Hola my friends and welcome back to part three of my South American adventure.
This part of the journey was spent in beautiful Bolivia and what a beauty it was! I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect of Bolivia, so this part of the trip turned out to be a huge highlight and an amazing experience.
Our journey to Bolivia started when we reached Hito Cajon (Chilean/Bolivian) border crossing up in the Andes by a small bus. Once we had gotten through the border crossing (which is literately a small shack at the altitude of 4480 m) we were greeted by our friendly local drivers and ventured out on a 3 day desert crossing in 4×4’s to Salar de Uyuni.
The 3 days we spent out in the desert heading to Salar de Uyuni were mind blowing. The scenery was so beautiful and the local people we met in the rural communities were so kind and welcoming. On day one of the desert crossing we came across the Green Lagoon, Dali Desert, White Lagoon and Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve. We spent the night in Quetena Chico, a rural town where the temperature dropped to minus 16 degrees.
The next day was spent seeing Laguna Colorada (Red lagoon), the Siloli desert, Arbol de Piedra (Stone tree), Laguna Hedionda (Stinky lake) and Cañapa Lagoon where we were treated to a picnic provided by our wonderful drivers. Flamingos made an appearance and we were treated to seeing Volcano Ollagüe, which was smoking!
That evening we stayed at the Jukil Community Lodge, which is a small village that G adventures and the non-profit Planterra support. We were lucky enough to arrive while the locals were at the beginning of a 3 day and night celebration. We were welcomed and invited to join in the celebrations with traditional dancing around the fire. Celebrations continued into the night down at the local hall, with fireworks and a band playing all night and well into the following day.
Just before sunrise the following morning we hiked up the hill behind the village to view the the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni Salt Lake flats. It was a beautiful sight to see, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt lake flats at 10,582 square kilometres. Watching the sun rise over it was a beautiful experience.
After being farewelled with more traditional dancing around the fire and partying locals we headed into the salt flats. First stop was Incahuasi (Fish Island), then a stop in the middle of the salt lake flats to embrace the beauty of it all and of course take over a million photos!
Credit G Adventures.
After spending a good length of time in awe of the salt flats it was time make our way to Uyuni town. A couple of pit stops first at the first salt hotel, Cochani museum (salt museum) and the train cemetery before farewelling our wonderful drivers.
After spending 3 days out in the desert without hot water, it was nice to get to Uyuni town and have hot showers. We spent the night in Uyuni town and then headed off to Potosí for a couple of nights.
Potosí is the worlds highest town sitting at 4060 meters. After being at altitude over the last few days in the desert we were well adjusted. However Potosí is on a hill, so when walking around the town, checking out the market and enjoying too much delicious food, it made walking up the hills a challenging work out.
Potosí is a mining town and it was recommended to me to do a mining tour to get a proper experience of the town and to see the conditions that the locals work in. Before visiting the mine, we stopped off at the miners markets to provide the miner’s with gifts. Cocoa leaves, drinks or food staples were recommended. Silver is the main product that is mined in the town, the conditions that the miners work in are not the greatest and they only get paid for what they find. It was quite an eye opener, we were lucky enough to see a couple of miners in action with a drill and heard a few explosions with dynamite.
Next stop was to Sucre, Surce is a beautiful city set from the Spanish colonial. The buildings and streets are beautiful, it is enjoyable walking around the city admiring it all. It is also one of the capital cities in Bolivia, the other capital being La Paz. For the best views of Surce we went to La Recoleta. The walk up to La Recoleta is lovely, and there are museums and a look out at the top. As this was only part way up the mountain we decided to keep walking up to the top where we found an even more spectacular look out point. We were up there around sunset and the view was amazing!
Sucre has a lot of delicious food options so we headed down to the fresh food markets in Mercado Central. The fresh juices down there are amazing, served up by the friendly local ladies. I certainly made the most of them! The range of fresh food was fantastic, exotic foods I hadn’t seen before. If you could imagine it, they had it.
We were also lucky enough to have a salsa lesson in one of the restaurants we ate out at. It was so much fun and I think we manged to master a few steps!
After a lovely and relaxing time in Sucre it was time to overnight bus it to La Paz. The bus was so comfortable with reclining chairs, blankets, pillows and a toilet that was usable. After a speedy overnight ride from Sucre to La Paz listening to old rap and dance music throughout the night, we arrived into La Paz earlier than expected.
Getting into La Paz early was quite good, after a huge breakfast we were able to spend the morning on a walking tour and learning about the city. A couple of highlights of the tour were visiting the witches markets and learning about the El penal de San Pedro prison. The following day was spent bike riding DEATH ROAD!!!!!
Death Road was a fun and amazing experience, an experience that I will never forget! First you start off riding on the actual road, with actual cars! This freaked me out a bit as, we had only been in La paz for just over a day and their driving was crazy! Thankfully I survived that part and the next part was on actual death road! 50 k’s of riding, the scenery was beautiful, you were in the rain forest, at altitude, riding on death road and I survived without any bails!!!
La Paz was our last destination with our tour group G adventures, after a lot of goodbyes and a final farewell dinner we jumped onto a Bolivia hop bus to take us to our next destination, Lake Titicaca, Copacabana.
Copacabana is a relaxing little tourist town right on Lake Titicaca. We spent a lovely 2 days there enjoying a few hikes, hanging out with the local dog squad, eating lots of trout (their speciality) and delicious food and spent a day out at Isla del Sol. Isla del Sol, is a Bolivian island in Lake Titicaca with Inca ruins.
This lovely little destination was a great place to unwind and prepare us for your next destination! Bolivia you were filled of beauty and I loved what you had in store for us! I have taken away some wonderful memories and some incredible experiences!
Peru, you’re up next!!!