Daytime view of Laguna Blanca in Bolivia

Things to do in  Bolivia

South America’s Indigenous heartland

Natural beauty reigns supreme in Bolivia—a country that stretches from Andean summits to lowland jungles and the Uyuni Salt Flats. Things to do in Bolivia highlight that diversity, whether you’re planning a multi-day hiking trip, watching wildlife from an eco-lodge, or cycling downhill into the lush Yungas forest. Bolivia’s colorful culture keeps pace with its dramatic backdrop, with an emphasis on proud Indigenous traditions that you can experience at local markets, energetic festivals, and La Paz museums.

Top 15 attractions in Bolivia

Train Cemetery (Cementerio de Trenes)

At the Train Cemetery (Cementerio de Trenes) on the outskirts of Uyuni, hollowed out locomotive shells from Bolivia’s Gilded Age sit out in the open, many heavily corroded from the salt of the nearby Salar de Uyuni—the world’s largest salt flat. The train bodies are climbable, and one has even been converted into a swing.More

Tunupa Volcano

The multi-hued cone of Tunupa Volcano rises 17,457 feet (5,321 meters) above an expanse of white salt. Though reaching the frigid summit requires some mountaineering, a more accessible viewpoint at 15,500 feet (4,724 meters) offers sweeping views of Uyuni Salt Flat (Salar de Uyuni).More

Valle de La Luna (Valley of the Moon)

Minutes from the packed metropolis of La Paz is the mesmerizing desert landscape of the Valley of the Moon. Over time, wind and rain have eroded the soft clay canyon, and have created this surreal landscape, full of dramatic hoodoos and stalagmite-shaped formations.More


High on the Bolivian Altiplano, the city of Tiwanaku sits like a frozen time capsule of Andean history. One of the most fascinating and mind-boggling sites in South America, the UNESCO-listed ruins are believed to be the ancient capital of the Tiwanaku Empire, which once stretched across Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.More

Plaza Murillo

La Paz’s Plaza Murillo is a pigeon-filled public square steeped in history, conquest, conflict, and tragedy. Surrounded by imposing buildings such as the Presidential Palace, the La Paz Cathedral, and the National Congress of Bolivia, many of the country’s most notable political events have taken place on the large, open square.More

Lake Titicaca

Linking the borders of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is South America’s largest lake, and at 12,510 feet (3,813 meters), it’s also the world’s highest navigable body of water. From the colorful town of Copacabana to windswept islands, Lake Titicaca dazzles with proud culture, reflected Andean peaks, and hearty meals of fresh-caught trout.More

San Francisco Church

Renowned for its intricate façade, San Francisco Church (or, Basilica de San Francisco), is one of the best remaining examples of baroque-mestizo architecture in La Paz. The original 1548 structure had collapsed during a heavy snow, and so current church mostly dates to the mid-18th century, and part of the convent is now dedicated as a museum.More

Witches' Market (Mercado de las Brujas)

Though located in an accessible and touristic section of La Paz, the Witches’ Market lacks anything resembling a souvenir. Here, vendors sell exotic herbal remedies, amulet, candle, and the raw ingredients (such as myriad dried animals) for potions, spells, and traditional and spiritual rituals performed by the indigenous community of the Aymara people.More

Death Road (North Yungas Road)

Plunging from high-altitude La Paz to the lush forest of the Yungas region, the North Yungas Road—often called Death Road—is a dramatic downhill route through constantly changing scenery. Popular as a bike tour, the road has an elevation loss of more than 11,800 feet (3,600 meters) between La Cumbre Pass and the lowland town of Coroico.More

Calle Jaen Museums

With worn cobbles and candy-colored buildings, Jaen Street (Calle Jaén) is a historic haven in the midst of downtown La Paz. Along with cafés and shops, the street also boasts five small museums, which cover topics ranging from musical instruments to precious Pre-Columbian metals.More

Presidential Palace

The colorfully painted Presidential Palace is the official residence of the President of Bolivia. Locally the mansion is known as Palacio Quemado, which means “Burnt Palace,” a reference to it nearly burning to the ground during a fieryxa0 uprising against the country’s leadership in 1875. The palace has been architecturally enhanced several times since.More

Llama and Salt Museum (Museo de la Llama y la Sal)

The Llama and Salt Museum (Museo de la Llama y la Sal) sits just outside of Colchani on the way to the famous Uyuni salt flats. The small museum displays a collection of llama statues, many of them made from salt harvested from the nearby flats. Vendors are often outside the museum selling small salt sculpture souvenirs.More

National Museum of Archeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueologia)

At Bolivia’s National Museum of Archaeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueología), visitors can view artifacts dating back as far as 1500 BC and trace the history of the landlocked country’s indigenous tribes and cultures. Located in central La Paz, the archaeology museum offers an insightful look into the mystifying relics of Bolivia’s past.More

Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo de Instrumentos Musicales)

The privately owned Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo de Instrumentos Musicales) houses the most extensive collection of its kind in Bolivia. You’ll see native Bolivian volcanic rock flutes; thousands of percussion, string, and wind instruments; and much more.More

La Paz Cathedral

La Paz Cathedral stands side by side with the Presidential Palace on Plaza Murillo, a historic space that draws everyone from strolling families to political protesters. While it’s less frequented than the nearby Church of San Francisco, the La Paz Cathedral’s lofty ceilings and brilliant stained glass are well worth a detour.More

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All about Bolivia

When to visit

Bolivia’s weather varies as much as its landscapes. The popular dry season runs from May through October, bringing cold, sunny weather great for hiking in the highlands. Lower altitude jungles stay warm year-round, but the dry season means fewer downpours. While the rainiest months from December through March can get downright wet, they’re perfect for photographers heading to the Uyuni Salt Flats; that’s when standing water produces a mirror-like effect.

Getting around

Private intercity buses take you to nearly every corner of Bolivia. Rough roads, ancient buses, and regular breakdowns means it’s not always a comfortable ride, and it’s best to avoid nighttime trips for safety reasons. For longer journeys, domestic flights can save you both time and hassle. Internal flights link cities including La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba with farther-flung locales such as Tarija, Trinidad, and the Amazon.

Traveler tips

High elevations can leave many travelers feeling headachy and tired, so it’s a good idea to schedule in rest days when heading to La Paz and the Andes. Be sure to also carry cash, as it can be hard to find working credit card machines outside of major cities.


People Also Ask

Is Bolivia worth visiting?

Yes, Bolivia is worth visiting. From the snowcapped Andes to the lowland jungles, the country has a wealth of natural beauty. The majority-Indigenous nation also has extraordinary cultural offerings, whether you’re dancing at the Carnaval do Oruro, browsing handicraft markets in La Paz, or practicing a few words of the Aymara language.

What are 3 things Bolivia is known for?

Bolivia is known for natural beauty, and its most famous places showcase just how diverse the country is. Snowy peaks tower to 21,463 feet (6,542 meters) in the Andes; the Uyuni Salt Flat is the largest on Earth; and Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable body of water in the world.

Is Bolivia a cheap place to visit?

Yes, Bolivia is a cheap place to visit. The country is generally considered one of South America’s most affordable countries, with wallet-friendly food, guesthouses, and intercity buses. Imported goods are quite pricey, so when planning a trip to the mountains, plan to come with all the warm clothing you’ll need.

What is the best month to visit Bolivia?

The dry season from May through October is great for visiting Bolivia, with sunny weather perfect for hiking and outdoor exploring. The very best months may be May or June, when La Paz celebrates the colorful Fiesta del Gran Poder, a festival featuring parades, colorful costumes, and dancing.

Can US citizens go to Bolivia?

Yes, US citizens can visit Bolivia with a visa. While visas are available at airports and land borders, it’s a good idea to get one in advance by applying online. If you’re trying for a visa upon arrival, be sure to bring US$160 in crisp bills with no creases.

Can you drink the water in Bolivia?

No, you can’t drink tap water in Bolivia. Both travelers and locals rely on bottled water both for drinking and brushing their teeth. If you’re in a mountain area where drinking water comes from streams or lakes, it’s essential to treat the water source with tablets, filters, or UV sterilization.

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