Adventures in a Surreal Land

Overview

The great salt deserts of the Salar de Uyuni, vast Lake Titicaca, the colonial towns of Sucre and Potosí, the bowler-hatted Aymara of La Paz—Bolivia is full of surprises and delights. In this land of mesmerizing beauty and unique indigenous cultures, we spend nights on serene Isla del Sol in the middle of Lake Titicaca, meet the artisan-weavers of charming Tarabuco, and hike and explore amid the lunar landscapes of the Salar de Uyuni, where the sky and horizon merge into a dreamscape of fluorescent lakes, spikey cactus, geysers, and jagged rock formations. Our lodgings include a historic hacienda and a unique “salt” hotel in the desert.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
La Paz / Tiwanaku

In the highest capital in the world, we ride a cable car for panoramic views, walk through the open-air markets, including the “witches’ market,” then spend a day exploring World Heritage-listed Tiwanaku, the monumental stone ruins of a pre-Inca culture.

La Casona Hotel Boutique
La Paz, Bolivia
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Day 13 (1 night)
Days 3-4
Sucre / Tarabuco

Sucre (9,500') is known as the “white city” for its whitewashed colonial buildings. We’ll walk its cobbled lanes, then head to a family farm where we are welcomed for lunch. Our fascinating day in the mountain village of Tarabuco, home to the Yampara culture, includes a private lunch with local weavers.

Days 5-6
Potosí / Hacienda de Cayara

We explore colonial Potosí (13,315'), epicenter of Spanish rule in the Bolivian highlands, with overnights in a family-owned 16th century hacienda in a countryside setting.

Hacienda de Cayara
Potosi, Bolivia
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Hotel de Sal Luna Salada
Uyuni, Bolivia
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 7-10
Explore the Salar de Uyuni

The spectacular Salar de Uyuni (11,800') is the largest salt flat in the world. In this glittering white desert, we discover the astonishing world of the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve and explore and hike among bizarre stone formations and multi-colored lakes. One of our hotels is built almost entirely out of salt blocks!

Hotel de Sal Luna Salada
Uyuni, Bolivia
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Hotel Tayka del Desierto
Calama, Bolivia
Day 9 (1 night)
Hotel Jardines de Mallku Cueva
Villa Mar, Bolivia
Day 10 (1 night)
Days 11-14
Lake Titicaca / Isla del Sol

On deep blue Lake Titicaca, we boat out to the Isla del Sol, the Incas’ “birthplace of the sun,” for hikes to Inca sites and walks through the villages of this island lost in time, with overnights in a serene ecolodge. Bolivia has a renowned food scene, and our Farewell Dinner in La Paz is at a top restaurant. Depart on Day 14.

Ecolodge La Estancia
Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Days 11 to 12 (2 nights)
La Casona Hotel Boutique
La Paz, Bolivia
Day 13 (1 night)

Highlights

Highlights

Discover the treasures of Tiwanaku, a pre-Inca masterpiece and World Heritage Site
Hike to Inca temples on the mystical Isla del Sol in sacred Lake Titicaca
Explore the dreamscapes of the Salar de Uyuni, overnight in a “salt” hotel
Meet the artisan-weavers of Tarabuco, enjoy lunch on a family farm near Sucre

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $6095  
Arrive: La Paz, Bolivia
Depart: La Paz, Bolivia
Lodging: 13 nights hotels and estancias
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours at altitudes up to 14,435 feet, some long drives on rugged terrain, high altitude throughout the journey; nights in the desert can be quite cold