Bolivia Highlands & Tropics

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  • No Hidden Fees
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10 Days
Availability : April to November
La Paz, Bolivia
La Paz, Bolivia
Min Age : 10+

This 10-day family expedition takes travelers through Bolivia’s spectacular landscapes and cultural regions. The program takes you from the bustling, hip city of La Paz to fascinating towns on the shore of Lake Titicaca and on the Island of the Sun and then down to the tropical lowlands and Amazon rainforests of Bolivia.

Throughout the trip, you and your family will learn from and with local guides, many parts 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 climate change.

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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 where 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 indigenous communities in the highlands and the lowlands of the Central Andes and love what they do.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in La Paz

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 2La Paz City Tour

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 3Lake Titicaca - Copocabana - Isla de Sol

We are up and out of La Paz by 8:00 am this morning, on our way to sacred Lake Titicaca. To get there, we leave La Paz and pass through El Alto, now Bolivia’s second largest city and getting bigger by the minute as more and more people migrate from rural areas to the city. Once out of the metropolis, we travel through the altiplano or high plain, eventually reaching the lake and enjoying fantastic scenery of farms and fishing villages and a delicious picnic lunch on the way to Copacabana. “Copa” is a small town on the edge of the lake and has pre-Colombian origins and a number of important Inca ruins. We’ll take a stroll around town before heading down to the beach where a ferry will take us out to the Island of the Sun, our final destination for the day.

Day 4Isla del Sol - Santiago de Okola

After a beautiful short hike in the morning that takes us to the island’s small port, we board our ferry once again, en route this time to the farming and fishing village of Santiago de Okola. The village has a small, community-based agri-tourism project and we will be received by community members, who will host us in their homes and help us get to know their ways of life. Santiago de Okola is the “Home of the Sleeping Dragon” and in addition to a community tour and weaving workshop, you can hike to the crest of the Dragon, a massive out-cropping the makes up the backdrop of the village. You’ll enjoy traditional meals and be treated to a bonfire under a magnificent star-filled sky.

Day 5 Santiago de Okola - La Paz

We return to La Paz today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an early morning walk on the lake! After breakfast with our host family, we get on the road today and reach the city by mid-day. In the afternoon, you can do your own thing or join us for a choice of activities, including a hike in Hampaturi Valley, an “Urban Trek” or a visit to local museums, markets, and handicraft shops. (not included)

Day 6La Paz - Rurrenabaque - Madidi National Park

It’s off to the rainforest today and you’ll fly from the chilly highlands of La Paz to the heart of Bolivia’s Amazon forest in a matter of 45 minutes – get the window seat! We land in Rurrenabaque and after a quick stop for a briefing and any last minute preparation we board our canoe and head up the Beni and Tuichi Rivers and into Madidi National Park, one of the planet’s most biologially diverse places.

We arrive at our eco-lodge by noon and meet our hosts, members of a community-based tourism project and from the Tacana indigenous group. After a refreshing tropical juice and a delicious lunch, we’ll make our first foray into the rainforest. The focus of our walk will be all of the useful plants of the rainforest that the Tacana people use in their communities, from medicine to building materials and foods. As the sun begins to descend, we may even catch a glimpse of local troops of monkeys and peccaries! Dinner is back at the lodge and you have the rest of the evening to relax.

Day 7Madidi National Park

Breakfast is at 7:00 am today and then we head off to the Cliff of the Macaws, one of the best places in Madidi National Park to watch macaws, parrots, and other birds. The walk is moderately hard and on the way, we will hike beneath 90 -120 meter high trees and learn more about their uses. At the Cliff of the Macaws, you can not only watch the birds but can also enjoy the breath-taking view of the Amazon Basin and its many rivers.

Afterward, we will go to the River Tuichi where we will build a log raft (traditional transport of the Amazonian Indians) and go downstream for about 2 hours until we reach the Eco-lodge. However, we will have the boat for security, for our backpacks and for people who do not wish to participate in this activity. We will have lunch and a rest. In the afternoon you can either rest or choose an activity, for example, you may want to make traditional handicrafts or go fishing.

Day 8Municipal Protected Area Santa Rosa Pampas del Yacuma

Another early morning today, this time having breakfast at 6:00 am before returning to Rurrenabaque. We leave immediately for the town of Santa Rosa, located in the region known as the Beni Pampas or Grasslands. Along the way, we will have great opportunities to see sloths, anteaters, birds, and other animals common the ecosystem. Once in Santa Rosa, we travel by boat along the Yacuma River to Las Tortugas Eco-lodge.

Once we settle in and have lunch we set off on what can be best described as a River Safari, due to the high number of animal species one sees along the river. The gallery forests that line the waterways of the Pampas are important habitat for hundreds of species of animals, including caiman, capybara, turtles, many bird species and the beautiful pink river dolphins which live in this wonderful place. We’ll be back at the lodge by nightfall and after dinner, the hammocks are all yours.

Day 9 Municipal Protected Area Santa Rosa Pampas del Yacuma - La Paz

All early risers are invited to wake up at 5:00 am to listen to the Pampas come to life. We can watch the sunrise and listen to the sounds of howler monkeys and birds which herald the awakening of the ecosystem. We will have breakfast and then go back out on the River Yacuma to take a short hike and look for anacondas and capybaras, which, with a little luck, we will find. During our tour, we will continue to see a variety of birds, capybara, caiman, turtles and other animals.

After lunch, we return to Rurrenabaque where we will arrive at about 3:30 p.m for our flight back to La Paz. Once in La Paz, you’ll have a bit of time to relax before your guide meets you for a farewell dinner and tour wrap-up.

Day 10Departure

Transfer to El Alto Airport for the flight home.

Tour Details

Pricing is for a minimum of 4 people. Contact us if you have a larger group or would like to include other activities.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 7 Lunches & 6 Dinners
  • Activities
  • Transportation Noted
  • Bilingual Professional Guides

Price Excludes

  • International Flights
  • All Optional Excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals Not Specified

Optional Activities

  • Adventure Day at Ruins at Ek Balam and Colonial Town of Valladolid
  • Transportation to/from Cancun Airport