Brimming with variety, vitality and living history, Bolivia offers a unique experience in Latin America, and this one-of-a-kind journey is rich with both indigenous and colonial art and culture in the major centres, unexpected religious relics in the lowland country, and quaint colonial architectural gems. Natural wonders are also in abundance, from the glistening salt flats of Uyuni to the remote altiplano and the world’s highest navigable lake.
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Day 1: Arrive Santa Cruz
Welcome to Santa Cruz, a dynamic cosmopolitan city, Bolivia’s largest, located at the foothill of the Andes where modernity fuses with tradition. The country’s main gateway is the perfect introduction to discover the Bolivian way of life. Upon arrival meet your local A&K representative and proceed to your accommodation. Stroll out on your own, get your bearings and immerse yourself in Bolivian culture.
Hotel: Camino Real Hotel, 2 nights
Day 2: Santa Cruz
Spend your morning exploring the city with your private guide. Begin at the main square “Plaza 24 de Septiembre” and view the Cathedral “Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo” and continue to the Indian Market, “El Abasto”. Wind through the city’s neighbourhoods and see where up-scale restaurants sit alongside local street vendors, and colonial architecture blends with native art. Here, sip your first taste of real Bolivian coffee. Immerse yourself in the fascinating local art and handicrafts of Arte Campo, which provides an outlet for the work of a thousand rural cruceña women and their families.
Day 3: Santa Cruz – Sucre
Fly to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Sucre (2,800 metres), Bolivia’s constitutional capital. Navigate your way through sparkling white colonial buildings in the picture-perfect city centre and enjoy its cultural hotspots, including museums and galleries filled with indigenous arts, colonial paintings and archaeological remains. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure or you choose to experience the transformation of cocoa into chocolate and learn about the cultivation of cocoa in Bolivia.
Hotel: Parador Santa Maria La Real, 2 nights
Day 4: Sucre
Spend the day uncovering Potolo, a community belonging to the Quechua-Jalq’a ethnic group, located between beautiful coloured mountains and surrounded by the river of the same name a short distance from town. Famous for its handcrafted textile production and the beauty of its designs with zoomorphic, geometric figure. Every Sunday, the nearby charming and indigenous town of Tarabuco comes to life as villagers come from far and wide to buy and sell wares at the myriad of stalls lining the streets. Marvel at the fantastic mix of traditional dress, including their surprising choice of hats. This evening you may choose to enjoy a traditional Bolivian music; featuring musicians and dancers whilst dining on traditional cuisine.
Day 5: Sucre – Potosi – Uyuni
Start your overland journey to colonial Potosí (4,100 metres), home to the Rich Mountain. Legend has it that this cone-shaped peak rising 4,800 metres into Bolivia’s southern highlands bankrolled the Spanish empire with its rich silver deposits. See how mining still drives the local economy when you visit a working mine. Then, continue overland to Uyuni (3,650 metres) where your hotel is built almost entirely out of salt blocks.
Hotel: Luna Salada Hotel, 2 nights
Day 6: Uyuni
Lose yourself in Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat on Earth comprising 10 billion tonnes of salt. Discover Bolivia at its most barren and uninhabitable, where the only sound is the salt crust crunching underfoot. Gaze beyond the unchanging and shadowless flatness to the snow-capped Andes on the horizon. If you can tear yourself away, lunch at Isla Incawasi will not disappoint. See where the remains of a magnificent coral reef are now covered by 1,200-year-old cacti and fossils.
Day 7: Uyuni – La Paz
Travel northwards by flight to the Bolivian capital where you’ll soon discover there’s more than the altitude making La Paz (3,540 metres) so exquisitely memorable. Step back in time and unearth mystic remedies and charms in the Mercado de las Brujas, or Witches’ Market. Stroll along streets filled with the stalls of women in brightly coloured traditional shawls and bowler hats to the Museo de Coca, dedicated to Bolivia’s best-known export. Get lost in a maze of canyons and giant spires in Moon Valley, before soaring in a cable car to breathe in views of majestic Mount Illimani. Take your dinner reservation at the celebrated Gustu, one of the world’s top-rated restaurants, for trailblazing ultra-local, seasonal cuisine.
Hotel: Casa Grande Hotel, 2 nights
Day 8: La Paz
Explore La Paz two ways this morning. Venture to a high plateau above the city to witness the brightly coloured ostentatious cholets (mansions) of architect Freddy Mamani. Cholets aren’t only houses to live in, the ground floors feature ballrooms, the upper floors are apartments or galleries and the top floor is where the owner lives. Later seek out treasures in the frenetic Andean markets, where colour, commerce and culture collide in wonderful chaos. Spend your afternoon free to wander amongst the city’s theatrical street life or simply recline in the sanctuary of your hotel. Later, witness the fascinating and bizarre Cholita wrestling where traditionally dress women in bowler hats do battle in the ring in a highly choreographed display.
Day 9: La Paz – Lake Titicaca
Journey onwards to board the hydrofoil to Copacabana. Brazil’s Copacabana beach may be world renowned, but it took its name from Lake Titicaca’s base town, in homage to the Virgin Mary statue there. Visit the shrine before continuing your cruise to Sun Island, where your rustic eco-lodge rests atop the hill. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the world’s highest navigable lake and its surrounds.
Hotel: Posada del Inca Eco Lodge, 2 nights
Day 10: Lake Titicaca
Bask in the seclusion of your island retreat for the day. Your lodge is the ideal base from which to explore the island’s highlights, like the sacred Puma Rock, trek to the nearby lighthouse or simply soak up the surrounding scenery and the majesty of the Andes.
Day 11: Lake Titicaca – La Paz
Descend the Inca Steps to taste the water of the sacred fountain, promising to bring eternal youth and happiness. Soak up lake views over lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant, with its picturesque handicraft market. Visit the temple of nearby Moon Island, before cruising to Copacabana for your return journey to La Paz.
Hotel: Casa Grande Hotel
Day 12: Depart La Paz
Take a final stroll through the city’s colonial centre, before your private transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
|2020 Dates & Prices||Twin Share||Solo Traveller|
|Departs daily from Santa Cruz:||$7,545.00||Price on Application|
|Meals:||11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners|
|Transport:||Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned vehicle|
|Flights:||Air Tickets: Santa Cruz – Sucre / Uyuni – La Paz|
|Accommodation:||11 nights accommodation|
|Guide:||Local English Speaking guide|
|Entrance Fees & Touring:||Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary|
* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.