legend tells that Manco Capac and his wife started their dynasty and left from there to found Cusco.
On the Isla del Sol you can visit the ruins of the Templo del Sol and hike to a panoramic viewpoint from where you can see the Andes Mountains. If you are on the island do not forget to drink water from the fountain of eternal youth either, who knows if it really works?
Madidi National Park
Madidi National Park is one of the most important jungle regions in the world where thousands of species of plants and animals live, and even experts say that there are many species that have not yet been discovered.
According to National Geographic Magazine, it is one of the 20 places with the greatest tourist interest worldwide, so if you are in Bolivia, don’t miss it!
It is also recommended if you are going to visit this place that you do it with a guide since the park has a great extension and you could get lost. There are tours that take you for several days through the Madidi National Park so that you can navigate along the river and hike through the jungle.
Although if you have in mind to visit Madidi and Pampas del Yacuma, it’s a good idea to choose a combined tour of both and so you won’t miss anything.
The Laguna Colorada is located within the Eduardo Abaroa National Andean Fauna Reserve near the Chilean border. The reddish color of its waters is remarkable due to the sediments and pigments of some types of algae. Although this gradually changes according to the time and climate.
It is common to observe different types of birds such as the Andean flamingos, which form one of the most beautiful images of the lagoon.
Potosí and Cerro Rico
The Villa Imperial de Potosí is a city in the south of the country that extends to the skirts of the legendary mountain Cerro Rico. It was here that the world’s largest silver mine was located from the mid-16th to the 17th century, making it one of the most important and richest cities in the world, hence the saying “worth a Potosi”!
Today Potosi barely continues to live off its silver but its history continues to attract travelers who visit the Cerro and museums such as the Mint.
After commenting on these 10 places, you can’t say that there aren’t incredible places in Bolivia. You may even think that you are days away from seeing it all, but don’t worry, you can always come back! Did you already know any of them?