Sometimes compared to Tibet, Bolivia is a large, landlocked and sparsely populated country. But what it lacks in statistics it more than makes up for in cultural, geographical and geological riches. The highest Latin American republic boasts soaring Andean peaks, Lake Titicaca , sweeping savannahs and swathes of pristine rainforest.
Ancient Indigenous Cultures
With over 50% of the population indigenous, Bolivia has the least changing population on the continent and therefore offers an excellent opportunity to view the remnants of ancient civilization embodied in life today as well as in the old Colonial cities, traditional villages and occasional ruins scattered across the landscape. La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, is set in a most impressive landscape – straddling the Altiplano at 3,900 metres (12,795 feet) and a deep valley 500 metres (1,640 feet) below. It is a true melting pot, the ideal place to witness the native Aymara and Quechua people going about their business wearing the traditional dress of multi-coloured skirts and bowler hats.
Magnificent Landscapes and Pristine Rainforest
In a land of extremes, Bolivia is an adventurers dream – but you needn’t be a hardened adventurer to enjoy it, as your safety and comfort is our priority every step of the way. Marvel at the Daliesque scenery as you drive in a 4×4 across the largest salt flats in the world at Salar de Uyuni, and explore the coloured lagoons which fringe the Atacama desert . Or, trek the magnificent peaks of the Cordillera range. Lake Titicaca is Bolivia’s best known attraction, 72 kilometres (45 miles) from La Paz. Stretching for 8,300 square kilometres (3,204 square miles) and standing 3,812 metres (12,506 feet) above sea level, the Lake has been home for the Quechua and Aymara peoples for centuries, and the area is exceptionally rich in folk tradition.
Over 11% of national territory is protected park land and it covers an enormous variety of geology and ecosystems. The Madidi National Park is sometimes overlooked by those planning to travel to a rainforest. In northwestern Bolivia, bordering Peru, the moist jungle in this 1.5 million hectare park is home to alligators, piranhas, anacondas, freshwater dolphins, monkeys and many hundreds of species of birds. While, in northeastern Bolivia, the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, at 1.6 million hectares, the size of Massachusetts, is said to have been the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. It has one of the highest densities of wildlife in the world with over 640 bird and 130 mammal species recorded.
Inside Bolivia with the experts
Being South America’s most enigmatic country can sometimes translate to chaos and a lack of infrastructure in reality. Because we are based next door in Peru, Aracari can assist you on the ground in Bolivia, proactively adapting to fairly inevitable changes in your plans when local difficulties come into play. Our insider knowledge has also allowed us to select small, charming and comfortable lodges and hotels for our guests to stay at, each conveying something of the local depth and richness of the Bolivian heritage.