Most travelers enter Bolivia from Peru, first arriving at the lakeside town of Copacabana. Even if you’ve just spent several days in Puno, don’t even think about skipping the Bolivian side of the lake.
Copacabana doesn’t require an overnight stay, though it is worth checking out South America’s most beloved virgin inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, as well as the Blessing of the Automobiles if the timing is right. Other worthwhile activities include hiking to the top of Cerro Calvario for amazing views or paddling around the lake in a canoe.
Don’t dally too long, though, because Isla del Sol is where it’s at. Ferries leave twice per day between the two locales, and a variety of accommodation is available on the island. Much of the island could be off limits due to a community dispute, but you could at least grab dinner at Las Velas and do some hiking the next day.
La Paz has numerous attractions to explore as well as a myriad of worthwhile hikes just outside the city. At the very least, be sure to go for a ride on the teleferico, shop for spells at the witches market, and peruse some of the city museums. Come nighttime, party animals can take advantage of the city’s boisterous nightlife.
A must for many travelers is cycling down the World’s Most Dangerous Road, a hair-raising descent that takes in breathtaking views. The full-day trip is notoriously dicey, so choose your tour company carefully and try not to fall off the edge.
Other worthy attractions include the alienesque Valle de la Luna or a walking tour of the city’s impressive colonial architecture. Thursday and Sunday see the hilarious Cholitas Wrestling and expansive Feria de 16 de Julio, which can be easily combined.
Next stop, Uyuni, which is accessible through an overnight bus or morning flight.
A trip to the famed Salar de Uyuni is an essential part of any Bolivian itinerary, and it’s worth doing the longer three-day excursion even if you’re short on time. After gallivanting across the surreal landscapes of this otherworldly region, spend the night in the town of Uyuni for a proper night’s sleep.
Now it’s time to take a quick bus to Potosi.
Spend the rest of the day at leisure checking out the Casa de Moneda or having a soak in the nearby hot springs before retiring for the evening.
Now that you’re well rested, take a morning tour deep into the depths of the notorious Cerro Rico silver mine. In this labyrinth of dark narrow tunnels, the Spanish conquistadores worked millions of slaves to death in search of silver to fund their war machine. Despite nearing depletion, thousands of Bolivian miners still work here in abhorrent conditions.
Once you’ve washed off all the dust from the mines, grab a trufi (shared taxi) to Bolivia’s constitutional capital, the whitewashed colonial masterpiece of Sucre.
Given you’ve been moving at a lightning pace the last two weeks, spend some time just soaking up the sunshine as you meander among these picturesque colonial streets.
Be sure to sample some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes and perhaps enjoy a beer or two after dark.
So there we have it. Two weeks in Bolivia. We trust you had a ball.