When we were planning our trip around South America, I was a bit surprised to hear Christine list Bolivia so prominently in the discussion. Like far too many places in the world, I had no real preconceptions, for better or worse, about Bolivia. Before I investigated further, it was just a place on the map. Then I started to look into it, and to my great surprise, Bolivia had a lot to offer.
It is certainly unfair how certain countries get great, world-renowned acclaim for their natural, ancient, or modern marvels, and others with equally incredible treasures do not. Our stay in Bolivia was relatively short compared to the time spent in Argentina or Peru, but it was time very well spent, indeed. Almost without exception, each day brought new and wonderful experiences. It was unexpected, yes, but isn’t that why we travel?
Ironically, our trip got off to an inauspicious start, as I had to spend hours trying to get a visa into the country at the border. This was followed by one of the worst bus trips of our lives. However, our luck soon turned around, as we found ourselves in the vibrant and beautiful city of Tarija. Then, it was on to an even more stunning city in Tupiza, followed by a four day tour of the famous Uyuni Salt Flats.
Our progress to the capital city of La Paz was briefly halted by the national census, but we were very impressed with the city when we got there. At night, the steep hills overlooking the city are lit up like a Christmas tree. We risked life and limb on the infamous “Death Road,” and then made our way to Copacabana on the world’s largest high-altitude lake, Lake Titicaca.
Looking back, it’s incredible that so much adventure was packed into such a short stay.