My Trip To Bolivia…
Hi everyone! I went to Bolivia in march of 2011. I spent two months traveling extensively throughout the country. My vacation started off in Lapaz Bolivia, the highest capital city in the world! The altitude of Lapaz Bolivia is 11,913 feet above sea level. I arrived early in the morning before 5:00 a.m. and got off the plane to experience light headedness and less oxygen then what i’m used to back in Minnesota, USA. It was hard to breath just walking around. I got picked up at the airport by my girlfriend i meet online. It didn’t work out between me and her, and we only spent 2 weeks together then got in a fight and we never spoke again. I didn’t let that ruin my trip. I spent about two and half weeks in Lapaz. In that time I see alot of street protesting and rioting, and even the military using tear gas. Some of the protesters where blowing up TNT or dynamite in the street. It was a very moving experience for me being from the midwest in the USA I have never experienced being in such a scary situation. I see alot of large cathedrals in Lapaz since the majority of the people there are of Catholic religion. Lapaz the city reminds me of being in a bowl or a valley. Lapaz is just something you have to see to experience the culture and diverse landscape. Imagine a city that has Palm Trees but it still get’s near freezing at night, or can even snow!
I then took a bus overnight too Cochabamba, and spent about 1 week in Cochabamba. I meet with some friends that i had made while in Lapaz and they invited me to Cochabamba. I remember arriving in town and seeing a big Laguna and Cochabamba was in a valley, when I was there I noticed the elevation was lower then what it was in Lapaz. I also noticed the city had a large university in town and on the top of the hill a large statue of Christ. I also noticed a warmer climate then Lapaz, and alot of food! My friends had told me Cochabamba has better food then Lapaz. I thought so too, and the portions where huge! Cochabamba was fun but probably the only reason I would go back is too see my friends, and that’s all it doesn’t have anything that stands out to me, for me to return again someday.
I then went back to Lapaz by bus, and noticed all the quinoa growing along the roadside the closer we got to Lapaz. Along the way we picked up a young man that two chickens with him. The man also pulled out his harmonica and proceeded to play music to everyone on the bus whether they wanted to hear it or not! It was like a 8 hour bus ride back to Lapaz.
I spent a few day’s in Lapaz, then hopped on a plane and flew to Tarija bolivia. I meet a girl in Lapaz and she convinced me to fly to Tarija to visit her and see the city. I checked to see how much it would be too fly there and it was only like $50 USD very cheap round trip. I spent about 7 day’s in Tarija. I visited a vineyard and went too a river and went wading in the water, I even had a pack of wild dog’s following me and my friend around at the river. Tarija wasn’t far from Argentina. I think i heard roughly 20-30 miles from the border. Tarija is another city like Cochabamba that is in a valley and has a warm climate. A great place to grow a vineyard and I remember eating great big Steaks in Tarija. The meat was incredible. I was told this is where alot of bolivian people go to vacation for holiday. The climate was perfect.
I flew back to Lapaz, spent a couple of day’s there. Then I took a bus too Coirco bolivia, in the Yungas Province. I think it is roughly 2-3 hours outside of Lapaz by bus and Coirco is in a subtropical rainforest. The elevation is between 7,000 and 8,000 feet. I just remember on my way to Coirco it was snowing at the top of the mountain pass, and when I got to Coirco it was 100% humidity and pouring rain. The weather though in Coirco was tropical and was absolutely amazingly green vegetation and beautiful place. It was completely opposite of Lapaz as far as the landscape goes and weather. I just relaxed in Coirco and went hiking and swimming. I was told this is a place people from Lapaz go to vacation. And the elevation is lower which is nice too. If you ever travel from Lapaz to coirco be amazed at the diversity of Bolivia in such a short distance of traveling. I found it absolutely amazing! snow and subtropical rainforest all in a span of three hours.
I only visited a few cities in bolivia, I only scratched the surface. I think if you go you won’t be dissapointed! They have so many parades also in Lapaz and other cities. The people are very friendly and I only experienced being afraid in the street riot and otherwise had no problems there. I think if you use common sense and check in with immigration from your country of origin you should let them know where your traveling through out the country. I did also get alot of vaccinations before i arrived in Bolivia. I still got sick, diarrhea and sore throat. I didn’t need to go to the clinic or hospital though while in Bolivia. Also where alot of sunblock the sun is extremely strong the uv index probably off the chart. I did get a bad sunburn there in Lapaz. If you can where a hat, recommendation that the sun is not something you want to being messing around with at this elevation and being so close to the equator. Bring some Bolivianos before you get there, this is bolivian money.
Bolivia is definitely a country you should visit, go put it on your bucket list of places to visit before you die.