12 day intinerary in Bolivia
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Dec 9, 2012 5:37 AM Last Post By: nathan6366
Dec 6, 2012 5:21 AM
12 day intinerary in BoliviaMy wife and I would like to take our winter 12 day vacation in Bolivia from Jan 25-Feb 6 and would like some feedback and suggestions on itinerary.
Thus far we think our best bet is to fly into Lima (from NYC), fly to Juliaca get to Puno (we should be able to get there pretty early as we will land in Lima at 7am.)
Not sure if we should spend the first night here or continue to Copocabana. We don't need to spend too much time here because we intend to see lake Titicaca on the way back. So here is what my rough itinerary looks like:
Day 1 Puno/Copocabana (i'm thinking Copa, as it will get us closer to La Paz)
Day 2 La Paz
Day 3 La Paz (Death Road bike tour)
Day 4 chill in Coroico
Day 5 Salar de Uyuni (flying to Uyuni)
Day 6 Salar de Uyuni
Day 7 Salar de Uyuni
Day 8 This day will be February 2, the first day of Carnival de la Candelaria
Day 9 Copa-Isla del Sol
Day 10 Isla del Sol-Copa
Day 11 Copa-Carnival de la Candelaria
Day 12 Travel back to Lima to catch a midnight flight to NYC
A couple of questions: is the Carnival de la Candelaria worth seeing and if so how many days and which days are better?
is the carnival better in Copa or Puno?
We can't really afford to stay longer so 12 days is what we have to work with. We've been to Sacred Valley/Machu Pichu already so we want to go somewhere we haven't been. thanks in advance for any suggestions or opinions!
Dec 6, 2012 7:11 AM
1If not taking a tour to the islands in lake Titicaca, I would not stay in Puno. Copacabana is much smaller and nicer. Or maybe go straight ahead to La Paz (as you will return to Copacabana later), or even fly from Lima to La Paz. (take care: you might need time to adapt to the altitude)
Festival La Candalaria is not the real carnaval like Oruro (which will be in 2013 from february 9th till 12th) but they have a lot of things in common (the characters, dances, parades). Last year I was lucky to visit both Copacabana (Bolivia) and Puno (Peru). First La Candalaria in Copacabana, which was held from february 2nd till 4 th (last day only bull fighting). Here were only a few tourists wachting it ( I think maybe a few hundred max), Copacabana also has regular hotel prices during the festival, they are not more busy than normal. La Candalaria in Copa: small but very nice.
La Candalaria in Puno is spread over a few weekends, I visited the weekend from february 12th and 13nd, with the dance demonstration in the stadium and large parades in the streets. Much more touristy and busy, but also very good. Prices of the hotels at least seem to double and you have to make reservations in advance. La Candalaria in Puno might also be an alternative for the carnaval in Oruro.
In this album you can see pics of both festivals. As you can see the pics of Copacabana are in the first part of the album and after that come the pics of Puno (if necesary you can use options like slideshow, speed, titles etc).
Just google the dates for the festivals this year and make a decision.
If possible (and time allowing) I would make a 4 day trip to the Salar, one of the most beautiful and special places on earth, maybe on day four you might return by plane to La Paz.
Dec 6, 2012 5:29 PM
2Don't underestimate the altitude, your itinerary is very short and tight. If you can swallow the cost I would say fly directly to La Paz from Lima and stay for 2 days acclimatizing and not doing too much. Both Puno and Copa are even higher and you can be almost sure that you will develop some kind of altitude sickness symptoms. Pushing things too fast will only make things worst. You can fly from Juliaca on the way back or if you find good deal on return flight just forget about Puno as #1 said.
You can also look at flying to different point of Bolivia eg Santa Cruz instead of Lima, as I understand it only serve you as a launching point to Bolivia. Is a massive lost of time that you don't have. If you find a flight of $300-400 return more expensive I wouldn't think twice, you will spend similar money by getting from one country to another anyway.
"Dead road" is overrated, there are more interesting things to see and do. It's much better to go to eg Potosi instead.
If you find afordable flights to Santa Cruz you can fly from there to Sucre (on the same day) for about $40, that's how you start with reasonable altitude, from there you head to Potosi and from there to Uyuni for your tour, from Uyuni you can fly to La Paz, see Titicaca and fly back to Santa Cruz for your flight home (it's about $80 one-way)
This way you work correctly with altitude and you are saving precious time, drawback: no ceviche in this trip
Dec 6, 2012 6:16 PM
3If you stay at Puno you can see the unique Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca next morning. If you're not returning it would be a shame to miss this truly magical place as you will be so close.
However, #2 is right about the altitude and a 1-2 day acclimatisation period is a good idea. Going straight to La Paz at the start for days 1-2 and taking it easy sounds good.
Then, at the end of your holiday perhaps fit in a night at Puno, and a following morning trip to the Uros Islands before returning to NYC.
Dec 6, 2012 7:53 PM
4Thanks for the feedback so far.
No. 1, i checked out your pictures of the festivals and they are really good pictures. amazing quality. also, i like the idea 4 day tour of salar de uyuni instead of three.
No. 2, I will definitely look into flying into either la paz or Santa Cruz. My original itinerary involved more of peru but since i really wanted to see Salar de uyuni it kind of evolved into a bolivian trip (especially considering the small amount of time i have). having not researched them much. is Sucre and Potosi cool places to visit? what is there to see?
No. 3. yes if i decide to visit bolivia via Lima/Puno/Copa a trip to Uros Islands is definitely worth considering.
Dec 6, 2012 10:33 PM
5Sucre is a very nice place to stay (one of the best in Bolivia) with also a very nice climate.
Dec 7, 2012 4:46 AM
Dec 7, 2012 10:27 AM
7You do not need to go Santa Cruz.
I hope will be good for you this information.
What do you thinking about this itinerary?...
Day 1 morning Lima-Puno, afternoon visit Uros Island.
Day 2 morning Puno-Copacabana, afternoon Copa-Isla del sol.
Day 3 morning Isla del Sol Copa, afternoon Copa-LP.
Day 4 Biking tour toThe Death Road
Day 5 afternoon Coroico-LP
Day 6 morning at 07:00 by plane LP-Uyuni, Visit Salt Flat
Day 7 Laguna Colorada
Day 8 Laguna Verde, 19:00 Uyuni-Potosi
Day 9 morning silver mines tour, afternoon visit Casa de la Moneda, 18:00 Potosi-Sucre
Day 10 morning visit Sucre, afternoon by plane Sucre-LP
Day 11 morning LP-Desaguadero-Puno, carnival Puno
Day 12 By plane Juliaca-Lima and at night Lima-NYC
Dec 7, 2012 10:52 AM
8#7 From 0 to 4000 meters and all the time on a rush...sound advice.
Peru itinerary is totally possible, but taking any tours on the day 1 is simple madness taking into consideration long international flight, hour taxi from Juliaca and change in the altitude.
Day 1 is only good for getting to hotel and hoping that altitude will not hit hard
Dec 7, 2012 4:35 PM
9thanks #7, i do think if i decide to fly into Lima, I can get to Uros Island by that afternoon (at least i would try, see how we feel.
So I checked the flight i wanted to take with LAN. I could get a connecting flight to La Paz and be in La Paz by the afternoon (going back to no. 2's suggestion). original i thought it would be cheaper to get to bolivia via Lima and as of now the Lima round trip from nyc is $700 and La Pas is $1000. if i fly into lima then to Juliaca then the taxi to the buses i don't think i'm saving that much money. Certainly not time. Does anyone suggest Rurrenbaque? could i do an itinerary that includes Rurrenbaque, Salar de Uyuni and and a couple of days at the Carnival in Copacabana?
Since we are from the city i would prefer to only stay briefly in a city and be somewhere where there is more land and less people.
Dec 9, 2012 5:37 AM
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