Journeys worth taking

Bolivia

Secrets of the Bolivian Altiplano

Epic journeys

Explore the Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, Lake Titicaca and the Rain Forest

Lodging

Hotels, Eco Lodges,

Nights

9 Days / 8 Nights

Trip Details

Privately guided

Price

$3,695 per person

Transport

Overland, Flights

Pygmy miles

6,295

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

Explore Bolivia and the natural treasures it holds. Along this 9 day itinerary, you will experience the famous Salar de Uyuni (the Salt Lake), La Paz, the Amazon rainforest and Lake Tititcaca. The trip starts with a pick up in Puno, Peru and ends with a transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, making it a perfect middle leg while visiting all three countries. This trip is customizable, so we can extend, shorten or add other experiences so that it fits your budget, preferences and desires. Unique experiences like staying in an Air Stream on the Salar de Uyuni or biking the Death Road are optional add ons that will make your trip to Bolivia truly an epic journey. 

 

Activities

Mountain biking

Muster you courage and bike down the infamous "Death Road", which passes through 3 different climate zones and gives awe inspiring views of the Andes.

Ancient Ruins

Explore Iñaq Uyu on the island of Isla de la Luna, a burial site for Incan woman of noble blood dated from 1,000 to 1,500 AD.

Wildlife Viewing

Explore the bio diverse rainforest of Madidi National Park. Jaguars, sloths, vicuñas, pumas, spectacled bears, pink river dolphins, and the recently discovered titi monkey count among the animals that inhabit the area.

In the Altiplano, you will have the chance to see Andean Foxes, Vicuna and Flamingoes.

Boat

Glide across the still waters of Lake Titicaca aboard a hydrofoil.

Place

Bolivia is a place that feels different. There is a sense of magic in the air. It's inaccessibility compared to many parts of South America furthers it's allure to the intrepid traveler. It's bounty includes the Pantanal, historic jesuit missions, the colonial charm of Sucre, the checkered history of the Potosi Mine, the otherworldly landscape of the Salar de Uyuni, the floating reed villages of Lake Titicaca and the bustling, yet cultural significant La Paz. Truly an under appreciated South America destination. 

Lake Titicaca 

Stradling both Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable body of water in the world. Explore Moon Island and the Sun Virgins Temple “Iñak Uyu". Glide across the still and reflective waters of Lake Titicaca and visit the Inca Grand Stairs. 

Chalalan

Meet the Uchupiamonas, caretakers of this stretch of the Amazon. Here, you can explore the forest with local indigenious guides who will help you spot the plethora of wildlife including howler monkeys, spider monkeys, tapirs, deer, capybaras, frogs, lizards and maybe even jaguars. 

La Paz

At an altitude of 11,942 feet, La Paz is a city with both interesting geographical attractions and cultural ones to boot. An option exists to bike down the infamous North Yungas road, aka "The Death Road", that takes you through 3 different habitats on a adrenaline filled mountain bike ride. Other attractions include Moon Valley, the Witches Market and Chacaltaya, an easily climbed mountain that stands 5,395 meters (17,785 feet) high. 

Salar de Uyuni.

Here, 10 billion tons of salt lie perfectly flat, allowing one to play easily with the perspective in photos. The Salt flats, and the surrounding altiplano, with it's colorful lakes, diverse wildlife featuring vicuna and flamingoes and towering volcanoes, make this part of the trip one that you will not soon forget. 

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Day-1

puno – copacabana – moon island – sun island - / l / d

Overland journey from Puno (Peru) to Copacabana (Bolivia), located at the shores of Lake Titicaca. Once in Copacabana, visit to the shrine and the Dark Indian Virgin”. Hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island, visit the Sun Virgins Temple “Iñak Uyu”. Continue to Sun Island, to visit the Pilcocaina Sun Temple. Enjoy a Llama trek to the hotel. Lunch upon arrival; the afternoon is at leisure to explore the bucolic surroundings. Dinner and overnight at the cozy “Posada del Inca” Eco Lodge

Day-2

sun island – COCOTONI – HUATAJATA – LA PAZ B / l / -

Breakfast and morning at leisure; around noon, visit the Inca “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain; taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness. Lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological Restaurant; Visit the small handicraft market. Hydrofoil cruise to Cocotoni. Overland to Huatajata. On arrival, visit the Andean Roots Eco Village: The Altiplano Museum; Handicrafts village, the Mud Igloos and the mortuary towers of the Urus Chipayas. Meet the Limachi family, builders of the RA II and Tigris for epic expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean. See our elegant vicuñas, llamas, alpacas and the mythical Suri. Enjoy the overland journey to your hotel in La Paz, by a road running parallel to the mighty snowed peaks of the Andes. Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel.

Day-3

LA PAZ-RURRENABAQUE-CHALALAN L/D

Transfer from your hotel to the airport to catch your flight to Rurrenabaque.
Rurrenabaque.- Reception at the airport and Boat trip on the Beni and Tuichi rivers into Madidi National Park. Short hike from the river shore to Chalalan Lodge. Accomodation and lunch. In the afternoon relax, swim, or have a Canoe ride on Chalalan Lake. In the evening briefing about Madidi National Park and the San Jose de Uchupiamonas community. After dinner, night walk to observe the nocturnal rainforest life: frogs, birds, night animals and insects. Overnight at the Chalalan Lodge.

Day-4

CHALALAN LODGE B/L/D

In the morning hike along the Silvador, & Almendrillo trails. Themes of the hike: medicinal herbs, fruits and exotic plants. Lunch upon your return. In the afternoon relax, swim, or have a Canoe ride on Chalalan Lake. In the evening, learn from local didactic games or admire the guidebooks library. After dinner, night trek on the Wichi trails. Theme: Rainforest materials used to make handicrafts, bird watching and palm trees. Overnight at the Chalalan Lodge

Day-5

CHALALAN LODGE-RURRENBAQUE-LA PAZ B/L/D

Hike to the Tuichi River port for your boat trip back to Rurrenabaque. Transfer to the airport for your local flight to La Paz, upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel.

Day-6

Half day City Tour of La Paz and Moon Valley B

The City of La Paz and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where any corner, any street, is a hidden treasure where adventure begins; a living history which treasures the pre-Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic rites on its streets. The indigenous, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Witch Doctor's Market & breathtaking panoramas are all framed by the majestic "Illimani" mountain. Visit the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon. The city tour includes the cable car ride. For a small additional cost, you can substitute the infamous "Death Road" or add another day in La Paz and enjoy both experiences. Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel.

Day-7

LA PAZ – uyuni – salt lake – incahuasi –colchani B / L / D

Transfer from your hotel to the airport to catch your flight to Uyuni, on arrival transfer in. Continue to Colchani where you can see how the salt is processed, then we are going to visit “Ojos de Agua” and the Salt Museum. Uyuni is the largest salt flat on Earth, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano with 12.000 square Km; the Bolivian Andes offer stunning sceneries which can be hardly matched. The sound of silence makes the heart beats faster and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky, the color lagoons, the cacti and the flamingos, certainly makes you feel that there is no other place like this in the whole world. Visit Isla Pescado, also called “Incahuasi”, an oasis with formations of algae and fossils. It is covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti, which can be more than a hundred years old, growing to a height of over 12 mtrs. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography hunters. Lunch is included for today. After the tour, transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight at a Salt Hotel. Option exists to add a night in a Air Streamer for a luxurious and unique experience.

Day-8

COLCHANI – thunupa volcano – colchani B / BX / D

After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to the small village of Tahua, at the foot of Thunupa Volcano. Stroll through the village and hike to the cave of the Coquesa Mummies. Box Lunch is included. Dinner and overnight at a Salt Hotel.

Day-9

COLCHANI – MAJOR LAGOONS – SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA B / BX / D

Overland journey to Laguna Colorada, with an area of 60 km2, at an altitude of 4,278 mtrs. It is characterized by the red tone of its waters and it is inhabited by three species of flamingoes: tokoko -with red plumage-; chururu -with whitish plumage- and jututu, with pink plumage. The scenery is exceptionally beautiful and it is considered to be the most important flamingo watching site in the region. Also Vicuñas, Llamas and Vizcachas can be seen. Box lunch included. Continue to “Sol de Mañana” Geysers, with fumaroles and volcanic craters of spectacular formation, covering 1 Km2, featuring intense volcanic and fumaroles activity. The crater bottoms display boiling lava; the fumaroles emit spouts of mixed water and superheated steam reaching 80 to 100 mtrs height; this phenomena displays a landscape dating from the beginning of the earth. This geothermal field is located at an altitude of 4.900 mtrs. Continue to Green lagoon, which water surface has the appearance of a giant emerald. From this Lagoon there is an impressive view of Licancabur Volcano, at an altitude of 5,865 mtrs. The special brightness of the green waters in the afternoon is dazzling. The intensely green coloring is due to their high magnesium content. After the tour transfer to Hito Cajon. Change of vehicles at the border. Continue to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. Arrangements can also be made to return to the Uyuni airport for flights out.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Motorized Vehicle
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
6295pygmy miles

Total Pygmy Miles

Pygmy Miles can be redeemed in 5,000 mile increments of $25 - either for a discount off a future trip or given to a charity of your choosing.

Accommodation

 

Posada del Inca Eco Lodge

Lake Titicaca

The charming Posada del Inca Eco-Lodge is located at the top of the Sun Island and surrounded by pastoral sceneries and the majesty of the snowed peaks of the Andes. This is one of a few places on earth where you can still breathe the authenticity of an unspoiled nature. This old restored Hacienda has 20 rooms, all with modern facilities: electric blankets, private bath, hot water, individual heating and the most breathtaking panorama of the Sacred Lake Titicaca.

In the old Lounge & Bar enjoy the warm and cozy atmosphere with the dancing flames of the fire place.

Casa Grande Hotel

La Paz

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Casa Grande Hotel is located in the heart of the South Zone, the residential district of La Paz. Upon arrival you will feel our commitment to quality reflected in our innovative architecture, inspiring spaces with eclectic decor and cozy rooms.

Chalalan Eco Lodge

SAN JOSÉ DE UCHUPIAMONAS

The Ecolodge offers three types of accommodation; luxurious cabins with double beds and private bathrooms (3 in total), twin/triples rooms with private bathroom (7 in total), and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities (4 of them). All of the accommodation is equipped with mosquito nets, bedside tables, wardrobes, comfortable armchairs, verandas, balconies and hammocks where you can relax and read.
Read more

Salt Hotel

Salar de Uyuni

Located on the banks of the majestic Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, just 25 km from the city of the same name, you will find the Palacio de sal hotel, unique in its class for being entirely built with salt: walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, sculptures ... everything! The 9 double (for marriage) rooms of the 30 in total that the hotel has, have an unique beauty that stands out with its igloo shaped roofs built with salt blocks. With the comfort of first-class hotels, the rooms have private bathroom, hot and cold water and central or electric heating, combined with beds, walls and ceilings of salt.

Practical info

Price

Price per person based on double occupancy: $3,695

 

This trip includes:
  • Consultation, packing and preparation support.
  • Transfers and services on PRIVATE BASIS
  • Services in Lake Titicaca on SHARED BASIS
  • Accommodation based on double room
  • Excursions as noted in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Mentioned meals: B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / BL: Box Lunch / D: Dinner
  • Guide in ENGLISH Language
This trip does not include: 
  • International and domestic flights
  • All relevant visa fees and departure taxes.
  • Meals not mentioned
  • All drinks (unless otherwise indicated) will be billed on consumption
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips of any kind
  • Anything not listed in the program

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

May through October is the winter season in Bolivia and also the dry season. This is a popular time of year for travelers to visit the region. Going at the beginning or end of this time period can be a good strategy as the weather is a bit warmer. During November through April, the rains come and some parts of the Amazon become impassable and the bugs become much more prevalent. However, it is during the rainy season that the mirror effect can occur in the Salar de Uyuni. It's, however, not a guarantee so planning your vacation just for this effect can sometimes be a frustrating affair. Also, because of the weather, in January and February, some operators warn that they may have to alter the tour due to impassable sections of the Salar. 

How

Privately guided

This tour is with private experiences and transfers, except for on Lake Titicaca which is a shared experience. The private attention, flexibility and quality guides comes at a premium, however for a once in a lifetime trip, it is well worth the extra bill. If you are looking for shared experiences, please mention this in your inquiry. 

Service categories

Pygmy Itineraries

From Scratch

This itinerary has been designed by Pygmy Elephant. We work with local partners to create the tour, which is then locally supported. The Pygmy Itinerary can be lightly customized including different hotels and experiences in each location.

If you would like to add in or substitute other destinations to the itinerary, we can develop a “From Scratch” journey that is created just for you. 

Pygmy Itinerary includes:

  • Tailoring of Itinerary:​ ­after an initial consultation, we will dive into tailoring the journey so it is unique to you. We can change out hotels, offer different experiences, increase time spent at a destination and change the type of transfers, however if you would like to change the destinations, then you should choose A From Scratch itinerary.
  • Pre­-departure support:​ we help you choose what to pack, arrange travel insurance if necessary and inform on travel advisors.
  • 24 hour customer service:​ if something goes wrong, we have your back.
  • Pygmy Miles:​ receive discounts off future travel.
  • Price Transparency: ​we break the price down to each payable line item.
  • We book all activities, transfers, hotels, flights, guides & provide 24 hrs customer service during your trip.

From Scratch inlcudes all of the above, plus:

  • Deep evaluation of your travel wishes. After consultation, we will then present three trip ideas for your review. 
  • Redefining the fit: After discussing the trip ideas, we will then create two personalized mini-website itineraries just for you.
  • Final Cuts: Based on the itinerary that you choose, we will conduct further in depth research to refine and give your trip the final touches that match your tastes and preferences.

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : Low

Mental Strength

Level : Medium

Physical Conditioning

Level : Medium

Most of this trip requires no technical skills. If you choose to bike the North Yungas Road, no previous mountain biking experience is required. Still, you should be comfortable riding a bike.

Biking the North Yungas Road can be physiologically difficult for some people, mainly because of the omninous moniker that it has picked up over the years. In reality, the road is not technically difficult and can be easily managed by even beginners. Bolivia is also a bit more off the beaten path of the tourist trail in South America. However, with private guides and transfers, you are in good hands. 

The high altitude of the Altiplano can also cause some people discomfort. Avoid hiking or strenuous activity within the first days of arrival in the Altiplano. Thus, the physical requirement is a bit more than a standard tour at sea level. 

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.