10 Famous Landmarks In Bolivia Not To Miss in 2024

Jade Poleon
Last Updated: January 22nd, 2024

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As someone who has traveled to South America numerous times, I can safely say that Bolivia is one of my favorite destinations.

Why? Because it is jam-packed and full of hidden gems, it is the place for adventures, features a wide range of incredible landscapes, and boasts a fascinating culture – that’s just the beginning. Bolivia’s capital city is the highest in the world, so as you can imagine, this country will take your breath away in more ways than one.

With famous salt deserts, a thriving wine region, the world’s most dangerous road, and various historical and cultural places to visit, Bolivia is the epitome of diversity in all the best ways possible. Bolivia is in the heart of South America and is a perfect destination for those traveling south or north; of course, Bolivia is a destination that you could spend your whole vacation exploring.

Knowing where to start your journey can be tricky, especially in a country like Bolivia, which is rich with opportunities and adventurous opportunities. Still, one thing is for sure – these are Bolivia’s most famous landmarks that you cannot miss out on. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to experience all the incredible places Bolivia offers.

The 10 Most Famous Landmarks In Bolivia

1. Salar de Uyuni

Salar-De-Uyuni

Without a doubt, Salar de Uyuni is one of Bolivia’s most famous landmarks, and it must be seen to be believed. No, this is not snow or an iced-over lake; it is the largest continuous salt desert in the world. This landmark is almost always on travelers’ bucket lists, and many know this landscape for its ability to take incredibly creative photos – making it a very ‘insta-worthy’ place to visit in recent years.

Salar de Uyuni, also known as the Bolivian Salt Flats, is located in the southwest of Bolivia and is easily accessible from the north of Chile and Argentina. This makes this a common stopover on tours and for overlanders. Apart from being a magical place to feast your eyes on, this landmark has one of the most important lithium reserves in the world, as well as high levels of potassium, magnesium, and boron.

It is estimated that 60 – 70 thousand people visit the salt flats each year, and it is the primary tourist attraction that allows the small town of Uyuni to thrive. While it is possible to drive across the region with your own 4×4, the most common way to see Salar de Uyuni is with a guided tour, which takes you to the surrounding lakes, which are also unmissable – but we will get to that later.

2. Yungas Road

Yungas-Road

Yungas Road in Bolivia is commonly known as ‘Bolivia Death Road’ or ‘The Most Dangerous Road in the World.‘ It is one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia, especially for those who want to embark on an adventure like no other, with mountain bike tours being the most common way to discover this jaw-dropping road. It has also been famously featured on Top Gear, which added to its fame.

The notoriously crazy road stretches for 64km, connects La Paz’s capital to the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest, and has an incredible decline of 3,500m. The road is considered dangerous because of its steep drops, incredibly narrow single track, and lack of guard rails. In addition, this region is susceptible to fog, rain, and mudslides, which makes it even more dangerous.

The thrill of embarking on an adventure like this makes this a top landmark in the country, and plenty of tour operators offer mountain biking expeditions along this 64km stretch – but don’t worry, it is downhill, not uphill. One of the fascinating things is that, unlike the rest of the country, the traffic is left-hand rather than right-hand to allow drivers to see the edge of the road and place their wheels accordingly to deal with oncoming traffic.

3. La Paz City

La-Paz-City

La Paz is a city that will truly take your breath away. Yes, it boasts a rich culture and many attractions, but the altitude will make you breathless. Situated at 3,625m (about the height of Mount St. Helens) above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world and is one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia for this reason.

La Paz is situated in a canyon and surrounded by the gigantic mountains of the Altiplano, which make it so picturesque. Still, it is the snowcapped Illimani that makes this city so striking. La Paz is the most important cultural center in Bolivia. It attracts many tourists each year who want to discover the real Bolivian way of life and undertake a variety of day tours from the city.

While the city itself is one of the country’s most famous landmarks, there are plenty of exciting attractions to see within La Paz, including a variety of museums, historic Jaen Street, several cathedrals, and the neighborhood of Sopocachi which is known for its nightlife, hip cafes and bohemian vibes.

4. Sucre

Sucre

Sucre is arguably Bolivia’s most beautiful city, which has led to it becoming one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia. Visiting Sucre is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of La Paz and other cities, and here you will discover more relaxed vibes, pristine and historical buildings, and a sense of tranquility, which makes it a top spot for visitors to recharge their batteries.

Sucre’s beauty and historical significance have not gone unnoticed; it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 and is one of the highest cities in the world at 2,810m (9,220ft). This is a popular place for people to study Spanish, and there are many schools here, which makes it very accessible to those who want to spend a little longer learning the language.

Sucre is regarded as one of the safest and cheapest cities in South America, and it is a fascinating place to dive into the local Bolivian culture, which has been preserved through time. You can easily spend your days here admiring the many buildings, strolling through the local markets, or relaxing among like-minded individuals who want to soak up the peaceful vibes.

5. The Lakes of Salar de Uyuni

The-Lakes-Of-Salar-De-Uyuni

While Salar de Uyuni is one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia, we cannot overlook the surrounding lakes, which are genuinely unmissable when in the region. Many visitors can experience these incredible lakes on a guided tour, but they are also reachable with your off-road vehicle.

There are four main lakes to discover, including Laguna Hedionda, Laguna Blanca, Laguna Verde, and Laguna Colorada, all of which have their own unique features that make them stand out. Laguna Hedionda is a Salt Lake famously home to a community of pink and white flamingos that can be spotted all year round. Laguna Blanca is so called because of its striking white color, which comes from the extensive amount of minerals in the water.

Laguna Verde is so called because of its stunning turquoise color and the backdrop of Licancábur Volcano, which is a jaw-dropping sight. Last but not least, Laguna Colorada, whose water is just one meter deep, is well known for its red color, which occasionally shifts from dark blue to deep red. With the combination of roaming wildlife, snowcapped mountains, and the remote location, it’s no wonder Bolivia’s lakes are so famous.

6. Lake Titicaca

Lake-Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia, so much so that those around the world planning to travel to Bolivia place this iconic destination high on their bucket list. Lake Titicaca is no ordinary lake, and what makes it so famous is that it is the highest navigable lake in the world. This Andean freshwater lake is one of the most common tourist stops and is easily reached on a day tour from La Paz.

Located in the mountains between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is well known as a resort town where many people flock to indulge in delicious freshly caught trout, absorb insatiable lake views, and discover the history of the Incas. The Incas are thought to have believed that Lake Titicaca was the birthplace of their empire, which has led to its nickname, ‘The Cradle of the World.’

As well as soaking up the views of the lake, one of the top things to do here is to visit the floating islands, which are home to the Uru people. Seeing the ‘Floating Islands’ is one of the most culturally fascinating things to do in this region of Bolivia, and here you can observe the self-built islands, created from layers of cut totora, found in the lake.

7. Potosi

Potosi

Like many of Bolivia’s other cities, Potosi is the second-highest city in the world after El Alto, Bolivia, at an elevation of 4,090m (about half the height of Mount Everest), even higher than La Paz, which is the highest’ capital city’ in the world. While this is one of the most intriguing reasons to visit Potosi, the mining history attracts many tourists, and tours of the mines can help you discover more than meets the eye.

Cerro Rico, also known as Potosi Mountain or Cerro Potosi, is one of the iconic landmarks within the town and was commonly referred to as being made of silver since it provided vast amounts of silver for the Spanish Empire. During this time in history, it is said that 85% of the silver produced in the Central Andes came from Cerro Rico, and today, it is a popular attraction for those who want to delve deeper into its mining past.

Today, Potosi is an unmissable landmark in Bolivia, which you will undoubtedly know about if you plan a trip there. There are plenty of exciting tours that take you deep underground to explore the active mine at Cerro Rico but this is not for the faint-hearted or anyone claustrophobic. These guided tours help you understand the treacherous conditions that workers are subject to to make much-needed money and discover how Potosi went from the richest to the poorest in the Americas over the years.

8. Madidi National Park

Madidi-National-Park

Those who visit Bolivia are excited to see the highest cities the incredible landscapes, and discover the culture and history of the country. Still, one thing that is also high on their bucket list is a trip to the Bolivian Amazon. Rurrenabaque is the gateway to this fascinating and remote region of the country, and here, you can embark on wildlife adventures that showcase the country’s diversity.

Located in the foothills of the Andes, Rurrenabaque is commonly reached by plane, and the local airport, which is situated in what some might describe as a ‘grassy field’ or ‘someone’s backyard,’ shows how remote this region is. From here, you can go deep into the Amazon region by boat and embark on incredible adventures you can only dream of.

From searching for anacondas and fishing for piranhas to visiting local communities and spotting pink dolphins in the murky waters, a trip to Madidi National Park is one you won’t forget. Along with nearby protected areas, this national park is part of one of the largest protected areas in the world. It is known as the most biologically diverse national park worldwide.

9. Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

One of the largest archeological sites in South America is situated in Bolivia. Tiwanaku is one of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia for this reason and is a must for history buffs and cultural enthusiasts. This incredible place was recognized by UNESCO in 2000 and is named after one of the most influential civilizations before the Inca Empire emerged.

Tiwanaku is regarded as one of the highest cities ever built and was the capital of a powerful pre-Hispanic empire that dominated a large area of the southern Andes. The civilization of Tiwanaku is said to have reached its peak between 500 and 900 AD, and today, visitors can observe monuments, megalithic structures, and decorated ceramics that date back thousands of years.

The fascinating site was discovered in 1549 when a Spanish conquistador searching for the southern Inca capital stumbled upon this hidden gem. To this day, the archeological site is shrouded in mystery since no one knows who built it or why it was built, which adds to the allure for visitors to this inspiring historical landmark.

10. Tarijia Wine Region

Tarijia-Wine-Region

Just when you thought the diversity of Bolivia couldn’t get any wilder, this exciting country has its wine region for tourists to discover. While Bolivian wine isn’t well known across the globe for its wine, with Argentina and Chile overshadowing it, a visit here is a must for any wine connoisseurs and cultural enthusiasts.

A small Bolivian town called Tarija is known for producing some of South America’s finest wine. Not only this, but Tarija is officially the highest wine producer in the world, growing grapes at an elevation of 1800m (6000ft), and because of its ideal Mediterranean-style climate, this is the perfect region for it. 80% Of the country’s wines come from Tarija, and the best thing is, you can find many grape varieties such as red, white, desert, sparkling, and fortified wines here, so whatever your tastes, you will be in your element.

This region is so fascinating because Bolivia’s wines are produced at such high altitudes, while other wines produced in all other countries worldwide are produced at sea level. Bolivia is notoriously geographically challenged, yet this feature gives Bolivian wine a unique taste.

Because of the unique mix of warm climate and high elevation, Bolivia can produce its wine much faster. The result is that you can find a two-year-old wine in the Tarija region that has similar qualities to a wine that has been aged for six years.

About The Author

Jade Poleon

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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Jade Poleon

Jade Poleon

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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