Bolivia & Peru in 6 weeks
Enjoy Bolivia's en Peru's beautiful landscapes, traveling by (overnight) buses and by car to get the most out of your time :) !
- Airplane Home - Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 1 - 2 Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
You will start your trip in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where you can recover from your journey. The most important square is Plaza 24 de Septiembre, where people are playing chess or sitting in the shadow. It's nice to just sit here for a few hours and watch Bolivian life go by. For example the kids who polish people's shoes or the men who bring around coffee. You will also find the Cathedral over here (picture) and a nice Irish pub. There aren't many important sights in Santa Cruz but you can certainly enjoy yourself by walking around one or two days. You could go to Parque Avion Pirata. It's a park with a plane in the middle of it. The local legend says it belonged to drug smugglers. The aircraft was in difficulty, so they had to land in the middle of the city. They were arrested on this square and the police left the aircraft as a warning for other drug smugglers. It's also nice to visit the Bolivian markets; a real culture shock! A nice park to visit is Parque El Arenal.
- Bus Santa Cruz de la Sierra - Samaipata
Day 3 - 5 Samaipata
Samaipata is a small village in a beautiful setting. A hostel (and camping) I would really recommend is El Jardin, owned by a Bolivian-Belgian couple. You can relax a bit in the hammocks over here and have conversations with the other (hippie-like) guests. A day trip I would really recommend is a combined trip to Unesco World Heritage Site El Fuerta (made by the Incas, see picture) and the Las Cuevas waterfalls. I booked this trip with Ben Verhoef (a Dutch guy living in Samaipata), who tells beautiful stories about the history of the sites, but also about Bolivian people and culture. We also booked the Che Guevara route with Ben Verhoef. During this tour you will follow the last steps of Che Guevara traveling from Samaipata to Sucre. First stop during this route is Vallegrande, where you visit the Che Guevara museum and the hospital where Che was exposed after he was executed. You will also visit the graveyard of Che and his fellow fighters. You will stay the night in La Higuera, the small village where Che was killed. We made a stop a the secluded La Pajcha waterfall as well. You stay the night in Villa Serrano, where you can see the biggest charango in the world. On your way to Sucre you can make a stopover at a beautiful canyon/gorge, to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You will end your trip in Sucre (current website of Ben Verhoef: http://www.kaleidoscope-travel.com)
- Car Samaipata - Sucre
Day 8 - 10 Sucre
Sucre is Bolivia's "white city". For the Dutchies; in cafe Florin you can eat bitterballen! In Sucre you should really visit Convento de San Felipe Neri. Make sure you go to the roof, because you will have a beautiful view over the surroundings. If you're interested, there is also a dinosaur park in the neighbourhood. Sucre is the chocolate capital of Bolivia, so make sure you try some! From Sucre you can make an easy day trip to the Tarabuco market. Nice place to buy some souvenirs.
- Bus Sucre - Potosi
Day 12 - 13 Potosi
Potosi is known for the silver mines. When you're not claustrophobic make sure to do a mine tour. If you are claustrophobic it's still nice to join a tour, because you will see the places where the silver is processed, you will meet some miners and they will detonate dynamite! Potosi is a nice place to walk around. You can the San Francisco church and see a lot of colonial buildings.
- Bus Potosi - Uyuni
Day 14 - 16 Uyuni
Uyuni itself isn't a real nice place, but it's thé place where you start your salt flat tour. Visit the Train Cemetery, the Cactus Island, stay the night in a salt hotel, play with perspectives while making photographs at the saltflats, see old coral reefs in the desert and enjoy the natural hot springs...
- Bus Uyuni - Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Day 18 - 21 Nuestra Señora de La Paz
La Paz is the capital of Bolivia, one of the highest capitals in the world! If it's still possible I would really recommend to visit the San Pedro prison. There are no official tours, but when you ask around in your hostel, you might find some fellow backpackers where to book a tour. It's really impressive to be guided around by an inmate and see the prison life. I would also really recommend reading the book "Marching Powder" before visiting the prison. I haven't felt unsafe at all! In La Paz you can also book a tour to mountainbike Death Road. If you aren't really a thrill seeker, you can visit the Coca Museum, which is really interesting! Another nice place to visit is the Witches' Market, where they sell amulets, dries lama fetuses and other strange stuff. Visit Iglesia de San Francisco and the Cathedral and Parliament building at Plaza Murillo. Nices cafes to visit are Sol y Luna and Luna's Cafe
- Car Nuestra Señora de La Paz - Copacabana
Day 22 - 24 Copacabana
Copacabana is a nice place to visit Isla del Sol from. Because of the bad weather we couldn't, but there are nice sights to visit in Copacabana as well. There is a beautiful Cathedral for example. It's worth the effort to climb Nino Calvario, because the view is amazing!
- Bus Copacabana - Cusco
Day 26 Cusco
Visit the Santo Domingo church (both catholic and Inca archictecture). You can also take a walk to Saqsaywaman (backpackers call it Sexy Woman), an Inca site. Cuzco is a really nice place just to walk around; small and cosy streets, relaxed atmosphere. Visit the Cathedral (the Catholic faith is mixed with elements from the Inca culture).
- Car Cusco - Ollantaytambo
Day 27 Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is really touristy, but has a nice Inca site.
- Train Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes
Day 28 Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes is the most horrible place in the world, but you are here to visit Machu Picchu. Make sure to get out of bed really really early (around 3 or 4 AM), so you can get into the park early.
- Train Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo
Day 29 Ollantaytambo
- Bus Ollantaytambo - Cusco
- Car Cusco - Arequipa
Day 31 - 32 Arequipa
In Arequipa you can book a tour to the Colca Canyon. We did two day tour, but that really is too short! I would really recommend visiting Monasterio de Santa Catalina, where you can learn a lot about the way nuns live(d) here. Then visit Museo Santury where the body of Inca princess Juanita is laid out.
- Car Arequipa - Nazca
Day 34 Nazca
Book a flight to fly over the famous Nazca lines (Unesco World Heritage Site) !
- Bus Nazca - Ica
Directly take a taxi to Huacachina from here.
- Car Ica - Huacachina
Day 35 - 36 Huacachina
Huacachina is built around a small oasis. It is the place for relaxing :). Climb the sand dunes for a great view over the village. Definitely book a sandboarding tour or let you drive around in a sandbuggy. You can also book a wine tour to taste the Peruvian wines and piscos (WARNING: you must like sweet ;))
- Bus Huacachina - Pisco
Day 37 Pisco
Pisco is a depressing place but from here you can easily visit Islas Ballestas (which is also called "the poor men's Galapagos"). When you book a tour, a speed boat will bring you to the Islas Ballestas. Along the way you will stop at the Candelabra (an Incasite as well).
- Bus Pisco - Lima
Day 38 - 40 Lima
A nice area to stay is Barranco; a little bit out of the city center. In Lima, visit Monasteria de San Francisco; especially the catacombs! The museum of the Spanish Inquisition is nice, but at the time there was no explanation in English. Visit Plaza de San Martin with a statue of Madre Patria. The maker was instructed to give her a crown of flames, but nobody thought about it that flame in Spanish is also lama.. Now Madre Patria has a little lama on her head. If you need something to fill your time you can also visit the fountain park. It's not spectacular, but a nice evening filling. Take a stroll on the boulevard of Miraflores, visit Parque del Amor (the same style as Parcu Guell in Barcelona) and enjoy the colonial buildings of Lima. If you're a bit of a thrill seeker, you can also go paragliding (at Miraflores).
- Airplane Lima - Home
- Day 1 - 2 Santa Cruz de la Sierra
- Day 3 - 5 Samaipata
- Day 6 - 7 Samaipata - Sucre
- Day 8 - 10 Sucre
- Day 11 Sucre - Potosi
- Day 12 - 13 Potosi
- Day 14 - 16 Uyuni
- Day 17 Uyuni - Nuestra Señora de La Paz
- Day 18 - 21 Nuestra Señora de La Paz
- Day 22 - 24 Copacabana
- Day 25 Copacabana - Cusco
- Day 26 Cusco
- Day 27 Ollantaytambo
- Day 28 Aguas Calientes
- Day 29 Ollantaytambo
- Day 30 Cusco - Arequipa
- Day 31 - 32 Arequipa
- Day 33 Arequipa - Nazca
- Day 34 Nazca
- Day 35 - 36 Huacachina
- Day 37 Pisco
- Day 38 - 40 Lima