Bolivia is no doubt the most unique country I’ve ever visited. The indigenous culture is very strong and the country feels so authentic. Bolivia often gets overlooked by travelers, but it’s worth at least a couple of weeks on your South America itinerary.
It has so much diversity, and you can climb a 6,000-meter mountain one day and be in the Amazon the next. Bolivia is home to some of the best art in South America and some wild political history. Here is the best 1 month itinerary for Bolivia!
Bookaway is a great resource for traveling in Bolivia. You can compare the prices of both buses and flights, and secure your seat in advance!
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Days 1-3: Sucre
The relaxed UNESCO city is the perfect place to start your trip to Bolivia. Sucre is full of history, culture, and beautiful architecture. Plus, its lower altitude makes the acclimation process easier. One thing you can’t miss in Sucre is the phenomenal folklore dance show that Origins Cultural Space puts on every weekend.
Days 4-5: Potosí
Potosí is not the most glamorous place, but a visit here sure is an informative experience. It used to be the world’s second-largest city and the mine, known as Cerro Rico, produced 60% of the world’s silver. The main reason to visit is for a tour of the mine where you learn about the life of the miners. You’ll see firsthand the difficult working conditions and learn about the miners’ traditions.
Days 6-7: Tarija
Tarija is known for its wine, and having a few glasses while touring vineyards with other travelers is always a fun experience. A visit to Tarija is about more than wine, and you can make a day trip to Reserve Biológica Cordillera de Sama to hike along the Inca trails.
Days 8-11: Uyuni Salt Flats
This 12,000 square kilometer spectacle is said to be where heaven meets earth, and there’s no arguing with that statement. Sunrise and sunset at the Uyuni Salt Flats is the most spectacular thing I’ve seen in my life. The mirror effect that occurs during the wet season will make you feel like you’re on another planet.
This tour is about a whole lot more than the salt flats, where you only spend a day. You will see the incredible desert landscapes of the region which has geysers, lagoons, snow-capped peaks, and more. The typical 3-day tour hits all the highlights, but with a month in Bolivia, the 4-day tour that spends an extra day exploring the rugged scenery near Tupiza is a good choice.
Days 12-14: Copacabana
From Uyuni, take an overnight bus to La Paz and continue to the shores of Lake Titicaca. The town of Copacabana is nothing special, but the surrounding scenery is spectacular. Make the hike along the shoreline to the Yampupata Peninsula, where you can take a boat to Isla del Sol. The car-free island where the first Inca emerged from is a peaceful place to spend a night and go on a hike.
Days 15-17: Huayna Potosí
After 2 weeks in the country, you’ll be acclimated and ready to climb a 6,088-meter mountain. Reaching the summit for the sunrise is incredible, and it’s such a unique opportunity compared to the typical backpacker trail activities. Believe it or not, climbing Huayna Potosí requires no previous mountaineering experience. If you’re in hiking shape, you have a good chance of reaching the summit.
Days 18-25: La Paz
La Paz may be South America’s most unique city, and it’s one of the last big cities on the continent with strong indigenous culture. You can do just about everything in the strange and chaotic capital. Its city center is home to a prison run by the inmates and there are dead llamas for sale at the markets.
You can visit the largest market in South America and take in views of the city from the nine cable car lines. There are plenty of day trips including the famous death road bike tour. La Paz is a mix of old and new, and like much of Bolivia it has retained its authenticity. I love this city and it’s certainly deserving of more than a few days on your Bolivia itinerary.
Days 26-30: Rurrenabaque
Rurrenabaque is a popular destination for the opportunity to visit the wetlands (Las Pampas) and the Amazon jungle. The best way to visit is on a 3-day Pampas boat tour, and then spend 2 more days in the jungle. The highlight of the boat tour is swimming with pink dolphins, and you will also see plenty of monkeys, capybaras, and caimans.
One of the advantages of visiting the Amazon in Bolivia is that it’s accessible by bus whereas some popular Amazon destinations are only accessible by plane. This makes Rurrenabaque cheaper to visit and also allows for more flexibility on your trip.