On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders
. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.
1 flight (45mins); 7 road journeys (longest 8hrs with stops).
On our Discovery Journeys the standard of accommodation varies. We aim to keep the price competitive while ensuring the basic comforts. Hotels/guesthouses are comfortable and attractive in most places, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Where these do not exist, accommodation is necessarily purely functional. All properties are well maintained and all will have a private bathroom with hot water. (If you prefer greater comfort please see the Classic Journeys or Private Journeys on their respective pages on our website).
On this journey we stay at simple hotels and guesthouses (generally with private bathroom yet in the more remote places a shared bathroom may be necessary). The nature and size of the accommodation means that we use a number of properties depending on availability.
Examples of hotels include:
• Santa Cruz: Hotel LP Equipetrol
• Samaipata: Landhaus
• La Higuera: Posada La Casa del Telegrafista
• Sucre: Hotel Independencia
• Potosi: Hotel Santa Teresa
• Uyuni: Hotel Palacio de Sal
• Salt Flats: Villa Mar Lodge
• La Paz: Hotel Rosario
• Copacabana: Hotel Rosario del Lago
On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.
Breakfast daily; Lunch days 2, 4 ,9 and 11; Full board days 3 and 8.
• Santa Cruz: city tour
• Ruta Ché: El Fuerte Inca Ruins
• Ruta Ché: Ché Guevara sites
• Potosi: city tour
• Potosi: Royal Mint and mines
• Sucre: city tour
• Uyuni: 2 day exploration of salt flats
• La Paz: city tour
• Lake Titicaca: boat ride and Sun Island
Summary of nights
13 days, 12 nights: Santa Cruz 1; Samaipata 1; La Higuera 1; Sucre 2; Potosi 1; Uyuni 1; Salt Flats 1; La Paz 2; Copacabana 1; La Paz 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
This tour offers a very full programme of excursions and activities so for that reason there will be limited free time for optional excursions. However you may find a few hours in each town and city to further explore, including museum visits and other cultural activities.
There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with another same-sex member of the group who is also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to have their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.
The unit of currency in Bolivia the boliviano.
A budget of around US$35 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the itinerary, soft drinks and the odd souvenir.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns in both countries, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. There are many ATMs in Santa Cruz in La Paz and they are also present in Sucre and Potosí; in many you can withdraw pesos or US dollars. Select “Savings Account” from the menu, even for a debit card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
Since you are also visiting remote places with few facilities, we recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused.
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
International and domestic departure tax is currently included within the price of tickets.
There are a few long days of travel on this trip, but as journeys are taken by private transport you will have maximum comfort and we can make a stop at will. Bolivia is still one of the more underdeveloped countries in Latin America and this trip visits some of the more remote areas. Therefore for some days facilities will be more basic and eating opportunities more limited.
The climate in Santa Cruz is tropical and humid, with temperatures rising to 40°C in the summer months of Dec-Mar. It can rain at any time, but there is also plenty of sun. As you climb into the mountains on your journey towards Sucre the air is fresher and temperatures significantly lower.
Most rain falls Dec-Mar in both Sucre and Potosí: there is a little less sunshine in this period in what are otherwise sunny cities. Potosí is at a higher altitude and can be very cold at night, especially in Jun-Jul.
On the salt flats, most rain falls between January and April when the roads can be very muddy and the itinerary around Uyuni is subject to change. The dry season, Jun-Sep, guarantees sun and an easy drive across the flats, but it’s cold at night with temperatures falling below zero.
The weather in La Paz and Lake Titicaca is dry from late Apr-Oct with daytime temperatures in the high teens/low 20s° C in the sun. Dec-Jan (nominally summer) can be cloudy, and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m).
Your stays in Sucre (2,800m), Potosi (4,090m), Uyuni (3,656m), La Paz (3,632m) and Lake Titicaca (3,812m) are at high altitude. Because the trip gains altitude slowly, most people are only mildly affected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days at altitude), you should be OK. Symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes.
Clothing and special equipment
If you travel in the Andean dry season, May to October, it will be warm in the sunshine but at altitude chilly in the shade, and at night so you’ll need layered clothing, including fleece, hat, scarf and gloves. From November to April you can expect some rain so you should add waterproofs. In both seasons sunblock, sunglasses and good walking shoes or boots are necessary. Bring a little light loose clothing for the warmer climate in the lowland east.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Reduce plastic waste
Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.