Bolivia: Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Uyuni, & Amazon

The Basics
We arrived to La Paz via bus from Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. Mini buses gather at Plaza Sucre and leave every 1/2 hour. Tickets are 25B. At one point, we needed to exit the bus and take a ferry across the straight (5B), to then reconnect with our bus after. This process was fairly simple to figure out.
When flying into La Paz, you land in El Alto, outside the city. A taxi to the center can take 45-60 min depending on traffic.
Getting around the city can be challenging with traffic. The cable car system has new lines that make this a bit easier. One-way tickets are B3. Taxis do not have meters, so you need to agree on a price upon entering. We were told to only take the taxis with lights on the top. We had good experiences with transportation other than the traffic.
Scroll to the bottom for Bolivian Visa requirements for Americans.
 
Get Your Adventure On (In and Out of La Paz)
Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats): An incredibly unique place to experience! Miles of flat, white salt land, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Tours are offered for 1 day or 3 days, depending on how much you want to see. We took a 3-day tour and had some bad luck with weather. There are several tour companies to choose from, so do your research ahead of time and read the fine print carefully. Not all fees are included in the final price.
To arrive, you can take an overnight bus from La Paz to Uyuni (~10 hours +/- depending on roads). We flew with Amazsonas, which was worth the cost for me. Transfer from Uyuni airport to town is 10-15B per person.
Las Pampas (Amazon): We booked a 3-day tour with Max Adventures. You can bus or fly to Rurrenabaque, the starting point of the tour. We fly via Amaszonas from La Paz, which was a quick 30 min flight. We loved having a night in town before the tour to enjoy the laidback pace of what feels like a beach town. If you want to see animals, Las Pampas is the tour you want! We saw over 35 different types. If you’d prefer more hiking, choose the Jungle tour that also departs from Rurre.
Ethnography Museum: This museum focuses on textile and and shows a great variety of the history of handmade arts in Bolivia. They had at least 7 rooms to venture through, but we only made it to 5. The rooms in masks and feathers were my favorites. Entrance was 20B.
Mirador Killi Killi: We walked from our hostel downtown to this viewpoint. On a clear day, great views of the whole city and surrounding mountain peaks (Illumani and Huayna Potosí).
Foodie Tour: This 5-stop tour took us around downtown and filled our bellies. We loved getting to try all the local cuisine from trusted locations. Cost is 200B/person.
Eats & Drinks (La Paz)
Cafe Vida: smoothie bowls, veggie bowls, and a lunch deal that includes a hot soup. Fresh ingredients and a friendly vibe.
Cafe del Mundo: Swedish owned cafe filled with cozy nooks. I had a yogurt bowl with homemade muesli and fruit that I loved.
Gustu: Feel like a celebrity at this fine dining restaurant. We ordered the 8 courses with wine pairing. Absolutely decadent!
Vinapho: Legit Vietnamese cuisine tucked into a neighborhood we enjoyed walking around. Warm soup was perfect on a cold La Paz day!
Corea Town: In the Sopocachi neighborhood, authentic Korean cuisine for a decent (but tourist) price.
 
What Next?
If I were back in Bolivia, I might take a trip to Toro Toro, a hiking and geology-lovers paradise. We loved the Amazon so much, I would take the jungle tour offered by Max Adventures.
Bolivian Visa for Americans
We entered Bolivia via bus, so we stopped at the border to stamp out of Peru and obtain our Visa. We heard mixed information about what was needed. In the end, we printed as much as possible to avoid any issues. Here is what we brought, but be sure to check updated requirements as it could change. Be sure to have enough pages in your passport to use a whole one for the Visa and the stamps in and out of Bolivia and Home country.
  • 2 passport size photos
  • 2 color copies of passport
  • Printed copy of last bank statement (account number can be blacked out)
  • Printed copy of flights in and out of the country
  • Printed copy of itinerary while in Bolivia (we printed confirmations from your companies as well as ALL lodging we had booked)
  • $160 of the cleanest, most crisp bills you can find. They will not accept bills with ANY tears.

 

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