Bolivia Is One Of The Most Underrated Countries In Latin America And These Things To Do Prove It

The landlocked country of western-central South America has gained a reputation for a few things. It has one of the worlds biggest tributes to Jesus, great food and strong historical ties to the Incan Empire. But did you know that it has some of the most fascinating deserts, markets, and churches in the world? Take a look at this list of 23 of the most incredible attractions to see in Bolivia and we’ll bet it’ll change your mind about that trip to Australia this summer.

1. Bolivian Salt Flat

CREDIT: @purepoz / Instagram

Pure salt stretches far across Bolivia in the 3,800 square-smile regions of the country’s southwest. Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat contains endless sheets of hexagonal tiles and salt pyramids.

2. The Witches Market

CREDIT: @amyogradyperth / Instagram

The country’s popular tourist destination has witches in dark hats selling dead animals for good luck. It’s located on Calle Jiminez and Linares.

3. Horca del Inca

CREDIT: @louise_cllrd / Instagram

When Spaniards invaded Latina America in the 16th century they battered nearly everything they could find insight and renamed figures that held massive cultural significance. Horca del Inca, which means Gallows of the Inca, is a great example of this. The Horca is actually not a gallows but was originally pre-Incan astronomical observatory and gave the Chiripa people who created it a cahnce to study astronomy.

4. Salvador Dalí Desert

CREDIT: @totweettowho / Instagram

There’s no way any one who goes to this desert will ever consider it to be anything BUT surreal. It’s wind-swept lands will give you all types of Dalí vibes.

5.Museo de la Coca

This museum is dedicated to the sacred leaf of the Andes. The museum does its best to put an end to the bad name that the coca leaf has developed and educate patrons on the history of the leaf long before it became know for producing cocaine.

6. Cementerio General

CREDIT: @spineless.cactus / Instagram

La Paz’s massive cemetery is almost the size of a city in itself and features the deceased stored away in rows of buildings that resemble apartments.

7. Sajama Lines

CREDIT: @the.alien.diary / Instagram

These mysterious geoglyphs stretch miles and miles acrossthe Bolivian desert. You can find them near Bolivia’s highest point: Nevado Sajama volcano.

8. Cholita Wrestling

CREDIT: @ohanni / Instagram

Tough chicas in traditional petticoats and frills take on the parts of fierty luchadores of La Paz in this arena.

9. Potosí Silver Mines

CREDIT: @chrisperrycsp / Instagram

The capital of the Bolivian state sits at a height of 4,000 meters is one of the hightest cities in the world. 

10. San Pedro Prison

CREDIT: @maxschaapman / Instagram

Bolivia’s largest mega prison acts like a city much more than prison in some ways. The well-known Bolivian correctional facility allows wives and children to live with imprisoned relatives as they ride out their sentences. Prisoners pay for their own cells that look like small apartments.

11. La Paz Cebritas

CREDIT: @kellypalacios.lml / Instagram

In La Paz, Bolivia traffic is no joke. There’s a  huge problem and most of it starts with the fact that people use traffic lights as a suggestion rather than a demand. Thanks to a group of plush wearing zebras the number of traffic incidents in the city has steadily decreased.

12. Carnival de Oruro

CREDIT: @swaze_1 / Instagram

This religious festival dates back to over 200 years and takes place in Oruro, Bolivia. The indigenous festival incorporates a Christian ritual around the Virgin of Candelaria and takes place on March 2nd.

13. Alasitas Festival

During this Bolivian festival, patrons wish for whatever they want a by buying miniature versions of their desires.  In the image above, a miniature mustachioed ceramic figurine, called Ekeko, represents the South American God of good fortune.

14. Mi Teleférico

CREDIT: @al3_crespo / Instagram

Tinku, a Bolivian Aymara tradition, has origins in a tradition that goes back to the days of the Spanish Conquistadors. It takes place each year in May when farming communities of the region take part in bloody hand to hand combat.

15. Tinku

CREDIT: @6lia.6dead6 / Instagram

A giant, bloody battle rages throughout the Bolivian Andes each year.Great Train Graveyard. In the Bolivian Aymara tradition, tinku has its origins in a ritualistic form of combat dating back to the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, who arrived in the region of Potosí and enslaved the indigenous population. Not one to give up dancing in the face of oppression, since that day tinku has proved the cathartic exercise of choice for the Aymara and Quechua peoples.

16. Mission Church of San Xavier

CREDIT: @mr_hanft / Instagram

This  18th-century church is one of Bolivia’s few surviving Jesuit missions. Visitors of the church are immediately welcomed by bright colors and patterns.

17. Cristo de la Concordia

CREDIT: @june_laborda / Instagram

This famous giant Christ figure was inspired by a visit from Pope John Paul II. Construction on it started in 1987 and ended in 1944. For a while, it held the title of “World’s Largest Christ Statue.”

18. Great Train Graveyard

CREDIT: @octivec / Instagram

Bolivia’s train cemetery lies on the outskirts of a desert trading village located on the Andean plain. The region is so massive and populated by so many locomotives you might start to wonder if all of the trains in South America were moved here.

19. Valle de La Luna

CREDIT: @schmiedmariophoto / Instagram

There’s no view like one at the “Valley of the Moon” where a carpet of monoliths rise up from the Bolivian desert. The area is said to be named by Neil Armstrong and look about as close to the moon as a place on earth can get.

20. Dinosaur Dance Floor

CREDIT: @imagesforjoy / Instagram

Forget what you’ve heard about the dinosaurs. The moment you come to the largest site of dinosaur footprints on earth, which includes over 5,000 tracks, you’ll feel transported to an era where the oldest giants really did exist.

21. Laguna Colorada

CREDIT: @brianstowell / Instagram

This lake located 4,000 meters above sea level is a home to rare flamingos. And that’s no filter on the picture above, the colors of the region stand out immediately because the lake is tinged with red algea.

22. North Yungas Road

CREDIT: @mustvisitthisplace / Instagram

The “Death Road” of Bolivia has been the location of various accidents and included on the planets list of most dangerous routes. The road was built in the 190s by prisoners from Paraguay.

23. Valle de las Animas

CREDIT: @anibalaguilarcuba / Instagram

These needle-like rock formations were formed out of mudrock and erosion over a series of hundreds of years. Bolivia’s highest mountain, Illimani, towers in the background at 15,000 feet.

24. Palacio de Sal

CREDIT: @nicolascuneo / Instagram

This famous and beautiful hotel is located right on the edge of the salt flats. Perhaps its most intersting quality is the fact that it is built with materials only made from around it.

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