A young traveler’s guide to Bolivia

photo by CC user Kuroiniisan  on wikimedia commons

If you are headed to Bolivia soon, you might be searching for some itinerary ideas. If this sounds like you, this article will help you fill your trip with activities that will create memories that will withstand the test of time…

1) Experience La Paz, Bolivia’s capital

Your Bolivian adventure will begin when you land in La Paz, which is the capital of the country. It is also one of the highest in the world, and no, we’re not talking about marijuana consumption.

The downtown core sits a dizzying elevation of almost 12,000 feet above sea level, making it a good place to chill out a few days while you get used to the thin air in this part of the world.

Once the headaches ease and you stop gasping for air when you do something as simple as walk up a staircase, get to drinking some beers.

Pacena and Huari compete for the title of being Bolivia’s national beer; as such you’ll find them at the many bars littered throughout La Paz’s backpacker ghetto.

2) Bike the Death Road

Once known as the world’s deadliest road (hence the name), the Death Road isn’t as fatal as it used to be, but you’ll still need to be on your toes as you haul butt down this steep and twisty narrow road.

Cut directly into the mountainside, this path will help you descend from Bolivia’s Altiplano into its tropical lowlands; just be careful of oncoming traffic … listen for honking horns when negotiating blind curves.

3) Spend some time on the shores of Lake Titicaca

Occupying the eastern shore of South America’s biggest and highest lake, the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca is rife with opportunities for those looking to experience some of this country’s rich cultural heritage.

The people here still walk around in traditional dress, live on thatch islands that are surprisingly watertight, and celebrate at night with folk music that will rouse your spirits. During the day time, be sure to have some freshly caught trout for lunch or dinner – it’s delicious!

4) Visit Salar de Uyuni

Before heading out of Bolivia for Chile or Argentina, exit this nation in style by heading to the legendary Salar de Uyuni.

A chalk white salt flat that is covered in a thin layer of water throughout much of the wet season, the reflectivity makes it tough to tell where the earth ends and the sky begins.

The lack of landmarks and the flatness of the land also makes it easy to take excellent forced perspective photographs, so get scheming so you can take a funny shot once you get here!

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