One of South America most diverse countries due to its cultural, historical and political background. At a natural level, this country will amaze and enrich you. Below a few tips of how to make the most of your Bolivian adventure.
VISIT La Paz
If you are not used to the hustle and bustle of a big BIG city, La Paz might appear a bit overwhelming and intimidating at first but it is at the same time fascinating. I found. Find below how to master your visit whilst there.
GET ON A CABLECAR
I must admit this was an unexpected journey and highlight of my visit. I was not aware of the developed cablecar system the city has and it was AMAZING to view the sunset from high up. Imagine a huge city and a net above it which you can actually go over: it was like this! There are 5-6 cablecar lines all interconnected to each other that you can take to view the city from one point to another. The video below only shows part of 1 single line. I took 5 and saw the entire city. Strongly recommending this. Total cost (all lines): 6 USD.
The Witches Market
Also known as Mercado de las Brujas is an unusual, yet fascinating market at the heart of La Paz where to find the most bizarre products (illegal in most countries worldwide). The range goes from love potions to dried frogs, lama’ fetuses and medicinal herbs. Most interestingly this is the place where to encounter a witch doctor, known as yatiri, who go around with their black pouches containing ‘magical’ amulets, talismans and powders for rituals that ‘ensure’ luck, beauty and fertility.
Bowl used in rituals with lama’ fetuses (in the middle). The request is always addressed to the Pachamama (mother earth). I won’t spoil the reason why/what kind of rituals are done there. I will let it to your imagination.
South America biggest market
Soar La Paz’s sky and reach South America largest market on board the above mentioned cable cars. The market, known as El Alto, stretches for over 5 square km and has EVERYTHING you can think of (and more!).
TRY THE DEATH Road
If you are looking for something adrenaline-fueled whilst in La Paz, this one-in-a-lifetime experience (make sure you survive!) is what you are looking for. A 40 miles downhill narrowed road to be cycled. There are several tour that run daily and that also includes lunch and full transport service. Do not do it on your own! Local guides/expert bikers are strongly recommended. My recommendation being: Gravity Bolivia.
(Please be careful!)
‘FREE’ WALKING TOUR
Incredible stories told by amazing guides! By far one of the most enriching, engaging and remarkable city walking tour ever experienced. These guides are witty, professional and above all SO passionate about La Paz/Bolivia. You will hear everything about the country’s culture, political situation, agriculture, beliefs, customs and magical rituals. Check them out: Red Caps. It is not technically a ‘FREE’ walking tour as there is a small contribution ($3 USD per/person) to make but money well spent I can assure you that.
SEE CHOLITAS WRESTLING
Whether you are into wrestling or not, this wrestling show is well entertaining as very unusual in its genre. You might have heard of WWF American wrestling shows. But THIS is one of a kind. It is the only place in the world where you can see bolivian women (known as cholitas) dressed up in traditional clothing, spectacularly ‘fighting’ with each other. Tickets from $ 14 USD to be purchased here.
Live the desert. Go on an expedition around Uyuni: a desolated corner of SW Bolivia. I have to warn you that unluckily what you might have in mind for a desert (eg extremely hot temperature). This would be the opposite of a remotely warm experience. This is due to its high altitude from sea level (around 4k-6k). The view however is PRICELESS and the actual experience: MIND-BLOWING. I was lucky enough to go on an expedition for 3 days and the emotions and moments I was able to enjoy have profoundly marked me. It is something you will never forget (in fact you will be nostalgic about afterwards). Here’s a few shots of what to expect.
ATM Free of charge
I personally find annoying having fees applies to money I withdraw (who doesn’t after all!?!!). So I like to identify an ATM which does not charge any extra fee for it. In Bolivia I found that the only bank that does not charge you is BCP. Look for one: use your money wisely.
Beside the general Hepatitis (A and B) you might want to look into the yellow fever vaccination (even though this is not strictly compulsory). I personally have not got asked any vaccination passport but always safer to do it beforehand, especially if you decide to cross other borders/going into wilder zones.
As I have already gone through the above journey and traveled around South America, if you require further specialised support on an itinerary and extra tips and discount feel free to contact me directly.