Private Journeys

Signature Bolivia: The final frontier

14 days from £3,890pp

Bolivia

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Essentials

Transport

1 flight (1hr); 9 scenic road journeys.

Accommodation

The unique and characterful accommodation on this trip reflects Bolivia’s glorious multi-layered history and culture.

Our city hotels are converted colonial buildings with plenty of historic charm but modern comforts. This adventurous holiday also visits some remote locations where accommodation options are limited, however we have selected what in our view is the best available and some have considerable charm, including a hotel constructed from salt.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 4,8,11,12; dinner day 8 full board days 3,4,9,12. Some lunches are packed box lunches.

Summary Of Nights

14 days, 13 nights: Santa Cruz 2; Vallegrande 1; Villa Serrano 1 ; Sucre 2; Potosí 1; Uyuni 2; La Paz 2 ; Sun Island 1 ; La Paz 1.

Journey Grade

There are a few long days of travel on this trip, but as for the most part you have private transport you will have maximum comfort and can make a stop at will.

If you have a disability or other special requirements, please contact us.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Climate

The climate in Santa Cruz is tropical and humid, with temperatures rising to 40°C in the summer months of Dec-Mar. It can rain at any time, but there is also plenty of sun. As you climb into the mountains on your journey towards Sucre the air is fresher and temperatures significantly lower.

Most rain falls Dec-Mar in both Sucre and Potosí: there is a little less sunshine in this period in what are otherwise sunny cities. Potosí is at a higher altitude and can be very cold at night, especially in Jun-Jul.

On the salt flats, most rain falls between January and April when the roads can be very muddy and the itinerary around Uyuni is subject to change. The dry season, Jun-Sep, guarantees sun and an easy drive across the flats, but it’s cold at night with temperatures falling below zero.

The weather in La Paz and Lake Titicaca is dry from late Apr-Oct with daytime temperatures in the high teens/low 20s° C in the sun. Dec-Jan (nominally summer) can be cloudy, and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m).

Altitude

Your stays in Sucre (2,800m), Potosi (4,090m), Uyuni (3,656m), La Paz (3,632m) and Lake Titicaca (3,812m) are at high altitude. Because the trip gains altitude slowly, most people are only mildly affected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days at altitude), you should be OK. Symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes.

Clothing And Special Equipment

If you travel in the Andean dry season, May to October, it will be warm in the sunshine but at altitude chilly in the shade, and at night so you’ll need layered clothing, including fleece, hat, scarf and gloves. From November to April you can expect some rain so you should add waterproofs. In both seasons sunblock, sunglasses and good walking shoes or boots are necessary. Bring a little light loose clothing for the warmer climate in the lowland east.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns in both countries, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. There are many ATMs in Santa Cruz in La Paz and they are also present in Sucre and Potosí; in many you can withdraw pesos or US dollars. Select “Savings Account” from the menu, even for a debit card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

Since you are also visiting remote places with few facilities, we recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused.

Currency

The unit of currency in Bolivia it is the peso Boliviano.

Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets.  For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Water To Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Bolivia?

The weather can be a critical factor:  the altiplano highlands look their best in the sunlight Apr-Oct, in Dec-Jan it can be dull and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m). The lowlands of the east are hot and humid all year around. 

What's the official language of Bolivia?

Spanish.

What is the national currency of Bolivia?

Peso Boliviano. Notes in local currency (and in some cases US dollars), can be withdrawn from ubiquitous ATMs in principal cities and some smaller towns; there are many money exchanges (casas de cambio) and banks which exchange US dollars (a few accept euros or sterling but the rate may be poor).

When withdrawing money from an ATM using a debit card, you are offered a choice of account type from which to make your withdrawal: select 'Credit Card' (ie NOT Current account or Savings Account options).

What's the time difference between Bolivia and UK?

GMT -4 hrs.

What countries combine well with Bolivia?

A visit to Peru via Lake Titicaca, 122 km and a couple of hours' drive from La Paz; a holiday in Chile, entering the country via the dazzling salt lakes of Uyuni. 

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Bolivia?

Gran Poder:  La Paz, Late May/early Jun annually:  processions of groups of indigenous dancers in costume, with historical and cultural themes.

Carnival: Oruro, La Diablada, Feb-Mar: One of the most eye-catching on the continent, with parades of people in elaborate costumes.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Bolivia?

Much of Bolivia is occupied by stunning high Andean terrain, with La Paz at 3,500m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude.  If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.   

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Santa Cruz: Guided city tour
  • Samaipata: visit to el Fuerte Inca ruins
  • Visit to la Higuera, where Che Guevara had his last stand
  • Sucre: Guided city tour
  • Potosí: City tour and visit to the Spanish Imperial Mint museum
  • South Bolivia: Salar de Uyuni (salt flats)
  • La Paz: Guided city tour with cable-car trip
  • Lake Titicaca: Boat trip to Isla del Sol (Sun Island) via Moon Island
  • Guided visits on the islands

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Santa Cruz: Guided city tour
  • Samaipata: visit to el Fuerte Inca ruins
  • Visit to la Higuera, where Che Guevara had his last stand
  • Sucre: Guided city tour
  • Potosí: City tour and visit to the Spanish Imperial Mint museum
  • South Bolivia: Salar de Uyuni (salt flats)
  • La Paz: Guided city tour with cable-car trip
  • Lake Titicaca: Boat trip to Isla del Sol (Sun Island) via Moon Island
  • Guided visits on the islands

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

Meet the team