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Who’s ready to get lost in the peaks and ridges of the Andes? This 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary is going to show you how! Bolivia is a stunning expanse of winding mountain roads and mish-mashed climates. Tiny pueblos lie scattered across the countryside, whilst in the cities waves of breeze-block houses sprawl the hills. If you have an interest in adrenaline-fuelled adventures, indigenous cultures or obscenely fluffy llamas, Bolivia is the country for you to spend your 2-week holiday.
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For this 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary, I’m making the assumption that you’ll be flying in and out of La Paz, as the majority of international routes do. I’m keeping your trip’s loop more or less to the South-West of the country, as this is where most of the action is, and sticking closer to your departing airport is always a good idea in a nation so fraught with protests and road blockades. Always try to get the earliest transfers you can if you’re tight on time.
However, if you’re planning on using this 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary as part of a longer trip in South America, and will be coming into Bolivia from San Pedro de Atacama Chile, I’d use this trip order with more or less the same timings as below: Uyuni – Potosí – Sucre – La Paz – Copacabana. If you’re coming from Puno in Peru, obviously reverse this destination order.
Now, bus travel in Bolivia is cheap, but it is categorically THE WORST THING IN SOUTH AMERICA, so wherever possible try to fly between cities, or get minibus shuttle transfers. This is of course more expensive, but is the much safer option, not just in terms of your things not being stolen, but in also in terms of not being driven off a cliff. Flights and shuttles aren’t always possible though, and budgets happen, so plan for any of your longer bus journeys to be through the night to save on time and money. Just don’t go low-budget on the choice of bus company or you’ll surely regret it at 4am when the little cholita lady in front of you is ramming her broken seat back into your lap before deciding to sleep on the floor by your feet.
2 weeks Bolivia itinerary:
Here’s a quick run-down of my suggested 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary with recommended places to stay; below I’ll tell you more about what to do in each of these destinations.
Copacabana / La Paz (depending on what time your flight is the next day)
Fly home from La Paz
What not to miss in your 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary:
Days 1-3: La Paz
Welcome to the lofty heights of the most high altitude capital in the world! The first stop of your 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary is going to take your breath away, mostly because of the super thin air up at 3600m (12,000ft) above sea level. The history of the La Paz is fascinating, so a city walking tour is a must. You can even get tours that take you up into the higher barrios on the teleféricos (public cable cars). Those adventurous among us definitely need to take the Death Road biking route down the most dangerous road in the world. It’s an entire day’s activity, so set that time aside. At night, you can go to a comical cholita wrestling match to watch ladies in traditional Bolivian dress slamming each other down in the ring.
Days 4-5: Sucre
The other capital of Bolivia is Sucre (yeah, it’s a bit confusing). Sucre is an architectural masterpiece, and is known as the white city. This UNESCO world heritage site is a great place for history boffs, since it was the place where the Bolivian Declaration of Independence was signed in 1825. Grab a place on a walking tour to hear all about it. Sucre is also an amazing place to learn Spanish at a very low cost, with some hostels even offering free classes as part of your stay. Just outside the city, Parque Cretácico is an interactive park celebrating the area’s dinosaur fossils and footprints. To get there, hop on the dino-bus from Parque Simon Bolivar!
Days 6-7: Potosí
Potosí used to be one of the most wealthy cities in the world, built on the backs of exploited indigenous people essentially used as slaves. Nowadays, it’s sort of crumbling, but still a bustle of activity as people work their arses off to survive. A tour into the silver mines is a must – though no longer paving the streets with silver, the mines are still very much active, and you’ll have a chance to talk to some of the miners. Just make sure you bring a gift for them (coca leaves, dynamite sticks, alcohol) in exchange for their time. Sadly, you may also see children working there as it’s legal during the school holidays from the age of 10. Back in the centre, you can check out the city’s views from the roof of Convento de San Francisco.
Now, you’re not really in Uyuni to see Uyuni. It’s a pretty dull town with mostly disappointing accommodation and not much charm. You’re actually here to see Salar de Uyuni, or the Bolivian Salt Flats, which begin just a short drive away. This is suuurely going to be the shining star of your 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary. You have a few options here, staying in Uyuni and doing multiple excursions out to different points of the salt flats (such as wine-tasting at sunset or star-gazing!), or book onto a jam-packed multi-day tour where you can get to more salt flat landmarks, and let them take care of your accommodation while you’re out there.
Days 11-13: Copacabana
Make a very early start on day 11 of your 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary to take the bus (which goes on a floating raft to cross the river, btw) to Copacabana and make the most of your first day. Alternatively, for an easier life, you could head back to La Paz and let a tour guide take you around Copacabana and back as a day trip the following day. The town itself doesn’t offer a huge amount, but the surrounding countryside of rolling green hills, Lake Titicaca and its islands are unmissable. Take a boat out to Isla del Sol or Isla de la Luna to see some of the most sacred spots in Aymara and later Incan cultures.
Got more than 2 weeks in Bolivia?
If you have an extra week or two for your Bolivia itinerary, don’t worry about whether there will be enough things to do to fill your time. This is a nation brimming with history, adventure and culture. Key destinations to think about adding to your Bolivia itinerary would be Samiapata for its peaceful charm and orange waterfall; Torotoro for its incredible dinosaur footprints and challenging caving and Puno, which is actually in Peru but only an hour or so from Copacabana. It’s famous for the Islas de los Uros, manmade islands built solely out of reeds that are still lived on by the indigenous people of the area.
Not quite convinced on a 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary?
If you’re not yet sold on a 2 weeks Bolivia itinerary, and want to hone in on where in Latin America to spend your 2 weeks’ holiday, you might also want to check these out before booking those flights!