YOUR 4 WEEK ITINERARY
DAY 1-2 Arrive in La Paz
Land in La Paz. Take in the stunning mountain scenery and prepare to be captivated by the world’s highest capital city. Acclimatise – you’re 3,660m above sea level. Gaze out at the Illimani mountain’ known as ‘the guardian of La Paz’, delve in for some serious shopping and immerse yourself in the culture. Wander the narrow cobbled streets and markets, pick up some warm clothes made from local alpaca wool and explore the Cathedral, Plaza Murillo and Museo de la Coca. Don’t miss Mercado de Hechiceria aka the Witches’ Market where the mystical meets medicinal and stock up on protective talismans and magic charms. If you’ve got bookings to do, now’s the time. Sort transport, confirm trekking plans with your provider and get the low-down from your ground team.
Trek in Isla del Sol Travelling 4-6hrs Self catered Trekking 12hrs/22km Hostel Carry your kit
Watch the world fly by on the local bus to Copacabana. Travelling by bus is a great way to glimpse everyday life and appreciate some beautiful scenery. Nestled between Mount Calvario and Mount Niño Calvario, Copacabana is the place to soak up some serious religious culture – its famous basilica is home to the patron saint of Bolivia. Head to Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, 3,820m above sea level and hop aboard a ferry to explore “Island of the Sun”. Trek through the rugged landscapes of Isla del Sol and experience a blast from the past. It’s car-free and electricity was only installed in the last decade. Camp on the beach, witness some mind-blowing sunsets across Lake Titicaca and visit Inca ruins. Travel back in time as you visit the Inca staircase, built by the island’s first inhabitants. It showcases statues of the first Inca man and woman – legend has it the sun god Viracocha created them here. Catch the ferry back to the mainland and head to La Paz.
8-12 Meet your community
SUPPORT Welfare Initiatives Hostels Tents Travelling 3hrs
Despite Bolivia’s poverty being actively reduced over the last decade, the housing deficit is increasing by 30,000 homes each year. This leads to overcrowding, putting a strain on resources like healthcare and education. Every human on the planet needs access to food, water and shelter. Having somewhere to call home is also fundamental, providing a foundation that enables people to build a strong sense of security and confidence. Time to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. You’ll be giving a helping hand to Habitat for Humanity, an organisation that works in partnership with families to build new houses. We hope by supporting these communities, locals will have a chance to break out of the poverty cycle. Life in these communities brings its own set of challenges and the need for progress. You are guests, for a short time, in a host community. The language, daily routine, facilities and cultural sensitivities will all be different to what you are used to. Work with locals on their agenda. How does overcrowding lead to less engagement in education? What can you do to help? Ask questions and get involved. Your project will make a meaningful contribution to a community driven initiative. This is also your opportunity to feel the warmth and hospitality of Bolivia. Living alongside your community you could be cooking and eating together as well as working and playing together. Embrace the chance to get to know people, learn to cook a traditional dish, help with homework, make friends. Take and leave a lasting impression. These are the stories that will stay with you.
R&R in Coroico
Travelling 6 hrs
Cordillera Traverse Trek Travelling 3.5 hrs total Catered Trekking 25-30hrs/44km Max altitude 5335m Tents
Your time, your choice – strap on your trekking boots and search for hidden gems. Find waterfalls and explore the rich green alpine wilderness of the Yungas. Or stop in at La Senda Verde Animal Sanctuary, home to 59 species and learn about their Ajayu Law Project. The Project aims to protect animals and was inspired by Ajayu, a blind bear almost beaten to death by a nearby community in 2016 and nurtured back to health in the sanctuary. Bag yourself a window seat on the bus back to La Paz.
Make your way to the start of the Cordillera Traverse trek. It’s time to up your trekking game as you embark on a challenging hike through harsh conditions. The difference between success and failure is a great team, and yours just got bigger. Welcome the cooks, mules and local guide to the family. Each evening, you’ll pitch your tents, roll out your mats and curl up in Bolivia’s finest alpaca wool. Before you head to bed, don’t forget to look up at the sky and take in the magic. There are up-sides to the high altitude. You’ll pass breath-taking lakes and glaciers to reach the 5,335m summit of Pico Austria. Reward yourself with uninterrupted views of the Condoriri mountains. Remember to stop, breathe deep and put this in your memory bank. Reduce your pace as you descend to the village of Chacapampa, before winding your way back to La Paz.
Explore the Salt Flats Travelling 13hrs
Make your way down the length of the Altiplano from La Paz and take in the Salt Flats of Uyuni. Prepare to be amazed on your 3-day jeep tour of the highest and largest salt lake in the world; 10,582 square kilometres and 3,700m above sea level. Step out into the world’s largest mirror – you’ll feel like you’re walking in the clouds. Don’t miss the hotel made entirely of salt, keep an eye out for giant cacti and birds on the Isla del Pescado before spending a night in the village of San Juan. Onto the Chiguana desert. Learn about the coloured lakes and volcanoes. Don’t miss the famous tree stone – it’s naturally shaped like a tree thanks to the power of wind, sand and water. Spot the rare James’s flamingo and it’s intensely vibrant colour due to it feeding on pink algae. This is all once in a lifetime stuff. Once back in Uyuni, catch the bus onwards to La Paz.
Last-minute La Paz
27-28 Heading home
Explore the manic mix of street stalls, bustling busyness and amazing architecture, new shops pop up on every street on a weekly basis in La Paz. Expect a reinvented city. Perfect your Spanish as you haggle for a traditional wooden instrument on Sagarnaga street. Or visit the colourful cemetery – more moving than morbid, it’s a surprisingly lively spot where locals celebrate the lives of their loved ones.
There's just enough time to pack in your last adventure, hunt down some presents and enjoy your final team meal. It doesn’t have to stop here, share your story with challengers from around the globe. Find us @weworldchallenge and continue the story.
Bolivia sample itinerary