Tag Archives: Bolivia

The Art of Booking Bus Travel In South America

21 May

If you’re heading off on a South American adventure then you’ll definitely be using the extensive bus network to get around due to the limited rail and hire car options on the continent, and relatively expensive flights. Long distance or short distance, each bus trip will undoubtedly be an experience in its own right. We had some great fun on buses, saw some amazing sights and met great characters, but we also had plenty of less positive experiences too! Each country does it slightly differently, but by asking a few essential questions at the outset you can save yourself some money and a whole world of pain!

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Magical Lake Titicaca

11 Oct

The Incas believed that Lake Titicaca was the place the world began, when the god Viracocha came out of the lake and created the sun, the stars and the first people. For us, the lake certainly did have a mythological magic about it, and a striking beauty with its glistening cobalt blue waters and surrounding sun-drenched, fertile valleys.

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Inner tubes, bamboo and string – river travel the Bolivian way!

4 Oct

Five days – drifting 250 kilometres down river – from Guanay to Rurrenabaque – on a home-made raft – with no engine…I must have got that all wrong. Was there a way such a trip could really be possible? The voice on the other end of the phone took a deep breath and repeated what they’d already explained. The ‘No noise’ jungle rafting experience through Bolivia’s chunk of Amazonas was created for people looking for unparalleled adventure. Six people, a guide and a cook, along with rucksacks, food supplies and camping equipment, would pile on top of a raft no bigger than 5 metres long and 2.5 metres wide and float to their destination using only the natural flow and currents of the river. There would be jungle walks to spot exotic animals and indigenous tribes were never far from the river banks. Home each evening would be under canvas in a rustic camp and to wash ourselves there would always be a crystal clear river or a gushing waterfall nearby. Rendered speechless as my head span with all of this information – all I could muster were the immortal words – “Sign us up!”

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Dicing with death on the World’s Most Dangerous Road

25 Sep

The Most Dangerous Road in the World stretches 61 kilometres from La Paz to Coroico and descends over 3,000 metres from spell-binding Andean mountains drenched in snow, to lush sub-tropical hills covered in rich forests and dotted with waterfalls. This stretch of unpaved dirt track earned its name by taking the most lives (annually around one hundred) of any road in the world. A newly opened bypass has significantly reduced the flow of traffic on the Death Road and the number of fatalities has been drastically reduced but the fearsome reputation of the road remains as strong as ever. In places the road is little more than three metres wide with sheer drops one side plunging up to six hundred metres below and vertical walls of rock on the other.

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La Paz – The good, the bad and the ugly

19 Sep

La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, at an altitude of 3,660 metres above sea level, had us in a spin from the second we arrived. Approaching the city the empty, flat plains of El Alto go on endlessly until that special moment when you see the ground opening up and receive your first glance of La Paz sprawling in the deep valley below.

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Sucre – The White City

23 Aug

We decided to rest our weary traveller’s bones and spend a week in the wonderful Bolivian city of Sucre taking some Spanish lessons. Frequently described as Bolivia’s most beautiful city, Sucre couldn’t have been a nicer place to relax and unwind and after just a few days we really found ourselves falling under its spell.

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‘The mountain that eats men’ – Potosi

16 Aug

Potosi, the world’s highest city (4,068 metres) holds a terrible secret…it’s citizens have made a pact with the devil and they are literally working themselves to death. Fathers, husbands and sons work in the Potosi mines endlessly enduring dangerous, appalling, medieval-like conditions all for a few precious metals they may be able to extract and sell for a small profit. Continue reading

Ride ’em cowboy – Tupiza

13 Aug

The president waved and gave us a generous smile – two white faces in the front row, waving madly with excitement in a sea of Bolivians – we certainly stood out from the crowd! It was our fifth day in Bolivia and we’d arrived in a small town called Tupiza to find a beautifully decorated plaza, locals dressed in their Sunday best and an infectious hubbub on every street. It was so nice of them to give us such a warm welcome!

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