Illegal in Bolivia
Bolivia is cheaper than Peru. Taxis are also cheap – about 10-15 Boliviano (USD$1 = 6.7Bolivano) for a 20-30minutes ride. Copacabana was my first stop in the country, much nicer than Puno in Peru. I did the half a day tour of sun Island. This island is so beautiful; hiking up the island was not easy. Some old guy I met on the boat happily gave me the tour of the Island. He explained the difference between the Sun Temple and the Palacio de Inca. The former is a spiritual journey while the later is physical structure with great significant for the Incas. The food in Copacabana is not so great.
La Paz was fun. I stayed with a couchsurfer in Miraflores part of town. I went winter shopping in La Paz in a market called La Feria del Alto. I needed winter clothing for my upcoming visit to Salar de Uyuni (Salt Lake). I got a winter jacket, thermal base layers (top & bottom), sweater, leg warmer, winter hat & pants and socks 200Bolivaros (USD$30)– cheap, right? And the winter jacket is Ralph Lauren.
I left La Paz after 2 days for an Afro-Boliviano town in the Yungas region. The town is called Tocaña – about 3hours from La Paz. To get there, you have to go through the ‘Death Road’; it is called this because it has the highest number of death (caused by accidents) in the world. Well I made it up and down the death road. The road to this village is not paved. The houses are sparely located on the steep hill and there’s abundant of forests in between houses. I had fun in Tocaña, the people in the community were very pleasant.
The tour was amazing. I had a great group (there are 6 people in the group) and we had fun. The weather was freezing – sometimes below 0 with no heating. On the first day, we visited the train wreck, the salar and isla pescador (fish island). By the way, it wasn’t an island nor did it have any fish.
On the second day, we visited some volcanoes and 3 lagoons. It was warm during the day but extra freezing as soon as the sun went down. The hotel we placed in was very basic compared to the first night. On the first night, we placed at this really cute place made from salt. There was no floor made of cement, instead the floor was salt. All six folks from your group stayed in the same room. On the third day, we went to a thermal springs – a pond of very hot water in the middle of a very cold place. Amazing but I did not dare go into the hot springs because of the freezing weather one would experience as soon as you come out from the hot springs. After this, I changed jeep so I could transfer to Chile.
Things you need for the 2 or 3 or 4 days tour of Salar de Uyuni:
Very warm clothing – wool everything: socks, hat, sweater, thermal base layers, a real winter jacket, wet wipes (it is almost impossible to take a shower, so you need this), toilet paper (bring your, the hotel/hostel never have one), enough cash (there is no ATM or Casa de cambio) and medicine for attitude sickness – the elevation go up to 5800. I paid 800Bolivianos but I met others than paid 580Bolivaros, so give yourself a few hours or even a day to shop around for a good price – there are 80 tour agencies in Uyuni.