Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.
Built in a canyon, the unique and bewtiching city of La Paz is filled with steep, cobbled streets, fascinating markets, evident tradition and captivating sights.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4pm on day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
At around 3,600 m, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It's not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.
La Paz is renowned for its many markets, including the Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches' Market. Browse through the weird and wonderful stalls which sell everything from potions to incantations made from herbs, seeds and unidentified bits and pieces to cure any ailment. If this is all too much for you, try the more conventional markets where you'll find ponchos, gloves, hats and many other products made of alpaca wool, leather and other traditional materials.
Visit the Coca Museum and learn about this infamous plant that has for centuries been an essential part of life in the Andes.
Please note this trip is part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip in Lima, 15 days ago.
•Chacaltaya tour (pool), La Paz - BOB80.00
•Coca Museum, La Paz - BOB8.00
•Witches' Market, La Paz - Free
Hotel (2 nts), Overnight bus (1 nt)
Popular due to its proximity to the Salar de Uyuni, the town of Uyuni is small and charming, and feels very remote, especially at the photogenic train cemetery.
The world's largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, is a spectacular sight - whether reflecting like a mirror in the wet or cracking during the dry.
Uyuni is the starting point of our 3-day 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni. The first day is spent mostly on the salt lake itself. The massive salt plains of Bolivia are an incredible sight and offer plenty of opportunities for bizarre, perspective-defying photos. Endless blue skies meet endless white salt on what was once a prehistoric lake.
The second day is spent driving through amazing landscapes. We stop by Laguna Colorado, a rich red lake, and Laguna Verde, a striking blue-green lake - both vividly coloured by algae and rich minerals. One of the strangest sights in the region is be the abundant wildlife. Spot llamas, flamingos, vizcachas and foxes.
Apart from providing geysers and snow-capped volcanoes, the volcanic landscape also gives us the chance to relax in the region's thermal baths. The third day is a very early (and freezing) start with more driving ahead.
Accommodation in Salar de Uyuni is basic. The first night will be spent in a simple hostel with shared bathrooms. Hot water is available after sunset but there is a charge. There is electricity available for a couple of hours after sunset. On the second night the accommodation will be more basic. There are no showers and electricity is generated by solar panel so not enough to charge electronic devices. Salar de Uyuni is at high altitude and can experience extremely cold weather, particularly at night. In the rainy season, the itinerary may be altered depending on the accessibility of roads.
Be aware, this trip can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Uyuni Salt Flats 3d/2n (shared tour)
Hotel (2 nts), Dormitory (2 nts)
The loveliness of Potosi - one of the highest and more fascinating cities in the world - is mirrored by the harshness of its mines and mining history.
A local bus takes us to Potosi (approx 3 hrs).
•Casa de la Moneda, Potosi - BOB40.00
•Convento y Museo de Santa Teresa, Potosi - BOB21.00
Hotel (2 nts)
The delightful city of Sucre impresses visitors with its historic charm, indigenous roots and calm atmosphere, and is the perfect place to ease into the Bolivian way of life.
Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning its nickname - the 'White City'. For great views of the city head up to Recoleta, an old convent on top of the hill.
Head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to mingle with Sucre's well-heeled residents and have a look at the beautiful interior of the Iglesia de la Merced.
For something completely different, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 60 million-year-old footprints have been discovered.
Casa de la Libertad, Sucre - BOB20.00
Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko, Sucre - USD5.00
Tarabuco Market, Sucre - USD20.00
Hotel (2 nts)
With its high altitude and strong indigenous roots, La Paz has a quiet dignity and is a real cultural gem of South America.
We take a short flight to La Paz (approx 40 mins). Your afternoon is free to rest or explore more of the city.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Hotel (1 nt)
Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.
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