Your Bolivia Tour Awaits

Mystic Culture, Rich Heritage & Natural Beauty!

Geographically Bolivia is one of the most varied nations in Latin America featuring extreme high-altitude mountains, colonial cities, fertile plains and biologically diverse tropical rainforests.

Enchanting Travels presents Bolivia – 100% raw and authentic, with the highest levels of service and quality.

Unlock the mysteries of the Incas and other pre-Columbian cultures and learn about the Pachamama on your private Bolivia tour. Have your fortune told by a Bruja in the La Paz witches market! Walk the infinite white expanses of the world’s largest salt flats with our Uyuni tours, or sail along the royal blue waters of Lake Titicaca.

A personalized itinerary is just the start to your very own tailor-made Bolivia tour.

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 History of Bolivia

The history of Bolivia dates back many millennia to when the Aymaras first settled in the western highlands.

The Tiwanaku culture flourished until the kingdom was conquered by the Incas in the 15th century. Soon afterward, the Spanish conquistadors toppled the empire and founded the city of La Paz in 1548.

Under Spanish colonization present-day Bolivia was known as Alto Peru (Upper Peru) and was under the authority of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

Silver mines in Alto Peru provided the majority of the wealth gathered by the Spanish Empire, and thousands of natives died while mining in dangerous conditions. In 1776, Alto Peru became part of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata.

Spanish colonial rule was a traumatic experience for indigenous groups. In addition to mining, the native population decreased rapidly due to their susceptibility to European diseases and several revolts were quelled by the Spanish.

Finally in 1825, Alto Peru joined the rest of the South American nations to win independence from Spain.

The new country was named Bolivia after Simón Bolívar, the famous liberator and hero. However, independence did not alleviate the country’s problems.

In 1879, after the country had increased taxes on nitrate mines, the War of the Pacific against Chile devastated Bolivia.

Chile emerged victorious and Bolivia lost its only strip of Pacific coast and rich nitrate mining areas to Chile, thus becoming a landlocked nation.

The 20th century was marked by more tumult, social unrest, various coup d’etats and brutal military dictatorships as well as hyperinflation, poverty and a rise in drug trafficking.

In 2005, left-wing Evo Morales was elected president and began to implement several controversial policies, including nationalization of industries.

In 2009, Morales created a new Constitution formally declaring Bolivia a “plurinational state”, in recognition of the various indigenous cultures within the country.

Although it is still one of the poorest nations in South America, Bolivia is currently entering a period of stability and economic growth and in recent years, a Bolivia tour is completely safe.

Bolivia tours reward visitors with unparalleled cultural authenticity and stunning natural beauty at this relatively undiscovered destination.

Top Bolivia Tour Tip – History:

The Tiwanaku civilization from 13th century BCE was the most advanced of ancient Bolivian cultures, and the ruins of their capital city Tiwanaku can be visited today on one of our private Bolivia tours.

 Bolivia's Culture

One of the principal highlights of a Bolivia tour is the authenticity of the country’s culture and local people, who retain their indigenous heritage even in modern times.

The majority of the population is of Quechua and Aymara descent, followed by mestizos – people with mixed indigenous and Spanish ancestry.

As you travel in Bolivia, you will find women in traditional dress, affectionately called cholas, everywhere. The chola’s clothing consists of a pleated skirt called pollera, a shawl called manta and topped off with a bowler hat from 19th century Europe. This form of dress was originally forced on the indigenous women by colonists, but now it has become a national symbol.

Markets are colorful and full of textiles, handicrafts and even strange shamanic trinkets that are symbols of native religious traditions and popular superstition and a major part of Bolivian culture.

Our private Bolivia tours take you to Lake Titicaca, where unique cultures such as the Uros of the floating reed islands, maintain their traditions even in modern times.

Bolivians are close-knit and extremely family oriented, with several generations living together under the same roof.

Many traditions and festivals in Bolivia stem from a mix of pre-Colombian pagan rites and Roman Catholicism.

The Oruro Carnival is a major part of a well-planned Bolivia tour.  It is an important cultural event, famous for its folkloric devil dance and several days of costumed parades.

Top Bolivia Travel Tip – Culture:

Locals do not like to have their photos taken by visitors. Do not photograph people without first asking for permission during your tour of Bolivia

 Cuisine of Bolivia

Given the several distinct climatic regions and the abundance of natural resources, it is no wonder that Bolivian cuisine is divided by regionality and infused with local ingredients.

During your Bolivia tour you will find that in the Andes, cuisine is characterised by the staple grains quinoa and rice, a plethora of potato varieties – native to the Andes, and llama or alpaca meat. Meals commonly consist of delicious, warm and filling stews and soups.

In the lowlands and tropical regions, food is based around yucca, plantains and beef.

Your Bolivia tour is incomplete without a food tour of the country’s administrative capital. La Paz, Bolivia’s most modern city, is heavily influenced by international food and has many pizzerias, fast food joints, Chinese restaurants (called chifas), rotisseries, and some high-end continental eateries.

Here is some typical Bolivia food to whet your appetite:

  • Anticuchos: kebabs made with heart of beef
  • Salteñas: a baked empanada filled with meat and a sweet and spicy sauce
  • Choripan: a sausage sandwich

 

Top Bolivia Travel Tips – Cuisine:

  • On a Bolivia tour, you should not eat with your hands, unless it is fast food such as burgers and hot dogs.
  • Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day, and this is followed by an afternoon nap.

 A Culinary Revolution in Bolivia

In spite of such strong cultural authenticity, you’ll find that what is considered gourmet food is unfortunately so often an imitation of Italian or continental cuisine in Bolivia.

However, this is currently poised to change with the beginning of a culinary revolution led by non-profit organizations such as Melting Pot Bolivia.

Such NGOs are fostering a return to native cuisine and local agriculture and keeping youths off the streets by training them to become the next generation of Bolivian chef. This adds a delicious and fabulous flavor to our Bolivia tours.

Recently, famous Danish chef and entrepreneur Claus Meyer (of Michelin star NOMA in Copenhagen) opened up Gustu restaurant in La Paz. According to many, Gustu may just be the world’s next best new restaurant and should certainly be your must-visit list during your Bolivia tour.

Gustu features only native cuisine and local ingredients prepared in creative ways by young chefs. The restaurant aims to put Bolivia on the map as a top gastronomic destination.

You can also eat in an extraordinary spot: dine on the salt flats or in a hotel made of salt during one of our Uyuni tours.

 Bolivian Language

Spanish is the official language of Bolivia, however, there are over 30 native languages spoken in various regions of the country, with Quechua and Aymara being the most common.

Over 50% of the population has a native language other than Spanish as their mother tongue. Whilst you will find plenty of people speaking English in the cities during your Bolivia tour, it would be unwise to expect the same in rural areas.

 

The Enchanting Travels team is happy to plan your personalized and tailor-made Bolivia tour. 

Explore further information about our luxury Bolivia Tours and other destinations for your private South America Tour

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