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Bolivia

My week in Bolivia

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View Getting to know Chile & Exploring Patagonia & Into Argentina & A week in Bolivia on Rebecca Heller's travel map.

I arrived in La Paz with my tour group, pretty tired after 3 weeks on the go. We went for a short walking tour and when we got back to the hotel, Simon was waiting for me there.

Simon and I spent the next morning perusing the extensive Witches Market with Sean. You see near enough the same thing in every shop, for near enough the same price, and whilst haggling is a thing there, it turns out Simon and I are not that good at it. When you convert the savings we made it probably comes to all of about £5. If you want all the typical souvenirs though, this is the place to come!

We decided not to stay an extra night in La Paz and head to Uyuni that night since we didn't have all the time in the world, so off to the bus station we went.

It turns out the buses in Bolivia are not as nice or comfy as the ones in Peru but it was cheap so that made up for it. We arrived at Uyuni at an unsociable 4am and found ourselves in a cafe with other weary travellers, waiting for the travel agencies to open.

We had been advised that it was cheaper to book directly in Uyuni, rather than La Paz, and the best way to find a company was to ask for recommendations. Guide books and online advice all said it was best to pay a little more for the safety and quality of the tour and in the end we followed a recommendation to book the three day tour with Red Planet.

I don't know if it was cheaper in the end as this tour was pretty prices compared to the others, but it came highly recommended and ran in English. It also turned out to be the same tour as Doriano was on (Doriano was part of my previous tour group) so that was added fun!

I think it was totally worth the effort to pay a little extra, as we had a fun comprehensive tour that included the Salt Flats themselves, the Cactus Island, stays in a salt hotel, a hotel with hot springs for a midnight dip. They catered well for vegetarian and gluten free so I wasn't hungry - what more can you ask for?!

The only thing I really knew about this part of Bolivia was the salt desert where you take fun perspective photos (which we took lots of!), so the rest was a bonus. The landscape is spectacular, and by doing a three day tour I saw way more than I was expecting. We saw mountains, volcanoes, lakes (including a red lake), flamingos and more.

I also met people who had already been to places I was planning to visit in Patagonia and so I got a lot of good information and advice, especially about hiking in the Torres del Paine national park in Chile (all the advice was super helpful, as I'll explain in a later post!).

The only negative thing was that Simon wasn't feeling well, so we had him dosed up on medicine so that he could still enjoy the tour.

We decided to get a bus straight to the border with Argentina, rather than stay in Uyuni. We wanted to get to Buenos Aires sooner rather than later, so we endured nearly 48 hours on buses. We put up with the border crossing, which was the most inefficient system I'd seen and was a little soul destroying (don't try and attempt it in a hurry!). Thankfully, the drive through northern Argentina is beautiful and it wasn't as uncomfortable as it could have been.

I have a feeling I missed some other exciting and interesting parts of Bolivia by rushing through, but time did not allow plenty of stops this time. Oh well, it's just somewhere I'll have to come back to!

Posted by Rebecca Heller 08:25 Archived in Bolivia Tagged desert volcanoes mountain tour salt uyuni Comments (0)

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