Top 5 Cities to Visit in Bolivia

by on 1st September, 2020

Find out our top tips for the best five cities to visit while on holiday in Bolivia. In this blog we’ll tell you what each city has to offer, and what day tours and trips are possible from each of the 5 top cities in Bolivia – from La Paz to Sucre, from Santa Cruz to Copacabana and Cochabamba.

They are all so different and have made it into our top 5 for different reasons, so there’s no way of numbering them – and in fact we may have to write a follow up blog on the next 5 soon …. turns out choosing isn’t easy with such vibrant (and very different!) city culture to choose from!


La Paz

Set at 3300m, La Paz is the beating heart of Bolivia. It can seem incredibly chaotic when you first arrive – and it probably will still seem incredibly chaotic when you depart. But in the chaos lies great beauty. Culture is ever present in La Paz. It may not compete with Sucre in architectural beauty, but it can certainly compete when it comes to atmosphere. Bustling streets and squares, quirky street vendors, colourful traditional textiles everywhere. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in Bolivian culture.

It connects well with other Bolivian cities and regions thanks to a good network of domestic flights – including the latest addition of daily flights to Uyuni, the starting point of any tour of the Salt Flats. The Amazon, too, is only a couple of flight hours away.

City highlights: Take the cable car to El Alto and enjoy a fantastic view, visit the Witches Market, take a city tour behind the scenes, visit Moon Valley. Witness Cholitas wrestling.

Day/ Overnight trips: Visit the Tiwanaku ruins and head to Lake Titicaca for an overnight stay. Climb Huayna Potosi or trek in the Condoriri mountain range.


La Paz Teleferico view, Bolivia

La Paz viewed from El Alto by Teleferico



Sucre – Bolivia’s official capital – is Bolivia’s answer to Cusco some might say. It certainly is Bolivia’s most picturesque city with beautiful UNESCO world heritage architecture, narrow cobbled streets and charming plazas. It’s a city of students and a city of eternal spring. The weather here is pleasant, the people relaxed. White-washed buildings, grand churches and some fabulous museums. There’s nothing not to like here!

City highlights: Stroll through the historic centre, visit Casa de la Libertad and eat the local chocolate.

Day/ Overnight trips: Take a day trip to see dinosaur footprints at Cal Orck’o and on Sundays visit the traditional Tarabuco market 2 hours from Sucre.



Sucre city centre


Santa Cruz

Bolivia’s biggest city is mostly off the tourist radar and only few venture here. This is partly due to its location (to the East of the country and not on the general tourism route) and partly due to its reputation of lacking the culture, indigenous diversity and culture cities like La Paz and Sucre offer. In fact, it is Bolivia’s most “Western” city, its most modern and its richest.

Give the city a chance and you will discover a city with a laid back, small town feel. It lies at only 416m above sea level, boasts with warm temperatures and makes a great point of entry to the country for anybody wishing to acclimatise slowly. It is also the jumping off point for visiting incredible off the beaten track national parks.

City highlights: Watch locals at the main plaza, spot sloths at the Botanical Gardens.

Day/ Overnight trips: Visit the archaeological site at Samaipata, take overnight trips to the wild and wonderful National Parks: Amboró and Noel Kempff. Both are a paradise for wildlife and bird watching. Travel to see the Jesuit Missions.



Lying on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana is the small, quaint, bustling town that gave it’s name to the more famous Brazilian Copacabana – well, to be exact it was the town’s most valued possession, the shrine of the Virgin of Copacabana. It sits in Copacabana’s beautiful Basilica with its distinct Moorish features (pre-colonial) and still lures many travellers and pilgrims each year.

The town is welcoming and friendly, and the spot for your exploration of Bolivian Lake Titicaca. Don’t rush your visit here, make sure to stay a night or two and enjoy an evening at the lakeshore, watching the locals and soaking up the atmosphere. It is also the last Bolivian city before you cross into Peru.

City highlights: Visit the Basilica and the Virgin, take a hike up Calvary Hill for a vista over the lake.

Day/ Overnight trips: Lake Titicaca! You can do this in a day or stay overnight at Isla del Sol.


Copacabana Bolivia

Copacabana and its Basilica



Another city not often visited, Cochabamba is known as the “Garden City” or the “City of Eternal Spring”. Its cuisine is said to be the best in Bolivia and is considered the nation’s gastronomical capital – so make sure you tuck in! To burn of those calories, hike 2000 steps up San Pedro Hill (just kidding, make sure you take the cable car!) and enjoy the views from the city’s statue of Christ, Cristo de la Concordia.

Staying here means enjoying a more relaxed pace of city life – there’s city tours by bike, there are adventure activities on offer in its surrounding, and there is a range of great Spanish schools. It’s a lovely base for those who have some time to spare. If you come, make sure you plan a visit to the magnificent Torotoro National Park, where you can see amazing rock formations, prehistoric landscapes and most of all… dinosaur footprints. And did we mention there’s hardly any tourists around?

City highlights: Take a cable car to the statue of Cristo de la Concordia, do a cooking course.

Day/ Overnight trips:  A 3 day trip to Torotoro National Park, climb Pico Tunari at 5033m, visit the Incallajta ruins.


cochabamba plaza bolivia

Cochabamba main plaza.



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