This will be the most memorable 5 days in Bolivia, and you will see just the very best of what Bolivia has to offer. We will start our trip discovering La Paz, a great example of how pluricultural Bolivia is. One of the biggest issues with this city is the altitude so our location is in the southern part of the city at a lower altitude. From there we can explore mostly using cable cars as a main form of transportation. Afterwards we fly to the Salt Flats of Uyuni. For so many years this has been one of the hidden gems of South America, now the charming infrastructure makes it possible to enjoy a comfortable visit and admire the awesome views. To wrap up your quick escape to Bolivia on the way back to La Paz you will visit Tiahuanaco. One of the greatest civilizations before the Incas built sites like Pumapunku which is constructed with stones weighing over one hundred tons. You'll admire the unique sun gate and the giant monoliths carved without any steel materials. The trip has been designed to let you acclimatize.
After a well-earned rest we will take a cable car to downtown and considering that the city buildings are literally built on the canyon walls and the city itself spans 600 m/2,000 ft., this is the best way to move around. A guided tour of the downtown will start with the ethnographic museum, the Murillo Square, and the colorful markets. La Paz is considered to be the highest capital in the world at 3,660 m/12,000 ft. Throughout the narrow and congested streets, the Aymara, in their captivating traditional dress can be seen working hard at the bustling markets, selling beautiful handmade products, fresh local products, as well as a variety of potions, medicinal plants, spells, and spiritual advice. In contrast to this traditional lifestyle is a cosmopolitan vibe, with modern cafes, clubs, bars, and restaurants lining the city.Lunch and dinner on your expense.
On this day we fly down to Uyuni. After our scenic flight we will explore Uyuni itself located on a high intermontane plateau, at 3,665 m/12,024 ft. It was a very prosperous center back in 1890 due to mining, when it was founded as rail road junction. Uyuni lost its importance when mineral prices dropped, but it regained growth through tourism. We will stop to see a train graveyard full of railcars which lies just outside the town. After lunch we will drive to the shores of the salt planes to check in to a hotel made entirely out of salt bricks. Before dinner we will drive into the salt planes to enjoy the sunset which will take your breath away. The salt planes turn into a mirror before dusk and are often called the border between heaven and earth.Lunch on your expense.
We will board our 4-wheeled vehicles to spend the day on the salt flats. With the blinding white endless scenery, it will be a day to remember and a photo spot to play with proportions and perspectives. These are the biggest salt flats in the world, covering more than 10,000 square kilometers. There is no place like it in the world. The level surface is used to calibrate the altimeters onboard satellites. On a still day the thin layer of water covering the salt forms a great mirror reflecting the sky and beneath the shiny expanse is a brine rich in lithium salts that have huge commercial potential. According to the latest report by the US Geological Survey, Salar of Uyuni contains 9 million tons of lithium, more than a quarter of the world's known resources.
When weather and water let us visit we will drive as far as the Island of Inka Wasi, a natural island entirely composed of petrified coral. Millions of years ago it used to be one of the largest coral reefs before the tectonic plates pushed them up to where they are located now.
A picnic lunch in the middle of the salt planes will feel like eating in another world.
On the way back we will visit Colchani were local famers extract salt and commercialize their product. It's a great place to get souvenirs made of salt.
Tiahuanaco it was one of the mightiest ancient civilizations in the Americas, and as the airport is on the route to Tiahuanaco after our morning flight back to el Alto la Paz we will drive straight from the airport to admire of what is left of the megalithic city. At its largest extent, the empire dominated the Altiplano plains and stretched from the Peruvian coast to northern Bolivia and even included parts of northern Chile. Today is is one of the most controversial societies for our archeologist and historians due to their incomprehensible style of construction, such as Puma Punku. The easy answer is to blame the aliens. We'll have a chance to see for ourselves at a museum with a very poor infrastructure but a unique display of pieces. In the late afternoon we return to la Paz.Included Lunch.
Depart for home or you can choose to extend your stay in Bolivia by visiting Lake Titicaca for another 2 days.
Your hotel in la Paz is at lower altitude for your acclimatization but within a walking distance to the cable car to go any time in a short time in down town or to various range of restaurants, museums, shopping places and bars.
The hotel by the shore of the salt flats has a unique location to explore on your own more of the area. Both hotels has all the amenities that an adventure traveler like you need, they are charming hotels.