Discover Bolivia’s must-sees: we’ve (almost) seen it all!
Terra bolivia

  • Homestay , Hotel , Lodge

  • Public transport , Private 4wd

  • Terra bolivia's best of the bolivian altiplano

  • 20 days (make the most of your 25 hours of travel!)

Bolivia is many things: the Uyuni Salt Flats, Lake Titicaca, the altitude, the Andes... but it is also a rich pool of diversity with unexpected, multicolored markets, a surprising geography and incredible biodiversity. Bolivia is a place you have to live, to take the time to discover, with all its roots, its Andean culture and its vast territory. The diversity of the Bolivian people, with their indigenous, Inca and Spanish influences, are attached to their traditions, to the Earth - the Pachamama - and to what it has to offer.

Our must-sees are intended to help you discover the rhythm of the Altiplano. We like to stroll around the markets of La Paz, to sail on Lake Titicaca and to immerse ourselves in the Aymara traditions of the Cordillera Real. We delight in diving into the heart of the Earth’s forces with expeditions in the deserts of the South Lipez. We meet with friends Marlene, Céline and Christophe to "live like a local" in the colonial cities of Sucre and Potosi. Above all we like to let ouselves be guided by the moment and to let fate decide the color of our adventures, whether that be harvesting coca leaves in the Yungas, or visiting the wilderness and volcanoes of Sajama.

When we travel, we depart for the unknown and come back changed by the unexpected. We don’t leave, however, without some additional baggage: the awareness of what surrounds us. We make it our mission to tell you about Bolivia as we live it and through our experiences, while your guides share its history. Through our unique mode of traveling, and by taking responsibility towards the environment and society at large we highlight our awareness of the need for transition towards simpler andmore energy-efficient ways of living. The journey, thanks to its encounters and experiences, guides our reflection on what matters most.

La Paz, between markets and cable cars

1 to 2 DAYS

To begin gently, let's go for a walk in the quiet streets of Sopocachi. We will find small shops and cafés worth a stop-in; we pass by the market of Sopocachi to grab a cup of coca leaf tea, the sacred and traditional drink, the remedy against the altitude. Then there’s the yapa, that is to say the small extra offered by the saleswoman, because one always "yapa" a good customer here.

A mixed city full of contrasts, La Paz is the perfect sample of a whole country. From Sopocachi to the market district, full of colors and smells, you cross a few streets to find yourself in the heart of the historical district, now a business center. The only common thread that runs between these two worlds is the permanently noisy chaos that characterizes them.

In the historical district, we take the Calle Jaen, one of the last colonial streets of the city, with its cobblestones and colored houses. We peer through every door to discover small inner courtyards, galleries. When we meet Rosario, she tells us about the culture, fashion, and traditions of the area, and invites us to try her numerous cholita skirts ( 7 layers of skirt they say ).

We reach El Alto by cable car, flying over houses as far as the eye can see, immersing ourselves in the view of the inner courtyards, the terraces where traditional clothes and dance costumes dry... On the side of the cliffs, the shamans lead the ceremonies of offerings to the Pachamama. Let's venture to one of them to have our coca leaves read by a professional!

A little extra treat? A full immersion into Bolivian life cannot be complete without a visit to a traditional dance performance. Bolivian dances are a true representation of the country’s diverse culture. Carnival is the moment to abolish hierarchies, overcome taboos, and, celebrate, behind the masks, all the occult worlds so present in certain Bolivian belief systems. Are you tempted by the idea of participating in a rehearsal of Tinku, Diablada or Llamerada? A group of dancers will proudly teach us the steps and the meaning of their choreography. For this exercise, endurance is the key: at an altitude of almost 4,000 meters, we can really feel the lack of oxygen!

Catamaran sailing on Lake Titicaca


We set our meeting point at the general cemetery of La Paz early in the morning. Rather than private transport, I recommend taking a public minibus in the direction of Copacabana, on the edges of the lake Titicaca. The journey then takes on another dimension, as the route itself becomes a special excursion. After the traffic jams at the exit of La Paz and El Alto, we make our way on a bumpy road, Andean music in our ears, the smell of chewed coca leaf in our noses. On our left, in clear weather, we see the Sajama, the highest point of Bolivia at 6542 meters of altitude; on our right, the Andes Cordillera. Halfway to our destination, the lake begins to reveal itself.

Arriving at the main square of Copacabana, it’s time for lunch.

Our favorite options are the lake trout with butter, garlic, tomato, or llajwa - a spicy sauce not to be missed in the Andes... or a fresh fish ceviche with tiger milk and sautéed corn. It’s worth it to enjoy the fish, as it’s a delicacy not always available in this landlocked country.

Let's spend the night on the Island of the Sun, the largest of Lake Titicaca. It is also the island that houses the most temples and sacred places, and is ultimately a place of legends that is still very present in the spirit of its inhabitants.

From there we embark on a catamaran built by young people in the local community of Santiago de Huata on the other side of the lake.

We’ll sail across the lake, the peaceful rhythm of the wind leaving us the time to admire the Island of the Moon, the Sun and the mountains of the Cordillera Real beyond. To sail on the mythical lake Titicaca is truly a magical, timeless moment!

Live like a local Aymara in the Cordillera Real


Time to hit the road to the heart of the Cordillera, where we will spend two days hosted by the Quispe family. Jaime and Marisol welcome us into their home in Tuni, an Aymara hamlet at 4400m above sea level, inhabited by about ten families.

We allow ourselves to live at the rhythm of the Cordillera, following Vicky to the village school to try our luck at an Aymara language course, the local dialect of the region, and participating in various seasonal tasks in the village: making straw mattresses that will be sold in the area, collecting animal dung for fuel in the houses. The shearing of the llamas is a real test, requiring a little muscle to immobilize the animal. With the spun wool, we will learn how to weave and make the warm clothes that are very appreciated in the mountains.

We assist Denys and Marisol in the kitchen, where the local speciality Huatia is cooked in an oven dug in the ground. Another very typical food is the chuño, a dehydrated potato, whose method of cooking is as interesting as the taste -we would do well to learn the technique.

4WD expedition in the deserts of Uyuni and the South Lipez


A new stage of our adventure awaits us. We leave for the Great Bolivian South. We continue our trip in a night bus to Uyuni with reclining seats and small snacks- all the comfort of a plane, without the carbon emissions!

From Uyuni, we leave for a five-day 4WD expedition in magical regions unexplored and mysterious. In the middle of this very mineral landscape, we drive along colorful lagoons (such as the Laguna Celeste at the foot of the 6,012-metre-tall Uturuncu volcano) in the Eduardo Avaroa natural reserve, home to vicuñas, vizcachas, ñandús, and pink flamingos. We finish with pure beauty... on the biggest salt desert of the world, el Salar de Uyuni!

My favorite itinerary for this 4WD expedition starts in the Lípez region, where we stroll around the Ciudad del Encanto, a geological formation that looks like a giant sand castle. In the Ciudad de Roma, the natural show of all kinds of geological formations will make us feel very small indeed.

We drive West, in the direction of the Laguna Colorada and the Sol de Mañana geysers, located in a volcanic crater emitting sulfur vapors and hot water jets from 10 to 50 meters high.

We cross the Dali desert (named for the surreal landscapes that recall some of the master's paintings) and reach the Laguna Blanca and the Laguna Verde. We then witness a curious phenomenon: the wind rising and the Laguna Verde taking on a spectacular emerald green shade. We almost touch Chile before going back up to the Siloli desert and its famous "stone tree".

Heading North, we follow the Chilean border along the "jewel road" to marvel at sanctuaries of 3 varieties of pink flamingos: Laguna Honda, Ch'arkota, Hedionda and Cañapa.

Next stop: the world’s biggest salt desert, el Salar de Uyuni! The sensation of standing there is entirely unique, with the limitless horizon inviting a deep silence. We drive on this immense white expanse to reach Incahuasi Island (the cactus island). This surprising island of volcanic origin, lost in the heart of the salar, offers a breathtaking view on the salt flats and the surrounding volcanoes.

An absolute must-do? An aperitif at sunset with a small glass of Bolivian highland wine!

Discovering Bolivia’s colonial past in Potosi and Sucre


Marlene welcomes us and immerses us in her past as a silver mine worker in Potosi, which was a major source of wealth for the European continent. We have lunch at her family's house for a real jump into the daily life of the the Cerro Rico miners.

As in Eduardo Galeano's story "The Open Veins of Latin America", we are immersed in the reality of this city plundered for its wealth. We exchange with the miners and we slip into the tunnels of the Cerro Rico mine itself.

In Sucre, we meet Céline, a French woman who has been living in Bolivia for more than 10 years. She shares with us her daily life and her love for her adopted city, its culture and its history. We start with a traditional cooking class: after traveling to the city's market to buy peanuts, vegetables, meat and other spices, we help to prepare the famous Bolivian Sopa de Mani.

We follow Céline through alleys of white architecture, listening to her stories about the key role of the city in the history of the Bolivian independence movement. Between two monuments, we pass by her artisanal store, a good representation of the bohemian atmosphere of the city.

Sharing with the Jalq'a weavers

1 to 2 DAYS

Christophe is our guide for the day: a Frenchman living in Bolivia for many years, honorary consul of France, driver, producer of local liquor.... We discover his favorite places of the Chuquisaqueña countryside and its Quechua culture. We have lunch with his adopted family in Candelaria and discover the secrets of weaving, a craft native to the region.

Coroïco, meeting the producers of coca


I propose to descend from our heights towards the pre-tropical region of the Yungas, taking the road in a shared vehicle, direction Coroïco. We appreciate the heat and the lush green vegetation. We can also opt for a small dose of adrenaline with a descent on mountain bike from the Cumbre, at more than 5000m of altitude, to the tropical valley by the Death Road.

We meet the coffee planters who knew to value their lands and avoid the controversial intensive production of coca so popular in the area. We cross the fields of coffee and coca and chat with the producers.

Trek and expedition in the Sajama Park


Looking for wide open spaces at the foot of the volcanoes at the Chilean border?

More adventure lies in the direction of the Sajama National Park, home to 3 imposing volcanoes: the Sajama, the highest peak in Bolivia (6 542m), and the twins, the Parinacota (6 348m) and the Pomerape (6 240m). If luck smiles on us, we meet the only inhabitants of the place: alpacas, vicuñas and ñandus (cousins of the ostrich).

In the company of Marcelo, we explore the park, its geysers and its lagoons. We go to the Laguna Sorapata, a place with a preserved biodiversity.
We will meet giant coots, aquatic birds that build their nests on the lagoon, like large floating platforms made of algae and grass.

At the end of the day we take a break to bathe in the natural hot springs. The air outside is cool with a slight breeze, a typical day in Sajama. Surrounded by the three snowy peaks, there is not a sound, as smoke rises from the surface of the spring’s hot water. We are living one of those rare moments of total exclusivity.

Does this trip inspire you?

Discover more

Contact us