Tourist Attractions in Bolivia

La Paz City, the doorway to our magical country

Bolivia, a multicultural and multilingual country situated at 3,649 metres above sea level; possesses a wonderful geographic and cultural diversity that encompasses its jungles, its exotic fauna, the Amazon forests, its high snow-capped mountains, its valleys, its altiplano towns and its ethnic diversity with different languages and cultural identities. Few places in the world can offer such variety and opportunities to experience a grand adventure. (Photo)

 

Oruro:

At just 225 km from the city of La Paz (3 to 4 hours in bus) and at an altitude of 3,709 metres above sea level, you will find the city of Oruro, Folkloric Capital of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The biggest celebration in Oruro is without doubt its majestic Carnaval (generally celebrated between the months of February as March as the date fluctuates), which was declared one of UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001. In this religious pagan celebration, dance and faith converge with thousands of dancers displaying a variety of Bolivian dances such as the diablada, morenada, kullawada, and caporales amongst others; and before the Virgin of Socavón, devotedly promising to dance in her name for three consecutive years. (Photo of carnaval)

Visitors who decide to pass by Oruro can also enjoy the hot springs of Obrajes, which, at just 25 km from the city; are rich in minerals like sulphur, potassium, magnesium and iron and possess rejuvenating and therapeutic properties.

Buses that depart to Oruro can be taken every hour from the La Paz and El Alto city bus terminals.

From the city of Oruro you can travel to Uyuni, Atocha, Tupiza and Villazón by railroad. On Tuesdays and Fridays the Expreso del Sur departs at 2:30 p.m. for Uyuni, Atocha, Tupiza and Villazón, and on Wednesdays and Sundays the Wara Wara del Sur train does likewise at 7:00 p.m. For more information about schedules you can visit the Andina Railway Company website (www.fca.com.bo).

Potosí:

Situated at the foot of the Sumaj Orcko mountain at more than 4,000 metres above sea level you will find the city of Potosí. The city’s history is bound to silver and the boom of this mineral in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the year 1650, Potosí was the most populated city in the world with some 160,000 habitants. (Photograph of the city)

The stand out tourist attractions offered by this colonial city are la Casa de la Moneda, the Convent Museum of Santa Teresa, the Torre de la Compañía, gothic and baroque churches and the Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain).

You can arrive to Potosí by land or air.

Uyuni Salt Flats:

Bolivia possesses one of the biggest salt reserves in the world, the Uyuni Salt Flats, a semidesert region with volcanic earth that contains resources of great economic importance, like the reserve of 9 million tonnes of lithium and other minerals; as well as landscapes of extraordinary natural beauty. The salt flats and the Lagunas Colorada, Verde, Amarilla and Celeste are the best exponents of this and their names are attributed to the distinct colour tones that they boast. (Photo of the salt flats)

You can arrive to Uyuni Salt Flats by air, land and railroad.

Sucre:

The city of Suce, known as the “White City of the Americas” due to the colour of its colonial houses, is situated in the central southern part of Bolivia at 2,800 metres above sea level. Visitors who arrive to Sucre enjoy walking its streets and visiting its plazas and museums. (Photograph of the city)

Among Sucre’s main tourist attractions you’ll find la Casa de la Libertad, a building constructed in the year 1700 by the Jesuits where independence was proclaimed and the Republic of Bolivia was founded in 1825, now the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

In the city of Sucre, you can’t miss a visit to the Catedral Metropolitana, the walk to the Recoleta, the Glorieta Castle and the diverse museums that this beautiful city possesses as part of its cultural baggage.

Talking about history, Sucre isn’t just the birthplace of the independence of the Americas, but is also home to a marvelous geological treasure in the conservation of the most extensive dinosaur footprint site in the world. The impressive Cal Orck´o rockface (lime hill) is located just a few minutes from the city and reveals secrets of the diverse species of animals which disappeared 68 million years ago. (Photo of parque cretácico)

You can arrive to Sucre by air and land.

Cochabamba:

The city of Cochabamba is located at the heart of Bolivia at 2,560 metres above sea level and is part of the route of the 3 main cities of Bolivia, along with La Paz and Santa Cruz. Cochabamba is considered the garden city and gastronomical capital of Bolivia. (Photograph of the city)

Cochabamba’s springlike climate and culinary art invites tourists to stop to enjoy the city’s pretty parks while also admiring the colonial patios, enjoying fairs and of course, enjoying delicious typical dishes.

Tourists that visit the city of Cochabamba can visit the Cristo de la Concordia, considered to be the largest statue of Christ in the Americas; La Cancha, the biggest open air market in Bolivia; el Palacio de Portales, a monument that belonged to the once richest man in the world; the most diverse area of nightclubs in Bolivia - Plaza Colón and Calle España; and the most interesting religious monument in Cochabamba, the Santa Teresa Convent. (Photograph of the palacio de portales and of the cristo de la concordia)

You can arrive to Cochabamba by air and land.

Tarija:

Tarija is known as “Tarija the beautiful” or the “City of Flowers”, and is located at 1,957 metres above sea level on the banks of the Guadalquivir River in the south of Bolivia and close to the border with Argentina. (Photograph of the city)

Tarija is an ideal destination for those looking to enjoy a warm climate, visit different tourist attractions, taste local wines and meet friendly and likeable people.

The city has different tourist attractions, for example: the Plaza de Armas Luis de Fuentes, the Cathedral, the Central Market, the San Roque Church, the San Francisco Convent, the “Maison d'or” cultural centre and the Blue Castle.

The Wine and Singani Road:

Tarija is famous in Bolivia and the world for its production of wine and singani. On the outskirts of the city there are large stretches of vineyards and wineries which tourists can visit. Most of them can be found in the Uriondo Municipality.

The Wine Road includes a tour through the wineries and vineyards of the Central Valley of Tarija, located between 1,700 and 2,800 metres above sea level - altitudes which give the grapes and the wine produced by them singular characteristics, with more intense aromas and flavours.

The tour route is located in a natural setting whose diverse natural charms are contemplated in cultural expressions and reflected in customs and traditions seen at parties and in religious festivities, gastronomy, music, song and dance. (Photograph of a vineyard)

You can arrive to the city of Tarija by air and land.

Santa Cruz de La Sierra:

The city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra is found in the eastern region of Bolivia at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level, and its residents are known as ‘Cambas’. The city of Santa Cruz has a tropical climate and is home to important industries, entertainment centres, restaurants, museums and cultural centres.

This beautiful city offers its visitors diverse artistic and cultural spaces. The urban area is marked out by a system of main streets, all of them designed in traditional spanish style, with a central plaza situated in the historical centre. The central plaza is surrounded by circular streets called rings, from which spring various radial avenues that disperse themselves in multiple directions. Possessing a natural and scenic richness, Santa Cruz de la Sierra is home to an important range of tourist attractions that invite the discovery of everything that is part of this city including nature, history and modernity. (Photo of the city)

One of the best attractions of this eastern city is without doubt its Carnaval (generally celebrated between the months of February and March as the date changes), which is considered the biggest celebration of the Cruceños. Its popularity maintains unchanged in all of eastern bolivia, characterised by parties which move to the rhythm of the musical bands - with their drums and popular poems; which are organized by different troupes with the support of the municipalities and the participation of the best part of the population. Although of pagan origin, this celebration which technically begins 3 days before the start of Lent, begins at the start of each year and can last more than 2 months in reality.

If you decide to visit this beautiful city, we suggest visiting the Catedral Metropolitana known as the Basílica Menor de San Lorenzo, which was designed by French architect Felipe Bertres in 1845, modified to a neoclassical style by Welsh León Musnier and finished in 1915 by Italian Víctor Querezolo. The Guembé biocentre is a 24 hectare natural paradise surrounded by exotic plants, lush forests and native regional animals. You can also visit aquatic parks like Aqualand and Playland Park and places like the Piraí River cabins, El Arenal park and the Botanic Gardens, among other attractions. (Photo of the Guembé biocentre)

You can arrive to Santa Cruz de la Sierra by air and land.

If you’re already in the magical Santa Cruz de la Sierra, by getting a little further away from the city you can take in the mystic ruins of Samaipata and the majestic churches of the Jesuit missions in the Chiquitania region of Bolivia.

Samaipata:

Samaipata (which means ‘high resting place’), an excellent destination for all those seeking tranquility, a good climate and a typical Bolivian mountain range town; is situated 120 kms from the city of Santa Cruz, where both the important archaeological site known as El Fuerte and the entrance to one of the most important national parks of Bolivia - the Amboró National Park; can be found.

The mysterious El Fuerte has given origin to numerous hypotheses regarding its origins. It is believed that it is the work of the pre-Incan Amazon Chané culture, before later being used as an advanced Incan city and then finally turned into a fort by Spanish settlers.

There are several bus companies that make the journey from Santa Cruz to Samaipata in approximately 2-3 hours. There are also shared taxi fleets that are quicker and depart more frequently. (Photograph of Samaipata)

Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitanía:

The region of the Chiquitanía owes its generic name to the province of Chiquitos because of the original inhabitants of the area, the Chiquitos or Chiquitanos. In this place the Jesuit missions were established from the second half of the 17th century (from 1691 until 1760). They remain as an extraordinary legacy as they are the only Jesuit missions in South America that weren’t destroyed after the Jesuits were expelled from the Spanish colonies.

These missions are not seen as ruins but rather, as lively towns, with people who continue going to mass in the same majestic churches enjoying the same baroque music concerts as they did when the Jesuits governed the missions three centuries ago.

The missions visited lengthwise on this Jesuit route are the Jesuit missions of San Javier, San Miguel, Concepción, San Rafael, San Ignacio, San José and Santa Ana.

There are various interprovincial bus companies that offer transport to the different destinations in the Chiquitanía from Monday to Sunday at different times. You can take these buses from the Terminal Bimodal in the city of Santa Cruz, located in the 3rd ring, between Avenidas Brasil and 3 Pasos al Frente. Área de transporte interprovincial. (Photograph of the missions)

Beni:

The department of Beni is located in the northeast of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, with capital city Trinidad situated at an altitude of 236 metres above sea level. The department of Beni is a surefire option for tourists wishing to coexist in, and taste, the progress of nature in a hot climate where the flora is lush and multicoloured and where the variety of fauna basically has no limits. (Photograph of Beni)

If you are in Trinidad you can visit the Cathedral, built in 1931, as well as the ports of Ballivián, Varador and Almacén which are located more or less 10 km from the city. 5 km from the city is Suárez Lake, an artificial lake constructed by the Paititiana people, and formerly known as Socoreno or Animal Lake. The Tapacaré and Paraíso spas are also found in this area.

Some 12 kms from the city you will find Suárez Hill (formerly known as as Monovi Hill) on the banks of the Ibaré River. Don’t miss out on visiting the Chuchini tourist centre, situated 14 km from the capital, with lagoons, and rivers apt for fishing and sailing. Without doubt, one place that you have to visit if you are in Beni is Rurrenabaque.

You can arrive to the city of Trinidad by air and land.

Rurrenabaque:

Rurrenabaque is an exotic town where you can find carvings in the granite rock of "El Cañón del Bala", of which representations of serpents and other animals standout. It’s the third most visited destination by foreign tourists. In Rurrenabaque, tourists can find countless restaurants and hotels, leaving tourists with a variety of options to choose from. (Photo of Rurrenabaque)

At the same time you can also enjoy freshly caught fish such as surubí, dorado, azulejo, pacú and piraíbas, as well as the diverse panoramas and animal life, making Rurrenabaque one of the most beautiful places in the Bolivian Amazon.

The best way to get to Rurrenabaque is by plane. AMASZONAS airlines offer 5 to 6 flights daily in comfortable and safe planes.

Pando:

Pando, considered the heart of the Amazon, is the youngest department of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at an average altitude of 280 metres above sea level. The capital of Pando is the city of Cobija. (Photo of the city)

Visitors will be simply embraced and can enjoy the warmth of the Pandian people and interact with the economic and tourist activities that are carried out there, such as rubber and chestnut extraction as well as Pando’s biodiversity.

You can take a unique journey into the Amazon, along its arid paths or by a boat excursion through its watery roads. There are idyllic, dreamlike places and lagoons like Bay Lake, rocky formations molded by the rivers in Cachuelas, as well as golden beaches and crystalline waters in el Sena and Puerto Rico.

Adventure can’t be missing and you will find it by taking an excursion in the Manuripi Reserve and Bruno Rácua, protected areas that house a great quantity and variety of animal plants that coexist harmoniously with ancestral ethnic groups in these vast territories.

You can arrive to the city of Cobija by air and land, however arriving by air is suggested due to the journey by land being too long and in the wet season, some sectors are impassable.