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Bolivia

The  most traditional and perhaps most varied in South America, Bolivia is a country of superlatives.

Did You Know

  • The world´s highest international airport – El Alto is on the outskirts of the capital, La Paz.
  • The world´s slowest animal is the sloth which you can see around Santa Cruz.
  • The world´s biggest salt flat is the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Che Guevara all died in Bolivia

Country Highlight

Copacabana
Yes,  it has a beach but the swimming is freezing! It is however the jumping off point for the mystical Islands of the Sun and the Moon – the birthplace of Inca civilizations, stunningly beautiful in the sun, peaceful, traditional and lapped by the magnificent Lake Titikaka. Back in the town; get to the intricately designed church of the Virgin of Copacabana on a Sunday to see hundreds of Bolivians bringing their brightly decorated cars and truck to the church to be blessed. Between 900 and 500AD the Tiwanaku civilization built boats to transport 55, 000kg of stone slabs across Lake Titikaka to build their magnificent city of Tiwanaku. These huge stone structures are found high on the altiplano between Copacabana and La Paz.
 
La Paz
This city wins most awards for being high up but is special in so many ways. Coming by land across the empty altiplano you come to a huge bustling bowl, with many inhabitants living in the section called El Alto at the rim. Here you can see bowler hatted ladies browsing for the pieces of root and bone needed to keep mother earth happy, and in the next street the government offices of this mixed up country. There are fine museums, including one dedicated to the coca leaf, but the most rewarding aspect of La Paz is just wandering in around and taking in the setting and the chaos of the city.
 
Surrounding La Paz are 600m plus snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Real and some great hiking, but head north east to the Yungas and you’re in warm lush coffee and coca growing region, the famous ‘dangerous road’ and a bumpy route to the jungle.
 
Santa Cruz
The biggest brashest and most booming of Bolivia’s cities. With warmer temperatures and a more exuberant population, this city shows another side of Bolivia. Reasons to come here are the nearby Jesuit missions, the Amboto cloud forest and access to the Amazon in the remote Noel Kempt Mercado Park. You’ll also have a really good chance of seeing the slowest animal on earth – the sloth. Take the “route of Che’ to the various shrines and buildings connected to his dramatic deaths at the hands of … who knows exactly?
 
Salar de Uyuni
There are 64 million tons of salt here – the biggest deposit on earth. It is spread across miles of stark altiplano creating a totally otherworldly effect that is truly unique. When it rains the floor turns into a giant mirror,  but at any time the colors here are truly striking. Take a tour to see the regions volcanoes and turquoise lakes, flamingoes and otherworldly geysers.
 
Sucre
Bolivia’s calmly traditional colonial city is a jewel of laid-back charm.  The law decrees that central buildings should all be whitewashed and this combined with cobblestone streets, broad plazas and friendly people make it a great place to rest up for a few days. For a different day out, visit a nearby quarry where hundreds of giant dinosaur footprints have been discovered.
 
Potosi
In the 17th Century this was the biggest and richest city in the world. The source of Spain’s wealth is the silver mine. At a dizzying 4,090m (13400ft) Potosi is a dramatic and tragic city.   The Spaniards left behind enough impressive buildings to make it a UNESCO World Heritage site but the big draw is the fascinating visits to the mine. Still worked under harsh conditions, take a donation of some dynamite to the miners, and enter the tunnels to give a cigarette or some alcohol to El Tio – the protector of the miners.

Related programs:

7 Day Tour of Bolivia
US $2, 195

11 Day Tour of Bolivia
US $2, 795

From Machu Picchu to Uyuni Slat Flats and La Paz
9 Days US$2395+flights

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Testimonials

First, we had a wonderful time and the trip was fun and interesting. We managed not to get sick and did not have any altitude

Alan and Judy, Peru & Ecuador

Hi Max, I can't tell you pleased we were with what you arranged for us. We, I had a great time and the fact that

Dave, Peru & Galapagos

Hey Donovan - the overall trip exceeded our expectations.  We would definitely recommend the trip, even though it was a bit expensive for our friends,

Brian S, Peru & Galapagos

HI Max and Donovan,I would like to thank you for a lovely Trip.  The Coral staff did an awesome job making our vacation spectacular.The DietrichsEcuador &

The Dietrichs, Ecuador & Galapagos

Max,Just wanted to touch base and you let know how great our trip went.  Other than AA losing Jill’s bag (which caused a bit of

Darin, Peru & Galapagos

Hi Donovan the trip through Costa Rica was fabulous. Once again you did an outstanding job giving us a trip to remember. Our guide, Charlie

Linda, Costa Rica

We had the best time ever, just an exceedingly wonderful whirlwind tour of Peru and the Galapagos. Your tour guides were so careful and aware

Jane and Sue, Peru

I had contracted with Ideal South America (ISA), after checking with eleven other travel agencies.  If you plan on a trip to South America I

Col. Ed Scholl, Peru

Max, The trip was fantastic and you put together a very nice itinerary.  The guides were very knowledgeable and the lodging was great, the flights

Ralstons & Pruesses, Peru

As promised, a while back, I am sending you some pictures from our trip to Peru. As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time!

Peru, Eid-Heberle Family

I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for planning and delivering an incredible trip! Alyssa and I had an amazing

Jake and Alyssa

We are back we had a great time. Thanks for your careful planning. The Andes were spectacular, the yacht was terrific … the Galapagos amazing.

Schreibers, Florida

"We had a wonderful time on our trip. Everything went really smoothly and we enjoyed all of our excursions. It was the trip of a

Ralston Family, California

Our trip was wonderful! Everything was well organized, hotels were great, and the weather was close to perfect.

Lewis Family, Pennsylvania

Jan 2013

...the places we saw exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is way better than the pictures show. The Galapagos trip is also great. I guess the

Sonny & Amanda Punzalan, California

Dec 2012

The trip to Ecuador and Peru were great! We felt that all of the guides, drivers, and transfers were excellent. Everything went well

Sue Clark & Family, Washington

Peru & Ecuador, Dec 2012

We had the best time and wanted to let you know that every hotel, transfer, guide, connection, tour, mode of transportation, and cruise were perfect.

Mark Stout & Family, Pennsylvania

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Dec 2012

Thanks for the ideal trip. Everything worked out perfectly. Loved having somebody with name card at every airport to pick us up and give

Bruce Thaler, Philadelphia

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, November 2012

It was marvelous and the trip of a lifetime. If I searched for a fault in the trip I could not find one to complain

Howard Silberstein, Miami

Galapagos & Ecuador, November 2012

Thank you guys for planning our Galapagos and Machu Picchu trip. We had a great time! The transfers were punctual, and the guides

Yau Ru Chen, Los Angeles

Machu Picchu Galapagos, October 2012

Thanks for arranging such an awesome trip for the Whiteside family when in Peru this week. The guides were absolutely superb

Janet Whiteside, Florida

Peru, July 2012

The experience from beginning to end was excellent. The combination of Sacred Valley, Iguazu ending in Rio is great

Paul Jones

Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio, March 2012

We just returned from our South American trip with fond memories and no hitches. Thanks to your planning and foresight.

Victor Limlingan, Travel Agent – The Philippines

Ecuador, Galapagos & Panama, June 2012

...we were so pleased with your services and will be booking with you again for our South American travel in the future!

Jennafer Bonello – Washington DC

Peru, June 2012

We had a wonderful trip. everything went well and all the guides were super nice and helpful.

Hamila Atefi – Washington DC

Peru and Galapagos, May 2012

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work planning my trip. It was all appreciated, and provided us with

Chris Leggat – New York

Galapagos & Machu Picchu, June 2012

Just back from one of the most enjoyable and well put together vacation trips we have ever experienced! Thanks for putting it all together for

Rick Velategui – USA

Peru, Galapagos, Oct 2011

The hotels, guides & drivers were first class & we could not have expected anything more than what was delivered. Thank you again

Mike & Carol Lipischak

Peru, November 2011

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