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Why You Need To Visit Bolivia
A South American Adventure
Most of us are familiar with the sun kissed beaches of Brazil or the famous Machu Picchu in Peru, and with good reason. Those hotspots are just two of the many lively, colorful, and cultural places one can find in South America. Sapphire beaches and brilliant fiestas are attractive features to potential tourists—but it isn’t all that the rich continent of South America has to offer. The success behind a true South American adventure? By going off the grid a bit, and there is no better place to start than in the unforgettable country of Bolivia.
I lived in Bolivia for a little over a year and know that I’ve only scratched the surface. But I welcome you to join me as I explore the many reasons I have grown to love it there. From the salteñas (they’re like empanadas) to the plazas (meticulously trimmed and polished parks), it’s hard to know where to begin.
Baby Llama in the Altiplano, near Tarija
Bordered by Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Brazil, Bolivia has a population of approximately ten million. The country is multiethnic while the Spanish language is mainly spoken. A number of indigenous languages, such as Aymara and Quechua, are also considered official. The significant amount of cultural diversity within the country creates a unique and intriguing atmosphere. Geographically, Bolivia is home to much variation. From the Andes in the West towards the rugged jungle of the Beni, this country has a little bit of everything.
Incredible Sights, Amazing People, Breathtaking Places
Bolivia has amazing places to see and incredible, unexpected things to do. From the timid traveler to the bold and brave adventurer, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Salar de Uyuni is a stunning example. Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, a place where biodiversity and flora and fauna spread as far as the eye can see. When the salt flat is covered by water from the rains, the entire area becomes undisturbed in its reflection, turning the world’s largest salt flat into the world’s largest mirror.
Not for the faint of heart, Death Road is another excursion for those travelling to Bolivia. More properly named as the North Yungas Road, this roadway in Coroico is noted for it’s extremely dangerous conditions and fatal history. For those with a love of mountain biking and incredible views, you can bike down what has been considered as the world’s most dangerous road with a number of tour groups ready to assist. Though I can't personally recommend this excursion, I do recommend taking extreme caution if you should choose to do it. Another option for a trip to Coroico? Do what I did and zip line over the Yungas jungle. Let your breath to be taken away.
When it comes to biology, Tajzara Lake (pronounced Taxara) is one of the most unique places in the world. Unusually high at fourteen thousand feet, this saltwater lake is home to three types of flamingo who are attracted to the algae produced in the water. Located between Tarija and Villazón, this little know treasure is incredible to see.
What would you choose to do?
Visiting the Yungas
In addition, animal sanctuaries, Incan ruins, and bustling cities are just a few more of the many things Bolivia has to offer. This country never runs short on options, and it’s also small enough that travel is usually simple to negotiate.
Flowers outside Tarija
Helpful Tips for Your Trip to Bolivia
Things to Pack
...for the city
...for the rurals
Comfortable walking shoes
Quality hiking boots
Light and breathable tees
Layers, camp shirts, gauzy long sleeves
Canvas pants, jeans
Clouds Creeping into Coroico
The people of Bolivia are lovely to come to know. From their music to their dance to their smile, the Bolivian people are kind, welcoming, and passionate. They are hardworking and wise—happy to share with you the land they call their home. There is much to learn from their humble spirits and happy lives.
Bolivia is a destination that promises more than adventure or excitement—it promises experience. And an experience like Bolivia is distinctive and enduring. It can’t be forgotten and it can’t be erased.
It can only be explored.