The sights of Bolivia are among the most amazing in the world. It’s not a country that shouts tourism, but the attractions and sights of Bolivia really have to be seen to be believed. Bolivia is the 5th largest country in South America and is landlocked – the lack of a coastline usually limits the geographical attraction for any country, but not so with amazing landscapes of Bolivia. Let’s take a tour of some of the most wonderful sights of Bolivia.
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One of the sights of Bolivia that should not be missed is Lake Titicaca, which sits on the borders of Bolivia and Peru. It is the highest lake in the world at 12,500 feet above sea level and is the largest lake in South America. To the ancient Inca civilization, it was a sacred site. They believed the world was created from this lake by their god Viracocha. Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient temple and the site is further considered as the birthplace of the Inca civilization. The 41 islands of the lake are also regarded as sacred, in particular the Isla de Sol (Island of the sun).
Madidi National Park
Among the sights of Bolivia is Madidi National Park situated in North Western Bolivia with 10,000 sq miles of varied terrain. Complete with tropical rain forests and glacier-covered Andean mountains, this is certainly one of the interesting attractions of Bolivia. Tourism in Madidi National Park started in 1995 with eco-lodges and the income funds land conservation which aids the local indigenous people. The Madidi National Park is considered the most famous of Bolivia’s national parks and is home to a species of monkey – the titi – not found anywhere else in the world.
Salar De Uyuni
The Salar de Uyuni in south-western Bolivia are the largest salt flats in the world. They lie at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, cover an area of more than 4,000 square miles and consist of 10 billion tons of salt. One of the truly amazing sights of Bolivia, it is a surreal landscape - like something out of a sci-fi movie. The panoramic sea of white is broken by the cones of salt created by the mining process.
Truly one of the great natural attractions of Bolivia is the extinct volcano, Nevado Sajama, which is the highest mountain in Bolivia at 21,463 feet. Its snowy peak graces the Sajama National Park is in Western Bolivia in the Andes, on the border with Northern Chile. The park further contains two potentially active volcanoes, the ‘Nevados de Payachata’. Both of these volcanoes are more than 20,000 feet high.
It might seem odd including a city in the list of best landscapes in Bolivia but, La Paz more than deserves its mention. As the world’s highest capital city, it looks spectacular from any angle – if you get the chance to see it from the air – do so! Not only is the cityscape one of the most incredible pictures of urban sprawl, but just outside the city is the Valle de La Luna (Moon Valley), a landscape that has been sculptured over a millennia by the effects of erosion on clay mountains.
The Crater of Maragua
One of the beautiful sights of Bolivia is the unusual flower-shaped Maragua Crater. It isn’t really a crater, just a gorgeous valley with a rim shaped like petals. The layers of rock alternate between red, grey and brown, adding to the stunning scene which becomes quite spectacular as the colors change during sunrise and sunset. The crater is also home to the mysterious Rock Paintings of Inchamay, created by the Jalq’a people.
Torotoro National Park
Torotoro National Park in the foothills of the Andes has the biggest caves in Bolivia and high canyons with rushing waterfalls. The rock formations here are unique containing fossils and dinosaur bones. It’s no easy feat getting to the park as it can only be reached via gravel roads and dried up riverbeds. The major sights in the park include the Cueva Humajalanta, more than 2, 500 dinosaur footprints, the Waca Seng’a Canyon and the Llama Chaqui, an archaeological site of significance to the Quechua culture.
Snaking its way for 40 miles and clinging like a thread to the edge of a mountain, the Yungas Road has been described as the ‘world’s most dangerous road’. Starting just outside La Paz at 15,000 feet, it winds its way down to 4,000 feet high, reaching the town of Coroico. Rarely used by vehicles, as it is considered too perilous, it is a favored haunt of mountain bikers who brave the narrow strip to enjoy the most incredible views and sights of Bolivia, while clinging on in fear of grim death to their handlebars.
So many of the sights of Bolivia are due to the amazing processes of nature and geography. The mountains and valleys and the many, many national parks are a delight for intrepid explorers and trekkers. Is Bolivia on your list of places to visit?
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