The best Bolivian destinations for museum lovers

Museums are wonderful places that allow us to travel through time through physical objects, be they pieces of artwork or historical relics. In this time of staying behind closed doors, many of the best museums in the world have opened their collections to virtual visits, allowing their expositions to be enjoyed online.

This has been wonderful for museum lovers, but we cannot deny that being there is just different; breathing the air, seeing the light on the objects, listening while a specialized guide lets us in on all the secrets. Just like theater and dance need the presence of spectators to come alive, museums are complete only with the living presence of visitors.

Museo Nal de Arte
Colonial artwork at the National Museum of Art in La Paz

In this post, we tell you all about the best Bolivian destinations for you museum lovers, explaining how you can travel to each city from different points in the country and which are those museums you just cannot miss, so you can plan your trip for when lock-down is over.

La Paz

La Paz is the seat of government of Bolivia, a city of two million inhabitants, at an altitude of 3600 m above sea level. As one of the liveliest cities in the country, it has a large cultural and historical tradition, and a wide array of museums you just can´t miss. Here, we tell you about our favorites:

  • National Museum of Art: located in a majestic colonial house just a block away from the Palace of Government, the National Museum of Art takes you on a journey of Bolivian art from the times of the colony to today´s contemporary pieces, with work from the best artists like Gil Imaná and Gastón Hugalde, among others. The museum is under the administration of the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia (FCBCB).
  • National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore: This museum is located only a few blocks away from the first, and is also under the administration of the FCBCB. Here, you will get to know the different artistic expressions of Bolivia´s indigenous peoples and its cultural and biological diversity, fromtextile art to feather clothes and ornaments. Make sure you don´t miss the impressive collection of ritual and festive masks. This is one of the most original museums you will see in Bolivia.
Museo Nacional Etno Y Folk
The mask collection at the Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore

You can travel to La Paz from Peru easily, through Puno, and make La Paz your first stop in Bolivia. You can also travel to La Paz from Chile, with direct bus trips from Arica or Iquique with bus companies that offer comfortable buses and a very good service. If you are in any other city in Bolivia, you can take a bus to La Paz very easily and at different schedules. All buses from other departments arrive at the Bus Terminal of La Paz, located on Peru Av.

Potosi

Potosi is a city of colonial architecture, with a very rich history and culture. It is key for understanding Bolivia´s history. It was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1987, due to it´s contribution to universal history and its architecture and art attractions. The city was founded on the foothills of the Cerro Rico de Potosi, literally a mountain of silver that provided funds for the Spanish Crown for centuries. At it´s summit, Potosi had more inhabitants than Paris. Today, the city has several museums that might interest you, but we bet this one will be your favorite:

  • Casa Nacional de la Moneda: It is said that, if you took all the silver mined from the Cerro Rico de Potosi during the spanish colony, you could build a bridge from America to Spain. Well, it was here, at the Casa Nacional de la Moneda, where silver coins were minted for the Spanish Colony. Visiting this museum will help you understand the relevance of Potosi in universal history, the way the coins were made, and the importance of our indigenous peoples and cultures.
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Icon of the Casa Nacional de la Moneda. Image by jo vanel from Pixabay

Potosi is a very easy city to travel to, with completely paved highways if you´re coming from La Paz, Villazón or Sucre. If you´re coming from La Paz, you can buy your bus tickets online here. The buses depart from the Bus Terminal of La Paz at 21:30 and arrive in Potosi early in the morning. If you come from Sucre, you can buy your tickets here online. The trip from Sucre to Potosi takes only 3 hours in normal buses.

Sucre

Sucre is a colonial city in the Bolivian valleys, the constitutional capital of the city, despite the seat of government being in La Paz. Known for its streets of white walls and houses with red tile rooftops, its churches and castles and… its beautiful museums. Birthplace of intelectuals, historians, political leaders and writers, it was on the streets of Sucre that the first cry for liberty came about in Latin America, in the 19th century.

Museo Casa de la Libertad Sucre
Interior – Casa de la Libertad
  • House of Liberty:  If you are interested in Latin American history, this is the museum for you. The house of liberty is the place where the Act of Independence of Alto peru was signed in 1825, establishing liberty from the Spanish Colony. Among its treasures is the original Act Of Independence of alto Peru, declared in 2019 as Memory of the World by the Committee  Comité Memory of World-Bolivia (MOW-Bolivia-UNESCO). It also has ancient portraits of the liberators Simón Bolívar, Antonio José de Sucre and José Ballivián, the tomb of captain Juana Azurduy, the first independent flag of South america and other relics.
  • Museum of Indigenous Art ASUR: Unique in it´s style, this museum is a must for those who appreciate and want to know more about the arts of indigenous peoples of Bolivia, specially centered around their textiles. It is said that the indigenous peoples of Tarabuco and the jalq’a, in the department of Chuquisaca, tell their stories and express their cultural identity in their intricate weavings. In this museum, you will see exquisitely woven pieces and you will aproach an understanding of the artistic and philosophic depth of these cultures. You also get to see and meet weavers as they work on their textiles!
Museo asur
Jalka textile

Traveling to Sucre is easy from any main city in Bolivia, such as Santa Cruz or Cochabamba. All you have to do is buy your tickets online and show up at the bus station at least 30 minutes before the trip. Trips from Potosi to Sucre by bus are very frecuent, since the two cities are not far away and the highway that connects them is in very good shape.

We wish you a happy return to museums very soon!

 

Everything You Need To Know About Alasitas

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Caleidoscopic – via Wikimedia Commons

Every year on 24th January starts the annual Alasitas festival which takes place in La Paz and lasts for a month displaying stalls covered in miniature versions of houses, money bills, cereal boxes, passports, iPhone, diplomas, and all the items one may aspire to acquire during the year.

Alasitas is a place where one can also look for love in the shape of a rooster or a hen. To ensure that you will find love during that year, the rooster/hen has to be given to you. You cannot purchase it yourself. The birds have come to represent love and they come in different colors, each representing something: black ones are for widowers, yellow (or gold) are for people looking for a rich partner, white ones represent purity and the red ones are more passionate. Some of them even have professions and different qualities depending on what you look in a partner.

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juhauski72 – via Wikimedia Commons

Everything purchased at the fair needs to be blessed by priests and then offered to the Ekeko, the Andean God of Abundance. He’s easily recognizable by the bags of goods he carries, the chullo (traditional hat) and the cigarettes he’s smoking.

Other traditional and typical items people purchase are golden toads which represent Pachamama (Mother Earth) and are meant to bring fortune and prosperity to your home. Suitcases filled with money are also popular implying that money won’t be missing and that there will be opportunities to travel during the year. Food is another common purchase people make, with miniature boxes of pasta, rice, quinoa and other staples that you can buy.

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lilapagola – via Wikimedia Commons

Alasitas is popular festival that mixes indigenous beliefs and Catholicism, tradition and modernity, illustrating perfectly Bolivia’s complexities and idiosyncrasies. On the first day of Alasitas, at around 12:00pm people gather in and around the churches to have their items blessed by the Catholic priests in a vibrant display of syncretism. And it’s also more than that; Alasitas is a fun, convivial place with food and games, enjoyable for the whole family, where one can also find hand-crafted and artisan goods. Make sure to go and try the plato paceño, a local specialty with corn, cheese, meet and fava beans, and the unmissable api con pastel, a purple-corn drink accompanied by a deep-fried cheese empanada.

Alasitas can be enjoyed throughout the city during 30days, especially on the first day but the fair is held in Parque Urbano in La Paz. The fair then moves to Santa Cruz in September, where it also stays for a month.

If you are travelling in Bolivia in January/February or September make sure not to miss the Alasitas fair. You can easily travel to La Paz and Santa Cruz and plan ahead your trip with Tickets Bolivia.

From Buenos Aires to La Paz, roundtrip by land

Buenos Aires and La Paz are two of the most visited cities in South America, each with particular and contrasting tourist attractions. Buenos Aires is a huge city with a vibrant cultural life and one of the most beautiful of the continent. Buenos Aires is famous for its food, entertainment and nightlife. A port city, it lies at sea level and enjoys the sea breeze and beautiful views of Rio de la Plata. The city of  La Paz, on the other hand, is one of the most important Andean capitals, with an unusual mountain topography that gives it an uncanny beauty and awesome landscapes. At 3600 meters above sea level, the climate is dry and sunny. La Paz is the most important city in Bolivia and is an attractive cultural destination.

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El Obelisco, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires to La Paz

In order to travel by bus from Buenos Aires to La Paz you cover a distance of 2,654 kilometers, through several different cities and towns in Argentina and Bolivia and crossing the border in La Quiaca/Villazón. You can divide the trip into two segments to make it lighter and faster. First, you go from Buenos Aires to the border, in Villazon, and from there on to La Paz in a direct bus.

The buses leave every day from the Bus Terminal Retiro, located on Libertador Av. at 10:00 am and they arrive in Villazon at 14:00 at the bus terminal located on La PAz Street.

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Vista de La Paz, Bolivia

From the same terminal on La Paz Street, the buses from Villazon to La Paz leave every day at 18:30 and at 20:00, arriving in the andean capital at 10:00 am the next day. The buses arrive at the bus terminal of La Paz, located on Uruguay Av., on the corner of  Peru Av. If you want to book today, or if you just want to see the schedules, prices and bus companies, just click on this link:  Buenos Aires to La Paz

And back…

The trip between Buenos Aires and La Paz through Villazon lasts around 36 hours. Nevertheless, in the months of December and January, the trip can be longer because of the time it will take you to cross the border, which can take several hours longer than usual due to the high traffic of people and vehicles.

To get from La Paz to Buenos Aires through Villazon you can divide the trip into two segments, first from La Paz to Villazon, and from there you can take a direct bus to Buenos Aires. The buses from La Paz to Villazon leave every day from the bus station of La Paz. There are many schedules you can choose from, depending on the bus company you choose to travel with, and all buses leave between 10:00 and 20:00. Before boarding the bus, you will be asked to pay a small fee called Uso de Terminal, which costs 2.5 Bolivianos per passenger.

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On the Argentinian side…

The trip from La Paz to Villazón lasts around 18 hours. In Villazon, the buses arrive at the same bus terminal described before, and from there you can also take the bus Buenos Aires, which leaves every day at 10:00 in the morning. From Villazon to Buenos Aires, the trip takes around 27 horas, and you arrive back at the bus terminal Retiro. at around 13:00 the next day. During high season, it is also recommended that you buy your tickets beforehand, to make sure you are able to make your trip as planned. To do this, you can click on the following link: La Paz to Buenos Aires

From Villazon to La Paz by train How to do it by train 

If you love to travel by train, you can make part of the way between Villazon and La Paz with the train companies Expreso del Sur or Wara Wara del Sur. If you are traveling from Buenos Aires to La Paz, once you are in Villazon just take the train from the station located in front of Plaza Sucre. The train will take you to Oruro, a city four hours away from La Paz, and will arrive at the train station located on Velasco Galvarro Street, on the corner with con Aldana St. The time and duration of the trip from depends on the day of the trip and the train company you choose. For example if you take the train Wara Wara from Villazon to Oruro, the train leaves at 15:30 and you arrive in Oruro at 9:30 the next morning. From Oruro, the buses to La Paz leave every 30 minutes all day from the bus station located on Las Banderas Av.

For the trip from La Paz to Buenos Aires, you will take a bus from La Paz to Oruro, and from there the train to Villazon. If you want to see shcedules and train companies that offer this service, just follow this link: trains

If you have any doubts, please contact us at info@ticketsbolivia.com, or follow us in Facebook. Have a great trip!

Peru Hop; The power of being flexible

What doesnt bend breaks, they say. And we believe that flexibility, also known as resilience, is one of the most important values if you want to lead a full and meaningful life. This applies also to traveling.

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Arequipa, Peru

Travelers today want it all: safety, reliability, and also the freedom to adapt their itinerary as they please, to decide to stay longer at one location, or to just take off before planned. You want to be able to plan you trip, knowing when you will be arriving where, when the buses leave, how long a trip takes… but you also want to be able to improvise. You don´t want to lose money if you suddenly feel ill and have to stay in a location longer than you expected, or if it just tickles your fancy to stay longer.

Not many travel companies can offer all of these things. Peru Hop can. This company was started in 2013 by two Irish guys who dreamed of offering tourists in Peru the safe, fun and flexible experience they would have liked for themselves. It is a pleasure for Tickets Bolivia to offer their services at our website. Read on to find out how it works.

 

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La Paz, Bolivia

How it works in 5 simple steps

  1. Choose a pass

Choose from their variety of passes, depending on where you want to start, where do you want to go and how much time you have. For example, if you are in La Paz and want to get to Lima, you can choose a pass that takes you through Puno, Cusco, Arequipa, Paracas, etc., or you can take a more direct pass.

  1. Plan your itinerary

You will be able to see all the intermediate stops between your city of origin and city of destination, and begin to plan where you will get off, and how long you will stay. The pass is good for a whole year. This means if you want to stay at one location for a few days, or months, you can do that. Just go with the flow. This flexibiity allows you to improvise and designn your journey to fit your needs and desires.

  1. Start your trip

Peru Hop picks you up from your hotel or hostel, or even from an Airbnb location. At every destination, they will pick you up and drop you off wherever you are staying, except in Cusco, due to the strict legal restrictions regarding large buses entering the historic center

  1. Hop on and hop off

You decide how long to stay at each stop. Maybe stay one night or one month, it’s up to you! Your pass will be valid for one whole year, so you don’t have to worry about those dreaded fixed schedules other companies offer. Simply log into your HOP LOGIN account and change your itinerary on-the-go.

  1. Finish your trip

Finish your trip and pick up a free t-shirt in their offices in either Lima or Cusco (Subject to availability).

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Lake Titicaca seen from Puno, Peru

Destinations

Peru Hop takes you to Lima, Chincha, Paracas, Ica, Huacchina, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno and Cuzco, in Peru, and to Copacabana and La Paz, in Bolivia. You can choose to spend time at every one of these unique destinations, or to skip some according to your interests and needs. You can go from La Paz, at over 3000 m above sea level down to Paracas and Lima on the seaside, at your leisure, with absolute freedom and in one of the safest and tourist-friendly companies.

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Lima, Peru

 

Peru Hop is simply the best way to get around and it has been built with the needs and desires of tourists in mind to ensure you guys fall in love with Peru and have a stress-free and safe journey! And you can book your tickets online now through Tickets Bolivia by following this link: http://www.ticketsbolivia.com

The best of all worlds, as we see it.  

From Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo, through Santa Cruz

Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and Sao Paulo in Bazil are two of the most important cities in South America due to their enormous population, breathtaking architecture and sights, cultural life, tourist attractions and economic relevance. They are separated by a distance of 1,675 km, and traveling between the two cities by land is really a journey full of contrasting landscapes and peoples. One way to do it is by crossing Bolivia, with a stop in the tropical Santa Cruz. Read on to find out how to do it

Buenos Aires, Argentina. Source: http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com

Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina, with a population of over 15 million inhabitants. It is a port city, which made it a door to Latin America for migrants from Europe and the rest of the world throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It is very European in its architecture and has many distinct neighborhoods, like La Boca and San Telmo, which are tourist attractions in and of themselves.

Buenos Aires has two Bus Terminals, which are 40 minutes away from each other. All the international bus companies leave from the Terminal Retiro and make a stop at the bus terminal Liniers, located on General Paz Av., 10880. Below you will find a map of  Terminal Retido, located on a Antártida Argentina Av. and 10th Street.

See the maps below::

terminal retiro

Liniers Terminal

Terminal Liniers

There is a distance of 2,339 km between Buenos Aires and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The trip takes around 34 hours and the buses arrive at the Bus Terminal Bimodal in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on Montero Av. The bus company that will take you is La Preferida. The buses have very good service on board and comfortable seats. Plus, you can book your tickets online by following this link: https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/travel-by-bus/buenos_aires-santa_cruz.php

See the table below for information on their departures.

Bus company Bus class Departure Arrival Price in US$
La Preferida Bus Lie-flat

Semi lie-flat 

15:30 hrs

Buenos Aires

2:30 Hrs (the next day)

Santa Cruz

$us. 102.19

$us 97.81

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Source: https://i.ytimg.com

Santa Cruz de la Sierra is a fast-growing city with three million inhabitants. The city is known for its warm and inviting climate, friendly people and tourist attractions revolving around natural landscapes, rivers, water parks and nearby lakes. The buses from Santa Cruz to Sao Paulo leave from that same bus terminal. La Preferida bus is the bus company that will take you from Santa Cruz to Sao Paulo. If you want to buy your tickets online, just follow this link:

Look at the table below to see the times of departure and arrival:

Bus company Class Departure Arrival Price
La Preferida Bus Lie-flat 20:00 hrs

Santa Cruz

10:00 Hrs  (the next day)

Sao Paulo

$us 91.97

The distance between Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia and Sao Paulo, Brazil, is of 2.085 km and the trip takes 36 hours, approximately. The bus crosses the border in Puerto Quijarro/Corumbá, where you will be asked to get off the bus in order to clear migration. the bus will wait for you in order to continue the trip to Sao Paulo through the pantanal region of Brazil.  The buses arrive at the bus terminal located on Auro Soares de Moura Av. Look below to see the map:

Terminal Sao Paulo

You can make this trip and get to know the tree cities by booking online with  TicketsBolivia . Booking online helps you plan your trip and avoid lines at the bus terminals. If you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact us. Have a nice trip!

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Sao Paulo, Bazil. Source: http://www.skyjetairtravel.co.uk

 

 

From Santa Cruz to Uyuni by bus, with a stop in Sucre

Santa Cruz is one of Bolivia’s most important cities with its warm, inviting climate and steady economic growth. Located in the low-lands at 400 m above sea level, the city boasts the highest rates of migrants coming into the country from all over the world in search for work opportunities in this thriving city. Many tourists, both national and foreign, wish to travel from Santa Cruz to Uyuni by bus, as Uyuni is the most popular tourist destination in Bolivia. In this blog we explain how you can make this by bus from Santa Cruz to Uyuni, passing by the majestic white city of Sucre, the capital of Bolivia and one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the world.  

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Santa Cruz de la Sierra (foto: Martín Fernández)

 

From Santa Cruz to Sucre by bus

Sucre and Santa Cruz are two of the most important cities in Bolivia; Sucre, the capital, is a very popular tourist destination due to its historical richness and colonial architecture. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, is a modern city with a tropical climate and thriving economy. The distance between Santa Cruz and Sucre is 502 km, and the trip takes around 13 hours. In order to travel by bus from Santa Cruz to Sucre you can take a direct bus. They leave every day at 15:30 from the Bimodal Terminal of Santa Cruz, locate on Montes Av. Before boarding the bus, you need to pay a small fee called “Uso de Terminal“, which costs 2 Bolivianos. The buses arrive in Sucre at 05:00 am at the Bus Terminal, located on Ostria Rodriguez St.

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Sucre, Bolivia

If you want to stay in Sucre a few days, there are plenty of things to see and enjoy, such as the Parque Cretácico, where you can see real dinosaur tracks and life-like representations of the dinosaurs that populated the land in the Cretaceous period. Also, there are churches and convents that you can tour, as well as amazing food on every corner. At an altitude of 2,888 meters above sea level, Sucre is known for its mild climate surrounded by rolling hills. If you want to book your tickets online, just follow this link:  https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/travel-by-bus/santa_cruz-sucre.php

From Sucre to Uyuni by bus

The town of Uyuni lies at a distance of 361 km from Sucre. Uyuni is known for being the entry gate to the greatest Salt Flat in the world. At an altitude of over 3,000 meters above sea level, the Uyuni Salt Flat is characterized by its surrealistic landscape. During the eight-hour trip you can see an extraordinary landscape surrounded by the Andes mountain rage, passing by different villages such as Yotala, Betanzos, Potosi, Porco, Pulacayo and finally Uyuni. A few km from Uyuni there are extraordinary places where you will feel you are entering a whole different world, making this destination a magnificent experience, full of beauty, magic and adrenaline.

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Laguna Colorada, Uyuni Salt Flat (foto: Daniel Kordan)

Among the places that can be visited are a train cemetery, ‘eyes of the salt’ (big holes of water underneath the salt flat), Incahuasi island, walks through Dali`s desert and other places that make the Uyuni Salt Flat  one of the most visited destinations for both local and international tourists. To travel from Sucre to Uyuni you have to go to the bus station in Sucre, located on Ostria Gutierrez Avenue. The buses leave at 9:30, 17:30 and 20:30. Before boarding the bus, you will be asked to pay a small fee of 2.5 Bolivianos called “Uso de Terminal”. To book tickets now, click on this link: https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/travel-by-bus/sucre-uyuni.php

We hope the information was useful and you enjoy traveling through Bolivia. Have a nice trip!

From Lima to La Paz, through Cuzco

La Paz and Lima are two of the most important cities in the Andes region of South America, and trips between the two are very common for tourism and business. Lima is the capital city of Peru, a large city on the shore of the Pacific ocean with more than 7 million inhabitants. La Paz, on the other hand, is the seat of government of Bolivia, a city of 3 million people at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level.

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Lima, Peru

If you want to travel by bus from Lima to La Paz, you can do so with a stop in the legendary city of Cuzco, about half-way between the two. Cuzco is one of the most important tourist destinations in South America due to its rich history and colonial architecture, and also because it is the gateway to the ruins of the Inca empire. Read on to find out how to make this trip by land from Lima to La Paz, through Cuzco.

Lima to Cuzco by bus

The distance between Lima and Cuzco is 1,104 km and the bus trip takes 22 to 24 hours, depending on the time of departure. The buses leave every day around noon from the two bus terminals that the bus company Oltursa uses: Estación Turística San Isidro, located on Aramburu Av. #1160, and a Gran Terminal Terrestre Plaza Norte, located on Tupac Amaru Av., Independencia. In Cuzco, the buses arrive at the Bus Terminal located on Vía Evitamiento. A tourist city by excellence, Cuzco offers amazing tours of the nearby Inca ruins and buildings such as monasteries and churches you have to see to believe. Also, you are just a few hours away from Macchu Picchu, the capital city of the Inca Empire and one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. To book your bus tickets from Lima to Cuzco, click on this link:

https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/travel-by-bus/lima-cusco.php  

See the table below to find out the times of departure and prices.

Lima to Cuzco by bus

Bus company Bus class Departure place and time Arrival place and time Price in US$
Oltursa Lie-flat

(170 degrees reclination)

Lima 12:45 Cuzco 12:15 (the next day) 54.01
Oltursa Lie-flat

(170 degrees reclination)

Lima 14:30 Cuzco 12:15 (the next day) 54.01

La PAZ
La Paz, Bolivia

Cuzco to La Paz by bus

The distance between Cuzco and La Paz is 640 km, and the trip by bus takes around 12 hours. The journey crosses the highlands of Peru until you reach Puno on the shores of lake Titicaca, to continue to La Paz. The buses leave every day and with many different bus companies from the bus terminal on via Evitamiento, and they arrive in La Paz at the bus station located on Uruguay Av. Look at the table below to see the times and companies that make this route.

Cuzco to La Paz

Bus company Bus class Place and time of departure Place and time of arrival Price in US$
Trans Salvador Lie fla 3 rows Cuzco 22:00 La Paz 13:00 33.58 US$
Trans Salvador lie-flat Cuzco 22:00 La paz 13:00 29.20 US$
Tour Peru Semi lie-flat Cuzco 22:00 La Paz 15:00 27.74 US$
NC Internacional lie-flat Cuzco 22:30 La Paz 14:30 29.20 US$

If you want to book your tickets online to travel from Cuzco to La Paz, just click on this link: https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/travel-by-bus/cusco-la_paz.php

Have a nice trip!

From Santa Cruz to Puerto Quijarro on the Death Train’: don’t let fear stop you

Sorry to disappoint you, but the train route between Santa Cruz and Puerto Quijarro, on the border with Brazil, is no more dangerous than any other train in Latin america. In fact, no one knows exactly why the “death train” was give its name, but there are plenty of theories: some say it is because of the many people who died from the poor working conditions while laying out the train tracks; others say the locals called it after a yellow-fever epidemic, when the very ill where transported by this train to quarantine; others have heard that when the train stops along the way you can be bitten to death by mosquitoes. Whatever the reason, the name “death train” seems to only be used by backpackers and bloggers who travel through Bolivia. Most Bolivians will give you a funny look if you brag about having survived the “death train”. And if you fear the mosquitoes, just wear long sleeves, right?

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Church in San José de Chiquitos, between Santa Cruz and Puerto Quijarro

Be it because Santa Cruz is one of the most important cities in Bolivia, or because people love trains, or because it is one of the most comfortable and direct ways to travel from Bolivia to Brazil, the trips by train from Santa Cruz to Puerto Quijarro are very very popular. Another reason to make this trip by train is because you can stop over in San José de Chiquitos, a jewel of the Jesuit Missions, with lush landscapes and amazing churches made of wood. This town is the home of one of the most important Barroque Music Festivals in the world, and the sight of hundreds of children playing violins and singing barroque music is breathtaking. If you are interested in staying in Chiquitos, just visit www.ticketsbolivia.com/train-tickets/ferroviaria-oriental.php and by your train tickets in two different segments, first from Santa Cruz to San José and then fro San José to Puerto Quijarro.

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Santa Cruz de la Sierra, thriving industrial city

Santa Cruz to Puerto Quijarro by train

Puerto Quijarro is a city with a population of 16,000 on the border with Brazil, and also an inland river port on the Tamengo Canal. It is Bolivia’s only waterway which leads to the ocean. It lies at 100 m above sea level and has a jungle vegetation, as it is nearby to the Pantanal region in Brazil. The city lies at 604 km from Santa Cruz. The length of the trip depends on the train you decide to take, as Expresso Oriental is a bit slower (and cheaper), while Ferrobus is a bit faster and more expensive.

The train Expreso Oriental travels from Santa Cruz to the border with Brazil on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 14.50, costs Bs 70 per person and takes 15hrs to arrive in Puerto Quijarro. You need to take the train from the Train Station, located on Montero Av., and they arrive at the train station located on Colón Av. From there, a cab trip to the border is 5 minutes and about as many Bolivianos. The train has services such as air conditioning, TV, toilets and a dinning carrige where you can have a meal (not included).

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Train Station, Puerto Quijarro

The other train service is Ferrobus, which is a much smaller train (only two carriges in total). This train runs from Santa Cruz on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays at 18.00, costs Bs 235 per person and takes 10hrs. This train leaves rom and arrives at the same Train Stations. Ferrobus doesn’t stop as often, which means you reach your destination faster. You have an assigned seat and waitress service – serving meals to your seat. The meals are included on this train, unlike the Expreso Oriental. It also has air conditioning, TV and toilets.  

During high-season months between July and September and December through February, the demand for ticket is very high. If you want to plan ahead and ensure you get a seat on the train, you can book online through www.ticketsbolivia.com.

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Welcome to Puerto Quijarro

Again, from the bus terminal in Puerto Quijarro you can take a cab to the border, which opens at 7:30. Once you have cleared migration paperwork on both sides of the border, you can take another cab to Corumbá, which is 10 minutes away by car, to continue your trip in the lush amazon lowlands of Brazil.

 

Lake Titicaca: wet your feet in the sacred lake of the Incas

Lake Titicaca is the largest, deepest, highest navigable lake in the world, with a surface elevation of 3,812 meters (12,507 ft), a surface of 3,200 square miles and up to 1,000 feet in depthThe lake lies on the border between Bolivia and Peru and is the ancient birthplace of the Inca culture. Several of it´s 41 islands are sacred, and tourists can visit them from either Puno, in Peru, or from Copacabana, in Bolivia.

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view of the Andes mountain range and Lake Titicaca

Due to its location right on the border between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is a crossing point for many tourists who travel between Cuzco and Uyuni, be it through Puno or through Copacabana. Tourists traveling between Peru and Bolivia often just pass by or spend just a few hours on the shores of the lake. We think this amazing body of water merits you staying just a little longer in order to take in all the cultural, natural and historical attractions it has to offer.

The legend

The Incan sun God, Viracocha, rose up from the centre of the world, Lake Titicaca, and from there He created the moon and the stars. Then he went to Tiwanaku to create the first human beings, Mallku Kapac and Mama Ocllo, who populated the world. Lake Titicaca is, then, the cradle of the Incan empire. The spot in which Viracocha was born is Isla del Sol, or Islad of the Sun, the largest island on the lake and a place of unkanny energy and beauty.

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Puerta del Sol, Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku is a ruined ancient city near Lake Titicaca in western Bolivia, just two hours away from Copacabana by bus. Dominating the ruins, once the seat of the pre-Columbian Tiwanaku culture, are the Akapana pyramid, the place of worship of the “world of above”, and a semi-subterranean temple with carved images of human heads, the place of worship of the “nether world”. Nearby Kalasasaya is an open temple with stone monoliths and the huge Puerta del Sol, or Gate of the Sun. On the 21st of June, the celebration of the Aymara new year brings hundreds of people to watch the sun raise in the arch after the longest night of the year. The Museo del Sitio de Tiwanaku displays artifacts excavated from the site. The Tiwanaku culture pre-dates the Inca empire, and it was filled with scientists and astronomers. It is said that the Tiwanaku empire spread all the way to the pacific ocean.

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A view from the Island of the Sun

The Island of the sun

A one-hour boat ride from Copacabana, Isla del Sol has ruins of ancient temples, coupled with breathtaking sights of the Andes and the crisp blue waters of the sacred lake. The largest of all the lake islands (but still only 5.5 by 3.75 miles in size), Isla del Sol was considered the home of the supreme Inca god Inti.

There are many attractions on the island. On the north end, is the town of Challapampa, home to the fascinating Chinkana (labyrinth). A huge stone complex full of mazes, it is thought be a training center for Inca priests. About 270 feet from Chinaka on the path back to the town of Challapampa is a sacred rock carved in the shape of a puma. Further along the path toward Challapampa are two very large footprints. These are said to have been created when the sun dropped down to earth to give birth to Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the “Adam and Eve” of the Incas. The island has a few hotels, some of them ecologic, which allow you to stay on the island as long as you want. 

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The floating islands of the Urus

The Urus floating Islands

If you visit the lake from the Peruvian side, in Puno, you can go to the Islas flotantes de los Urus, man-made islands of a species of reeds called Totora. They are home to the descendents of the ancient Urus culture, which lived during the time of the Incas, and still live a simple, traditional life. Their religion is a mixture of traditional Indian, distinct from the more mainstream Quechua and Aymara cultures, and Catholic, and they bury their dead on the mainland.

From Copacabana to Cuzco

If you are traveling to Cuzco from Bolivia, you can choose to pass through Copacabana and spend a few days exploring the Lake and all its wonders. Buses leave from La Paz to Copacabana at 8:00 and 13:30 from the Bus Terminal located on Uruguay Av., on the corner with Peru Av. The bus trip takes around 4 hours and you will cross the Tiquina Straight by boat. The cost of the ferry is less than a dollar and is not included in the cost of the bus.

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Copacabana bay on the shore of Lake Titicaca

From Copacabana and after you have explored the lake and its surroundings to your heart´s content, you can either take a direct bus to Cuzco or travel to Puno first. Buses leave from Copacabana to Cuzco at 9:00, 13:30 and 18:00. The trip takes 9 hours and the buses cross the border at Colchane.

If you want to go to Puno first, the buses leave at 9:00, 13:30 and 18:00, and the trip takes three hours. You can also stay in Puno a few days to explore the floating islands of the Urus, and then go on to Cuzco. The bus trip from Puno to Cuzco takes around 7 hours and the buses leave at 9:00, 21:00 and 22:00.  You can visit www.ticketsbolivia.com to plan your trip and book your tickets to and from Puno and Copacabana online.

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Lake Titicaca seen from the Peruvian side, in Puno

From Cuzco to Copacabana and Uyuni

If you are traveling from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca and/or the Uyuni Salt Flats, we got you covered. You can take a bus from Cuzco to Puno or Copacabana, from Copacabana a bus to La Paz and from there another bus to Uyuni.

Buses leave from Cuzco to Copacabana every day at 22:30 and arrive around 11 hours later, at 9:00 am. The buses depart from the bus terminal in Cuzco, located on Avenida de Evitamiento. In Copacabana you can take a few days to enjoy the town, eat the best fresh-water trout on earth, and make a day trip to Isla del Sol. If you want to continue your trip to La Paz and Uyuni, take a bus to La Paz (they leave at 13:30 and 18:30). Again, you will be crossing the Tiquina Straight by ferry, the cost of which is very low and not included in the price of the bus. Once you arrive in La Paz, you can plan to visit the city or take a bus to Uyuni. The bus from La Paz to Uyuni leaves from that same bus terminal every day at 20:00. Visit www.ticketsbolivia.com to book your tickets, or contact us by email if you need further info. Have a good trip!

Travel to Cusco from Bolivia or Argentina: all you need to know

Cuzco is one of the most important tourist destinations in South America. As such, it attracts travelers from every country. Planning ahead is important if you want to travel to Cuzco by land during high season months of July/August, and December/January. If you are planning on traveling to Cuzco from Bolivia or Argentina, we have put together all the information you will need in order to plan your trip.

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Ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru

From Bolivia

Travel from La Paz to Cuzco: If you are starting your trip in La Paz, you´re in luck: you can decide if you want to take a direct bus from La Paz to Cuzco, or if you want to break up your trip to spend a few days in Copacabana and Puno in order to visit Lake Titicaca, the sacred lake of the Incas. 

The bus from La Paz to Cuzco takes about 12 hours, covering a distance of 640 km. For traveling to Cuzco you have two alternatives: going through Desaguadero, the border between Bolivia and Peru, or passing by the Copacabana-Kasani tourist area. The buses leave every day at 7:30 and 16:30 from the Bus Terminal of La Paz, located on Uruguay Av. Before boarding the bus you need to pay a small fee of 2.5 Bolivianos, called Uso de Terminal. In Cuzco, the buses arrive at the bus terminal on Avenida de Evitamiento.

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View of La Paz, Bolivia

From Cochabamba to Cuzco: In order to travel from Cochabamba to Cuzco by bus, you have to divide your trip in several segments, as there are no direct buses for this route. The most efficient way to do it is to travel first from Cochabamba to La Paz, and then from La Paz to Cuzco. The trip from Cochabamba to La Paz takes around 8 hours, covering a distance of 378 km and crossing the valleys and Altiplano region of Bolivia. La Paz lies at an altitude of 3,600 m above sea level. The buses depart from Cochabamba at the Bus Terminal, located on Ayacucho Av. Before departure you will have to pay a small fee (around 50 Cents of a dollar) for the Terminal´s maintenance. In La Paz, the buses arrive at the Bus Terminal on Uruguay Avenue, in the city´s center. 

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Cathedral in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Traveling from Santa Cruz to Cuzco: Santa Cruz is the most important city in the south of Bolivia, and it is key as a connection to Brazil and Argentina, due to its location. In order to travel from Santa Cruz to Cuzco by bus, you need to divide your trip in at least two segments, as there are no direct trips available. The most efficient way is to travel first from Santa Cruz to La Paz and from there to Cuzco, because the quality of the buses is better, as well as the conditions of the roads. The trip from Santa Cruz to La Paz takes around 17 hours, covering a distance of 851 km. The buses leave from the Bimodal Bus Terminal in Santa Cruz, located on Montes Av. The buses leave every day between 14:00 and 20:00, almost every hour, so you have many options. 

Before boarding the bus, you need to  pay a small fee of 2.5 Bolivianos, called Uso de Terminal. After crossing the low-lands of Santa Cruz, the valleys of Cochabamba and climbing to the highlands of the Altiplano region, the buses arrive in La Paz at the bus terminal on Uruguay Av. You can take your bus to Cuzco from the same bus terminal, as explained above.

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A view of the rooftops in Sucre, Bolivia

From Sucre to Cuzco: Sucre is the capital city of Bolivia, one of the jewels of our country due to its amazing colonial architecture. In order to travel from Sucre to Cuzco by bus, you need to, again, reach La Paz first, as there are no direct trips available. The distance between Sucre and La Paz is 694 km, and the bus trip takes around 12 hours. To travel by bus from Sucre to La Paz you have to go to the bus station at Ostria Gutierrez Avenue. Before boarding the bus you have to buy the “uso terminal” which is a fee charged by the Terminal. It costs 2.5 Bolivianos. The buses leave every day between 19:00 and 20:00, arriving in La Paz the next morning, at the Bus Terminal located on Uruguay Av. 

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Landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia

Uyuni-Cuzco: Uyuni has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the region, and many travelers are keen on visiting Uyuni and Cuzco when they travel around South America.  Again, you should travel to La Paz first, and then to Cuzco as explained above. Between Uyuni and La Paz there is a  distance of around 731 km, and the trip takes around 11 hours. You can travel from Uyuni to La Paz by direct bus, or by bus and train. All buses depart from Uyuni at night, from Cabrera Av., arriving in La Paz early in the morning at the Bus Terminal located on Uruguay Av. 

In order to make the trip by bus and train, you should take the train from Uyuni to Oruro and then continue by bus to La Paz. The train companies offering this service are:
*Expreso del Sur: Uyuni-Oruro (Wednesday and Saturday)
*Wara Wara del Sur: Uyuni-Oruro (Monday and Thursday)

Buses depart from Oruro to La Paz every day, every half hour. The trip lasts only four hours and the buses leave from the main Bus Terminal, located on Gregorio Reynolds Av. You can plan your trip by visiting http://www.ticketsbolivia.com to compare bus companies and prices and book online to avoid hassles and secure your tickets during high season.

From Argentina

Travel from Buenos Aires to Cuzco: If you want the most direct trip from Buenos Aires to Cuzco by bus, again you must divide the trip in several segments because there are no companies offering the direct route. In this case, you should travel from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz first, and from there to La Paz, as explained above. The trip from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz by bus covers a distance of 2362 km and takes around 36 hours. This can vary depending on the time of year, since during tourist months there can be a lot of traffic at the border. The trip crosses the Bolivian tropics and the valleys of Argentina. Buses depart every day from the Bus Station Retiro, in Buenos Aires, located on Libertador Av, and arrive at the Bus Station in Santa Cruz, located on Montes Avenue.

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From Villazon to Cuzco: Another way to make a pretty direct trip from Argentina to Cuzco ys crossing the border through Villazon, and from there to La Paz by bus, or by train and bus. You can even pass by Uyuni, first, for a very complete tourist experience. The trip from Villazon to La Paz lasts around 18 hours, taking you on a journey across most of Bolivia in the west and crossing the Altiplano and valleys of Bolivia through a paved road. The distance between the cities is of 1,331 km. Along the way, the bus will stop several times for passengers to buy food and stretch their legs. In order to take a bus from Villazon to La Paz, you must go to the bus terminal in Villazon, located on La Paz Av. Before boarding the bus, you will have to pay a small fee called “uso de terminal”, which costs around 2 Bolivianos. The trip ends with the arrival of the bus at the Main Bus Terminal of La Paz, on Uruguay Av.

If you prefer to reach La Paz by a combination of train and bus, you must take a train to Oruro, first, and then a bus to La Paz. Oruro is located at a distance of 655 km from Villazon. The train trip takes around 13 hours, departing at night and arriving in Oruro early in the morning. The trains leave from Villazón at the Train Station, located on Antofagasta Av.  The companies offering this service are Wara Wara del Sur and Expreso del Sur with executive and salon class service. Wara Wara del Sur leaves for Oruro on Mondays and Thursdays, and Expreso del Sur leaves on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Once in Oruro, take a cab to the bus station located on Gregorio Reynolds Av., and take a bus to La Paz. From there, the trip to Cuzco is direct and you can use the information above. For more information, visit www.ticketsbolivia.com