The landlocked country of Bolivia offers a diversity of landscapes, cities, and cultures all worthy of exploration and with enough variety to suit every taste. La Paz is the capital of this fascina…
The landlocked country of Bolivia offers a diversity of landscapes, cities, and cultures all worthy of exploration and with enough variety to suit every taste.
La Paz is the capital of this fascinating country and visitors will be astounded by its urban geography and cultural offerings. The city, the highest de facto capital in the world with an elevation that tops 13,000 feet, is on the Andean highlands, tucked into a river valley. The city rises from the bottom and creeps up into the surrounding hills. Visitors will enjoy the historical building that share space with modern constructions. Don’t miss the famous Witches’ Market, the market in El Alto, Calle Jaen with its historical buildings and museums, and short excursions to the miradores (lookout points) which offer panoramic views of the city. La Paz is the hub for travel to other parts of Bolivia, including Lake Titicaca, Oruro, Uyuni, Sucre, Potosi, and Santa Cruz.
Sucre is Bolivia’s second capital – the constitutional one, as opposed to the administrative capital in La Paz. The two capitals are 12 hours distant by bus. Sucre developed as a sort of getaway for the upper-class who gained their wealth from the silver trade in Potosi. Tucked into a valley, the city boasts a lovely temperate climate and retains a tranquil and elegant air, reflected in its lovely plaza and surrounding buildings. Don’t miss a chance to go to the Tarabuco market, the 7 Cascadas (Waterfalls), or the Maragua crater, all just outside of town.
Santa Cruz is the tropical contrast to the high elevation Andean landscapes of Bolivia’s west. After La Paz, it is the second most populous city and the most economically prosperous. Things to do in and near Santa Cruz are one- or multi-day treks in the Amboro National Park, a river boat trip to the Amazon region, or cultural excursion to the Jesuit Missions. The city center has a range of modern entertainment options and the main plaza is an excellent place to people-watch on a lazy afternoon. From Santa Cruz, it is easy to arrange further travel to Cochabamba or across the border into Paraguay.
Uyuni is the top destination for adventure travelers looking to experience the surreal landscape of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world. Travel to Uyuni can be arranged from La Paz, Oruro, Potosi, or Tupiza. There is also the option of starting and ending the tour from San Pedro de Atacama. In town there is not much to do, but there is a train graveyard that is worth visit.
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