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Bolivia

Curious what backpackers do in Bolivia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

Most traveled places in Bolivia:

All Top Places in Bolivia
  • Suprisingly the small ecohotel gave us breakfast with some yummy coconut yoghurt and passable coffee. Setting off on Mamasita we arrived in Uyuni the gateway to the salt flats. It was market day and the town was full of energy.

    Bolivia is the first time in South America that I've felt we've come across a different culture. The people here are small in stature, I'm taller than any of the men. So as we weaved through the market stalls we had to duck under awnings, and felt like giants among the locals.

    Whilst most men typically wear trainers, jeans a jacket and a baseball cap the majority of women are in traditional clothes. On their head lies a bowler hat slightly to small for their head. Apparently in the 18th century, when they were in fashion, a big shipment arrived in Bolivia for the men, but they turned out to be too small, so the women wore them instead. If lying on top of the head the woman is married, if towards the back of the head she is single. They then wear colourful sholes with a colourful shirt. Then a hooped skirt with long fluffy patterned tights and leather shoes. An amazing dress. I keep trying to take sneaky photos of the but get caught, and get "no photos". I'll keep trying.

    The market had everything and anything you could want. Fruit and veg, electricals, clothes, phones. Endless streams of stalls each with a lady vendor in traditional dress busy knitting her next cardigan, with a baby strapped to their back swaddled in sling.

    Once fed we had a quick journey to the outskirts of town to the train graveyard. Two tracks full of abandoned train engines and carriages stretching for over a mile. Slowly rusting away, most are covered in colourful graffiti. It was like playtime, James, Charlotte, Izzy and I climbed most of the engines looking for the most creative photo to take. Trousers were ripped, hats were lost and boughts of ver0tigo were conquered to pose on top of the iron giants. We spent two hours in total and didn't want to leave.

    Checking in to the hotel we had a few hours before we all (minus Bob and Faye who seem to eat steak and a 3 course meal every night) had food in the hotel. Famed for being the best pizza in town, Minuteman restraunt. We were joined by a Toucan tourguide who was transitioning and was full of stories as she had been a overlanding tourguide for years. One of her groups in Africa had a love triangle where one of the women scorned cut up the others pasport and they were thrown in jail! Finishing the good pizza we headed to bed happy.
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  • Loaded into 4x4 at 10 o clock we started towards the salt flats. The landscspe slowly turned from rocky mud to crystal white salt in all directions. The mountains on the horizon appeared to float above the salt, and other 4x4 could be seen as little flecks zooming across the salt.

    Stopping at an island called Inca's house, it was covered in cacti meters tall that clung to an old coral outcrop. We were served lunch of chicken, rice, pasta and potatoes. They love carbs here! To work off the calories we went exploring up to the top of the island and came back down through caves. At the bottom Faye was struggling. She's been badly affected by altitude sickness and walking even a few steps affects her. The guides advise hospital every day but so far she's declined. She's missed out on a lot.

    Next stop was the middle of nowhere so that we could take perspective photos. Trickier than it looks, but a lot of fun! We continued on to the salt hotel which had hundreds of flags outside from every nationality. I wished I had a spare Welsh flag to tie up. On the edge of the salt flats we then waited for sunset which was a fiery orange.

    Back in Uyuni we set out for street food and ended up in a small place that was full of locals. We had llama steak with rice and chips and a large bottle of coke. It cost us £1.70, the cheap prices have arrived at last! Grabbing some popcorn on the way back were chilling in the hotel foyer when a couple we met in Pucon recognised us and we had a lovely chat. I wonder who else we will meet before Lima!
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  • Wow. Welcome to Bolivia. It's bloody freezing.

    Arriving in Bolivia could not be more of a contrast to Chile. After leaving Chilean customs and arriving at Bolivian immigration which can pretty much be summed up by 'one man and his dog' manning the border, we put on all of our extra layers as it was absolutely freezing and ate some breakfast.

    We then were separated into groups and got into the 4x4s. My group was great - Helen and Andrea who I got on really well with and were in my hostel in San Pedro, a German guy called Peter and a French couple. Our driver was called Eddy and he was a G.

    The first day we were in the national park, and drove to different lagunas including the white lagoon, the green lagoon and the pink one. We also stopped off at thermal springs and geysers. That night we were staying in a Refugio in the national park. There was no heating or electricity and that night you could hear the wind blowing so loudly and when we woke up it was -20 degrees outside. Some people had really bad nights sleeps because it was so cold, but I wasn't too bad because I had put so many layers on and also had my sleeping bag.

    The next morning we drove to a couple of other places but because it was so cold and the wind was so bad it made getting out of the car for longer than a few minutes really difficult. At one point when we were driving there was a huge sandstorm and you couldn't see anything out of the windows. We ate lunch in Alota and then continued driving through villages (basically ghost towns - it's pretty remote around here) until San Juan.

    That night we stayed in a salt hotel. At first I was really disheartened when I saw the hotel from the outside, because in all honesty it looked like a shack. However, I was surprised as the inside was actually really nice! We were able to have hot showers and charge our phones which was nice. I was in a triple room with Andrea and Helen which was good because it's one of the first times I've managed to sleep without being woken up by snoring! That night we had a really nice dinner and we were also able to use wifi for an hour which was good because I hadn't spoken to Josh for nearly two days.

    The next day we got up at 4.30am to set off in time to see sunrise on the salt flats. The salt flats really exceeded my expectations - they are huge and just as cool in real life. The sunrise was really special, and we all took lots of photos. After we drove to this island where there are loads of big cactuses and good viewpoints. It's weird having to walk uphill and be really out of breathe from the altitude. We also got loads of the typical tourist photos and Eddy was pretty good at coming up with ideas of what we could do. Someone in the other group brought a drone with them and they took loads of cool videos.

    After we went to Colchani market and I bought some tourist souvenirs and also paid 5Bs to get a picture with a baby llama which was so adorable. It tried to kiss me and my heart melted. We had lunch and then went to the train cemetery as the last stop before the end of the tour.

    I was sad the tour was over because I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to be looked after and have all your meals cooked for you. I was also sad to leave Helen and Andrea as we got on so well but they were staying in Uyuni and I was moving on to Potosi with Peter.
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  • Die Fahrt von La Paz nach Copacabana ist außergewöhnlich. Zum Einen bietet die Fahrt im Bus einen tollen ersten Eindruck auf den riesigen Titicacasee und zum Anderen müssen wir an einer Stelle den See mit dem Bus überqueren. Wir müssen also alle aus- und in eine kleine Lancha (Nussschale) einsteigen. Das Boot wird natürlich bis zum letzten Platz besetzt und wir sind ziemlich froh, das wir nicht mit der Seekrankheit zu kämpfen haben, denn das Bötchen schwankt bedenklich. Aber wir schaffen es auf die andere Seite und auch der Bus kommt heil an.

    In Copacabana erwartet uns dann der Titicacasee. Dunkelblau liegt er umrahmt von grünen Hügeln vor uns. Gleich am ersten Tag besteigen wir den Cerro de Calvario, der den Einheimischen als heilige Stätte mit einem Kreuzweg dient. Dieser Hügel bietet nach einem anstrengenden Aufstieg einen wunderschönen Blick auf das Städtchen und den See. Er ist das höchste, kommerziell schiffbare Gewässer der Welt und der größte See Südamerikas. Mit seinen 8562 km² ist er 15 Mal so groß wie der Bodensee.
    Hier haben wir uns ein schönes Hotel mit eigenem Badezimmer und Frühstück inklusive gegönnt. Bei der Wahl unserer Unterkünfte helfen uns die Bewertungen auf booking.com und Hostelworld. Tatsächlich hat uns bei diesem Hotel eine negative Bewertung eines Schweizers weitergeholfen. Die ging ungefähr so: "Zum Frühstück gibt es Kaffee, warme Milch und Tee soviel man möchte aber nur EIN Brötchen dazu eine Scheibe Käse und Schinken (ca. 2 x 10 cm), ein Glas Orangensaft, ein bisschen Butter und Marmelade, EINEN Pfannkuchen, Ei (Spiegel- oder Rührei), EINEN Joghurt mit einer halben Tasse Cornflakes und ein kleines Glas Obstsalat." Wir haben keine Ahnung wo der Typ normalerweise absteigt, aber für uns hörte es sich wunderbar an und so war es auch.
    Die Geschmäcker sind eben verschieden.

    So haben wir genug Energie, um unsere 17 km Touri-Off Wanderung von der Halbinsel Yampupata entlang am Titicacasee zurück nach Copacabana zu starten. Im Hotel wird uns erklärt, dass wir einen Microbus nehmen können, die morgens um 8:00 und 9:00 Uhr losfahren.
    Wir stehen also typisch deutsch morgens um 08:00 am Abfahrtsort; der Micro auch nur sonst keiner und der Fahrer meint, er kann erst los fahren, wenn der Bus voll ist. Klar, da er damit ja Geld verdient. Wir sagen ihm, das wir dann gerne warten, aber er versucht uns zu vermitteln, das ein Taxi ja viel besser sei und wir damit ja auch schneller da seien.
    Klar, aber da das 3 Mal so viel kostet, wollen wir trotzdem warten. Scheint manchmal etwas schwierig nachzuvollziehen zu sein, das die "reichen" Touris sich kein Taxi leisten können bzw. wollen, aber wir warten trotzdem. Und wie es so oft ist, kommt ein Bolivianer auf uns zu (da er ja mitbekommen hast, das wir nach Yampupata möchten) und bietet uns an, uns gegen ein kleines Entgelt mitzunehmen. Nach zähem Verhandeln landen wir dann beim Micropreis und beide Seiten sind glücklich. Ein anderer Bolivianer steigt auch noch ein und so lohnt sich seine Fahrt dreifach: Er hat in seinem Kofferraum Benzin für die Bewohner des kleinen Dorfes. Wir sind so froh, dass wir den Unterricht in Sucre hatten, hier helfen Spanisch Kenntnisse ungemein.
    Die Wanderung ist wunderbar, wir laufen auf 3800 m mehr oder weniger eben. So können wir die Umgebung richtig genießen, denn noch immer fühlen sich die kleinsten Anstrengungen wie ein 5 km Lauf an.
    Die Dame im Hotel hat uns vorab vor aggressiven Hunden gewarnt und so hat Marcel schnell mal Steine in der Hand, als der erste Hund wie wild auf uns zugerannt kommt. Die Steine erweisen sich aber als unnötig, da er nur an uns hochspringt und sich unglaublich zu freuen scheint. Er begleitet und den ganzen Weg, vorbei an kleinen Dörfern, Feldern, auf denen geackert wird, einzelnen Lama-, Schaf- oder Kuhherden und wunderschönen Ausblicken auf den See. Sogar einen kleinen Teil eines Inkaweges passieren wir und können uns auf dem Weg noch einen präkolumbischen Tunnelgang anschauen, der zu einem unterirdischem Wasserspeicher führt. Bad der Inka (Baño del Inca) nennen sie diesen Ort. Hier sind wir die ersten Besucher seit zehn Tagen (entnehmen wir dem Besucherbuch) und reißen den Wärter aus seiner Siesta.
    Erst in Copacabana begegnen wir wieder anderen Touristen und so können wir die Natur ganz alleine genießen. Der Nachteil daran ist nur, dass man kaum geöffnete Restaurants auf dem Weg findet (Zweitälersteig lässt grüßen), dies aber auch an der Nebensaison liegt. Gönnen wir uns halt zurück in Copacabana ein Menu del Dia mit Trucha (Regenbogenforelle), Pommes und Gemüse (sehr selten, normalerweise gibt es Reis dazu). Die Forelle wurde 1939 aus Kanada im See ausgesetzt, um die Bevölkerung mit Eiweiß zu versorgen, mittlerweile hat sich der Bestand durch Überfischung so sehr reduziert, dass der Fisch im See gezüchtet wird.
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  • Dad & I went with a tour group to the top of the mountain - Tiawanaku. They have only uncovered 10% of the ruins there. There were 3 main temples that we saw, including the sun gate. We also visited Pumapunku which was in the beginning stages of unearthing. It was interesting to speculate how they could have cut those stones with such precision.
    On our way to the bus for the tour we saw the zebras were back! They are young volunteers who are very friendly, upbeat, and positive. They help people cross the street, especially little kids. They dance in the street, give high-fives, and wave traffic along.
    That night Tia Charo's granddaughter took me to Copacabana to try Bolivian fried chicken. It tasted like fried chicken!
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  • From 8am to 8pm we were out sightseeing Cochabamba. We started the day by going to the beautiful temple. We did one session (in Spanish!) and also some sealings. We ate lunch on temple grounds. Then we took a taxi all the way to the Christ statue on top of the mountain. What a sight! Our leg muscles were shaking after the walk down all the steps. We saw several people walking (and some running) up the stairs...that's too crazy.
    Our next stop was the Casa de Simon I. Patino which is dad's grandpa's cousin who became very rich from investing in mines.
    Then we went to meet my great aunt Rosa & her husband. Her kids Roxana & Gina were there too. They are all so friendly & loving.
    We made the walk home and saw Cochabamba come to life at night. It's a beautiful city that's warm and more relaxed than La Paz.
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  • Today we went around San Miguel where mom got her hair done and then we ate at a nice restaurant for lunch. After resting at the house for a bit mom & I went to Uptown La Paz again - the main street with the little shops is called Sagarnaga. We walked up and down the street looking for a shop that sold beautiful paintings... Finally we found it! I bought one from the painter and I'm excited to put it in my house! Mom & I then ate at a small restaurant that looked exactly like the house mom & dad lived in Cochabamba when they were first married, which was dad's grandma's house.
    That night we went to Mariel's house (Willy's daughter) to eat Chinese food dinner.
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  • Jumping into the bus at 8 we headed to the Chilean border control at the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. It opened at 9 so we were onenl of the first in the queue apart from two cyclists. Our plan was to cross the altiplano into Bolivia which would take us up to an altitude of 5200m and we woukdnpass through lagunas filled with wildlife. How the cyclists thought they could cycle over that pass in a day was beyond us.

    As the shutters opened we were dismayed to hear that the border was closed as the high pass had snow and high winds. We could wait untill 11 for further news, stay in San Pedro until it opened (it was census day so everything was shut!) or make a new plan. Pros at the unexpected Lou and David snapped to plan B. There was another border 4 hours up the road. Off we went.

    After fueling up at a city we continued on a lonely road with not a spec of life in sight. Flanked by volcanos either side, Mamasita battled through high winds and sandstorms that sandblasted the windscreen. Arriving at the Chile border we saw a commercial bus so knew the road was clear to Bolivia. Stamped out we continued to the Bolivian border, to find that even though they are in the middle of nowhere with less than 50 people crossing a day they were shut for a 2 hour lunch!

    Once the Bolivians had been fed and watered we crossed into Bolivia. Stopping at a laguna we spotted flamingoes, comerants, ducks, cranes and herds of llamas. As a pack, 8 of us stalked a lone flamingo for the best shot. The llamas were very stately and were beautifully decorated with colourful ribbons and bells that chimed as they moved. As it got later we came across lone sheppards hearding their flock back towards pens for the night.

    As sunset fell we stopped at a few villages looking for a hostel/hotel so that we wouldn't have to bush camp in high winds. We struck gold in the small mining town of San cristobal which had room in its ecohotel. Due to the constant sun its solar powered shower was bliss! The only open restraunt in town luckily had just enough llama and beef stakes to feed us all. Accompanied by egg, rice and chips it was a very filling meal which sent me straight off to sleep the minute mubhead hit the pillow.

    We later learnt that the other border never opened again so we made the right choice with plan B!
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  • Today we took my first "trufi" or minibus to San Miguel which is just a busier part of La Paz than Achumani. There were many shops, malls, places to eat, & businesses. And cholitas too! You can find cholitas everywhere, usually selling whatever goods they are in the business of selling (flowers, food, clothing, toys, jewelry, etc).
    We ate lunch at a Succre restaurant with Tio Josernersto. I had trout and tried some of mom & dad's lengua and chuno. We then took a taxi to Tia Charo's house where I met Tia Gloria. We played cards & talked while they ate lunch.Read more

  • Today we flew to Cochabamba! The weather is a nice 60—something degrees,with palm trees, & it's more laid back than La Paz. We walked around some shops and Dad showed me where he grew up & around his neighborhood. He also showed me how he has become the pigeon whisperer! We ate Pico Lo Macho and tried some new fruits. I saw this little boy who had finished eating a chocolate candy or ice-cream but was licking his hands and the wrapper for every last taste. At one point he had the whole wrapper in his mouth! The cholitas here dress in shorter skirts & sun hats.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Plurinational State of Bolivia, Bolivien, Bolivia, Bolivië, ቦሊቪያ, Bolibia, بوليفيا, Wuliwya, Boliviya, Балівія, Боливия, Bolivi, বোলিভিয়া, བོ་ལི་ཝིཡ།, Bolivija, Bolívia, Bolívie, Bolifia, Bolivia nutome, Βολιβία, Bolivio, Boliivia, بولیویا, Boliwii, Bolivie, An Bholaiv, Boilibhia, બોલિવિયા, Bolibiya, בוליביה, बोलीविया, Բոլիվիա, Bólivía, ボリビア共和国, ბოლივია, បូលីវី, ಬಲ್ಗೇರಿಯಾ, 볼리비아, बोलिविया, بۆلیڤیا, ໂບລິເວຍ, Mbolivi, Bolīvija, Боливија, ബൊളീവിയ, बोलिव्हिया, Bolivja, ဘိုလီးဘီးယား, Boribiya, Bolivtlān, Bholiviya, बोलिभिया, ବୋଲଭିଆ, Boliwia, Puliwya, Bolivïi, බොලීවියාව, Boliifiya, பொலிவியா, బొలీవియా, โบลิเวีย, Polīvia, Bolivya, بولىۋىيە, Болівія, Bô-li-vi-a (Bolivia), Bolivän, Orílẹ́ède Bọ̀lífíyà, 玻利維亞, i-Bolivia