Bolivia holidays : introduction
We have current Bolivia articles here: News
From the high Andes to the Amazon basin, Bolivia is a country of diverse, captivating scenery, colourful culture and fascinating history.
The altiplano is a high grassland plateau of desolate beauty where vicuña graze among giant cacti, ringed by volcanoes and the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real. The dazzling crystalline Uyuni salt flats, mineral-rich lagoons and wind-sculpted rock formations of the southern deserts must rank among the world’s most surreal landscapes, and a night in a salt hotel is an experience not to be missed.
Bolivia suffered a long spell under the thumb of the Spanish conquistadors, epitomised by the silver mines of Potosí which produced fabulous wealth at a terrible human cost. Despite this it has proudly maintained its indigenous culture, seen in the vivid flowing skirts and bowler hats of the Aymara people, and La Paz’s witches’ market where you can buy amulets, charms and even dried llama foetuses.
Straddling the border with Peru is Titicaca, the sacred lake of Inca creation myths. From the surrounding mountain peaks, the land plunges dramatically through cloud forests to the semi-tropical lowlands and the rainforest. Here you’ll find the Jesuit missions, founded in the 17th and 18th centuries and uniquely still thriving, which host a superb biennial festival of baroque music.
Climate and when to go
Due to its altitude, Bolivia’s altiplano can be very hot during the day and bitterly cold at night. The colder, dry season is from May to October, which is the most popular time to travel. From November to April the temperatures are warmer, but coincide with summer rains which often cause flooding to the Salar de Uyuni and make many roads both in the south and in the lowlands impassable. The rainforest and semi-tropical lowlands are warm and humid most of the year.
“Even though it is now just a receding memory we had an absolutely lovely holiday! I think both of us thought that the 4x4 drive through the salt plains and Bolivian desert was the number one highlight but there were lots of little ones along the way and everything went really smoothly. A big thank you! The hotels were great, we were also impressed with the ones in the desert for location and simple comfort.” - HA