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Bolivia is a South American wonderland composed of a diverse natural landscape ranging from snow-capped peaks and deserts to dense rainforests and salt flats. Adding to this, it boasts of a rich cultural flavour made of various indigenous ethnic groups and external influences.
Bolivia is one of the world’s few countries with two capitals – Sucre and La Paz. Its constitutional capital Sucre, is a mountain-ringed city with a pleasant climate. The city boasts of impressive architecture, plenty of museums and churches. The Historic City of Sucre was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1991.
La Paz, considered the world’s highest administrative capital, is a melting pot of the modern and ancient world. The city’s highlights include the Witches’ Market – the best place in Bolivia to buy souvenirs, Plaza Murillo – the main plaza of La Paz surrounded by many landmarks, Basilica of San Francisco which offers amazing rooftop views and a wide range of museums. From La Paz, you can visit the ruins of Tiwanaku – which was once a thriving settlement with pre-Columbian Tiwanaku culture.
The biggest highlight of Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat – Salar de Uyuni, which is located in southwest Bolivia. This unusual natural beauty was formed after several prehistoric lakes dried up, creating a massive salt bed which stretches for about 11,000-sq-km. Today, Salar de Uyuni is known for its magical setting where you can capture amazing photographic illusions. You can enhance your experience further by staying at a hotel built out of salt blocks and sleeping on a bed made of salt.
About 150 km from Sucre lies Potosi, a silver mining city with grand churches and architecture. In the glorious silver mining days of Potosi, it was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in America.
Located in southern Bolivia’s rugged desert landscape, the laid-back town of Tupiza shines with its red-rock formations. You can choose from a range of hiking trails to the hills of Cerro Corazon de Jesus and Cerro La Cruz for panoramic views of the town.
Located in the eastern Bolivia, San Jose de Chiquitos and San Xavier (also known as San Javier) are beautiful Jesuit Mission towns known for their forest-covered landscape and lovely 18th century mission churches. These towns were established by members of the Jesuit Mission, a Roman Catholic Society founded by St Ignatius Loyola and come under the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bolivia shares South America’s largest lake, also the world’s highest navigable body of water – Lake Titicaca with Peru. This lake is believed to be the cradle of the Incan civilization. To visit the lake, you have to base yourself in the town of Copacabana, from where you can go on hikes, explore the nearby villages or experience the local life.
The Cordillera Real mountain range which runs throughout the length of the country, is dominated by snow-capped peaks, dotted with numerous villages and has a wide range of hiking trails to explore.
Madidi and Amboro are two of Bolivia’s top national parks, known for pristine rainforests and rich wildlife. Parque Nacional Madidi is considered as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
Bolivia offers some of South America’s most authentic experiences – from the culture of its indigenous people, the world’s largest salt flat, Andean peaks and Atacama desert to the Amazon rainforest.
Bolivia is home to the world’s largest salt flat – Salar de Uyuni.