Essential Bolivia Tour
This enlightening Bolivia tour is designed to give you the experience of three outstanding and very different landscapes.
- Get to know dramatic La Paz, one of the highest cities in the world, nestling under the snow-capped peaks of the Illimani Mountain
- See mysterious Lake Titicaca, mythical home of Inca and pre-Incan cultures
- Visit the Aymara communities on Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island, and discover their ancient Andean culture
- Travel to the stark and spectacular salt flats at Uyuni
- Discover abundant nature in the Bolivian rainforest near Rurrenabaque, one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, where you will stay in an ecolodge built and managed by an indigenous community
This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide throughout your time on Sun Island, the Uyuni Salt Flats and the Amazon Rainforest. The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All of our tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.
The 4-day tour of the Amazon Rainforest (including flights) represents 50% of the price. If you prefer not to include it we can suggest other destinations instead.
This very special ecotour of an amazing country is divided into three different phases, each giving you a different insight into the local culture and environment.
In La Paz you’ll see the unique mix of western and indigenous cultures, forged through centuries of political and economic struggles. This is a breathtaking city, one of the highest capital cities in the world, and is built in a bowl surrounded by the Andean mountains. Here, you’ll experience the country’s rich and revolutionary history.
From the urban sprawl of the capital, you’ll then visit the incredible Lake Titicaca, the cradle of both Incan and pre-Incan civilisations. Here you will see dramatic landscapes and ancestral ruins, and meet local indigenous communities on sacred islands in the lake. From Lake Titicaca you will travel to the largest salt-flats in the world, an extraordinary landscape of white salt, blue sky and thousand-year-old cacti. Here too you will meet indigenous communities who will explain their culture and traditions, and the way in which they are developing sustainable eco-tourism.
Finally, in the third chapter of this memorable tour, you will travel to one of the world’s largest national parks, staying with local inhabitants in an ecolodge, and learning about the area’s tropical rainforest, bio-diversity and medicinal plants. This part of your tour will include both day and night-time hikes through the jungle.
Day 1: La Paz (-/-/-)
Arrive in La Paz, transfer and check-in to your well-located hotel in the city centre. On the way to your hotel our guide will give you all the tips and recommendations to get the most out of your trip in Bolivia – and answer any questions you may have. Free rest of the day to discover La Paz and acclimatise after your flight.
Day 2: La Paz to Copacabana (B/-/D)
After an early breakfast, pick-up for a private transfer to the coach station. From here, we take a 4-hour bus ride through impressive Bolivian landscapes to reach Copacabana (with your guide), the main Bolivian town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Upon arrival we’ll visit archaeological sites of interest and then we’ll head to Sampaya community, a traditional fishermen and peasant Aymara community. We’ll enjoy the most beautiful views over the sacred lake and the tranquillity of this out-of-time village. Dinner and accommodation will be in a community guest house.
Day 3: Sun Island – Lake Titicaca (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will walk to the port and embark the boat that will get us to Isla de la Luna (Moon Island). We visit Iñac Uyu, the temple of the Virgins of the Sun, and enjoy a typical “apthapi” lunch. Then we head to Isla del Sol (Sun Island) and climb the Inca stairs up to Yumani where we spend the night outside the touristic village, at Palla Khasa Lodge. Read more about our tour to Sun Island in our blog.
Day 4: Sun Island to La Paz (B/L/-)
We will take a 3-hour walk on the island to reach La Chinkana, the most important archaeological site of Sun Island and probably one of the most sacred places of the whole Inca Empire. After lunch, we board the boat to Copacabana and then public bus (with your guide) to La Paz. Upon arrival at the coach station in La Paz, private transfer to your well-located hotel in the city centre. Free evening.
Day 5: La Paz to Uyuni (B/-/-)
After breakfast, you’ll go on a private guided excursion to Moon Valley. Situated about 10 kilometres from the city, it is composed of an area where erosion has worn away the majority of the mountains. Over the centuries the elements have created a somewhat odd work of art, like a desert filled with stalagmites. Upon return to La Paz, you will enjoy a private guided city tour. After a day sightseeing you’ll return to the hotel where you will still have access to your room. After time to freshen up, transfer to the bus terminal for an overnight bus to Uyuni (10 hours approx; the bus has comfy reclining seats and an on-board toilet).
Day 6: Uyuni Salt Flats (B/L/D)
Upon arrival in Uyuni, we’ll have breakfast, and then we take a Land Cruiser for your 3-day small group excursion of the Uyuni salt flats (max. 5 travellers), with a stop at the surreal train cemetery. Once on the salt flat, we will visit the Inca Huasi Island where you can see thousand-year-old cacti. Afterwards, continue to San Juan where you will relax at the end of the day.
Day 7: Uyuni Salt Flats (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, we’ll visit the Lipez Altiplano and the belvedere of the Ollague Volcano. We’ll then go to the altiplanic lagoons Kañapa, Hedionda, where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, and then to Ch’iar Quta for wildlife watching. Then we’ll head to the Siloli Desert and visit the Stone Tree and the Eduardo Avaro Natural Reserve. You’ll end the day from a view point where you’ll appreciate the beauty of the Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada). Accommodation and dinner will be at a basic hotel in Huaylla Jara.
Day 8: Uyuni Salt Flats to La Paz (B/-/-)
Enjoy breakfast as you watch the sunrise, then visit a geyser field and hot springs. Then head to the border with Chile, stopping at a view point to see the Dali Rocks, the Green Lake and the Likankabur Volcano. In the afternoon, your small group excursion will end when you’re dropped off at the Uyuni coach station, where you will take your overnight bus to La Paz (10 hours approx; the bus has comfy reclining seats and an on-board toilet).
Day 9: Free in La Paz (B/-/-)
Upon arrival in La Paz, private transfer and early check-in to a well-located hotel. Free day to relax at your hotel or enjoy the city. Optional activities are available.
Day 10: La Paz to Rurrenabaque (B/L/D)
Early pick-up and private transfer to the airport for a 40-minute flight to Rurrenabaque. The flight is a fabulous opportunity to see the Andes Mountain Range and a panoramic view of the Amazon rivers and forests. Upon arrival, private transfer to the port to take a shared boat along the Beni and Tuichi Rivers to Chalalan Ecolodge (approx. 3 hours) where you will spend the next 4 days taking part in small group activities. Walk through this rich forest to the lodge (approx. 30 minutes), then have lunch and time to rest. In the afternoon you’ll have time to learn about the Madidi National Park and the projects of the community. Trek through the Chichilo and Mirador trails focusing the field of construction. After dinner get ready for an evening trek to see the rich night wildlife.
Day 11: Bolivian Amazon rainforest (B/L/D)
After breakfast, trek along the Silbador, Mutua and Anta trails to see some of the fruits, and medicinal and exotic plants that the Amazon has to offer. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and take time to swim in the lagoon. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy didactic games or learn about the history of the project. Then trek through the Tuichi and Jaguar trails for bird-watching. After dinner, you will discover traditional stories and legends of the locals from San Jose de Uchupiamonas.
Day 12: Bolivian Amazon rainforest (B/L/D)
Today will be a busy day! Buffet breakfast scheduled according to your morning activities (e.g. breakfast at 05h30 for birdwatchers). Afterwards, morning walk along the Tapacare path where you can see and learn about the forest and wildlife. Return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalán. Then short walk along the Paraba path to the viewing point where you can see the beautiful landscape across Lake Chalalán, the mountains and the Madidi rainforest. Your guide will explain about the plants used for building - both hardwoods and palms - and the traditional and sustainable use of natural resources. He’ll also explain about the park, our lodge and the community. You return to the lake to go on a canoe trip along the shores of Lake Chalalán where you will be able to enjoy the sunset and see monkeys, birds, insects, bats, etc. Return to the lodge for a snack. Dinner will be served in the lodge dining room. Afterwards, go on a short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path.
Day 13: Amazon rainforest to La Paz (B/-/-)
Buffet breakfast at the lodge and then walk to the river Tuíchi to take the 3-hour boat ride back to Rurrenabaque. Coordinate with your guide as the return walk along the Jaguar or Wichi paths can be modified to accommodate your interests. We recommend you are alert during the boat trip to make the most of your last chance to see the animals. Arrive at Rurrenabaque and transfer to airport for a 40-minute flight back to La Paz. End of tour.
- Trip duration: 13 days
- Countries visited: Bolivia
Adventure: Accommodation in hostels (always in a private room) and B&Bs, and sometimes in hammocks, rustic cabins or tents. Internal transport is overland rather than by plane wherever possible.
Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
- Level of difficulty: Low
- Accommodation: 3 nights in a hotel in La Paz, 1 night in a hotel in Copacabana, 1 night in a community guest house on Sun Island, 2 overnight bus journey (with comfortable reclining seats), 2 nights in hostels in the Uyuni Salt Flat, 3 nights in an ecolodge in the Amazon.
- Transport: Private car, boat, airplane, coach.
- Meals included: 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
Percentage of cost going to local communities:
At least 50%
- Bilingual guide: Available in English, French and Italian
- Extra services:
You will be greeted at La Paz airport by a local guide who will escort you to your hotel, answer questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure that your trip goes smoothly.
There is no minimum number required for this tour and you will not be travelling with a group of people you’ve never met before. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least two people travelling. You should expect a cheaper price for bigger groups.
Your passport details are required at the time of booking. For detailed information on visa requirements and health formalities, visit the FCO Travel Advice website (for UK citizens) and US Travel Advice website (for US citizens). You will need a Yellow Fever vaccination for travel to the Amazon.
Yellow fever vaccines are recommended for the Amazon and although a low risk malaria area, bite prevention is always recommended (long sleeves, insect repellent).
This Bolivia tour, like most of our adventures through Latin America, has a low level of physical difficulty and participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like. If you have any concerns or require special arrangements please call or email us to discuss.
What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sunscreen, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries, wind and waterproof jacket, warm clothes to layer, warm socks, fleece, hat, gloves, scarf, comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts, rain coat, camera, plastic ziplock bags, plastic bags for your luggage in case of rain.
- Best time to travel: To Bolivia it can be all year round, although when going to the Amazon Rainforest it is best to go between March and November.
- Extra budget recommended: Around £150/$200 pp to cover meals and all other expenses not included in the itinerary.
- What is included: Welcome reception at the airport. Transfers (some may be shared) and internal flights. Overland transport. Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides (some private, some as part of a small group). Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Contributions to the social projects visited. Donation to help in preserving the Amazon rainforest through agro-forestry and education.
- What is not included: Flights from your country of origin. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Optional activities. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs. $4 airport departure tax from the Amazon.
There is no minimum duration and you can take only the activities or destinations you want. To start creating your ideal, tailor-made tour to Bolivia, please complete and send this form. Our Bolivian partner will be in touch shortly:
Essential Bolivia Tour
£ 1,425 GBP
Visit three amazing and totally different landscapes in Bolivia. After a quick visit to La Paz, travel to Copacabana and Lake Titicaca to visit Sun Island and its ancient Inca ruins. Then stay with an Aymara community in Uyuni with its incredible salt flats. Finally adventure into the jungle at Rurrenabaque to stay in an ecolodge built and run by an indigenous community and experience one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet.