Exploring Tourism in Bolivia
icon Worldwideicon

Bolivia Popular Places to Visit

Tarija City

TARIJA is also known as the Bolivian Andalusia. It is a land of couplet-makers, beautiful valleys and vineyards; a nice, warm place meant for relaxing and enjoying nature. People are essentially catholic and deeply rooted in tradition, in such a way that the celebrations haven’t lost their vernacular enchantment. It has a rich folkloric, religious and cultural tradition, with well-known celebrations, such as the one-of-a-kind Chapaco Carnival, the Blooming Easter, San Roque´s Celebration, the “Chaguada”, the “Rosario”, among others; there are also events, such as the “EXPOSUR” (South expo). Youthfulness and tradition are always present in these events. The state capital has the same name, and it is known to be one of Bolivia’s most welcoming cities.

THE CATHEDRAL: It is, without a doubt, an architectural jewel of the XVIII century. It currently holds the Diocese created in 1925, becoming a synthesis of the Jesuit legacy that Tarija’s people are so proud of.

GOLDEN HOUSE: Today, converted into The House of Culture (The City Government’s official culture diffusion centre), it is the main stage of artistic demonstrations, i.e. theatre, music and dance. It is also a major architectural piece from the nineteenth century. The façade echoes a zocle with columns placed as doorjambs and window posts. The interior is decorated with Persian rugs, refined crystal chandeliers and mirrors framed by wood covered in gold leaf.

FRANCISCAN LIBRARY: Placed in the Franciscan Monastery, it houses more than 17.000 titles. It has become one of the most important academic reference places for students and researchers.

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM: Repository of the Franciscan Order, established in 1978 at the San Francisco Monastery, in which there is a permanent exhibit of religious, colonial and republican art.

PALEONTOLOGY MUSEUM: Established in 1940, it is a part of the local State University “Juan Misael Saracho”. On display is an invaluable collection of palaeontology pieces and archaeological remains found in Tarija’s provinces.

HOUSE OF “JOSÉ EUSTAQUIO MÉNDEZ”: This is the home of Tarija’s Independence hero. It was established as a museum on September 18, 1966 with an exhibit of personal pieces and war relics.

Tarija, Bolivia

Andean Route

AYOPAYA: Among its main attractions, it features wonderful Andean landscapes such as the Sacambaya Rampart - of pre-Incan origin; Kami Mining Centre - wherein the mine shafts pass from one side of the mountain to the other; the Sallapata Ranch House - former alcohol factory; and the Cerro Sapo Mine - one of the most important mines in the world.

MOROCHATA: a valley known for its production of potato. Arque - a town best known for its thermal baths; Totorapampa and Patiruyo, producers of textiles, agricultural tools and pottery. Bilivar - which features attractions such as thermal water pools, pre-Hispanic tracks, "Eyes of Water", "The Castle", "The Ghost Town", "The Labyrinth", and "Cuyun Rock". Tapacari - an excellent producer of handmade tapestries displayed in its "Artisan Complex"; the ruins of Inca Lagaya - pre-Columbian architectural remains; T'ajllo - the mummies of Chullpa Loma; Leon K'asa - featuring the remains of a pre-Columbian citadel; Intuyo - with its thermal water fountain; Calista and Talija - eroded rock citadels.

Cochabamba, Bolivia

Amboro & Pantanal

AMBORÓ NATIONAL PARK . It is located on one of the final sections of the Andean Mountain Range, in the far south of the Amazon. This is a region with some of the most biodiversity and is considered vital for humanity due to its diverse ecosystems. It really is a paradise for birdwatchers (over 800 species). It’s also an area filled with endemic species of flora and fauna.

This is one of the most impressive places on Earth in terms of wildlife and is considered one of the most humid places in the world. It is believed that the Bolivian portion of the marsh is better preserved. It’s located in the far southeast of the department, surrounded by the dry forests Chiquitano and Chaqueño. It is an ideal destination for travellers who love nature, apt for fishing, rafting, watching flora and fauna, camping and photographic safaris.


Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia

Chapare Cities

PUERTO VILLARROEL: This is the most important commercial port in the tropic of Cochabamba. Its attractions are: the Lambadero - a Lunar landscape where animals go to extract mineral salts from eroded land; Sacta Valley, Recorrido Tres Islas and Recorrido Tacaural. Santa Isabel and Puerto Las Flores are townships of Yuracare origin on the shores of which you can see fishermen crafting their own nets out of rudimentary wood.

VILLA TUNARI: This town is characterized by its variety of wells and baths such as San Pedrito, Paraíso Lagoon, Three Brooks, San Mateo River Crossing - a practical area for adventure sports; Agriento Welles (A and B), the Repechon Caverns - a shelter for bats and guacharos (blind birds); El Palmar - an agricultural area; El Orquidario - the most important orchid garden in the country; Machia Municipal Park, la Jungla Park, Los Ceibos Park, San Francisco Port.

ENTRE RIOS (BETWEEN RIVERS): This place boasts heavenly destinations such as the Ichoa river, Ichilo River and Tres Palcas baths - wherein one can see many colourful animals, jochis (boars), deer and reptiles; the Illimani Lookout - a hill from where one can see the Ichilo river, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna.

CHIMORE: This an ideal place for Agro-tourism, as well as adventure and recreational activities. All of its rivers are apt for canoeing, kayaking, rafting; and its paths are great for mountains bikes. Important places are: Aurora Port and Cochabamba Port La Jota Experimental Station, and the Coca Museum.

SHINAHOTA: Here one can find the Vinchuta and Coni Rivers, surrounded by thick and diverse vegetation, as well as wells and natural beaches or white sand. Isiboro Secure National Park. This is a protected area located between the departments of Cochabamba and Beni with a surface of approximately 1.200.000 hectares. There is a great diversity of flora and fauna, and it shelters 47 indigenous communities of Moxeños, Yuracares and Chimanes.

CARRASCO NATIONAL PARK: It's located in the provinces of Chapare, Carrasco and Tiraque, extending itself to the department of Santa Cruz. It features an area of approximately 622,600 hectares and is the reservoir for a great variety of genetic resources and some 800 bird species.

Cochabamba, Bolivia

High Valley Route

TARATA: Called The Colonial City due to its historical and architectural wealth, still maintaining the charm of its original buildings. The attractions are: Huayculli - a production centre for handicrafts made in clay. There is also the San Jose Convent, San Pedro Temple and Santa Lucia Archaeological Dig.
Other important towns are: Anzaldo - where the main attraction is the Santiago de Anzaldo festival, celebrated on July 25th. Cliza - this features an attractive traditional market. Tocco - this is the home of San Miguel Church. Tocata - wherein there is a ravine with a large variety of vegetation and fossils. Punata - this is the site for the gorgeous San Juan Bautista Cathedral (National Monument). Ville Rivero - this town is known for the crafting of lovely tapestries. Tiraque - where the main attractions are the fountain of Love, Lover's Forest or "Ch'ejta Rumi", and the Pachaj Kjocha - which features 100 lagoons of varied sizes along its route.

ARANI: A town where the main attractions are San Bartolome Temple - declared a National Monument; Collpa Claco Convent, Elefante Dormido (Sleeping Elephant) and Pocoata.

VACAS: characterized by its "Six Lagoons", the most important of which s Toro Warkuna - a mystical lagoon with 120 meters of depth and an infinite supply of Puyas Raimundis. Sehuencas - This town has a semi-tropical climate and is the home of an important diversity of birds and reptiles. Totora - declared a National Heritage due to its great historical and architectural wealth. Pocona - This is a colonial town, wherein the biggest attraction is Incallajta, the largest Incan ruins in Bolivia. Aiquile - cradle of the best charango makers in the country, featuring a museum dedicated to this traditional Bolivian musical instrument.

MIZQUE: This gorgeous town has among its main attractions Puente de Los Libertadores (Bridge of the Liberators), the Petrogifos or stone engravings in Uyuchama); the Aguada and Taboada paintings, and the P. Mauricio Vulcamover Archaeological Museum.

VILA VILA: This is a place of great wealth in palaeontology and archaeology.

Cochabamba, Bolivia

Jesuit Missions

JESUIT MISSIONS, CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY. The Jesuit Missions established in the Chiquitania territory constitute a valuable architectural and historic legacy, which has stood the test of time, very deserving of being named a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Currently, they preserve temples in a baroque style, the urban layout of its streets and the memory of folkloric and religious customs that are revived on occasions like Holy Week and other religious festivities. Also of importance are the Renaissance and Baroque American Music Festival of “Chiquitos” missions, which attracts the attention of tourists and musicologists every two years. The missionary circuit includes:

SAN JAVIER: This mission has a temple in a baroque style notable for its campaign and wood carved columns. In 1730 the first music school in the region was established. This school is known for the fabrication of violins, harps and other musical instruments.

CONCEPCIÓN: Its church is one of the most beautiful in the area, made up of three sections, artistic wooden columns, altars and paintings made by the locals. Other highlights are its main façade and the wooden tower.

SAN IGNACIO DE VELASCO: This is the largest township in the missionary route. The indigenous traditions are still kept alive in this beautiful land, where one can see work done in ceramics, as well as objects in the purest missionary style, embroidered and leather objects.

SAN MIGUEL: The temple is one of the most important buildings in town, with a unique altar displaying golden leaves, a clear sky and carvings. The local population is rich in traditions and popular legends.

SAN RAFAEL: This recently restored church still conserves its enormous cloth paintings, and carved furniture embedded in the walls. The pulpit is decorated with silver and the image of Saint Rafael.

SANTA ANA: The community built this church, which is why it has rural characteristics and smaller dimensions in relation to the others.

SAN JOSÉ DE CHIQUITOS: This mission has the only temple built entirely out of stone, due to the existence of stone and lime deposits. It’s an excellent example of Hispanic architecture brought by missionaries of the Jesus campaign.

Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia


SAMAIPATA. This is a picturesque colonial town 120 Km. from the city. Its main attraction is the Samaipata Fort, a great rock etched with geometric and zoomorphic figures with enigmatic shapes and details which intrigue all visitors. It’s considered the largest display of glyphs in the world and has been recognized as a Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Is a biological preserve located 600 Km. from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It offers the visitor spots of incomparable beauty and an immense variety of flora and fauna, still intact in their original habitat. A highlight is the Caparu plateau, an impressive pre-Cambric formation.

Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia

Manuripi Wildlife Reserve

MANURIPI NATIONAL AMAZON WILDLIFE PRESERVE: This ecosystem is classified as both a humid and sub-humid Amazon jungle: always green, seasonal and featuring Hylea elements. It is one of Bolivia's richest areas in flora and fauna. Although research into its biodiversity has only just begun, to date studies have discovered 760 species of plants, 112 species of fish, 70 amphibian species, 72 reptile species, 489 bird species and 150 different mammals.

Cobija, Bolivia

Pescado & Incahuasi Island

PESCADO ISLAND: Also referred to as “Cujiri Island”, 74 km away from Colchani in the very centre of the salt flat. It offers a picturesque landscape with a granite and organic dirt surface, which allows for the growth of a giant cacti species (approximately 6 meters high) contributing to the development of an interesting ecosystem.

INCAHUASI ISLAND: Also known as Isla Pescadores (Fisherman’s Island), it rests on the remnants of a petrified limestone volcano. On the island, scientists have identified 7 Tiwanaku archaeological remains, 2 Incan ruins, 30 caverns and 12 tunnels.

Potosi, Bolivia

Tupiza City

TUPIZA: This is an interesting natural area, ideal for adventure, recreation and historical tourism due to the wondrous places that surround it. It also features a young population, which is why it has come to be called “Bolivia’s Cultural Youth Capital”.

Potosi, Bolivia