South America Travel


Bolivia


Situated in the heart of South America, Bolivia contains the most exotic and beautiful natural wonders found on the continent. Because its terrain is so dynamic and rugged it attracts the most adventurous travelers. The country is surrounded by the snow-capped Andes in the West, which form two parallel chains reaching 6,000m in height. In the middle lies the Altiplano, a gigantic plateau often compared to Tibet, and in the central region is the protected land of the Amazon basin, which contains a vast array of plants and animals.

Bolivia is also unique because it has the largest indigenous population in South America. Although it is apparent the influence of colonial rule, the indigenous culture is still rich in tradition and history and is thriving throughout the country. The best time to visit is during its dry season, which runs from May to September. Compared to its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia is also one of the cheapest South American countries.

La Paz, Bolivia's unofficial capital, is the city where travelers first fly into the country. The city makes for a captivating introduction to Bolivia, with its surrounding mountain peaks and canyons. It is also has the highest altitude in the world, at a staggering 3,500m. It is recommended to rest for a few days and take it easy in order to acclimate to the high altitude. Another must-see while in the city is the World's Most Dangerous Road, which runs from La Paz to Coroico. The 64 km road plunges 3,500m from the peaks of the Andes and down into a cloud forest. Despite the scarily steep mountainsides the views are so spectacular most travelers opt to go by bike rather than take a bus.

Just north of La Paz lies the Cordillera Real, which offers some of the best trekking of the Andes. The staggering glacier peaks make a breathtaking barrier between the Altiplano and the Amazon lowlands. The range also includes the ancient Inca trails, which drop down into the subtropical valley of the Yungas. On the northwest part of the range you'll find the charming colonial town of Sorata, which makes for a relaxing base for mountain trekkers and travelers.

From there you can reach the Titicaca Lake region, which is a pristine, unspoiled paradise surrounded by the snow-capped Andes. With 30 islands and bright blue water that covers over 3,000 sq. miles, it is also the world's highest navigable waterway, its altitude at 13,000 ft. about sea level. Take a boat ride from Copacabana to the island in the middle of the lake, the Isla del Sol, which is scattered with ancient Inca ruins and still populated by indigenous tribes.



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