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Exciting, evocative South America: Scenes from Bolivia via Instagram

A photo recap of 17 days spent in beautiful and rugged Bolivia. 

The most stunning place I travelled to last year?

It’s a no brainer: Bolivia. It was hands down the most fascinating place I set foot in in 2015. Perhaps ever.

Bolivia in three words is broad, bold, and bizarre.  It’s also the land of plenty. It has the largest salt flat in the world, holds 50-70% of its lithium reserves, and the Cerro Rico in Potosi has one of the world’s largest silver deposits.

I’ve written a couple of posts about Bolivia (see here and here), but the most vivid and detailed reports of my 17 days in the country are found on my Instagram page.  To save you the trouble of going through my feed, a round-up of all my Bolivia IG posts are below. Enjoy!

Because #selfies are way more fun when done on planes with silly faces. Wheels up! LGA-MIA-LPB

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

Just back from a 3 day tour of Bolivia’s Uyuni desert. If you’re looking to get “off the grid” or “off the beaten path”, this is the place– I went 3 days without internet(!), showering (deo was my friend), and heating (no small feat when temps reach below zero degrees Celsius at night). The last day and a half we didn’t even have running water! Remote doesn’t begin to describe it. Our tour group drove 900km across the desert in a 4×4 and came across the most unbelievable landscapes: red lagoons occupied by flamingos, pastel colored volcanoes that could have been painted by Salvador Dali, natural hot springs and stinky sulphur sputtering geysers, and rock formations that made us feel like we had been transported from Earth and onto Mars. We also visited what the desert is best known for: the Uyuni Salt Flat, whose barren landscape lends itself to being the perfect stage for perspective-bending photos like this one! Because I’ve always dreamed of being able to dwarf my husband and force-feed him a bottle of whiskey. Obvs.

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

Because the thirst is super duper real in the desert.

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

I’ve never met a rooftop view I didn’t like! Looking good, Potosi. #bolivia

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

The “Salvador Dali” desert. The landscapes in Southwest Bolivia are really like no other!

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

The city of Sucre is Bolivia’s constitutional capital and said to be its most beautiful city. I tend to agree. Street upon street of stunning whitewashed buildings capped with spires and red-tiled roofs make the city feel at once Mediterranean and like something out of a Disney fairy tale. The warm weather is a welcome surprise, too– the city is “only” located at 2,800 feet above sea level (Potosi is at 4,100 ft asl, Copacabana and Uyuni at 3,700), which means that for the first time on this trip I’ve been able to walk around outside without lugging around a coat, scarf, and gloves! I may be Canadian but I have Jamaican blood coursing through my veins– I’m allergic to the cold! Making sure to suck up all this heat before heading back to NYC on the weekend!

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

Because jumping photos are my favorite kind of photos. #fbf #lastfriday #bolivia

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

We flew into Santa Cruz today, Bolivia’s largest city with around 2 million inhabitants. Despite its size, there is not much to do or see here for tourists, so after a little thumb-twiddling we decided to head to the local #zoo. Now I love animals, so was initially elated, but the experience left me with mixed emotions. Mostly because seeing majestic animals like this leopard walk around listlessly in tiny cages made me feel a bit depressed. What is the solution? Zoos are important for education I think (we came across 4 or 5 school groups on field trips in the two hours were there– the kids were so excited!) but the freedom and health of the animals, at least in this case, seemed so obviously compromised. What to do? How do we grant access without hurting the species?

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

Day 16 of 17 in #Bolivia. As this voyage nears its end, I’m reminded of just how big and beautiful the world is. Ever since I first saw pictures of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia has been on my (unofficial) bucket list. As expected, then, it was the highlight of my time here. But there’s more to the country: the unexpected 360° views and tasty cuisine in La Paz, the unreal sapphire hues of Lake Titicaca, the rugged and heartbreaking silver mines of Potosi, the whitewashed, genteel architecture of historic Sucre, and the young, modern, hopping city of Santa Cruz, which reminds me so much of my former home of Monterrey, Mexico– with its heat and fancy restaurants and clubs– that I am immediately transported back to 2008 when me and “mis gueys” used to tear up the Barrio Antiguo on a Friday night! And all that is without mentioning the amazing people (both local and fellow tourists) I had the pleasure of meeting this trip: the lovely Canadian girls on an epic 2 week, 3 country tour, Oscar the tour guide in Uyuni, whose knowledge is as deep and vast as the salt plains, the fearless British “Poncho Boys” living their own version of The Motorcycle Diaries, the physiotherapist couple travelling around the world for the year (broken teeth and all!), Pedro the former miner who took us deep into the mines so we could understand his livelihood! Bolivia, you were the bomb dot com and the most fascinating place I’ve been to in a while! Memories and blessings abound! Gracias. This is why I travel.

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

Sometimes my #husband just blows me away. #bolivia

A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on

What do you think of Bolivia? Is it on your radar?

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    jo
    April 1, 2016 at 9:50 am

    this looks amazing…. I think i’ll add bolivia to my bucket list now. Just. like. that.

    Thanks!

    Jo x
    http://www.theglobalgriot.com

  • Reply
    JB
    April 1, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Heading to Bolivia in 2 days!!!! Thanks for the post 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I”m sold!! I was just in Ecuador earlier this month with some people who were continuing on through Peru and Bolivia – and I was definitely bummed I wasn’t joining them! I would worry about the altitude, but it sounds like it’s worth it! (I guess the good news is that it didn’t bother me much in Quito, other than making me a bit restless at night.)

  • Reply
    hahaha
    April 4, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Your confusing feet with meters.

  • Reply
    Brandy
    April 4, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Bolivia is definitely on my bucket list! I have to admit, though, that it (and Peru) make me nervous about altitude sickness, though. Thanks for the pictures!

  • Reply
    Pia
    April 11, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, what your tour company did you go with for your 3 day salt flats tour? Thanks -p

  • Reply
    Tina
    May 5, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Wow!!! Those pictures are awesome.

  • Leave a Reply to jo Cancel Reply