Bolivia Unveiled: A Culinary and Cultural Expedition Uncover South America

Bolivia Vacations A Culinary and Cultural Expedition

11 Days Similar tours from £3630

    A Cultural Odyssey

    Embark on a transformative Bolivian trip, seamlessly blending cultural immersion, local encounters, and gastronomic delights. This journey promises more than picturesque landscapes and offers a sensory exploration of Bolivia's diverse tapestry. 

    Touch down in La Paz, where the vibrant markets and warm locals set the stage for culinary exploration. Indulge your palate at Gustu, a carefully chosen gem offering a tantalising preview of Bolivian gastronomy. Venture to Lake Titicaca for an intimate encounter with Santiago de Okola and a leisurely stroll to Tortuga Island. Sucre invites you to savour the best of traditional weaving and local delights, while Santa Cruz promises an immersion into the finest crafts and flavours.

    Tailored for those seeking an authentic exploration, this tour promises a harmonious blend of cultural immersion and culinary treasures across the diverse landscapes of Bolivia. 


    Culture & Gastronomy

    Tour Highlights

     Local Culinary Immersion: Dive into Bolivian culture with hands-on cooking classes, unveiling traditional recipes. Enjoy the richness of local flavours at handpicked restaurants, adding an authentic touch to your culinary exploration.

    → Artisanal Weaving Experience:  Unveil the intricate art of traditional weaving in Sucre, connecting with a local weaver to learn about the craftsmanship behind an "aguayo," a traditional Andean fabric.

    → Cultural Workshops and Encounters: Participate in cultural workshops along the SaboreArte Chiquitos route, interacting with skilled craftsmen and artists. Learn the art of traditional bread baking and the crafting of Abuelo masks, delving into Bolivia's rich cultural tapestry.

    → Historical and Architectural Exploration: Explore historical sites like the stone church of San José de Chiquitos and the Jesuit Misiones church in Santiago de Chiquitos. Gain insights into Bolivia's architectural heritage, blending indigenous and colonial influences.

    → Scenic Treks and Views: Embark on awe-inspiring treks, such as the ascent to the Sleeping Dragon and the Chataquila to Maragua hike, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera de los Frailes mountains.

    Tour Itinerary and Essentials

    • Detailed Itinerary Show All

      • Day 1 Your Bolivian Odyssey Begins in La Paz

        Touch down in La Paz, where the magic of Bolivia unfolds. Our warm welcome awaits at the airport, ready to guide you to your retreat. The day is yours to wander the vibrant streets, absorbing the unique charm of this Andean gem.

        For an evening of culinary delight, discover Gustu, one of La Paz's culinary gems. Let your taste buds dance to Bolivian flavours, a preview of the epicurean journey ahead.

        As the sun sets on day one, envision the wonders yet to come. This is just the beginning of your extraordinary Bolivian adventure. Get ready to embrace the allure of South America, one captivating moment at a time!

        Overnight: Hotel Atix
        Meal Plan: Dinner

      • Day 2 Culinary Discoveries and Colourful Culture in La Paz

        Start your day with a visit to the heartwarming Manq'a school, a culinary haven with a social mission. Beyond being a restaurant, Manq'a transforms lives by training disadvantaged youth in gastronomy. Indulge in a meaningful lunch at this unique establishment.

        In the afternoon, your guide leads you through the historic tapestry of La Paz. Hop on the red cable car at the central station for an exhilarating start. Joining us is a "special" guide – a shoeshine boy offering a distinctive perspective. After a cable car ride, immerse yourself in the vibrant markets. Explore the potato market, discovering local varieties like las tuntas and los chuños. At the fish market, savour the freshness of trout from Lake Titicaca, arriving each morning with the first light.

        Navigate through districts where cholitas, adorned in colourful attire, purchase their distinctive uniforms. Witness their coquettish flair, from matching jewellery to contact lenses. The evening unfolds at Ali Pacha, a haven of Bolivian culinary excellence. Brace yourself for an exquisite dining experience where refined flavours mirror the rich tapestry of Bolivia's culture. 

        Overnight: Hotel Atix
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

      • Day 3 Lake Titicaca Exploration - A journey to Santiago de Okola and Tortuga Island

        Embark on a morning venture from La Paz to the enchanting community of Santiago de Okola, nestled along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Welcomed by the friendly families of Santiago de Okola, settle into your cosy accommodations, sharing the warmth of a home away from home.

        Embark on a delightful stroll along the picturesque shores of Lake Titicaca to reach the idyllic Tortuga Island, nestled at the bay's far end. The leisurely walk unveils a panorama of avian wonders—spot ducks, Andean geese, and even the graceful presence of pink flamingos. Revel in the fascinating revelation that, not long ago, accessing Tortuga Island on foot was impossible due to the lake's higher levels. 

        As the day winds down, return along the same scenic route and share in the evening's warmth with a dinner hosted by the welcoming local families. 

        Overnight: Overnight in the community
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 4 Sleeping Dragon to Sucre - A day of Heights and Hues

        Begin the day with a hearty breakfast in Santiago de Okola, then embark on a scenic trek to the Sleeping Dragon. Marvel at cave paintings beneath its majestic head and relish a panoramic summit view at 4,095m, unveiling Lake Titicaca's expansive beauty.

        Return to the village for a rendezvous with a local weaver, unveiling the intricate art of traditional weaving—a skill demanding patience and dexterity. Learn about the craftsmanship behind an "aguayo," a traditional Andean fabric that can take up to a month to weave.

        Immerse yourself further in the local culture with an Apthapi tasting—an Andean countryside tradition. Families gather, bringing forth regional specialities like pancakes, fritters, quinoa shortbread, and small fried fish from the lake, creating a convivial atmosphere of shared delights.

        In the early afternoon, journey back to La Paz by private vehicle and catch a flight to Sucre. 

        Overnight: Hotel Samary
        Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

      • Day 5 Sucre's Hiking Extravaganza - Chataquila to Maragua

        Embark on a morning journey to Chataquila village (3,725m altitude), the starting point for an awe-inspiring trek along an ancient Inca trail towards Chaunaca. The landscape unfolds in all its glory, offering breathtaking views of the Cordillera de los Frailes mountains.

        Pause in Chaunaca for a picturesque countryside picnic before heading to the captivating village of Maragua, nestled amid geological wonders shaped by compression. Explore the nearby Devil's Gorge waterfall, a natural marvel just a short walk from the village.

        In the afternoon, traverse the crater to the town of Irupampa, a scenic route that reveals the diverse beauty of the region. Return to Sucre by vehicle, making a stop at the Maragua lookout for a stunning view of the crater. As the day winds down, treat yourself to an exquisite dinner at Sucre's renowned Proyecto Nativa restaurant, rounding off an adventure-filled day with culinary delights in one of the city's gems.

        Overnight: Samary Hotel
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 6 Sucre's Culinary Odyssey - From Street Food to Santa Cruz

        Indulge your senses in a gastronomic exploration of Sucre, the White City, and unravel the rich tapestry of Bolivia's flavours. Wander through the vibrant markets, savouring an array of iconic Sucre and Bolivian dishes and beverages.

        The day is a celebration of culinary delights, offering a taste of the local culture through every bite. Immerse yourself in the lively street food scene, discovering the heart and soul of Sucre's gastronomy.

        As the day unfolds, bid farewell to Sucre and board a flight to Santa Cruz. 

        Overnight: Los Tajibos Hotel
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 7 Cultural Pascanas in San José de Chiquitos

        Embark on a journey to the captivating mission of San José de Chiquitos, where cultural treasures and culinary delights await. 

        Your stay unfolds with a cultural immersion along the SaboreArte Chiquitos route, offering workshops and encounters with skilled craftsmen and artists from Bolivian Chiquitania. Dive into various craft techniques and savour the local cuisine.

        Following a delightful terrace lunch, venture to "La Siesta del Posoka" for a pascana experience with Juanita. Learn the art of baking rice bread, from grinding rice grains to creating traditional breads. Immerse yourself in village customs, mastering the traditional preparation of "maté" to enjoy with "Pan de arroz."

        Embark on a short hike in the Serranía El Riquío mountain range, unveiling the beauty of the Chiquitana dry forest. Reach the Montañeta lookout for a breathtaking sunset view, capturing the essence of this picturesque region. 

        Overnight: Villa Chiquitania Hotel
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 8 Charm of Chochis and Natural Havens

        Embark on a morning journey to Chochis, a village renowned for the striking Davide Tower—a tooth-shaped, 800-meter circumference red rock formation, also known as the Muela del Diablo. At the foot of this natural wonder stands the Sanctuary of Chochis, adorned with extraordinary wood carvings, a serene haven nestled beneath the Chiquitos mountain range.

        Explore the sanctuary, a place of devotion for followers of the "Virgen de Asunta." The Portón Tower, erected in memory of the 1979 floods and landslides, showcases intricate wood carvings, a legacy passed down by the Jesuits.

        Proceed to Tucabaca Park for a scenic hike to the Antesala del Cielo viewpoint, offering breathtaking panoramas of the region. Afterward, head to Santiago de Chiquitos for lunch and a visit to the historic Jesuit Misiones church.

        Cap off the day with a visit to the therapeutic Aguas Calientes or Los Hervores thermal waters. Immerse yourself in mineral-rich, bubbling springs with temperatures ranging from 41°C to 45°C. Experience the sensation of sitting amidst the natural massage-like bubbling springs. 

        Overnight: Hostel Villa Chiquitania
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 9 Pascanas and Cultural Immersion in San José de Chiquitos

        In the morning, venture to the pascana "La Tranquera" at Pythagoras Luis's home, known as Pythagoras. Hear the captivating tale of how he developed his culinary skills from childhood, transforming it into a lifelong passion. Discover why he earned the nickname Pythagoras, maintaining a street stall where he shares his traditional dishes. His primary passion lies in crafting Abuelo masks, an integral part of the Abuelos Chiquitanos dance—a ritual mocking the "white men" that reflects the region's cultural syncretism. Witness the step-by-step creation of these traditional masks, crafted from the roots of the Toco tree, and savour the renowned chicha, a fermented beverage made from maize, peanuts, manioc, or rice.

        Following this cultural journey, visit the stone church of San José de Chiquitos in the company of professional restorer Friné Torric. Embark on a guided tour of the stone church and the mission museum adorned with unique murals. 

        Relish a gourmet lunch featuring local specialities, followed by a leisurely afternoon to explore the village or simply bask in the pleasures of the swimming pool. 

        Overnight: Hotel Villa Chiquitania
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 10 Craftsmanship and Flavours - San José de Chiquitos to Santa Cruz

        Visit the final pascana, "Las Hamacas," hosted by Marialuz. Delve into the intricate stages of production, witnessing the transformation from a cotton flower to a beautifully crafted hammock or handbag. Marialuz, passing down the ancestral technique of horizontal weaving from her grandmother, shares her inspiring journey of resilience and skill. Taste the delightful cuñapé and a Chirimoya-based drink, adding a flavourful touch to your cultural experience.

        Conclude the visit and set out for Santa Cruz, Bolivia's economic capital. In Santa Cruz, savour the culinary delights of a typical restaurant, La Casa del Camba, immersing yourself in the vibrant flavours of the region. 

        Overnight: Hotel Los Parrales
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 11 Farewell to Bolivia - Santa Cruz to International Flight

        As the adventure comes to a close, bid farewell to Santa Cruz with a departure from the hotel for a seamless transfer to La Paz airport. Ensure you arrive with ample time, allowing for a comfortable journey before your international departure. The memories of Bolivia linger as you embark on your homeward journey, carrying the warmth of cultural encounters and the splendour of diverse landscapes with you. Until we meet again!

        Meal Plan: Breakfast

    • What's Included

      • 10 nights' accommodation 
      • Private ground transportation 
      • Meals as defined in the itinerary
      • Local English-speaking tour guide
      • Domestic flights
      • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

      What's not Included

      • International flights
      • Meals not listed in the itinerary
      • Tips and other discretionary expense
      • Some park entrance fees


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