Bolivia Highlights

Trip Code: GGSV

Why we love it

See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you., Empty, haunting, and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert., Choose to explore the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Valle de la Luna, a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires that feels like the surface of the Moon., Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre., Delve into the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi – once one of the richest cities in the world.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important information on this. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure.

In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn't happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility.

Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. Temperatures in the area can be very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothes with you. Meals are simple, toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold, and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. This is all part of the adventure. Without a doubt, this amazing experience will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America.

Please note that this trip can be joined with other adventures into a ‘combination trip’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today, and some may carry on to further destinations at the end of this tour. If you’d like to spend more time in South America, have a look at the combination trips that include this trip’s itinerary: Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 3 (Salar de Uyuni) and Day 4 (Desierto Siloli) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. The excursion to Uyuni salt lake is on a shared basis and your group size may be larger than 12 travellers.
3. Nationals from the USA and South Africa need a visa to enter Bolivia and we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border. Please see the visa information on these Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.
4. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance and transport tickets. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
5. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1.
6. Parts of your trip go above 2800m/9200ft where it is common for travellers to experience health effects due to altitude. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness prior to travel and see your doctor if you have health concerns.
 

What to bring/pack

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:, ESSENTIAL:
- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, RECOMMENDED:
- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments
- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and band-aids.
- Insect repellent
- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
- Swimwear
-Sleeping bag: Night time temperatures are often well into the minuses it can often get as cold as -5 degrees. Blankets are provided however due to the extreme weather conditions we strongly recommend that you either rent or bring your own sleeping bag.
Sleeping bags can be rented in Uyuni for the 3-day tour for about 10 USD (total cost, not per day).
- Warm clothes: Thermal underclothes, being small and light, a light water and windproof jacket
-Travel Towel: We recommend bringing a travel towel for the Uyuni part of this trip as we can't always guarantee towels will be provided at your stay in the basic accommodation.

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
- Phrase book

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

LAUNDRY
Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Qantu Hotel, Illampu No. 740, La Paz – Bolivia, La Paz, BOLIVIA

Joining instructions

740 Illampu Ave.
Zona El Rosario - La Paz
Phone: +59177793555

Finishing your trip

Qantu Hotel, Illampu No. 740, La Paz – Bolivia, La Paz, BOLIVIA

740 Illampu Ave.
Zona El Rosario - La Paz
Phone: +59177793555

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

UYUNI MEALS
It's important to note that the 'standard' of meals may not be as you would find in major cities like La Paz as people eat a very simple diet here. Please expect meals to be quite basic in this remote part of the world.

Climate & seasonal information

Night time temperatures during winter (May to August) on the Bolivian Altiplano are very cold and can drop to -30 Celsius.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +51 996 055 559 / +51 940 512 701

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Due to limited time and energy supply in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.

Transportation


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