Bolivia is full of great contrasts. The country's tropical valleys, icy Andes, and high-altitude cities offer great variation for travellers to explore a wide range of terrains and climates. Even though Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America, it is rich with colourful culture and magnificent landscapes. Bolivia is a fascinating destination to explore, as many indigenous traditions prevail today.
The capital city - La Paz
Due to Bolivia's high elevation, several places will take you halfway to heaven along your journey, both literally and figuratively.
La Paz, for example, is the highest capital city in the world (3650 meters). It is also a very unique city, as it is situated in a large 'pot' surrounded by the high altiplano. The city spreads over various elevations, making it a dazzling and breath-taking adventure. Apart from these incredible city views, La Paz is a fascinating city to explore. You will discover small roads with beautifully dressed locals selling handcrafts, multicoloured scarves, hats, alpaca gloves, and more. The atmosphere is definitely dynamic.
We also recommend that you continue your travels to the southern part of Bolivia, where you will find the old mining town of Potosí. This small and old town is located at approximately 4,000 meters above sea level. Potosí used to be one of the world's richest mining centres in the late 1500s, as the mountain was practically filled with silver. Today, Potosí is definitely worth a visit, as visitors will experience the town's rich history and long-standing traditions.
Today, there is almost no silver left in the mountain. However, the men who live in Potosí still work between 12 and 14 hours each day to extract the tragically small value that is left. Nowadays, the mines are also open to travellers, but beware of the safety risks before booking a trip. During a guided tour around the mines, you will get a feel for the extremely harsh conditions that the mine workers have to endure. At times, you will have to move around in complete darkness and crawl through narrow passages, just as the miners do. This tour is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but we say go for it!
Salar de Uyuni - The biggest salt-lake in the world
If you travel southwest from Potosí, you will soon reach the incredible Salar de Uyuni, the world's highest salt-lake or salt desert. No matter what you call it, it is one of the most unique, fascinating, and unforgettable places in all of South America, perhaps even in the entire world. The extensive salt-lake on the horizon against the clear blue sky is a divine vision. The area is also surrounded by beautiful maroon volcanoes, mountains, unusual rock formations, hot springs, geysers, giant cactus plants, and other natural wonders.
Bolivia is so much more
Bolivia is a cornucopia of experiences and sensations. Other incredible destinations in Bolivia include the famous blue Lake Titicaca, home of an indigenous Indian population, national parks, the Andes mountains, and the incredibly beautiful Yungas valleys, surrounded by lush mountains. Each of these destinations offer breath-taking scenery and opportunities for adventure. In fact, the trip to Yungas is an adventure in itself - getting there from La Paz requires you to brave steep and dramatic mountain roads. You can consider yourself lucky to get there in good shape, but the incredibly beautiful views from the bus make the dicey trip exciting and well worth it.