Bolivia Family Adventure
Bolivia, 9 Days From $ 2,200 per person Themes
This 9-day Andean tour is designed with just the right mix of adventure sports, cultural and natural history, urban exploration and rural communities. Developed with families in mind, the program takes you from the bustling, hip city of La Paz to the steamy cloud forests of the Yungas region, just on the other side of the mountains in the Amazon Basin. And, as if that wasn't enough, you'll experience the spectacular Uyuni Salt Flats and Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, with its colored lakes, lunar landscapes and unique flora and fauna.
Throughout the trip, you and your family will learn from and with local guides, many part of small community-based tourism enterprises that have spring up around the country over the past 20 years. While your experiences will stay with you forever, you'll go home knowing that you have helped contribute to the resilience of Andean landscapes, under pressure from rural to urban migration and cliimate change.
Best time of year is March through December.
History & Culture
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
Throughout the Central Andes, Community-based Tourism is emerging as an important complement to rural agricultural and forest-based communities from the lowlands to the highlands. You can now visit almost all of the region’s most spectacular destinations in the company of truly local guides and other local providers. Simple and comfortable lodging, traditional and delicious food and a glimpse of day-to-day life with friendly, knowledgeable guides are just a few of the advantages to visiting one of the communities with a CBT initiative. You can also enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that a fair share of the economic benefits of your visit stay right were they belong.
The company is strongly committed to socially and ecologically responsible tourism and works hard to make sure that benefits from tourism are received by all links in the chain. They work closely and respectfully with local campesino and indigenous communities in the highlands and the lowlands of the Central Andes and love what they do.
Day 1 - Arrival in La Paz (D)
Welcome to Bolivia! Our local partner will be waiting for you and your family at the airport and will accompany you to your hotel, assist with check-in and agree upon a time to have lunch or dinner together to go over your program and share information about La Paz, Bolivia and how to make the most of your time in this fascinating country! Be sure to take it easy today, there is 50% less oxygen in the air than at sea level and acclimatization is essential to enjoying yourselves.
Day 2 - City, Market Tour & Cooking Class (B,L)
La Paz Maravillosa or Marvelous La Paz is an accurate description of this dynamic city. Today we will soar across the valley where the city is located in the new cable car system, visit bustling markets and back streets, sample local cuisine and, to top it off, participate in an Andean cooking class led by students at El Alto's Manq'a cooking school. The school is a central actor in the renaissance of traditional Andean foods, often fused with western elements, and trains youth from the city to be chefs and entrepreneurs. Buen provecho!
Day 3 - Yungas Cloud Forest (B,L)
Ready for the World's Most Dangerous Road? Today we head out of the Valley of La Paz en route to the Yungas Cloud Forest region. To get there, we climb (by coach) over the Cordillera Real and drop down the eastern slopes of the Andes, where the climate is humid and the mountainsides are covered in a cloud forest.
Upon arrival in the village of Yolosa (to meet up with optional bike riders), we'll continue to Coroico for lunch. After lunch we'll visit a local coffee farm and the farm managers will take us on a short walk around the coffee plantation before keeping us busy roasting, grinding, preparing and enjoying a delicious cup! We then stop by Coroico for a bit of free time before settling into our lodgings for the evening.
Day 4 - Yungas Cloud Forest & Tocana Afro-Bolivian Community (B,L)
The infamous coca leaf is one of the Yungas region's most important crops. While known internationally as a precursor of cocaine, the leaf has many other uses and is an integral part of Bolivian culture. Today we visit the community of Tocana, an Afro-Bolivian community where most of the residents are coca leaf farmers. We'll visit a farm, chat with farmers and their families and learn about local culture, music, foods, and nature. Mid-afternoon we head back to La Paz where you'll have the evening free to prepare for tomorrow's departure for the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Day 5 - Uyuni Salt Flats & Eduardo Avaroa Reserve (B,L,D)
It's an early start today as we head up to El Alto International Airport for a 45-minute flight to the south and the town of Uyuni, gateway to the Uyuni Salt Flats and Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. We'll head straight out to the flats from the Uyuni airport and visit the famed (and rusting) train cemetery, the salt-harvesting village of Colchani and the bizarre Fish Island, covered in enormous cacti and surrounded by a sea of salt.
After lunch, we hit the slopes of the serene (and massive) Thunupa Volcano where there will be time for a short hike before heading back across the flats, just in time for sunset and some incredible star-gazing. Bundle up, it gets cold at night!
Day 6 - Uyuni Salt Flats & Eduardo Avaroa Reserve (B,L,D)
Today is a day filled with surreal landscapes, tiny villages, Andean flora and fauna and wide open skies. We depart Uyuni after breakfast in a comfortable 4WD jeep, heading to the south and passing by a series of lakes and lagoons, each one a different (and often shocking) color.
We'll stop for photos, a nice picnic lunch, some short walks to vista points and wildlife observation. Three species of flamingo inhabit this region and if conditions are right we are bound to see a few hundred of them. We will also visit some unusual geological formations, similar to those found on other planets and formed by wind and water erosion. Our lodgings are reached by nightfall and there will be more star-gazing to be done in a region with virtually no light pollution - incredible!
Day 7 - Uyuni Salt Flats & Eduardo Avaroa Reserve Back to La Paz (B,L)
After an early breakfast and optional dip in local thermal waters, our journey through the lunar landscapes of the southern altiplano continues today as we turn back toward the north and travel through the Dali Desert, pass by the Green Lagoon and otherwise enjoy the scenery. If time permits, a short hike will be possible today and is a nice break form the drive. We reach Uyuni mid-afternoon and check in for our evening flight back to La Paz.
Day 8 - La Paz (B)
After a week of intense and exhilarating activity, today is a free day in La Paz. Travelers can have the day (or part of it) to themselves or chose to participate, at additional cost, in one or two local programs, such as a hike in nearby Huayna Potosi Mountain or Palca Canyon or to go shopping for handicrafts with an expert guide who can help you learn about the rich traditions of artisanry in the Andes. Your guide will join you for a farewell dinner and tour wrap up, thank you so much for visiting Bolivia!
Day 9 - Departure (B)
Airport transfer according to departure time.
DAY 3 ACTIVITY OPTIONS: 1) Mountain biking for confident cyclists (100 USD per person): The ride starts 07:30 from lobby of the hotel, at wind-swept La Cumbre (4,700m/15,400 feet) with fantastic views of a number of snow-covered peaks, from here we descend rapidly down a twisting asphalted road among mountain peaks, grazing llamas and alpacas and small villages. Stop for refreshments, photos, and rests along the way while preparing ourselves for the next breath-taking section. After a snack, we descend further, and after a brief undulating section of road, we enter the jungle itself and the most challenging part of the ride. Descends 2,000m (6,500 feet). With 1,000m+ (3,300 feet) sheer drops off to our left and rock overhangs and cascading waterfalls to our right, ride through the mist, low clouds, and dust. With positive attitude and experts instructions, coaching and supervision safely enjoy some of South America s most dramatic and beautiful scenery; 2) Zipline
DAY 8 ACTIVITY OPTIONS: 1) Palca Canyon and Valley of the Spirits Hike; 2) High mountain, non-technical trek to Huayna Potosi 3) Local guide for visits to La Paz museums, fair trade handicraft shops
- International flights
- Meals not indicated within itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Personal Expenses
- Meals specified in itinerary
- Activities specified in itinerary
- Bilingual, professional guides with first aid / CPR training and local guides from the communities