Santa Cruz – La Paz Adventure
Bolivia is where the Andes Overland journey begins! Travelers on the very first stage of our epic 72-day adventure depart from the largest city of this landlocked country, the tropical metropolis of Santa Cruz!
Over the next 11 days we’ll visit the ruins of an Inca city, a national park with 900 bird species, the hunting grounds and history of Ché Guevara, colonial Sucre, the great silver mine of Potosi, the Uyuni salt flats, and finally the famous city of La Paz at nearly 12,000 feet!
After all this, you’ll be highly tempted to continue our amazing adventure towards Cusco in Peru!
Note: Optional excursions are listed in bold. Full information on these can be found here. Optional Excursions
- Arrival Santa - Cruz / Day 1
- On the first day, after a flawless landing in Santa Cruz, we meet our fellow travelers and tour guide at the hotel (17:00pm). After a full briefing and questions, we get a good night's rest.
- Santa Cruz - Samaipata / Day 2
- In the morning we depart towards the small village of Samaipata, arriving in early afternoon. Its surroundings include the extensive Inca ruins of El Fuerte, where we learn about the rich ancient culture. Also nearby is the Amboro National Park, with excellent birdwatching opportunities, bears, anteaters and even jaguars! We spend the night back in Samaipata.
- Ché Guevara! / Day 3
- Love him or hate him, everybody is fascinated by the dramatic story of Guevara, who ended his short life fighting the Bolivian army as a guerrilla. In the town of Vallegrande, we visit his museum and the hospital where his corpse was shown to the world press, with his last letter painted on a wall. Then we see his mausoleum, where Ché was buried for three decades, before his body was repatriated to Cuba. After lunch in Vallegrande, we drive through picturesque Pucará to the community of La Higuera, where Ché was executed in 1967 at a local school (now a museum). There are three statues honoring Ché, and condors soar high above the small streets. If time permits, we will take a more scenic route along the Rio Grande to La Higuera, where we spend the night in a quiet and romantic hostel, which was the telegraphist's house in the days of Ché.
- Drive to Sucre / Day 4
- After a full breakfast, the beautiful colonial city (and constitutional capital) of Sucre is our next major destination. Along the way, we stop at several places of interest.
- It is all about Sucre! / Day 5
- By now, we are high in the Andes - over 9,000 feet up! Sucre, also known as the "White City", is stunning to behold at sunrise, with the mountainous Cordillera de los Frailes as a backdrop. Whether you decide to explore Sucre alone, or with our expert guide, the perfectly-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and labyrinth of narrow streets will keep you occupied all day. Optional excursion: Half day city tour Sucre.
- Sucre - Potosi / Day 6
- We ascend even higher on the next stage, towards the greatest silver mining town that ever existed, Potosi! The majestic peak of the Cerro Rico, or "rich mountain", dwarfs the humble houses and streets below. Again, you have the option to explore Potosi on your terms, or join our afternoon guided tour. Optional excursion: Potosi City Tour
- Potosi - Uyuni / Day 7
- In the morning we recommend a visit to the modern-day silver ore mining operations in the Cerro Rico, where working conditions and superstitions haven't changed much in centuries. Our afternoon journey dramatically alters the scenery, as we approach the spectacular Salt Flats and Salt Lake. We spend the night in Uyuni. Optional Excursion: Vistit to the Potosi Mines
- Uyuni Salt Flats / Day 8
- Today is all about the Salt Flats - the largest in the world, covering a surface of over 10.582 km squared, at an altitude of 12,000 feet! With an endless horizon, the flats resemble a static sea, gently touched by the winds in a rich volcanic region. Inventive perspective-trick photography is a popular pastime. The magical Yellow, Green and Red lakes are colored by various species of algae - it's almost like witnessing prehistoric Earth! There are also geysers, interesting geological formations, and volcanic peaks to further lend the impression of going back in time. We can also meet local communities with traditional customs living in the area.
- Uyuni - La Paz / Day 9
- After another night's rest in Uyuni, we catch a short morning flight to Bolivia's city of peace, La Paz! Having acclimatised to the altitude over the preceding days, you now have most of the day for whatever takes your fancy. Keep in mind that tomorrow you can join our guided city tour.
- La Paz / Day 10
- Our first morning in the unique valley of La Paz presents us with three optional excursions: the tour of architecture and culture, a trip to the Tiwanaku ruins, or highly scenic mountain biking across the so-called "Death Road" route - safer than it sounds! Optional excursions: City tour, Tiwanaku Ruins and Biking the Death Road
- The end? / Day 11
- If today is the last day of your Andes Overland journey, you'll now be mentally prepared for more adventures in the future! We bid farewell and call you a trusted cab bound for El Alto international airport, to the south-west of La Paz. If you decide to join us on the second stage to Peru, we will take you to the beautiful city of Cusco!
- 1. English Speaking guide throughout the entire tour
- 2. All public Bus tickets
- 3. Most tranfers
- 4. Accommodation based on double rooms including breakfast
- 5. All meals, transportation and entrance fees during the 2 day Ché tour
- 1. Not mentioned meals, personal expenses, extras and tips
- 2. Additional services or optional excursions
- 3. International flight tickets
- 4. Airport transfer for international flights