7 days in Bolivia

Old Sep 26th, 2018, 08:02 PM
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7 days in Bolivia

We are planning go visit Bolivia for a week, flying in and out of La Paz from NYC on Nov 1, returning Nov 10. Any suggestions on a good itinerary? Is a week decent amount of time at all or are we rushing it? We only have one week of vacation.
Also have 18 hours of layover in Lima both ways - would also love some insight on how to spend those few hours!

Specific questions:

1) Are the salt flats worth visiting in Nov? I know we won't get the whole reflection thing but other than that is early Nov a good time to go? Should we be worried about flooding?
2) Which tour company would you recommend for the salt tours (English)and what's a reasonable price to pay? Is bargaining expected? Should we book them way in advance from here or better to that once we got to La Paz?
3) Which should we stay in La Paz? Given our short amount of time I think it'd be best to stay somewhere in the city centre but wouldn't mind if it's not right in the centre so we also get to seem local areas
4) My sister is vegetarian (so no fish or meat or poultry, eggs are occasionally acceptable) - any restaurants/dishes that would cater to that?
gkay2500 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2018, 09:03 PM
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I am afraid you are rushing it somewhat for Bolivia partly because their is a huge amount to see in the country but also because of the altitude/acclimatisation issues you will need to consider. For info on altitude issues see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/altitude-sickness/ - I’m sure the cdc has something similar. Drugs like azcetalomide / Diamox may aid the process.

Lima airport is an hour out of the centre of the city on an average day so factor in transport and waiting times into your 18 hours.

Here is a link to Fodors list of things to do which is as good a place as any to start - https://www.fodors.com/world/south-a...s-to-do/sights

On one of te days I would probably head for Centro Historico to check out the Plaza de Armas, Plaza San Martin and Convento San Francisco for starters.

On your other day maybe check out Barranco/ Miraflores and possible Huaca Pucclana.

You will probably want to pre arrange transport to and from the airport. taxidatum.com are good.

1. Early November is perhaps not the best time but far from the worst. It is at the beginning of the rainy season ( usually) so flooding shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

2. We have gone with Tupiza Tours both times we have been but I don’t think they operate out of Uyuni. From La Paz I would look at https://www.banjotours.com . We used them in La Paz for a city tour and they were excellent. Some details of tha tour, which I would recommend for La Paz, are on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/bolivia/ there is also a lot of stuff about our Uyuni trips there.

3. I would normally stay close to the centre of La Paz around the witches market or Iglesia de San Francisco but the south of the city is a little lower and may be beneficial from an acclimatisation point. Best to spend a couple of nights in LP before heading to the altiplano which is the last place you want to get sick!

4. I am not a vegetarian so other may be better able to advise on that. On a Salar tour they take all the food with them for the tour so you will need to advise them in advance so they can buy what you need before departing. We found the food to be surprisingly good on the tours, especially given the conditions in which they have to prepare it.

NB tours can be either on a shared or private basis. If there are just two of you, it may be cheaper to do a shared tour but some companies will put 5 or more people into one jeep which can be extremely uncomfortable so it would be worth considering paying extra for a private tour - basically you just pay for 4 people.
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Old Sep 29th, 2018, 08:40 PM
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November should be fine for the flats, and probably not as cold as other times.

You do not have to go out of Tupiza if your time is short.. I would fly round trip La Paz to Uyuni and take one of the 3 day/2night tours.. Agree it's a good idea to spend a few nights in La Paz in the beginning to help acclimate..and do the diamox thing. And yes, the upscale , lower down part of La Paz may be a better option to start. But do a lot of walking around duing the day, to help with acclimitization. PS Buy some coca leaves in La Paz..for your driver if not yourselves!

The second night of our tour they served pasta, breakfast could be things like pancakes or cereal and toast. You will be able to find pizza in towns and probably plain pasta and rice, as well as french fries. (IIRCthink they stop on the way back to Uyuni near a pizza restaurant) but should bring supplemental food ..snacks eg peanuts for the vegetarian.) Food that might seems safe might be made with lard or a meat stock (eg humitas, empanadas, and soups). There might be some fruit on offer but I'd also bring from La Paz as our apples were mostly rotten!

There is a travel agent in La Paz that books mid-range Salt flat tours from Uyuni and should be able to help with flights.


LIma..good advice from crellston.
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