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Tarija, Bolivia - Beautiful City in the Heart of Wine Country

Bolivia experiences and stories by a backpacker - Sept 2015   » View 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. The city was founded in 1574 and is a pleasant place to walk around, the weather is quite hot and the city has a sizeable student population. The central plaza is the best place to start exploring Tarija - Plaza de Armas Luis de Fuentes y Vargas. Around this plaza are some government buildings and some very nice restaurants and some banks and atm machines. This is also where the tour buses leave from to take you on the various wine trails. There are 3 options, The Wine Route (Ruta del Vino), The Wine and Singani Route (Ruta del Vino y Singani) and The Campina Chapaca Route (Campina Chapaca). Each route takes 4hrs and costs around $20USD each. I went on the first route (The Wine Route). We visited a couple of wineries where they grow the grapes and process them into wine, they took us to see an amazing canyon (Canon de la Angostura) for some sight seeing and great views and we visited the Old House (Casa Vieja). We did our fair share of wine tasting along the way and at Casa Vieja we tasted 11 wines! It was a nice half-day and a scenic experience indeed. If you are really keen you can do a combo tour - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Other sights around the city of Tarija itself include several churches, plazas, Bolivar Park (Parque Bolivar), historic buildings, markets, the occasional colorful street mural, the Blue Castle (Castillo Azul), the Flowers Park (Parque de las Flores) and various statues and monuments. Tarija has plenty of ice-cream shops and you can pick up a slice of pizza to eat on the streets. Tarija is very non-stress, an easy-going place with friendly people and families, it's very un-citylike! Spend a few days here and you will feel refreshed for more travel! From Tarija bus terminal I took a 2hr 50min car ride south to Bermejo near the border of Argentina and spent the night. This journey takes 4hrs in a bus, go by car!

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Tarija, Bolivia:

Kultur Berlin Hostel, Tarija, Bolivia - Large Photo
Kultur Berlin Hostel, Tarija, Bolivia (September 2015 - 4 nights) - Kultur Berlin Hostel is a peaceful hostel in the center of Tarija that is run by a nice family. The rooms surround a courtyard area which is next to a large and fully equipped kitchen where you can cook meals. The rooms and beds are new and very comfortable. There are 3 bathrooms and showers beside the courtyard also. The breakfast that is included is top-notch, you will not go hungry! Breakfast includes banana cake, fruit, eggs, cereal, coffee, hot chocolate, bread, cheese and ham! I highly recommend this hostel if you are looking for somewhere relaxing and central.

Distances & times (if available) from Tarija (Bolivia) to:
 A : Villazon & Argentinian Border - Bolivia 105 kms 105 kms straight distance | 4hrs 9mins 4hrs 9mins by car (193 kms) | 4hrs 58mins 4hrs 58mins by bus (193 kms) (193 kms)
 B : La Quiaca & Bolivian Border - Argentina 106 kms 106 kms straight distance | 4hrs 16mins 4hrs 16mins by car (195 kms) | 5hrs 7mins 5hrs 7mins by bus (195 kms) (195 kms)
 C : Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border - Bolivia 142 kms 142 kms straight distance | 3hrs 14mins 3hrs 14mins by car (199 kms) | 3hrs 52mins 3hrs 52mins by bus (199 kms) (199 kms)
 D : Tupiza - Bolivia 99 kms 99 kms straight distance | 4hrs 13mins 4hrs 13mins by car (215 kms) | 5hrs 3mins 5hrs 3mins by bus (215 kms) (215 kms)
 E : Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni - Bolivia 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 6hrs 47mins 6hrs 47mins by car (312 kms) | 8hrs 8mins 8hrs 8mins by bus (312 kms) (312 kms)
 F : Potosi - Bolivia 240 kms 240 kms straight distance | 5hrs 48mins 5hrs 48mins by car (349 kms) | 6hrs 57mins 6hrs 57mins by bus (349 kms) (349 kms)
 G : La Quiaca to Jujuy - Argentina 196 kms 196 kms straight distance | 6hrs 4mins 6hrs 4mins by car (350 kms) | 7hrs 16mins 7hrs 16mins by bus (350 kms) (350 kms)
 H : Uyuni to Potosi - Bolivia 219 kms 219 kms straight distance | 7hrs 1min 7hrs 1min by car (427 kms) | 8hrs 25mins 8hrs 25mins by bus (427 kms) (427 kms)
 I : Gran Chaco to Santa Cruz - Bolivia 268 kms 268 kms straight distance | 11hrs 1min 11hrs 1min by car (466 kms) | 13hrs 13mins 13hrs 13mins by bus (466 kms) (466 kms)
 J : Sucre - Bolivia 283 kms 283 kms straight distance | 8hrs 9mins 8hrs 9mins by car (475 kms) | 9hrs 46mins 9hrs 46mins by bus (475 kms) (475 kms)
 K : Jujuy - Argentina 304 kms 304 kms straight distance | 6hrs 44mins 6hrs 44mins by car (477 kms) | 8hrs 4mins 8hrs 4mins by bus (477 kms) (477 kms)
 L : Paso de Jama to San Pedro to Calama - Chile 300 kms 300 kms straight distance | 9hrs 5mins 9hrs 5mins by car (526 kms) | 10hrs 54mins 10hrs 54mins by bus (526 kms) (526 kms)
 M : Salta - Argentina 371 kms 371 kms straight distance | 7hrs 33mins 7hrs 33mins by car (529 kms) | 9hrs 3mins 9hrs 3mins by bus (529 kms) (529 kms)
 N : Uyuni & the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats) - Bolivia 243 kms 243 kms straight distance | 8hrs 40mins 8hrs 40mins by car (534 kms) | 10hrs 24mins 10hrs 24mins by bus (534 kms) (534 kms)
 O : Salta to Paso de Jama (Chile Border) - Argentina 345 kms 345 kms straight distance | 10hrs 10mins 10hrs 10mins by car (708 kms) | 12hrs 12mins 12hrs 12mins by bus (708 kms) (708 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.
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