Bolivia

Bolivia was a wonderful experience. This landlocked South American country had few tourists but had much to offer. Landscapes, nature, and cultural interests can all be satisfied in Bolivia. There are a lot of open spaces with only 22.7 people per square mile, ranking Bolivia the 216th populated country in the world. The majority of its 9 ½ million inhabitants live in about a half dozen cities. We began our tour in Santa Cruz, its largest city, but a city with an altitude of only 1,371 feet. Starting at a low altitude and working our way up to Sucre at 9,259 was a good approach to this high altitude country. Next was the mining town of Potosi at 12,904 feet above sea level. Potosi is at the base of Cerro Rico, meaning “rich mountain”, and this mountain has yielded more silver than any other mountain in the world. From this point on we stayed at about 12,000 feet or higher. Two very memorable stops were the Salar de Uyuni and the Oruru Carnival. Situated on the Altiplano west of Uyuni is the largest salt lake in the world. Driving across the salt lake is an experience not to be missed. The Oruro Carnival is literally non-stop for two days and one must be there to get a true feeling for its size. Our last stop was a visit to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world at an altitude of 12,254 feet.