Bolivia’s great treasures are undoubtedly its archaeological sites and natural beauty, and many of its well-known attractions are based on the country’s varied landscape and fascinating cultural heritage. For most visitors, their first impression of the country will be made on their arrival in the capital – La Paz. This city is a great place to start a Bolivian odyssey, and tourists generally put aside at least a few days to explore its fascinating museums, markets, and buildings.
Located on Calle Jiminez and Linares between Sagarnaga and Santa Cruz in Las Paz, this bizarre, sprawling collection of stalls sells an assortment of goods for the spirit world including amulets, magical potions, herbs, dried snakes and frogs, and Llama fetuses. Address: La Paz Phone: +591-866-733-5272 (La Paz Tourist Office) Website: www.lapaz.bo
The central plaza of La Paz is a magnificent open space in the heart of the city. Prominent buildings include the Presidential Palace, the National Congress of Bolivia, and the Cathedral of La Paz. Murillo is a great place to start a day of sightseeing, as well as an ideal spot for people watching. Address: La Paz Phone: +591-866-733-5272 (La Paz Tourist Office) Website: www.lapaz.bo
This small, charming town on the shore of Lake Titicaca is transformed with color and music every February as pilgrims from all over descend on the area for a festival in honor of the Virgin. A truly Bolivian spectacle and an event any visitor to the country should try to experience. Address: Manco Kapac Province, Bolivia Phone: n/a Website: www.copacabana-bolivia.com
This mysterious, pre-Columbus archaeological site in western Bolivia is located near the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca in Ingavi Province about 72 kms west of La Paz. The surrounding ruins of the ancient city and the formation of the Nazca Lines still baffle archaeologists. Address: Ingavi Province Telephone: n/a Website: www.bolivia-tourism.com
At one time the most important city in South America, Potosi was the source of Spain’s great wealth of silver. Located at the foot of the Cerro Rico, the mountain can be seen from virtually any street in the city. The immense wealth that created the town has long since departed, but the legacy remains. A mine tour is a fascinating way to understand the effort and hardship previous generations endured to obtain this precious metal in Bolivia. Address: Tomas Frias Province Phone: n/a Website: www.potosi.bo
Located about 75 miles (120 kms) southwest of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the foothills of the Andes, Samaipata has two main attractions, El Fuerte de Samaipata (an important pre-Incan site) and Amboro National Park. It’s also the first stop on most of the main Bolivian hiking trails from Sucre to Potosi, and the ever popular Che Guevara route. Address: Santa Cruz Province Phone: n/a Website: www.samaipata.info