Bolivia: The Land of Llamas

There was a recent report released at the CNN website claiming that Bolivia was a very unfriendly country. I pondered after going through the report – Bolivians and unfriendly? It is not the perfect combination. When I was in Bolivia three years back I found the people very welcoming to the tourists and they were very friendly. Bolivia is a pretty country situated in Central America. It is often referred to as the “Tibet of Americas” in the local tourist circles. Before I visited the land of Llamas, I had an eager desire to watch these remarkable animals. However, upon arriving at the country I found that there were many other beauties in Bolivia that would make my tour remarkable.

 

I travelled far and wide trying to see all the remarkable places that Bolivia has to offer. Some of the notable places I visited during my tour include:

 

  • La Paz: It is the capital and the highest governmental capital in the world. It is situated at an elevation of 3,650 meters above the sea level and offers breathtaking views. The city sits snuggly between the Andes Mountain ranges. The city was itself gorged out of a canyon. There is a significant difference in temperatures between higher parts of the city and lower parts. While in La Paz I visited the Valle de la Luna which is known for its canyons.
  • Sorata: This location will capture the imagination of nature lovers. Sorata is a sleepy town that is situated between La Paz and Lake Titicaca. I even took some time to hike the snow capped mountains in the vicinity. There are six towering peaks close to the town.
  • Lake Titicaca: It is the highest lake in the world and it is only a few hours from La Paz city. I drove down the lake and visited many destinations bearing the remnants of the Inca culture. There are beautiful islands along the course of this Lake. While visiting Lake Titicaca my guide also took me to a local village named Yumani which is not only well known for the cultural manifestation of the Bolivians, but also offers great views of the sunset.
  • Yungas Road: Being an adventure lover I truly could not miss out this location. Yungas Road is termed as the World’s Most Dangerous Road and the road takes people from La Paz to the Amazon Rainforests. Though travelling in vehicles is very dangerous on this road, but biking is allowed. So I climbed down my car and hired a local bicycle. I spent some time mountain biking on this road.
  • Sajama National Park: Next it was time to answer to the calls of the Llamas. I had long wanted to see these animals. The national park is situated close to the Chilean border and it is a home for the Llamas and Vicunas. You can find herds of Llamas moving across the terrain. This was again another dream come true for me.
  • Sucre: Central America has a predominant touch of Spanish colonials. Sucre is the best place to enjoy this touch. Locals use different names to designate this place. The city has many historical relics. There is the La Casa de la Libertad (where the Bolivian constitution was written) and Bolivia’s National Library (having documents dating back to the 15th century).

 

During my stay in Bolivia I visited various other tourist attractions such as Salar de Uyuni, Tiwanaku and Cerro Rico in Potosi. Bolivia will remain etched in my memory forever.

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