When travellers talk about their adventures in South America, the action is usually focused around Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
Those who make it to Bolivia, though, will all say the same thing- you have to see it!
From floating islands and witches’ markets to pink dolphins and a desert of salt, here are the best bits of a magical journey around this enigmatic, beautiful country.
The Train Graveyard and Salt Flats
This ghostly graveyard of old locomotives is a strange enough place, not least because it borders a white desert of salt. Once you’ve stopped off to explore the eerie trains on a three day tour, head out into the salt flats. There, perspective is mischievously muddled across the sparkling white landscape.
Pampas del Yacuma
For wildlife lovers, this area of Bolivia on the border of the Amazon rainforest will thrill and amaze. The swamplands are inhabited by the mythical pink river dolphins which swim alongside the longboats and play with children in the water. Alligators, monkeys and an array of birdlife are also easy to spot. Go in search of the legendary anaconda and see alligator’s eyes shining by torchlight as you explore the swamps.
Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol
Lake Titicaca is so vast that it could easily be mistaken for the ocean. After visiting floating islands where the land, houses and boats are all made of reeds, travel on to the fabled birthplace of the Incas, Isla del Sol. Free from roads and with only mules for transport, this island seems to belong to another age. Explore pastel-coloured villages and walk across the lunar landscape to coastal ruins.
The Death Road
If you’ve ever fancied cycling along one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the world, here’s your chance. The road is closed to all other vehicles due to the narrowness of some sections and the 1000 meter drop, but bikes are still welcome. There are a number of outfits running trips down ‘death road’, and the experience is utterly exhilirating. Just make sure you test your brakes before you set off!
This sprawling capital city surrounded by snow-capped mountains is a nightmare and a dream all at once. Don’t expect slow paced relaxation in the world’s highest capital city; do expect colour, flavour and magic. Visit the witches market where you can buy everything from love spells to llama foetuses then pass the time in some of South America’s best coffee shops. The most awe inspiring day out around La Paz is a trip to the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco where an astounding array of statues and temples have been excavated, many of which are two thousand years old.
Have you been to Bolivia? Tell other readers about your most memorable experiences here.