Bolivia
To the High Andes Tour

Bolivia – To the High Andes – a 15 day Small Group Tour from £2695 per person.


Bolivia is South America’s highest and most remote country, bordered by Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, with no access to the ocean. It’s also a country characterised by indigenous people, who make up almost two-thirds of the population, more than any other South American state. Bolivia today is a rich country; it has the continent’s second largest natural gas reserves.

However, the exploitation of this gas by foreign enterprises is highly contentious, and the distribution of the country’s wealth remains starkly iniquitous. A 2019 a constitutional crisis and widespread protests saw the resignation of the country’s first indigenous president, Left-leaning, Evo Morales, after a disputed election. Currently Morales is in exile in Mexico and his political supporters, a majority in the Bolivian parliament, refuse to recognise the self-declared interim president, Jeanine Áñez. Interesting times indeed.

This tour explores Bolivia’s lowlands and Andean highlands, visiting many of its major natural sights, and also its cultural sights, from pre-history, through Inca civilisation, European colonisation, to the present day. If you’re looking for microcosm of South America, be it on country-size scale, Bolivia fits the brief very well.

Often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbour Peru, Bolivia offers the adventurous traveller just about all you could want from a trip to South America, without the numbers of tourists found in other areas.

On this two week trip we journey through a variety of landscapes from the steamy jungles of the Amazon to the desolate and foreboding salt flats of Uyuni, nestled up against the border with Chile. We visit the lovely Jesuit churches and pretty villages of the Chiquitania, region and the colonial cities of Sucre and Potosi with their amazing architecture, which transports us back to the days of the conquistadors.

We also take time to delve into ancient cultures at Tiwanaku, and embark on an adventure through the mountains of the High Andes, where the barren landscapes have to be seen to be believed.

Bolivia is a hotbed of nature, adventure and culture that should be high on the list for any prospective visit to South America.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Busy

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in the atmospheric city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and transfer to hotel accommodation. In the afternoon there’s walking tour of the city, taking in the busy main square of 24 de Septiembre, the church of San Lorenzo, the History Museum and the handicrafts market of Recova Vieja. Overnight at Hotel Americana or similar.

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

After breakfast we explore the Chiquitania region of eastern Bolivia, known for its picturesque hamlets and unique Jesuit churches. At San Javier the village is home several historic churches and a number of traditional ‘ateliers’ skilled in the manufacture musical instruments. Later we continue village of Concepcion and visit workshops involved in restoration efforts. Overnight Hotel Chiquitos or similar. (BLD)

This morning we take the opportunity to admire the eye-catching Cathedral of Concepcion before returning to San Javier for lunch. Afterwards we return to Santa Cruz de la Sierra where the rest of the day will be free to relax or explore independently. Overnight Hotel Americana or similar. (BL)

This morning we head to the airport and board a short flight south to ‘The White City’ of Sucre. On arrival we drive to the Recoleta viewpoint for panoramic vistas across the city. Afterwards we visit Museo Asur to learn something of the development of the region’s textile industry. Later we continue on foot to see the city’s colonial buildings and churches, stopping at the Convent of Santa Clara and the church of San Felipe Neri where an ascent of the bell tower offers great views across. Overnight Hotel Monasterio or similar. (B)

Today we gain an insight into the history of Bolivia by visiting the museum of Casa de la Libertad, the site of Bolivia’s declaration of independence. Afterwards a short drive leads to the impressive paleontological site of Cal Orck’o where the rock face preserves thousands of dinosaur tracks. Later we return to Sucre for lunch. After some free time to relax we head into town and visit a busy market, then take a stroll through Bolivar Park to see its bizarre smaller replica of the Eiffel Tower. Overnight Hotel Monasterio or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

This morning is free to relax or explore independently. Later we depart for Potosi City, driving through beautiful countryside and stopping at Lajasmayu to examine ancient Neolithic rock paintings. We should arrive in Potosi by early evening. Overnight Hostal Colonial or similar (B)

Today we travel by bus to visit the mines of Potosi. After donning appropriate clothing, including a helmet and torch, we take a short ride to the Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain). Every day miners celebrate the pre-Christian ritual of the Challa, with offerings to Tio, the demon said to own underground mineral riches. In the afternoon we visit the Money Museum where artefacts of a bygone age, including machinery, utensils and coinage are displayed. Overnight Hotel Santa Teresa or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today the morning is free to relax or explore the city independently. After lunch we drive to the town of Uyuni. Overnight Hotel Tambo Aymara Hotel or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: seven-hours)

This morning we take a short journey to visit the ‘graveyard of trains’, a collection of historic steam locomotives and railcars dating back over a hundred years. Afterwards we continue to the village of Colchani and witness how natural salt is processed using simple ovens and basic tools. Colchani lies at the entrance to the famous Uyuni salt flat. We travel across the featureless salt for three hours, guided only by wheel tracks in the surface crust. At Incawasi Island we stop to explore an area of giant volcanic rocks and hundreds of giant cacti. The journey across this remote area is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip. Later we leave the salt flat and head towards the hamlet of Quemes. Overnight Tayka Hotel de Piedra or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: seven-hours)

Today we pass the lava flows of Ollague and the colourful lakes of Chiguana, Hedionda and Honda, home to great concentrations of Andean birds. The approach to Ojo de Perdíz is marked by huge rock formations sculpted by the wind, before shrubby vegetation disappears completely and gives way to dunes. In the middle of the desert, at 4,600m, we arrive at a country hotel. Overnight Tayka Hotel del Desierto or similar. (BLD)

After breakfast we drive to Laguna Colorada, resplendent in a burnt orange hue as a result of algae in the water. Mineral deposits line the shores, along with large populations of flamingos. Afterwards we continue to the extreme southwest of Bolivia, passing by the geysers of Sol de Mañana at 4,950m, and arriving at the hot springs of Chalviri for a late breakfast, and some time for bathing. Later, we pass through the Salvador Dali desert en route to Laguna Verde, stopping at the lake for lunch before returning to Ojo de Perdíz for a second night. Overnight Tayka Hotel del Desierto or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: six-hours)

Today we return to Uyuni following a more direct route, passing by the Canyons of Mallu, the Valley of Rocks and the Negra Lagoon. We arrive by mid-afternoon, in time for a late lunch, leaving the rest of the day free to relax. Overnight Hotel Tambo Aymara or similar. (BL)

This morning we catch a flight to La Paz and head to Tiwanaku to explore the archaeological site’s pre-Inca temples and palaces. We return to La Paz in the late afternoon. Overnight Hostal Naira or similar. (B)

Today we explore the sights of La Paz, including the main square Plaza Murillo, its surrounding streets and 16th century colonial architecture. Afterwards we visit the Museum of Magic Instruments, the Indian market, and also the Witches Market, known for mysterious potions and magical amulets. Later we drive to the Mi Teleférico cable car station for a journey across the city, from north to south, and then head to Moon Valley, a maze of canyons and pinnacles formed by wind and water erosion. Overnight Hostal Naira or similar. (B)

At your convenience we transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-02
    Start Sunday September 27, 2020
    End Sunday October 11, 2020
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,695.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Bolivia – From the Lowlands to the High Andes (BJA) Single Supplement
    £ 645.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-01
    Start Sunday May 16, 2021
    End Sunday May 30, 2021
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,885.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Bolivia – From the Lowlands to the High Andes (BJA) Single Supplement
    £ 645.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-02
    Start Sunday September 26, 2021
    End Sunday October 10, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,885.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Bolivia – From the Lowlands to the High Andes (BJA) Single Supplement
    £ 645.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 3 travellers.

Single Supplement from £645.

Return flights from London into Santa Cruz and return from La Paz start at £1000. Contact us for a quotation.

If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.

Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please get in touch with Linda so that I can tailor your perfect tour of Bolivia.

Did you know you can do our Argentina and Chile Puna & Atacama Experience tour directly before our Bolivia tour?

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Bolivia - To the High Andes Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transport throughout
  • Domestic flights
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking guides
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

Juan was an excellent and knowledgeable guide, kept to time and went out of his way to assist. A very enjoyable time. Very good value when compared with similar trips in Bolivia run by other companies.

 

Roy Dryland, UK