Why This Underrated South American Country Is Perfect For Adventurous Travelers


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South America is a continent with plenty to offer to adventurous travelers: trekking to the ancient Machu Picchu ruins in Peru, exploring the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, hiking the impressive mountains of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, and so much more.

Woman on Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

But one South American country that flies under the radar for many travelers is home to some of the biggest adventures of all.

Bolivia receives just 1.2 million tourists per year, much less compared to neighboring countries in South America like Argentina (7.4 million), Brazil (6.3 million), Chile (5.4 million), Peru (5.2 million), and Colombia (4.5 million.)

Despite flying under the radar, this landlocked South American nation has so much to offer to adventurous travelers.

Here are the top reasons to add Bolivia to your bucket list:

La Paz Witches Market

Uyuni Salt Flats

One of the top tourist attractions in Bolivia is the Uyuni salt flats. This otherworldly landscape is best viewed during the rainy season from January through March, when rainfall creates a unique reflective surface on the salt flats.

The most popular way to visit the Uyuni salt flats is on a three-day, two-night tour in a 4×4 vehicle that will take you through the salt flats and surrounding national parks.

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Uyuni Salt Flats

Cycling Death Road

Cycling Bolivia’s Death Road is an activity that is only for true thrill-seekers because this experience is not for the faint of heart!

“Death Road” was formerly one of the most dangerous roads in the world, with hundreds of fatalities per year. Now, it’s only used for bike tours, but cycling this 40-mile gravel road is still a nerve-wracking experience as you whip around sheer cliff drops and under waterfalls.

Cycling Death Road in Bolivia

La Paz

Bolivia’s high-altitude capital city of La Paz is vibrant, gritty, beautiful, and chaotic. It’s definitely worth spending a couple of days in the capital on your visit to Bolivia.

Some of the best things to do in the city are visiting the famous Witches’ Market (where you’ll see some highly unusual remedies like llama fetuses for sale) and riding the city’s many cable cars, one of the most unique forms of public transportation in the world.

La Paz Bolivia Cable Cars

Potosi Silver Mines

Potosi is a popular stop between the Uyuni salt flats and the beautiful colonial city of Sucre. Potosi’s claim to fame (or rather, infamy) is its silver mines.

Hundreds of thousands of indigenous and African slaves died in these mines during the era of Spanish colonial rule, and they’re still incredibly dangerous today. Miners toil away in dismal working conditions, and several tour operators run tours to these still-active mines today.

This is an activity that is NOT recommended for anyone who’s claustrophobic. It’s also a controversial activity, and it’s recommended to do your research and choose an ethical tour operator.

Potosi Mines

Amazon Rainforest

Many people don’t realize that a large swath of Bolivia is located in the Amazon rainforest. While many people visit the Amazon from Brazil or Peru, you can also easily visit from Bolivia.

Rurrenabaque is the gateway to the Amazon in Bolivia, and you’ll find many multi-day tours you can choose from to experience the Amazon. As a bonus, it’s generally more affordable to visit the Amazon in Bolivia than in other countries in South America.

Bolivia Amazon Rainforest

Lake Titicaca

Since Bolivia is landlocked, it doesn’t have any beaches, but Lake Titicaca is the next best place to go if you’re looking to chill out and relax after all your adventures.

This massive high-altitude lake is home to Isla del Sol, said to be the birthplace of the Incas. You can take a boat from Copacabana, a popular lakeside town, to Isla del Sol and spend the day hiking around this beautiful island.

Lake Titicaca

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