Infos about the trip


The trip has been devoted essentially to the visit of the Bolivian plateau, of the parks, deserts and andean salars. I traveled for most of the time to altitudes between 3500 and 4500 mt and the altitude represents the biggest problem; considering that I had never had experiences in high mountain the thing worried me a lot before the departure, fortunately has not caused big problems to me if not headache and insomnia in the first days of trip. However you have not absolutely to underestimate the mountain-sickness, before making a trip like this it is ABSOLUTELY advisable to consult a physician.

mappa.jpg (64953 byte)
La mappa del viaggio (~ 65 Kb)


Date Itinerary Transport Time
12/10/2001 Milan-Paris-Santiago airplane 16 hours
13/10/2001 Santiago-Arica airplane 3 hours
14/10/2001 Arica-Putre mini-bus 1/2 day
15/10/2001 Putre-Lauca Park
Lauca Park-La Paz
1/2 day
6 hours
16/10/2001 La Paz    
17/10/2001 La Paz-Copacabana (lake Titikaka)
Tour Isla del Sol
4 hours
1/2 day
18/10/2001 Copacabana-La Paz
La Paz-Sucre
4 hours
hours (night)
19/10/2001 Sucre
Tour Fancesa

taxi - mini-bus

20/10/2001 Sucre    
21/10/2001 Tarambuco - tour market
1/2 day
5 hours
22/10/2001 Potosì    
23/10/2001 Potosì-Tupiza bus 9 hours
24/10/2001 Tupiza tour jeep 1 giorno
25/10/2001 Tupiza-Uyuni train 8 hours (night)
26/10/2001 Uyuni - tour Salar & lagoons jeep 1 day
27/10/2001 Tour Salar & lagoons jeep 1 day
28/10/2001 Tour Salar & lagoons
San Pedro de Atacama
1/2 day
1 hour
29/10/2001 Tour Valley of the Moon mini-bus 4 hours
30/10/2001 Tour El Tatio and villages - Calama mini-bus 1 day
31/10/2001 Tour Chuquicamata mine
taxi - bus
bus salon-cama
1/2 day
22 hours
01/11/2001 Santiago    
02/11/2001 Santiago    
03/11/2001 Santiago-Paris-Milan airplane 16 hours


Considering that don't exist direct flights from Europe to Bolivia the flights are quite expensive, so I have chosen to fly to Santiago the Chile and to reach Bolivia with the public transport, in this way I had the possibility to visit the north zones of Chile and to acclimatize me to the altitude. 

In Chile the transports are quite efficient and capillary, bus with armchairs that almost become beds can be chosen for the long distances. 

The aerial connections reach the principal cities but they are also quite expensive because practically Lan Chile holds the monopoly of the aerial connections . 

In Bolivia the biggest problem is represented by the bad conditions of the roads, most of them are excavated, the speeds are very low and you "jump" for almost all the trip. However I have found public transport more comfortable than I expected, for the nighttime trip it is worth the punishment to choose bus cama provided with comfortable armchairs and a lot of space for the legs, it is also advisable to have warm clothes considering that the heating often doesn't work; for the route served (Oruro-Uyuni-Tupiza) it is advisable to choose the train, decidedly more comfortable than the buses. 


I expected to find a polar climate and I was equipped with a big quantity of warm clothes, really the climate has been excellent with pleasant temperatures, I have spent quite a lot days in shorts and t-shirt; I found rigid temperatures only during the visit of the lagoons to 4500 mt with a really icy wind. In each case it is worth the punishment to also equip with warm and protect-wind clothes because between the day and the night there is a notable thermal excursion.


In Bolivia the food doesn't have me particularly thrilled with the exception of the good
lake Titikaka's salmon-trout and the fruit-shakes prepared to the Sucre market, to try the Salteñases: small "football ball" full of meat, spices and vegetables that Bolivian eat in the middle of the morning. 

In Chile excellent the sea-food, to not miss to Santiago a lunch to base of fish in the Mercado Central even accompanied by a good Chilean wine. 


Unlike other regions of the South America, all the zones I visited seemed me absolutely safe, the population is very warm; besides the normal precautions is necessary to pay some attention in the big cities and to the frequent strikes that stop for days some zones of Bolivia.


Bolivia is absolutely a convenient country, Chile a little bit expensive; credit cards are very little diffused (however ATMs for withdrawal of cash can be found in the big cities), to change money it is better to bring US$ cash, the TCs are changed almost anywhere with very unfavorable rates.


I lodged exclusively in pensions and small hotels, in every case to the exception of the big cities, only simple lodgings are available and therefore is necessary a little bit of adaptation; generally hot water is not available for the whole day, almost all the lodgings have a laundry-service. 
Positive note for the people travels alone, there is not surcharges for the single rooms, generally a little bit of bargain for the cost of the rooms can be done.

The pensions where I sojourned:

Resindecial Chungará: not so good, is decidedly the accommodation that has liked me less, in remuneration the owners are very kind and available. 

La Paz 
Hotel Happy Days: in central position and therefore very comfortable for the city-visit. 

Hostal del Sol: just in front of the bus stop.

Hostal Charcas: just in front of the central market, the owner is very available, she also organizes the excursion to the Tarambuco Sunday market.

Hostal Maria Victoria: the rooms are leaned out on a beautiful patio in colonial style but my room was a little bit cold (also because it is to 4000 mt). 

Hotel Mitru: beautiful atmosphere there is also a kitchen to disposition of the guests and a good travel agency. 

Hotel Avenida: just in front of the train station.

San Pedro de Atacama 
Casa Corvatsch: pleasant even if my room was minuscule, the use of water and electricity is suspended after 10 pm. 

Residencial Toño: not so good, next to the bus station.

YHA Hostel: of discreet level and next to the bus station and to the subway. 
Hotel París: in the city-center, discreet even if my bed was a creaking only. 

LINKS Good site for indipendent travel to Bolivia Good site for indipendent travel to Bolivia Bolivian portal Bolivian portal Hostal Valle Hermoso - Tupiza Beautiful photos and some infos about South America LP South America forum Chile tourist infos Chile tourist infos San Pedro de Atacama info page Chile tourist infos One of the biggest Cilean bus company



Copyright © 2001 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.