Are you travelling to Bolivia and wondering how many days to spend there and what are the best things to do? Just stay with me, scroll down and read my Bolivia 2-week itinerary and travel guide.
When people think about Bolivia, Uyuni Salt Flats come into their mind first. However, Bolivia is so much more than that. This country might be the poorest one in South American, but one of the richest in gorgeous scenery. During our 2 weeks in Bolivia, we explored various landscapes, heights and climates, witnessed unrealistic beauties. And I’m happy to share our experiences with you 🙂
Things to know before visiting Bolivia
Bolivian climate – Best time to visit Bolivia
Bolivia has more than one climate thanks to the variety in altitude and locations.
The northern part of the country has a nearly equatorial climate, so it’s hot and humid all the time.
East Bolivia (Gran Chaco and Santa Cruz de la Sierra) has a tropical climate, where dry and wet seasons change each other. The hottest months are September, October and November.
South Bolivia is ruled by the Andes, so it has a higher altitude with a cooler climate. The coldest months are June and July, the rainiest are January and February.
Visit the website of Climates to travel to find out more about the Bolivian weather.
How to prevent altitude sickness?
As I mentioned before, South Bolivia lays on HIGH-ALTITUDE (ABOVE 2500 M), so altitude sickness may develop. Most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and insomnia. As a precaution…
- Give yourself a few days to acclimatize before going higher.
- Walk slowly and take deep breaths.
- Make sure to drink a lot of water.
- Chew coca leaves or make tea from them. We even bought coca candy and ate it when we had a headache.
- Eat light meals.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, it dehydrates your body.
- Take pills to prevent symptoms, e.g. Acetazolamide.
What to pack for your Bolivian trip?
I won’t talk about your passport, toothbrush, adapter and camera gear… You know that 😉 Though there are things you might not consider…
- Before entering Bolivia, make sure to check your visa requirements, because a few nationalities have to pay extra to enter the country.
- Bring a windbreaker, warm clothes & layers, when visiting Bolivia Altiplano (daytime temperatures can be warm and sunny but windy, the nights are cold).
- Better to have a microfiber towel, because most of Bolivia hostels don’t provide towels. I never forget my microfiber towel, it’s super light and gets dry so quickly.
- Hydro Flask or other thermoses to keep our water cold or to keep our coca tea warm.
- Pack sunscreen, lip balm & sunglasses, the sunshine is more intense at high altitude, so better to use your sunscreen every 2-3 hours to protect your skin.
- Revolut card to pay and draw money without extra fee.
Learn some Spanish words and phrases
Hola – Hi
Buenos dias – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good evening
Adiós – Goodbye
Sí – Yes
No – No
Por favor – Please
Gracias – Thank you
Muchas gracias Thank you very much
Pardon me – Perdón / Disculpe
!Socorro! – Help!
?Dónde hay un hotel? – Where is a hotel?
?Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?
No entiendo – I don’t understand
?Aceptan tarjetas de crédito? – Do you accept credit cards?
?Cuánto cuesta? – How much is it?
Queiro um boleto a … – I’d like a ticket to …
?A qué hora sale el autobus? – What time does the bus leave?
Bolivia 2-week travel itinerary
As I mentioned before, Bolivia offers a wide variety of natural beauties and amazing landscapes. We spent 2 weeks there, though we couldn’t discover every treasure in the country.
Our 2-week Bolivia itinerary looked like this:
- Day 1-3: 3-day Uyuni Salt Flats tour
- Day 4-5: La Paz
- Day 6-10: Copacabana at Lake Titicaca + Isla del Sol trip
- Day 11-14: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the tropical city
On the following map (My Maps by Google Maps) you can see the natural beauties, attractions, routes, restaurants, coffee shops and the schedule for our 2 weeks.
By clicking on the tab next to “Bolivia 2-week itinerary”, you can see the actual points, and it’s also possible to turn off and on layers. Furthermore, you can also save this map (if you have My Maps account) by pressing the star next to the map title.
If you have more time to discover Bolivia, you can visit:
- Rurrenabaque + Parque Nacional Madidi
- Toro Toro National Park
- Parque Nacional Amboró and more…
Now let’s see how we spent 2 weeks in Bolivia…
Day 1-3: 3-day Uyuni Salt Flats tour
Visiting Uyuni Salt Flats was the highlight of our Bolivian trip. Although we spent only a day at the salt flats, our 3 days tour provided many experiences and unbelievable scenery with lagoons, geysers, unique rock formations, mountains and volcanoes on Bolivia’s Altiplano. Our 3-day tour departed from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile and finished in Uyuni, Bolivia.
How to book your Salar de Uyuni tour?
Online you can find many tours. Though IN LOCAL TOUR OFFICES YOU CAN BOOK YOUR TOURS FOR A LOWER COST THAN ONLINE on the actual day or a few days in advance. Collect brochures from different agencies to compare their tours, prices and read reviews about them online.
We booked our trip in the centre of San Pedro de Atacama, which is full of tourist agencies. White & Green International Travel had good reviews online, so we reserved our 3 days Uyuni Salt Flats trip with them.
3 days Uyuni Salt Flats tour departing from San Pedro de Atacama and finishing in Uyuni
- Tour agency: White & Green International Travel
- Duration: 3 days if finishing in Uyuni and 4 days if going back to San Pedro
- Price for 3 days/2 nights – 110.000 CLP/ person (instead of 120.000 CLP), (starting in San Pedro and finishing in Uyuni)
- (Price for 4 days/3 nights – 140.000 CLP/ person (starting and ending in San Pedro))
- Included in the 3 days/2 nights price: 2 nights in hostels, all meals, transportation by minibus to the border, transportation by 4×4 in Bolivia
- Extra costs: private room in a hostel – 30 USD, English guide – 15 USD
- Additional entrance fee: National Reserve 150 BOB/person
Day 1 – Lagoons, mountains and volcanoes of Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve
- Laguna Blanca and Verde
- Desierto Salvador Dalí (Salvador Dalí Desert)
- Thermas do Polques (hot springs in Polques)
- Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun) geysers
- Laguna Colorada
Day 2 – Rock formations and lagoons
- Valle de las Rocas (Valley of rocks)
- Lost Italian (Italia perdide)
- Llama watching
- Katal Canyon and Laguna Katal
- Canon de la Anaconda (Canyon of snake)
- San Cristobal
- Cementerio de Trenes (Uyuni Train Cemetery)
- Sunset at Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 3 – Uyuni Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni)
- Sunrise at Salar de Uyuni
- Breakfast at the Salt Hotel and Flags of the world
- Colchani village and salt factory
- Lunch in Uyuni
Read more about How to pick the best Uyuni Salt Flats tour to Bolivia including the best time to visit Uyuni Salt Flats, must-bring items, detailed information about our stops and costs during the 3 days.
Watch the 3-day Uyuni Salt Flats trip travel video for more mesmerizing landscapes.
Day 4-5: La Paz
La Paz is the highest located capital in South America at an average altitude of 3600 m and it has a unique location between the mountains of Andes. This particular area was a totally new world for me. I really enjoyed the diversity in architecture as well as in people’s behaviour and look. Though I have to admit, on our first day I wasn’t so impressed with the centre of La Paz. On our second day, we discovered its surroundings and the city from a different angle, so it totally mesmerized me.
Day 4 – discovering the centre of La Paz
Our bus arrived in La Paz around 6:30 am. Then we headed to our hostel, La Posada de la Abuela Obdulia and slept a few hours. After our brunch and coffees at Café del Mundo, we explored the centre of La Paz:
- starting at Witches’ Market
- checking out San Francisco Basilica and San Francisco square
- strolling on Calle Jaen, the historical street
- walking to Plaza Murillo
- exploring the famous market, Mercado Lanza
Day 5 – La Paz from a different angle
Our 1st day in La Paz wasn’t that eventful and impressive, so on the 2nd day, we tried out the local transportation systems and visited its neighbourhood.
- Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) was our 1st destination, which is located 50-60 minutes from La Paz by a collectivo (minibus). The clay and sandstone formations of this area were shaped by wind and rain over thousands of years.
- After returning to La Paz, we tried out the world’s highest and longest cable car transportation system, Mi Teleférico, which operates at 4000 m above sea level. We travelled by 3 lines and adored the panorama from above. At the Central station (one station of Mi Teleférico), we stopped by Typica café, where we drank specialty coffee and had lunch.
- We planned to visit the Coca Museum, though it was closed, so we just had dinner close to it at Restaurant 1700.
Read more about Best places to visit in La Paz, Bolivia and find out more about how to get to La Paz, how to get around, best places to visit around and in La Paz.
Watch How to spend 2 days in La Paz, Bolivia? travel video to explore La Paz with us.
Day 6-10: Copacabana at Lake Titicaca + Isla del Sol trip
We travelled to Copacabana after 1,5-week travelling in Chile and Bolivia, so our 5 days there were very relaxed. Don’t worry, staying 3-4 days would be also enough to see the most significant spots around Copacabana.
Copacabana is situated at Lake Titicaca, which is the world’s largest navigable high-altitude lake with its 8372 km2, sitting at an altitude of 3812 m. The lake is situated between the mountains of Peru and Bolivia.
Day 6 – travelling to Copacabana from La Paz
Copacabana is approachable by taxi, rented car or as part of a tour. We chose the EASIEST AND CHEAPEST WAY and travelled there by bus from the Central Bus station in La Paz, which took 4 hours for us. We bought a bus ticket online on Tickets Bolivia, which offers transportation by multiple companies. Direct buses depart from La Paz at 7:30 am, 8 am and 1:30 pm.
After a 2-3 hours scenic drive we arrived at the boat station of Tiquina, where all passengers had to take off the bus, buy a boat ticket and cross the strait by a small boat. On the other side, we waited for our bus, which was transported by a little ferry.
After a 50 minutes drive, we finally reached Copacabana, where the bus stopped at the main square called Plaza Sucre.
Day 7 – a trip to Islas Flotantes (Floating Islands)
Islas Flotantes (Floating Islands) are located in Lake Titicaca and are accessible by boat from Copacabana. Tickets can be purchased at many places in Copacabana, though at tourist agencies it might be more expensive. We bought our return tickets in a kiosk at the lakeshore (at the end of Av 6 de Agosto).
During the 20 minutes ride, you can adore the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real, green hills and blue vastness of the lake.
We could spend an hour on the islands, which was enough to climb the cliffs, stroll to the other islands, adore the panorama from the top and eat freshly caught fish from the lake.
Day 8 – discovering the lakeshore and eating local trout
Copacabana sits between two hills, Cerro Calvário and Horca del Inca. The bay is home to many boats, so this part of the lake isn’t recommended for swimming.
Trying out local dishes is part of travelling and discovering new cultures. THE MUST-TRY FOOD IN COPACABANA IS TROUT (trucha) and the perfect place to try it out is the lakeshore. Next to the harbour, you’ll find many kiosks serving trout. The menu and the prices are almost the same at every food stall.
Day 9 – Isla del Sol day trip
Isla del Sol is not just an ordinary island. It’s situated in Lake Titicaca and home to Inca ruins, scenic paths, cute llamas and other animals. You only have to enjoy this sacred atmosphere, get ready for high altitude and walk slowly.
After a 1,5 hours boat ride, we arrived at its harbour and spent around 5 hours on the island, which was enough to climb 2 mountains, make friends with a baby llama and have lunch with a view. Our 1-day trip to Isla del Sol was perfect like this, though IF THE WHOLE ISLAND WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO VISIT, 1 DAY WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH TO DISCOVER ITS WHOLE BEAUTY.
During our Bolivian trip (March of 2020), ONLY THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE ISLAND WAS OPEN FOR VISITORS. Unfortunately, the northern and southern part had some differences again.
Day 10 – relaxing and climbing Cerro Calvario
The peak of Cerro Calvario dominates the lakeshore of Lake Titicaca at Copacabana. As I mentioned before, Copacabana lies at a high altitude, so WALKING AND CLIMBING CAN BE CHALLENGING. Make sure to bring water.
From the bottom of the hill, I needed 30 minutes to reach the top and I kept 5-6 breaks during the hike. The breathtaking panorama of the lake and the harbour will compensate for the exhausting hike. From the peak, you can also watch the sunset and its reflection on the surface of Lake Titicaca. Totally captivating.
Day 11-14: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the tropical city
Day 11 – travelling from La Paz El Alto airport to Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Buses depart from Plaza Sucre, the main square of Copacabana. For returning to La Paz, we chose a local bus, which wasn’t that comfortable but it stopped at El Alto, so we could reach the airport easier.
After a few hours on the bus and a taxi ride we arrived at El Alto airport and were ready to fly to Bolivia’s largest international airport, Viru Viru in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. During our 2-hour flight, we saw different landscapes from the snowy mountains of Andes to the curvy Mamoré river and green jungle.
From Viru Viru, we took bus 135 to the centre of Santa Cruz and checked into our stylish accommodation, Cosmopolitano Hotel Boutique.
Day 12 – The centre of Santa Cruz de la Sierra & Botanical Garden
Santa Cruz de la Sierra lays only 400 m above sea level. Finally, we didn’t have to fight with high altitude anymore and could enjoy the tropical weather and vibe. Our hotel was situated in the city centre, so the main square was within walking distance.
- We started our city centre exploration with the cathedral and Plaza 24 de Septiembre, which is a social gathering place for locals. The tower of the cathedral can also be visited.
- A symbolic mark and a cross sign the centre of South America at Plaza Callejas, so we had to check it out. However, it wasn’t so impressive aaaaand I’m not sure how that point can be the centre of the continent…
- We took a bus to the Botanical Garden, which is located 40 minutes from the centre. This garden is famous for South-American native trees, colourful butterflies, monkeys and sloths. Though I really had to use my eyes to spot the motionless sloth on the top of the tree…
- On the way back to the centre, the bus dropped us around Los Pozos, so we could check out Mercado Nuevo and had dinner in an authentic Bolivian restaurant.
Day 13 – Biocenter Güembe Mariposario
Biocenter Güembe Mariposario is an eco-park and a pool park at the same time. It’s located a bit far from the centre, for us took 35 minutes to get there by Uber.
First, we discovered its gorgeous jungle and wildlife including monkey jungle, a huge aviary for colourful birds, butterfly house and orchid garden. After lunch, we changed to our swimming suits and headed to the pools.
The small organic pools were connected with waterfalls and slides, surrounded by palm trees and colourful flowers. The biggest pool had a massive rock formation with waterfall and hidden caves behind it.
Day 14: travelling back to Brazil
On our last day in Bolivia, we just had breakfast and headed to the airport of Santa Cruz to fly back to São Paulo.
Expenses during our 2-week Bolivian trip
Let’s see how much we spent during these 2 weeks discovering Bolivia…
The accommodation, transportation (plane tickets are not included), tours, ticket prices, food and drinks cost 1117 USD for the two of us.
- Day 1-3: 3-day Uyuni Salt Flats tour ~ 344 USD (228.200 CLP + 394 BOB)
- Day 4-5: La Paz ~ 220 USD (1462,6 BOB)
- Day 6-10: Copacabana & Lake Titicaca ~ 256 USD (1699 BOB)
- Day 11-14: Santa Cruz de la Sierra ~ 297 USD (1983 BOB)
At the end of every Bolivian blog post, you can find a very detailed price list, so if you’re interested, check them out.
- How to pick the best Uyuni Salt Flats tour to Bolivia
- Best places to visit in La Paz, Bolivia
- 6 reasons to add Copacabana and Lake Titicaca to your Bolivian itinerary
- 1 day trip in Isla del Sol, Bolivia
- Santa Cruz is coming soon…
These 2 weeks in Bolivia were one of the most extraordinary travel experiences in my life. Every day, the country showed us new unrealistic landscapes, so sometimes my boyfriend was tired of me saying “Wow, look at that! Wow woooow…” Put Bolivia on your bucket list and discover its unspoiled spots.
Have you been to Bolivia? Tell me, what did I miss? Which places should I visit next time?
Leave a comment below.
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