The “Tibet of the Americas”
Land-locked Bolivia, the “Tibet of the Americas”, the highest, most isolated and most Indian country in South America, is a place of extraordinary Andean landscapes, colourful present-day cultures and ancient archaeological sites. It boasts the highest capital city, La Paz (population 1 million), highest navigable lake, highest ski run, hotel and airport.
The famous Altiplano stretches from Lake Titicaca in the north to the Argentine border in the south. Much of the north east of the country however, is part of the steamy lowlands of the Amazon Basin.
Bolivia is thought to have some of the oldest pre-Incaic cultures in South America, dating back some 12,000 years. However the Inca Empire dominated here prior to the Spanish conquest, as it did over much of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and northern Chile. Today, the major ethnic groups are Quechua (Inca) and Aymara and much of the rest “mestizo”, or mixed-blood. The popular image of the Indian woman wearing a bowler hat and voluminous skirts still predominates in the countless colourful markets, where you can purchase wonderful handicrafts made from vicuna and alpaca wool as well as many other ornaments.
Bolivia's most important archaeological site, the ceremonial centre of Tiahuanaco, is situated outside La Paz and another “must” is the extraordinary eroded Moon Valley. Perhaps the most famous highlight is enormous and beautiful Lake Titicaca, where you can see the Uros Indians in their colourful clothing and reed boats. Ask us about some of our other tours in Bolivia - one of the most fascinating countries in South America.