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Bolivia Experiences, Stories & Photos from a Backpacker

Places, Experiences, Travel Stories, Videos & 1071 Photos from Bolivia


Bolivia is a country of amazing contrasts! From the rugged, rocky and cactus covered terrain of Tupiza where Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid once roamed to Uyuni where you will find the worlds largest salt flats to the jungle areas of Rurrenabaque, Bolivia has it all. Bolivia is not only one of the most authentic of South American countries, it is also the cheapest!

I was in Bolivia 4 times during 2008/2009 and again in 2011, each time entering and exiting at a different place. I passed through again during 2012 and in 2015 enjoyed another 3 weeks here. I have spent around 5 months in the country. Here are my experiences and story.
Read more about Villazon and Argentinian Border
Villazon and Argentinian Border: From One World To Another  » photoset (15 photos) «
My first time in Bolivia in 2008, I had spent roughly 7hrs on a bus from Salta in Argentina up to the border town of La Quiaca and crossed to the Bolivian border town of Villazon from there. The bus had left Salta at 10pm and it was now around 5am, it was freezing! 'Bienvenidos A La Republica De Bolivia - Villazon - Altitude 3497 (meters above sea level)', the sign said. More
Read more about Tupiza
Tupiza: Seeking The Legend Of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid  » photoset (61 photos) «
Tupiza will remind you of the scenery you have seen in the wild west movies, it is surrounded by the Cordillera de Chichas, a rugged, rocky, mountainous area of jagged edged hills and dusty canyons of cactus. Things to do here include horse riding, biking and hiking, there a few tour operators with guides around town. More
Read more about Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni
Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni: It's The Wild West Down Here  » photoset (15 photos) «
The following morning after a day horse riding I made an early start towards the bus terminal in Tupiza just a few minutes walk away. I intended on getting a bus but it was full up, so the other and better option was to go by jeep. There was enough people who couldn't fit in the bus to fill the 10 spaces available in the jeep pretty quickly. More
Read more about Uyuni and the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats)
Uyuni and the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats): You Must Do The 3 Day Tour  » photoset (65 photos) «
I arrived in Uyuni in the early evening from Tupiza. I found a room for myself in a hostel for about 40 Bolivianos which was $5USD in early 2008. It was quite cold, Uyuni is at an altitude of 3675 meters. I went out to a restaurant and hung out with a whole bunch of people, some that were in the jeep from Tupiza that day and had a great meal. More
Read more about La Paz
La Paz: One Of My Favourite Cities In South America  » photoset (206 photos) «
La Paz, what an amazing place it is! I have been in and out of La Paz about 4 times in 2008/2009 entering and exiting from and to different places and stayed here for 6 weeks in 2011. I have spent well over 2 months here all together. In my mind I call La Paz the mad house, it is like sensory overload on steroids. More
Read more about La Paz to Copacabana
La Paz to Copacabana: Nice Trip With Views Of The Snowy Mountain & Lake  » photoset (19 photos) «
I have travelled this leg in both directions 3 times in all, it is a nice bus journey that includes crossing Lake Titicaca briefly, it takes up to 3hrs. The bus doesn't leave from the main terminal in La Paz, it leaves from up the hill quite a bit, take a taxi there. More
Read more about Copacabana
Copacabana: Visit The Island Of The Sun & Climb The Hill  » photoset (67 photos) «
Copacabana is a little paradise on the shores of Lake Titicaca just 2 and a half hours north of La Paz. The contrast between Copacabana and La Paz couldn't be greater. I have stayed in Copacabana on 3 occasions in 2008, 2009 and 2011 for 5 nights in total. More
Read more about Rurrenabaque
Rurrenabaque: Pampas Wetlands Tour, A Bit Like School Camp  » photoset (45 photos) «
Going to Rurrenabaque and going on the pampas or jungle tour sounded like an awesome experience from what I had heard and read about it. A friend and I decided we would go on the pampas tour of the wetlands. We booked the tour in the foyer of Loki Hostel at Kanoo Tours in La Paz, it cost $1200 Bolivianos and was for 3 days and 2 nights. More
Read more about Cochabamba
Cochabamba: The Real Tallest Jesus Statue In The World  » photoset (82 photos) «
2015 My 2nd time in Cochabamba, 7yrs after my 1st. I had a much better look around the central city this time and enjoyed looking for street murals which there are quite a few around. The central Plaza 14 de Septiembre and the cathedral are Cochabamba's center. More
Read more about La Paz to Desaguadero
La Paz to Desaguadero: The Quickest Way To Peru From La Paz  » photoset (113 photos) «
2012 The quickest way from La Paz to Peru is through Desaguadero, the trip takes just 2hrs in a minivan, 2hrs 40mins including passport control to step into Peru. Desaguadero is a joint Bolivian/Peruvian town with the border crossing running straight down the middle of the 50m bridge over the river. More
Read more about Tarija
Tarija: Beautiful City in the Heart of Wine Country  » photoset (138 photos) «
The beautiful city of Tarija is situated in the south of Bolivia, east of Tupiza and 2-3hrs north of the border of Argentina. Tarija is in the heart of wine country and is a great place to spend a few days or more. A 55min flight from Santa Cruz brought me here and I enjoyed 4 days exploring the city and enjoyed a wine tour also. More
Read more about Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border
Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border: Remote Border Cross to Argentina  » photoset (40 photos) «
From Tarija you have 3 choices of border crossings into Argentina and I have done all 3 in fact! You have Villazon in the south-west, Yacuiba in the south-east or Bermejo/Aguas Blancas more or less directly south. Yacuiba is a little out of the way so there's not much point taking that route - I crossed at this crossing on an 18hr bus from Salta (Argentina) to Santa Cruz back in 2008. More
Read more about Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz: The City Of Rings, The Other Bolivia  » photoset (26 photos) «
The first time I came to Santa Cruz was on a long 18hr bus haul from Salta in Argentina. I knew Santa Cruz was known as the 'city of rings' and that it would be quite warm, but that's about all. I also didn't realise that it was the weekend of the Bolivian vote of confidence referendum 2008 for the President Evo Morales and that all shops, bars and clubs would be closed. More
Read more about Santa Cruz to Quijarro on the Death Train
Santa Cruz to Quijarro on the Death Train: No One Here Gets Out Alive  » photoset (5 photos) «
The Death Train (Ferroviaria Oriental) was due to leave Santa Cruz mid-afternoon and would take about 15hrs through the night and arrive at the border in Quijarro first thing in the morning, it cost between $15-20USD. The journey was quite comfortable and fun, the seats were not bad and there was food onsale on the train, some nice little chicken and rice meals for about $20 Bolivianos. More
Read more about Oruro
Oruro: Take The Train To Uyuni On Tuesdays And Fridays  » photoset (35 photos) «
From La Paz it took 3hrs 30mins to travel to Oruro by bus. Oruro is known as a cold and windy place but wasn't while I was there. I was interested in having a quick look around and finding out about the train to Uyuni. There are quite a few budget hotels and hostels around the city center, I planned to stay just 1 night. More
Read more about Uyuni to Potosi
Uyuni to Potosi: Watch Out For Roadblocks  » photoset (25 photos) «
After my 2nd time in Uyuni I finally left after being held up for 3 days because of road blocks near Potosi which had been set up by the miners who were protesting against something. This is very common in Bolivia, roads can be blocked for weeks on end, letting traffic through only at night or during weekends. More
Read more about Potosi
Potosi: Take A Tour Of The Mines  » photoset (44 photos) «
I spent nearly 3 weeks in Potosi in late 2011, partly as a tourist and partly because I was waiting for a new passport to be sent from home to replace my now expired old one. My stay in Potosi was broken up with a trip to Sucre and Tupiza before I returned to continue waiting, the problem was that the miners had blocked the road so that the traffic and trucks with the mail couldn't get through. More
Read more about Sucre
Sucre: The White City, Great For Photography  » photoset (42 photos) «
Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, it's a lovely city full of white colonial arquitecture, for this reason it also known as the white city and is a photographers dream. If you are a photographer the most important decision you need to make is whether to wait until a fine day to visit the city, do you want blue sky or cloudy white sky in the background of your photos? It was mainly cloudy when I was here and the whiteness of the buildings and clouds actually give for a nice effect. More
Read more about Yacuiba (Argentina Border) to Santa Cruz
Yacuiba (Argentina Border) to Santa Cruz: A Border Town, Not Much Here
When I crossed the border from Salvador Mazza in Argentina to Yacuiba in Bolivia, it happened to be Bolivia's National Independence Day. The streets were jammed with parades, a stage, marching bands, onlookers, stray dogs and chaos. The bus stood still for 4hrs before we were allowed to pass through the town, but we did get off the bus and walk around to watch the celebrations. More
Read more about Gran Chaco to Santa Cruz
Gran Chaco to Santa Cruz: 18hrs In A Bus On A Border Cross  » photoset (27 photos) «
The Trans-Chaco road from Paraguay north/west up to Santa Cruz is now paved and takes a lot less time than it used to. I boarded the bus in Pozo Colorado which is 5hrs north of Asuncion at around 11pm, by around 6am we crossed the border into Bolivia on highway 9. More


Photos:   See 1071 photos from Bolivia

Videos:   See videos from Bolivia & South America



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