Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Bolivia: Do's and Don'ts!
Bolivia was a country I was very much looking forward to visiting, but knew relatively little about compared to Chile and Peru. We ended up enjoying our time there immensely - the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of the people. Here are the do's and don'ts!
– Get tacky! A small fluffy Llama is perfect for those all-important salt flat pictures – let your imagination run wild!
- Spend some time in La Paz. One of the loveliest capitals I’ve been to, with lots to do and see, La Paz is warm and welcoming with plenty of Bolivian spirit.
- Be respectful. The landscape around the salt flats and Atacama Desert is incredible, with spectacular rock formations – please don’t contribute to the mindless erosion of the natural treasures by climbing on top of rocks (as we saw a couple of times…)
- Try coca leaves to help with the altitude. If you can get over the intense bitterness they do have an effect! Just try not to swallow…
- Go against your flee instinct. Take a ride down ‘death road’, but with a recommended tour company – the lack of helmets and body protection we saw on some groups was very worrying, whereas we felt completely safe for the whole time. It is worth it though!
– Go rushing around. The altitude increases rapidly and can hit anyone at any time – there’s far too much to do and see to be stuck in bed ill!
- Be surprised if you have to alter your itinerary. We were caught up in two protests in the space of one week, and we heard of many more in the weeks/months prior to our arrival – stay flexible!
- Underestimate the weather. It is difficult to imagine just how cold the salt flats really are at night – take a good sleeping bag, pile on the blankets and prepare for anything up to -20…
Next - onto Peru!