#115 best destination in the world

Salar de Uyuni, Potosí

Best time to travel: Jan-April, Dec
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • World’s largest salt flat, or playa, near the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 11,995 ft above sea level
  • Formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes
  • Covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness
  • Following rain, a thin layer of dead calm water transforms the flat into the world’s largest mirror, 80 miles across
  • The Salar serves as a prime breeding ground for several species of flamingos

Yungas Road, La Paz

Best time to travel: June-Aug
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Cycle route that is about 37 miles long which links the city of La Paz and the Yungas region
  • Many tour operators cater to downhill mountain biking, providing information, guides, transport and equipment
  • The tourist route is a 39 mile long road with 11,482 feet of descent
  • The road was considered dangerous because of its steep slopes, narrow single track, lack of guardrails, rain, and fog, and was nicknamed the “Road of Death,” however, it was not the most dangerous road in the region
  • A new alternative route was built during a 20-year period ending in 2006
  • The modernization included enlarging the carriageway from one to two lanes; asphalt paving; bridges, drainage, guardrails, and the building of a new section, bypassing the most dangerous sections of the original road

Laguna Colorada, Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve

Best time to travel: late May-Oct
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Shallow salt lake within Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve and close to the border with Chile
  • The lake contains borax islands, whose white color contrasts with the reddish color of its waters, which is caused by red sediments and pigmentation of some algae

Tiwanaku

Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Pre-Columbian archaeological site, one of the largest sites in South America
  • Surface remains currently include decorated ceramics, monumental structures, and megalithic blocks
  • The site’s population probably peaked around AD 800 with 10,000 to 20,000 people
  • The site was first recorded in written history in 1549 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Cieza de León while searching for the southern Inca capital of Qullasuyu
  • The name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants may have been lost as they had no written language

Huayna Potosí, El Alto

Best time to travel: May-Sept
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • Mountain located near El Alto, in the Cordillera Real
  • It is roughly 15 miles north of the city of La Paz, which makes this mountain the most popular climb in Bolivia
  • The normal ascent route is a fairly straightforward glacier climb, with some crevasses and a steep climb to the summit
  • However, the other side of the mountain—Huayna Potosí West Face—is the biggest face in Bolivia
  • The first ascent of the normal route was undertaken in 1919 by Germans Rudolf Dienst and Adolf Schulze

Madidi National Park, Amazon River Basin

Best time to travel: April-Oct
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • National park in the upper Amazon river basin
  • Established in 1995, Madidi is part of one of the largest protected areas in the world
  • Ranging from the glacier-covered peaks of the high Andes Mountains to the tropical rainforests of the Tuichi River, Madidi and its neighbors are recognized as one of the planet’s most biologically diverse regions
  • Access to the Madidi National Park is from San Buenaventura, reached by crossing the Beni River by passenger ferry from Rurrenabaque

Laguna Verde, Altiplano

Best time to travel: April-Sept
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • Salt lake in an endorheic basin, in the southwestern Altiplano, located in the Sur Lípez Province, close to the Chilean border, and at the foot of the volcano Licancabur
  • It has mineral suspensions of arsenic and other minerals which renders color to the lake waters
  • Its color varies from turquoise to dark emerald depending on the disturbance caused to sediments in the lake by winds