Covering nearly 10% of the country, this wide, often bleak and treeless, high plateau is bordered on one side by the Western Cordillera with peaks soaring up to 20.000 feet and on the other by the Eastern Cordillera, with easy grading slopes down into the tropical lowlands bordering Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
Highest capital city on earth, La Paz is the country’s acting capital the - headquarters of the financial and commercial world as well as the main tourist destination.
Lying in a natural basin and protected from the harsh winds, 20.000 foot high, snow-capped Mount Illimani provides a spectacular backdrop to the setting.
There are excellent hotels and a wide variety of restaurants –be sure to try to see a “peña” or folkshow featuring the instruments and often haunting music of the Altiplano.
Enjoy Indian Cuisine in Bolivia. We specially reccommend “Star of India” in La Paz and “Taj Mahal” in Santa Cruz, However there are other Indian restaurantes in La Paz and many vegetarian restaurantes in whole Bolivia. In general Bolivian local cuisine is friendly for indians tourists.
Highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is a 3.500 square mile inland sea at an altitude of 12.500 feet. Titicaca is actually one larger lake and one smaller lake connected by a relatively narrow strait.
Legends say that the first Inca rose from the depths of the lake and set out to find the place where his staff could be inseted into the earth and at that point (Cuzco) he was to found an empire. Still seen on the lake are a few of the original “totora” reed boats; excellent trout from the lake provide La Paz with outstanding dining.
Lake Titicaca today offers colorful folklore that is outstanding. Travelers passing across the lake between Peru and Bolivia will stop at Sun Island and Copacabana –two of the main points of interest.
Just 100 miles from La Paz, overlooking the Lake, Copacabana seems an eternity away. There is a large heavily restored church containing the 16th century miracle-working Dark Virgin of the Lake, also know as the Virgin of Morena, the Patron Saint of Bolivia. Carved by the Indian Tito Yupanqui, the Dark Virgin of the Lake draws pilgrims from around the country.
Lining the walkway into the church are Indian women in their black “bolero” hats selling colorful shawls, hats and handcrafts as well as religious items. Outside the church you can witness the ceremony of blessing new cars and trucks. There is a weekly fiesta on Saturday followed on Sunday by climbing up Calvary Hill of the Holy Sepulchre, past stations of the cross to do penance. There are also Inca ruins nearby.