Bolivia Highlights
from $2610
Duration: 11 Days
Explore the best of Bolivia on this adventure through lively cities, breathtaking scenery and colourful market towns. From the extreme elevation of bustling La Paz through the history of Potosi and Sucre, and on to the surreal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, there's a diverse mix of adventures and activities that deliver excitement, intrigue and pleasure. Discover the highlights of this fascinating part of South America and be swept away by the colour and beauty flourishing in this corner of the world.
  • See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you.
  • Empty, haunting, and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert.
  • Choose to explore the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Valle de la Luna, a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires that feels like the surface of the Moon.
  • Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre.
  • Delve into the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi – once one of the richest cities in the world.
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada & Laguna Verde
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek
  • Day 1 Location: La Paz
    Kamisaki! At around 3600 metres, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world in La Paz. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of industry – the country’s brain. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. After a 6 pm welcome meeting maybe head out into the city, situated in the middle of a vast volcanic crater. Breathe the ‘thin’ air, marvel at the vistas of buildings clinging to the canyon sides, and explore the lively streets like Calle Jaen.
    Day 2 Location: La Paz – Uyuni
    This morning, leave La Paz behind and travel by private vehicle to Uyuni – the gateway to Bolivia’s acclaimed salt flats. You’ll head off around 8.30 am this morning and will arrive late in the afternoon, so be sure to have a book or some podcasts ready, and some snacks on hand. Along your way, stop for some lunch with your group. Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano – a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. Once arrived, check in and relax into your hotel in Uyuni town. Although basic, your accommodation for tonight is clean and comfortable, and maybe the last time you’ll have a hot shower for a few days!
    Day 3 Location: Salar de Uyuni
    Uyuni is the starting point of your 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni and the Andean Desert. This morning you will stop by the Train Cemetery, three kilometres outside of Uyuni Town, connected to it by the old train tracks, and see where families of abandoned locomotives rust slowly in the sun. Continue on to the town of Colchani, which produces salt the old-fashioned way, before heading into the salt flats. Endless skies meet endless white plains, and it's a pretty hypnotic sight – don't forget to snap loads of photos! Stop by an intriguing salt hotel and drive to an island of cacti that rises like a jagged reef in the desert. Known as Isla Inca Wasi, or Fish Island, this fossil-strewn outcrop was once the top of an ancient volcano, and you’ll have the chance to go on an optional hike here. After a big day of driving, head south to a small village and your homestay-style accommodation. Settle in and enjoy an included dinner.
    Day 4 Location: Desierto Siloli – Laguna Colorada
    After breakfast, continue driving through the incredible landscapes of the Andean Desert, with another day deep in the wilderness. Pass by Chiguana Salt Lake, the still-active Ollague Volcano, and other small lakes of different colours – perhaps with a flamboyance of flamingos standing nearby! Continue on to the Siloli Desert, which is known for its mountain of seven colours, Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree) rock formation, and some pretty epic vistas. You’ll also get the chance to venture into an Andean wildlife reserve (Reserva de Eduardo Avaroa) and hike around the Laguna Colorada (Red Lake), keeping an eye out for llamas, flamingos, vicunas, and foxes along the way. Once all the sightseeing is over for another day, retire to your dormitory accommodation in a local Huayllajara community for a well-earned rest and included dinner.
    Day 5 Location: Salar de Uyuni – Uyuni
    Leave your lodge nice and early to try and catch the sunrise over the surrounding geysers. These bubbling fumaroles are especially active in the morning, thanks to the cold air. Continue to a local hot spring for a quick dip, then to Laguna Verde to take some pictures of the water’s striking green hues. Afterward, pass through more barren desert landscapes, some of which are frequently compared to Salvador Dali’s paintings. Onwards to Capina Lake, Valle de Rocas (Rock Valley), and the San Cristobal mining town. You’ll arrive back in Uyuni around 5 pm to spend the night at your leisure – after the last few days in the Bolivian wild, this could be the right time to find a comfy local restaurant for an optional dinner and drinks with your travel crew.
    Day 6 Location: Potosi
    Today, say goodbye to Uyuni, and catch a local bus for about 4 hours along the scenic route to Potosi, where you’ll arrive in the early afternoon. Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. Once the predominant supplier of silver to colonial-era Spain, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. Explore the architectural remnants of this period of industry on a leader-led orientation walk, then the afternoon and evening are yours. Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls or the National Mint Museum.
    Day 7 Location: Sucre
    After a lazy morning to explore Potosi, take a local bus early in the afternoon and arrive in Sucre after approximately 4 hours, disembarking in the temperate valley city. Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991 and has retained the flavour of its colonial heritage in its churches, museums, and ancient mansions. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning it the nickname the 'White City'. On arrival, you'll have some free time to get your bearings of the city before you go for an optional dinner.
    Day 8 Location: Sucre
    Take a few days to explore Bolivia’s capital. After an orientation walk, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 68 million-year-old footprints have been discovered. This is the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, over 12,000 of them! Then, you might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta, a 400-year-old convent on top of the hill that provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. Or maybe head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to rub shoulders with Sucre's affluent residents and investigate the extravagant interior of the Senora de la Merced.
    Day 9 Location: Sucre
    Today, set out for an included hike along the ancient Pre-Incan path known as the Chataquila trek. The trek is relatively easy being that it is mostly downhill. On the way down enjoy the stunning views of the Andes and the valleys. In the afternoon, perhaps head up to Recoleta, an old convent on top of the hill, giving some great views of the city. Adrenaline junkies might also like to take to the surrounding peaks for some excellent mountain biking options or perhaps give hang gliding a shot. Most of today and tomorrow are free to take up some additional optional activities in and around town, so it’s up to you what you’d like to do and see! Bolivian dance show, or textile museum, anyone?
    Day 10 Location: Sucre - La Paz
    This morning is free to explore Sucre before catching a flight back to La Paz (approx 40 min).
    Day 11 Location: La Paz
    Today is the final day of your tour and there are no activities planned, so you are free to leave at any time. With so much to see and do, you might want to spend an extra day or two checking out the city. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    05JAN2022
    Return Date:
    15JAN2022
    2820NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    02FEB2022
    Return Date:
    12FEB2022
    2820NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    16MAR2022
    Return Date:
    26MAR2022
    2715NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    31MAR2022
    Return Date:
    10APR2022
    2715NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    28APR2022
    Return Date:
    08MAY2022
    2715NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    12MAY2022
    Return Date:
    22MAY2022
    2610NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    09JUN2022
    Return Date:
    19JUN2022
    2610NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    23JUN2022
    Return Date:
    03JUL2022
    2610NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14JUL2022
    Return Date:
    24JUL2022
    2610NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    28JUL2022
    Return Date:
    07AUG2022
    2610NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Bolivia Highlights

    Trip code

    GGSV

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Explore the best of Bolivia on this adventure through lively cities, breathtaking scenery and colourful market towns. From the extreme elevation of bustling La Paz through the history of Potosi and Sucre, and on to the surreal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, there's a diverse mix of adventures and activities that deliver excitement, intrigue and pleasure. Discover the highlights of this fascinating part of South America and be swept away by the colour and beauty flourishing in this corner of the world.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Plane,4X4,Local bus,Private Vehicle

    Physical Rating

    2

    Joining point

    Altus Express Hotel

    20 de Octubre Avenue, on the corner of Nicolás Aosta 1494

    La Paz

    BOLIVIA

    Phone: 591 76767616

    Finish point

    Altus Express Hotel

    20 de Octubre Avenue, on the corner of Nicolás Aosta 1494

    La Paz

    BOLIVIA

    Phone: 591 76767616

    Important information

    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip except for Days 4 & 5 where accommodation is multi-share. 2. The excursion to Uyuni salt lake is on a shared basis and your group size may be larger than 12 travellers. 3. Nationals from the USA and South Africa need a visa to enter Bolivia and we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border. Please see the visa information on these Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information. 4. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance and transport tickets. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary. 5. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 2 pm on Day 1. 6. Parts of your trip go above (2800 m) (9200 ft) where it is common for travellers to experience health effects due to altitude. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness prior to travel and see your doctor if you have health concerns.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    Communications

    WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

    Visas

    If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document.  BOLIVIA: Nationals from South Africa need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border. This visa has a validity of 30 days from first day of entry. In order to apply for this visa, you will need to provide the following documentation: A. Original passport valid for a minimum of 6 months. B. One passport photo (color, 5cm x 5cm / 2" x 2") C. Evidence of a hotel reservation in Spanish (Intrepid can provide this upon request) D. A copy of the voucher and trip notes that you receive after purchasing this trip. E. Proof of economic solvency (credit card, cash, or a current bank statement) F. International Vaccination Certificate for yellow fever This Visa can be obtained in Peru (Lima or Cusco) and is usually processed within the day, providing all paper work as mentioned above is in order and payment has been made. We only recommend this option if you simply don't have enough time to get the visa prior to leaving home. For more information please visit the following website: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/bolivia.html At the time of writing, Australian, Belgians, British, Canadians, Dutch, Germans and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Bolivia. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa or entry requirements with the Bolivian consulate in your home country or check via the below website:  https://cibtvisas.com/ It is a requirement of the Peruvian Tax Authority for our trip leaders to show proof that all travellers on our groups are foreign tourists and are thus exempt from the 17% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to locals. This may require your trip leader to take a photograph of your main passport page and the page showing the immigration stamp you receive upon entry to Peru.

    Why we love it

    See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you.

    Empty, haunting, and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert.

    Choose to explore the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Valle de la Luna, a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires that feels like the surface of the Moon.

    Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre.

    Delve into the steep streets and Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi – once one of the richest cities in the world.

    Is this trip right for you

    This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important information on this. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor. You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure. In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn't happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility. Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. Temperatures in the area can be very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothes with you. Meals are simple, toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold, and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. This is all part of the adventure. Without a doubt, this amazing experience will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America. Please note that this trip can be joined with other adventures into a ‘combination trip’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today, and some may carry on to further destinations at the end of this tour. If you’d like to spend more time in South America, have a look at the combination trips that include this trip’s itinerary: Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES: Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. ALTITUDE SICKNESS: Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor. During your trip. While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness YELLOW FEVER A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc. More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you. For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home.  UYUNI MEALS It's important to note that the 'standard' of meals may not be as you would find in major cities like La Paz as people eat a very simple diet here. Please expect meals to be quite basic in this remote part of the world.

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).  The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. MEALS NOT INCLUDED: For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out? Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café. Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15. Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main. These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries. CREDIT CARDS & ATMs: ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks. DEPARTURE TAX: In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase. Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip. TIPPING: Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier. Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go. Tipping Guide: To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill. - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day. - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers. - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    What to take

    Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

    ESSENTIAL: - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

    RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and band-aids. - Insect repellent - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both - Swimwear -Sleeping bag: Night time temperatures are often well into the minuses it can often get as cold as -5 degrees. Blankets are provided however due to the extreme weather conditions we strongly recommend that you either rent or bring your own sleeping bag. Sleeping bags can be rented in Uyuni for the 3-day tour for about 10 USD (total cost, not per day). - Warm clothes: Thermal underclothes, being small and light, a light water and windproof jacket -Travel Towel: We recommend bringing a travel towel for the Uyuni part of this trip as we can't always guarantee towels will be provided at your stay in the basic accommodation. OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

    Climate and seasonal

    Night time temperatures during winter (May to August) on the Bolivian Altiplano are very cold and can drop to -30 Celsius.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +56 9 7964 8594

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. Due to limited time and energy supply in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Dormitory (2 nts),Hotel (8 nts)

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