La Paz airport pick-up on Day 1 and city walking tour on Day 2. Learn to ice climb on Huayna Potosi on Day 3. Explore the Tiwanaku pre-Inca ruins on Day 4. Experience La Paz by cable car on Day 5. Leave La Paz on Day 6 for a 3-day Lake Titicaca and Isla Del Sol adventure. Return to La Paz in the evening of Day 8 to enjoy a free day in the city on Day 9 before taking a night bus to Uyuni for a 3-day salt flats adventure. Return to La Paz with a night bus on the evening of Day 12. Enjoy a full free day in the city on Day 13 before ending your trip with a La Paz airport drop-off on Day 14.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: La Paz Airport Pick-Up
You will be picked up at the La Paz airport upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to relax, explore, and get settled in. Overnight in La Paz.
Day 2: La Paz Local City Encounter (B)
Today you will explore the colourful city of La Paz on a walking tour. Walk to city’s the most interesting sites with your local guide, who will show you how to hop on a local bus, talk to locals, eat at authentic Bolivian markets and the best street stands. Visit the witchcraft market and wander into neighbourhoods rarely visited by tourists so you can see the real way of life in La Paz. Overnight in La Paz.
Day 3: Huayna Potosi Ice Climbing Experience (B/L)
Huayna Potosi (6088m) is northeast of La Paz in the Cordillera Real, and is known as one of the easiest 6000m-plus mountains in the world to climb. After being transferred to Base Camp (4700m), enjoy a box lunch before training on the old glacier, where you will learn basic mountaineering and cramponing techniques, how to walk on ice and snow, and the use of the ice axe and ropes. This tour is perfect for people who have no experience climbing and plan to trek more advanced routes in the future. After training you will trek back to Base Camp, where you will be met and transferred back to La Paz. Overnight in La Paz.
Day 4: Tiwanaku Day Trip (B/L)
Today you will be picked up from your accommodation at approximately 8:30 am to be transferred to Tiwanaku, about 72 kilometers from La Paz, a 2hr drive. Along the way you will stop at Lloco Lloco, a lookout spot where you will have the opportunity to enjoy amazing views of the Altiplano and part of Lake Titicaca. Upon arrival in Tiwanaku, you will visit two handicraft museums with archaeological pieces from ancient Tiwanaku culture, the Ceramic Museum and the Lytic Museum.
Next we will visit the ruins and temples of the Tiwanaku archaeological complex. Among them, you can see the Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate), which captures the first rays of sun on the Summer Solstice to bring down all the cosmic energies from the upper world, and the Puerta de la Luna (Moon Gate). See the spectacular Semi-Subterranean Temple, which has the oldest samples of carved heads, the Kalasasaya Temple (4,070m), which was used as a ceremonial ground during the Aymara New Year, and the Akapana Pyramids. After the visit enjoy a local lunch before returning to La Paz, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation for overnight.
Day 5: La Paz Highlights by Cable Car
Today we will experience La Paz from a different perspective: by cable car! Experience the Bolivian capital from high above on a unique and intriguing tour of the city.
We will meet at Plaza Murillo around 9 AM for an interesting introduction to Bolivia’s storied history and culture. We’ll take a stroll through the plaza, checking out the Presidential Palace and the House of Parliament, all the while learning about the current political and social situation in Bolivia. We’ll stop for a mid-morning snack, after which we’ll make our way to the cable car.
At the bottom of the city, we’ll board a cable car that will take us from 2800 meters above sea level all the way to 4090 meters. During the trip, we’ll have the opportunity to take in breathtaking views of La Paz.
At the top, we will visit the El Alto favela, a neighbourhood in which you will be able to experience firsthand the lifestyles of everyday Bolivians. Here we will visit a “witch” market, where we will certainly experience some strange things while learning about the various rites and rituals of witchcraft. Additionally, we will learn about the importance of the coca plant in Bolivian culture, as well as the plant’s modern-day uses and illegal production and sale of cocaine in the region.
We’ll then head back to La Paz via cable car, so make sure to snap some photos from this incredible viewpoint. We’ll stop by one more market, so if you’re planning on picking up some souvenirs, this is a perfect opportunity! Our tour ends upon our return to Plaza Murillo around 2 PM.
Day 6: Bus La Paz to Copacabana
Pick up at your accommodation in La Paz at approximately 7:00 a.m. for a shared bus transfer to the lakeside town of Copacabana. Check-in your accommodation and have the rest of the day to walk around Copacabana and see the main sites of the town. Overnight in Copacabana.
Day 7: Boat Copacabana to Isla del Sol (B/L)
Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation and have the morning at leisure before making your way to the provider office to begin the tour with a delicious traditional lunch and a short guided visit of the church and main plaza. Later jump on a boat to Isla del Sol (Sun Island) where you will hike to the top of the island on a traditional Inca stairway, the "Escalinatas de Yumandi". Pass by the fountain of eternal youth natural spring and drink fresh water from the mountain. As you reach the top of the island, you will be rewarded with spectacular views from either side with the snow-capped Bolivian Andes in the distance. Have dinner (not included) and get a good night’s rest on this peaceful island in the middle of Lake Titicaca.
Day 8: Boat Isla del Sol to Copacabana & Bus to La Paz (B/L)
After enjoying a local breakfast, go on a 2-hour guided walk to reach Pilkokaina Temple. Take a boat ride back to the Copacabana town for lunch, and then take a bus transfer back to La Paz bus terminal, where you will catch your bus back to La Paz. Make your own way to your La Paz accommodation for overnight.
Day 9: La Paz Free Day - Bus Station Drop-off - Night Bus to Uyuni (B)
Enjoy a well-earned free day to relax and recover from an action-packed week. Chill at your accommodation, explore the city on your own, and get ready for your unforgettable salt flats adventure. In the evening you will be picked up at your accommodation and transferred to the bus station to catch your overnight bus to Uyuni.
Day 10: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N (L/D)
Make your own way to the meeting point of the tour (a few blocks away). Start off at 11 am with a visit to Uyuni's 'train graveyard' to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. Then we will visit the small village of Colchani to visit a salt factory where they process the salt mined from Uyuni, have lunch, and enjoy some free time to explore the local museum or shop for souvenirs. Next we will continue to the great salt flats of Uyuni. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, and visit a hotel made completely of salt. Next we will visit Incahuasi (Fish Island) where you will have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cactus and rock formations made of petrified coral. Enjoy the stunning sunset over the salt flat before spending the night at the village of Candelaria in a salt hotel.
Note: During the rainy season, between January and April, the Fish Island tour will be replaced with a possible stargazing / During the monsoon season, between January and April, the Salt Hotel will be in Colchani Village.
Day 11: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N (B/L/D)
Start off at 7:00 am for breakfast at the hotel and then head toward the villages of Julaca and San Agustin where we will take a short walk to the Sora Canyon to observe incredible views and flocks of llamas. Our next stop is at the Volcan Ollague viewpoint, where we will have lunch before heading to the beautiful Andean lagoons inhabited by 3 species of Andean flamingos. Visit the Desert of Siloli at 4550m (the highest and driest in the world) and take a photo next to the 'Rock tree', a lava rock formation. Before arriving to our final destination today, we will stop at the overlook point by the Red Lagoon to see more pink flamingos and admire this intense red-colored lake, and then at the Sol de Mañana geysers. In the evening we will enjoy the open air hot springs and take a bath in naturally 35 Cº water before spending the night in nearby Polques.
Note: During the rainy season, between January and April, the departure will be at 6:00 am.
Day 12: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N - Night Bus to La Paz (B/L)
Get off to an early start around 7:30 to the Dali Pampas, where Salvador Dali found his inspiration from boulders sprinkled in the middle of the desert, and then to the Green Lagoon (toxic copper water at the foot of the big Licancabur volcano at 6000m, a few kilometers from the Bolivia-Chile border). Then head back to Uyuni passing by beautiful scenery along the way and eating a picnic lunch along the roadside. Return to Uyuni in the afternoon and catch your return night bus to La Paz.
NOTE: This 3-day tour itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or force majeure events which are beyond our control. During the rainy season from January to April, there are some modifications made to the itinerary. We will always do our best to follow the itinerary as close as possible / During the rainy season, between January and April, the departure will be at 6:00 am.
ALTITUDE: This trip takes place at a very high altitude. The salt flats are around 5,000 meters above sea level, and most guests will be able to feel the effects. We recommend acclimating yourself to above 3,000 meters before the trip and bringing along medication for headaches and tablets for altitude sickness in case you feel unwell. And remember, the real key is to drink lots of water!
ACCOMMODATION / FACILITIES ON TOUR: The reality of visiting a remote area and immersing yourself in nature is that you will be far from modern facilities and the services will sometimes be slow and quite basic. Due to the harsh terrain, vehicle breakdowns are not uncommon, but the drivers are very used to fixing them and wait times are rarely excessive. The accommodations will be very basic, with cots and shared rooms, and the electricity and running water in the National Park are not as dependable as they are back at home. Toilet facilities may have a small local cost and the shower is only available the first day. Make sure to bring snacks, some water, toilet paper, and plenty of warm clothes. That said, with some patience, preparation, and an appetite for adventure, this trip will certainly be a positive and unforgettable experience.
DRIVER AND GUIDE: Please note that there is one guide per group. When exploring, your guide will be with the entire group. However, if groups are split into multiple vehicles you may be in a vehicle without the guide during transport.
Day 13: La Paz Free Day
Arrive to La Paz early in the morning and get checked in at your accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to rest, recover, and do some last-minute souvenir shopping as your enjoy your last full day in beautiful Bolivia. Overnight in La Paz.
Day 14: La Paz Airport Drop-Off (B)
All good things must end. Today after check out you will be transferred to the La Paz airport to catch your departing flight. We wish you happiness and health for your journey onward.