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BOLIVIA BY TRAIN — 15 days/14 nights

Santa Cruz / Yacuiba / Tarija / Villazon / Uyuni / Potosi / Sucre / Aiquile / Cochabamba / La Paz / Lake Titicaca

 

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15-day Bolivian Railway Tour

Rail Adventures in Bolivia & Great Rail Journeys in South America. Explore Bolivia by Train. Train travel in Bolivia will enable you to sample the very best of Bolivian daily life and history combined with breathtaking landscapes in Bolivia, and featuring privately guided tours.

Bolivian trains are a superb way to get to know the country and its people: from the lowlands in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Yacuiba to the inter-Andean valleys of Tarija, Sucre and Cochabamba, to the Altiplano and the high Andes at Uyuni Salt Flats, Potosi and La Paz, with a special detour to enjoy Lake Titicaca... all by train!

Train travel in Bolivia is an amazing adventure for railway enthusiasts. Despite the regional importance of the trains, train travel in South America is often difficult to plan and organise. We've already done this job for you, so now you just sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

You will experience Bolivia's fascinating cultural wonders on this short and well packed tour. With many opportunities to customize your stay, Bolivia by Train is designed to give you an authentic look at Bolivia, its people and their history.

Special highlights are the journeys on buses on rails, the ‘Bus Carril´. These rail vehicles bring us through remote regions to villages and small towns, far away from civilization. These journeys will give you a glimpse of rural Bolivia. The colorful going on in- and outside the train will be an experience in itself.

Our Bolivia by Train travel package will captivate soft adventure travelers, taking in one highlight after another. You’ll observe breathtaking scenery from the train when the railroads cross spectacular viaducts and go through narrow tunnels. We do many amazing train journeys during this trip and you get an excellent impression of Bolivian ethnic diversity. Bolivia is an often complicated, but equally extraordinary country that you will never forget.

A number of pre- and post-tours are also available: Cuzco by Train, Pantanal by Train... Ask us for our special extensions: the Andean Explorer from Puno, Vistadome Train or Hiram Bingham Orient Express Train to Machu Picchu, The Devil's Nose Guayaquil to Quito railway, or the world famous Train to the Clouds (El Tren a las Nubes) from Salta...

WHERE?

• SANTA CRUZ - Far from the altiplano in the huge eastern lowland plains of Bolivia is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a city where the warmth of its people is only exceeded by the heat of its climate. Santa Cruz is rapidly becoming  the principal gateway to Bolivia:  it is the center of the country´s economic growth, has the best international airport in the country, and is at a low altitude – only 416 m. (1,350 ft) above sea level. The rapid economic development has not affected the colonial character of the old backstreets nor the famous good humor of the city's inhabitants. The first leg of our journey by train takes us to the small city of Yacuiba, in the southernmost region of Bolivia and bordering with Argentina.

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• TARIJA - The bucolic landscape around this small city includes rivers and lakes flanked with vineyards surrounded by sprawling valleys and beautiful mountain scenery. Mild climate and sunny blue skies year round complete this postcard-like setting. One of Bolivia's best kept secrets, Tarija is known as the Andalucia of Bolivia on account of its Mediterranean climate, vineyard-filled valley and the arid mountain scenery that surrounds it. Welcoming and off the normal tourist route, Tarija is arguably one of the prettiest regions of Bolivia. From there we'll head to Villazon in order to catch our next train across the Andes; destination: Uyuni.

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• UYUNI SALT FLATS or Salar de Uyuni - A succession of stunning landscapes and unusual shapes that captivate the visitor at first sight. Covering nearly 11,000 square kilometers, it is the largest salt plain in the world, formed by the disappearance of an inland sea that covered most of the Altiplano about 13,000 years ago. Here the horizon seems to blend in with the sky and you can hardly tell where the salt lake actually ends. With outstanding places for photographers at any time of year, Salar de Uyuni is a unique place in the world and one of the highlights of our train trip to Bolivia.

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• Historic City of POTOSI - During its mining heyday in the 17th century, Potosí was the biggest city in the Americas. Silver from Potosí was taken to Spain and used all over Europe. Now a walk through the streets takes you back to the times of the Spanish conquistadores. Our tour of the city includes a visit to the famous Casa de la Moneda and main monuments and churches of the old town which is listed by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. From Potosi we'll take the Bus-Carril to Sucre on a fabulous train adventure.

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• Historic City of SUCRE - Sucre, the first capital of Bolivia, was founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century. Its many well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with Spanish styles. Sucre is listed by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. From Sucre another great train adventure awaits us in the small village of Aiquile hidden in inter-Andean valleys of southern Bolivia. Hardly ever mentioned on the maps, Aiquile is where we'll catch our next Bus-Carril to Cochabamba.

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• COCHABAMBA - Known as the city of "Eternal Spring", the name itself is derived from the Quechua words Cocha, or lagoon, and Pampa, or plane. The population of 900,000 makes Cochabamba the third largest city in Bolivia. Our spectacular ride on the Bus-Carril will enable us to travel through the Andean valleys or 'Valle Alto' around Cochabamba, crossing picturesque towns and Quechua villages on the way at Mizque, Sivingani, Cliza, Tarata... These villages are characterized by their typical imagery: colonial roof tiles, adobe walls built into the mountains, and the transparent sky of the Cochabamba valley, the inspiration for many landscape painters. In town, wander the indigenous markets admiring the variety of items on sale. Here one can find everything — from agricultural products to ceramics, crafts to animals... Don't miss this opportunity to get acquainted with rural Bolivia — the true heart of South America.

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• LA PAZ - The city of contrasts: a unique blend of cultures and ways of life, and located within breathtaking panoramas, with whispers of ancient civilizations at Tiwanaku – one of the most interesting archaeological sites of South America. La Paz is a city for both enriching visits and adventurous discoveries. Lose yourself in streets brimming with life, where neighbors, artisans and sorcerers rub elbows amidst the daily agitation of typical markets. La Paz's outskirts also offer an array of spectacular sites, such as eerie rock sculptures created from ancient erosion at the Valley of the Moon. Here another spectacular train ride will take us from El Alto (La Paz) to Guaqui via the sacred pre-Columbian site of Tiwanaku, at the foot of the Andes mountains surrounding the Altiplano — a truly impressive and mighty enticing sight.

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• LAKE TITICACA - The religious center where the ancient Andean beliefs interact with the living faith of today’s Aymara people. According to legend, the Sun, as well as the pre-Inca god, Viracocha, rose from its depths. The Incas amended the legend to suit their purposes. They contended that on Titicaca Island, following rains that flooded the earth, the sun placed his male and female children and instructed them to teach the barbarians who dwelt on the earth. Tiwanaku is our destination. We will spend time wandering among the ancient ruins hidden in the folds of the steeply terraced slopes of Puma Punku, Kalasasaya, Akapana...

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WHAT?

Rail Adventures - Cultural Exploration in the heart of South America - Easy Hiking - Photography

WHEN?

Year-Round Departures (subject to train schedules).

May - October is dry season.

Day 1 - Arrive Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
(Ask us for our special pre-tours to the Bolivian Pantanal & Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitano Indians by train from Brazil)

Day 2 - Tour the city and spend the day in & around Santa Cruz. [BL]

Day 3 - ‘Tren del Sur’ train ride southbound from Santa Cruz towards the border town of Yacuiba. [B]

Day 4 - Transfer to Tarija's Wine Country in southern Bolivia. [B]

Day 5 - ‘Expreso del Sur’ train ride towards Uyuni. [B]

Day 6 - Explore Uyuni Salt Flats. [B]

Day 7 - Travel from Uyuni to Potosi. [B]

Day 8 - ‘Bus-Carril’ train ride Potosi – Sucre. [B]

Day 9 - Free day in Sucre UNESCO Site. [B]

Day 10 - Transfer to Aiquile. [B]

Day 11 - ‘Bus-Carril’ train ride Aiquile – Cochabamba. [B]

Day 12 - Travel from Cochabamba to La Paz. Visit the city. [B]

Day 13 - ‘Guaqui’ train ride to Lake Titicaca. [B]

Day 14 - Free day in La Paz. [B]

Day 15 - Transfer to airport for international flight or carry on with one of our special extensions — Cuzco & Machu Picchu, Pantanal... [B]

Special Bolivia by Train - Fixed Departures

Meals Included: Breakfast [B], Lunch [L], Dinner [D]

Book your 2018 train tour to Bolivia now!

Save on our Spring 2018 Departures!

27 March 2018 - 10 April 2018

Custom dates and prices also available.
Contact one of our travel consultants for details.

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We organize tailor-made tours at competitive prices throughout Bolivia for individuals, couples or groups, off the usual tourist routes and accompanied by accredited local guides, to get you in direct contact with stunning Bolivian landscapes, the people and local culture.

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