"See-It-All Tour of Bolivia and Follow-up Trips" Top 5 Page for this destination Bolivia by AlbuqRay

Bolivia Travel Guide: 2,191 reviews and 5,973 photos

Starting Point

My 18 day see-it-all tour of Bolivia and the Cusco area in Peru began in La Paz on 28 Sep 03. It's a beautiful site for a city. Although it is 3650 m (~12,000 ft) above sea level, I was lucky and had no problem with altitude sickness (soroche), probably since I live at 1800 m in Albuquerque, NM. See my itinerary and recommended tour guides under the Favorites tips. All the pictures in the travelogues also have corresponding information.

Little did I know when I flew to Cusco on 11 Oct 03 that I would not make it back to La Paz on the 14th. The airport was closed due to political demonstrations that had turned into riots. The demonstrations had been mostly peaceful while I was there. However, there were road blockades the whole time that did keep me from visiting Lake Titicaca and Tiwanaku as planned. The president resigned on the 17th. Per their constitution, the vice-president assumed control and things have returned to normal now. You should not miss this amazing country with the spectacular landscapes, and the friendly, independent people with their mystical sense of the past and present.

In Nov 04 I got a chance to return to Bolivia to see the things I missed the first time. I spent 6 days touring Tiwanaku, Lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol and Sorata. I also repeated some of my first tour with a 5 day trip on the riverboat. Even that trip covered some new territory. November is late Spring in Bolivia, so the temperatures were milder and quite pleasant. However, it was rainy in the lower elevations and more cloudy (hiding the mountain tops) in the higher elevations. See also separate travel pages for La Paz, Potosi, Isla del Sol, Tiahuanaco, Copacabana and the Lake Titicaca area, Sorata, Coroico, Trinidad, Uyuni, and Colchani.

In Apr 06 I returned to Bolivia. A young friend of mine was graduating from high school. I convinced her to do her senior project on children's books for schools in Bolivia. Not only did we take books, but we also did a 12 day tour. Evo Morales, the first indigenous president, was in office and the country was as peaceful as I have seen it, even though he nationalized the natural gas industry while we were there. One of the places I had not been before was the northern Salar de Uyuni. There are fantastic sights to see and no crowds there. See my tips on Coquesa and Volcan Thunupa.

Even some of the places I had been before had new perspectives. See my Isla del Sol pages for a possible "new" Rock of the Puma and Viracocha creation legend.

It is Jan 08. I was looking for information on the Salar de Uyuni during the rainy season, when I happened upon this amazing journey by a young family with two kids that cycled from Canada to Chile. What an adventure! Even 4WD vehicles have a hard time going across some of the places they went.

Riverboat Trip

The Mamore River is a tributary of the Amazon River. Fremen Tours has the Reina de Enin floating hotel there. You fly to Trinidad, drive to Loma Suarez on the Ibare River, and catch a small boat to get to the Reina de Enin wherever it happens to be on the Mamore. See my Things to Do tip here and corresponding Cruising on the Mamore River travelogue for more pictures and information about my first trip on the Reina de Enin. See my Trinidad pages for pictures and information on my second cruise.

Places of Wonder

Laguna Canapa was only one of many places in Bolivia that provided feelings of awe and wonder. It was difficult to choose which picture to put here. In Bolivia you see many contrasts in all sorts of contexts. Laguna Canapa is a high (4151 m = 13619 ft) saline lake populated with flamingos and surrounded by huge mountains. See my travelogues here on Salar de Uyuni, Laguna Colorado and Most Southern Bolivia for more pictures and information on the southern Altiplano. Also, look at my Uyuni tips for details on 4WD tours both north and south out of Uyuni.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing sights and sites; friendly people; dollar goes a long way
  • Cons:Hard to get around due to size and political demonstrations
  • In a nutshell:A country of contrasts and wonders awaiting infrastructure
  • Last visit to Bolivia: May 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (41)

Comments (27)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Great tips!

  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    You have the most amazing pages about Bolivia. I have saved some of your tips for future use. Greetings.

  • Jan 23, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    Totally awesome, if you get the chance grab a bowl for lunch.

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    Our plans for Bolivia are much better now. thanks for sharing. especially like the complete story on the hotels

  • df53's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2007 at 6:58 AM

    Planning a trip myself just now, excellent page Ray!

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2006 at 12:55 AM

    This is an excellent page on Bolivia. I'm hoping to travel in South America next year and am reading up on various places. Bolivia looks very interesting.

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2006 at 8:05 AM

    I was doubting between Rurrenabaque and Iquitos (Perú) but I think that I must think also in the Mamore river

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2006 at 6:49 PM

    Spectacular vistas and wonderful antiquities--your trip took you to so many great places! Boliva is very beautiful....

  • Sue08080's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2006 at 8:39 PM

    Hi Ray, Fantastic Bolivia page and tips! Interesting 4 Women Story! I'll be back to read more...thanks! Do you have more about your donating books? I've done that in Guatemala...great experience.

  • brendazart's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2006 at 9:35 AM

    Hi, Ray--your updated Bolivia pages are great. Your travel pages, photos & info are THE BEST! Want to go back! Sorry I will miss the artist retreat in Alburque.


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