5 Amazing things to do in Bolivia
Bolivia is a country of amazing variety with its incredible landscapes, a strong indigenous culture and a lingering Spanish colonial presence. Here at Rainbow we have been running tours to Bolivia for years, yet this gem is still not on many travellers’ radars.
Straddling the Andes, Bolivia is a treasure trove of unforgettable sights and unusual experiences. From the heights of Lake Titicaca to the luscious basins of some of the most untouched parts of the Amazon rainforest, Bolivia rewards the curious traveller with breath-taking sights—some of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Our specialists have selected their five must-do activities in Bolivia, so read on to discover what you should put on your bucket list for your next trip.
Visit the famous Bolivian salt flats
Arguably Bolivia’s most well-known destination, the Salar de Uyuni stretch out, astoundingly flat save for occasional islands poking up through the salt, as far as the eye can see. The salt flats are actually a thin crust covering a brine pool that is exceptionally rich in lithium.
The chief draw of the Salar de Uyuni is the breath-taking vistas offered by the vast stretches of whiteness and the endless sky, but lucky visitors may also catch sight of the three species of flamingo that come to the salt flats to breed in November, their pinkness very bright against the uniformity of the salt.
Head up to Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia at a whopping altitude of 3,800m above sea level. Its bright blue waters are a stunning sight framed by the snow-capped Andes and endless sky.
The biggest island on the lake is the Isla del Sol, located on the Bolivian side. Legend holds that it was the home of the Incan god Inti, and the island now boasts many interesting sights for curious visitors such as the 206 Inca steps and a maze at Challapampa.
Delve into the cobbled streets of Sucre
Bolivia’s capital is set in a valley surrounded by low mountains. It paints a beautiful picture with its whitewashed buildings and mix of European and indigenous architecture. See it in the setting sun and watch it turn rose gold as the rays caress it.
Roam Sucre’s cobbled streets and discover the city’s jewels. We highly recommend a visit to the Recoleta, where many colonial paintings, sculptures, archaeological remains and jewellery are on display; and make sure you stop by the San Francisco church and the Indigenous Art Museum as well.
Stargaze in the Atacama desert
Is there anything that can make a person feel as small as the desert sky at night, silent and wild with stars?
The darkness and quiet turn the Atacama, the driest place on Earth, into the perfect destination for any traveller who wants to stare up into the vast cosmos and see the stars that human beings have been gazing at for millennia.
No words can describe how this sky can make you feel.
Marvel at La Paz's high altitude
The homes of La Paz’s residents cling to the sides of a canyon gouged deep into the Altiplano, with Mount Illumani looming above the city. La Paz is one of the highest-altitude cities in the world (in fact, three of the top ten highest cities are found in Bolivia!).
There is little as rewarding as plunging into the vibrant streets of La Paz. Its clashing architectural styles, bustling markets, street marches and local vendors leave visitors with something exciting to discover around every corner.