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BOLIVIAN RAILWAY TOUR — 18 days/17 nights

Santa Cruz / Yacuiba / Tarija / Villazon / Uyuni / Potosi / Sucre / Aiquile / Cochabamba / La Paz / Lake Titicaca / Santa Cruz / Jesuit Missions & Pantanal

 

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18-day Bolivian Railway Tour from Santa Cruz

Enjoy the Top 7 Bolivia Train Trips Best for Sightseeing.

Set off on a scenic tour by train to some of Bolivia's most beautiful destinations. Discover the heart of South America through the window of a train.

Bolivia by Rail comes in a variety of fully escorted train tour packages, day trips and tours by train in Bolivia. Join us on this 18-day Train Adventure Tour in Bolivia: travel on Bolivia's remote railroads and enjoy breathtaking landscapes. Allow us to take care of all the details leaving you free to relax and enjoy the endless scenery that rolls by your train window.

This special 18-day Train Tour explores Bolivia —the heart of South America— where travel by train provides opportunities to see sights and visit places not often included in the standard tour itineraries of others. History, culture, adventure, a variety of geographical features, social customs and gastronomic experiences await those who join our Bolivia Train Tours. Travel Bolivia by train is the means by which we deliver not to be missed and sometimes life changing experiences.

Seven top bolivian rail journeys — Travel the length and breadth of Bolivia by train.

Traveling by train in this part of the world is a very special experience, and for sure, a real travel adventure. Long distance and train travel between South American countries is a thing of the past, but picturesque, local passenger and sightseeing train trips are still available, and in many cases, an attraction in themselves. Some are for fun only, others are a viable way to travel.

So why don't you join us on this unique 18-day rail holiday in Bolivia and see the country from a unique perspective. We are pleased to offer you a comprehensive, authentic Bolivian experience through a selection of the best landscapes as viewed from the window of our Bolivian trains.

Our 18-day Bolivian Railway Tour includes as many as seven — yes, seven! — great train journeys that traverse the length and breadth of Bolivia in the heart of South America.

Encompassing cultural diversity and landscapes as diverse as the snow-capped peaks of the Andes and the humid rainforests of the upper Amazon basin, Bolivia is endlessly contrasting, fascinating and beautiful. You will enjoy breathtaking scenery as you travel on Bolivia's remote railroads.

This unique 18-day Bolivian Railway Tour is designed to ensure that you enjoy the very best of the spectacular historic, cultural and natural wonders that this compelling and exotic country has to offer.

Trains and Railroads in Bolivia

From Santa Cruz in the eastern lowlands to La Paz in the high Andes, immerse yourself in the culture and geography of central South America. Along with 7 superb train journeys in Bolivia, this tour will highlight La Paz and the pre-Inca capital of Tiwanaku on the shores of Lake Titicaca; Uyuni and the world's largest salt flats in the middle of the Altiplano; the inter-Andean cities of Cochabamba, Potosi and Sucre; and the eastern lowlands from the tropical city of Santa Cruz towards the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitano Indians and Pantanal...

This 18-day Bolivian Railway Tour package will captivate soft adventure travelers, taking in one highlight after another. Unquestionably, one of them will be traveling by “Ferrobus”. (Is it a train? Is it a bus? No it's the Ferrobus!) This railbus or “Bus-Carril” is a typically Bolivian means of rail transport that plies otherwise forgotten railway routes and servicing communities with no road connections... Breathtaking landscapes and the fun of traveling on a Bolivian “Ferrobus” are perfect ingredients for an unforgettable journey.

A number of pre- and post-tours are also available: Cuzco by Train, Pantanal by Train... Ask us for our special extensions: the Andean Explorer from Puno, Vistadome Train or Hiram Bingham Orient Express Train to Machu Picchu, The Devil's Nose Guayaquil to Quito railway, or the world famous Train to the Clouds (El Tren a las Nubes) from Salta...

WHERE?

• SANTA CRUZ - Far from the altiplano in the huge eastern lowland plains of Bolivia is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a city where the warmth of its people is only exceeded by the heat of its climate. Santa Cruz is rapidly becoming  the principal gateway to Bolivia:  it is the center of the country´s economic growth, has the best international airport in the country, and is at a low altitude – only 416 m. (1,350 ft) above sea level. The rapid economic development has not affected the colonial character of the old backstreets nor the famous good humor of the city's inhabitants. The first leg of our journey by train takes us to the small city of Yacuiba, in the southernmost region of Bolivia and bordering with Argentina.

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• TARIJA - The bucolic landscape around this small city includes rivers and lakes flanked with vineyards surrounded by sprawling valleys and beautiful mountain scenery. Mild climate and sunny blue skies year round complete this postcard-like setting. One of Bolivia's best kept secrets, Tarija is known as the Andalucia of Bolivia on account of its Mediterranean climate, vineyard-filled valley and the arid mountain scenery that surrounds it. Welcoming and off the normal tourist route, Tarija is arguably one of the prettiest regions of Bolivia. From there we'll head to Villazon in order to catch our next train across the Andes; destination: Uyuni.

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• UYUNI SALT FLATS or Salar de Uyuni - A succession of stunning landscapes and unusual shapes that captivate the visitor at first sight. Covering nearly 11,000 square kilometers, it is the largest salt plain in the world, formed by the disappearance of an inland sea that covered most of the Altiplano about 13,000 years ago. Here the horizon seems to blend in with the sky and you can hardly tell where the salt lake actually ends. With outstanding places for photographers at any time of year, Salar de Uyuni is a unique place in the world and one of the highlights of our train trip to Bolivia.

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• Historic City of POTOSI - During its mining heyday in the 17th century, Potosí was the biggest city in the Americas. Silver from Potosí was taken to Spain and used all over Europe. Now a walk through the streets takes you back to the times of the Spanish conquistadores. Our tour of the city includes a visit to the famous Casa de la Moneda and main monuments and churches of the old town which is listed by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. From Potosi we'll take the Bus-Carril to Sucre on a fabulous train adventure.

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• Historic City of SUCRE - Sucre, the first capital of Bolivia, was founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century. Its many well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with Spanish styles. Sucre is listed by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. From Sucre another great train adventure awaits us in the small village of Aiquile hidden in inter-Andean valleys of southern Bolivia. Hardly ever mentioned on the maps, Aiquile is where we'll catch our next Bus-Carril to Cochabamba.

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• COCHABAMBA - Known as the city of "Eternal Spring", the name itself is derived from the Quechua words Cocha, or lagoon, and Pampa, or plane. The population of 900,000 makes Cochabamba the third largest city in Bolivia. Our spectacular ride on the Bus-Carril will enable us to travel through the Andean valleys or 'Valle Alto' around Cochabamba, crossing picturesque towns and Quechua villages on the way at Mizque, Sivingani, Cliza, Tarata... These villages are characterized by their typical imagery: colonial roof tiles, adobe walls built into the mountains, and the transparent sky of the Cochabamba valley, the inspiration for many landscape painters. In town, wander the indigenous markets admiring the variety of items on sale. Here one can find everything — from agricultural products to ceramics, crafts to animals... Don't miss this opportunity to get acquainted with rural Bolivia — the true heart of South America.

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• LA PAZ - The city of contrasts: a unique blend of cultures and ways of life, and located within breathtaking panoramas, with whispers of ancient civilizations at Tiwanaku – one of the most interesting archaeological sites of South America. La Paz is a city for both enriching visits and adventurous discoveries. Lose yourself in streets brimming with life, where neighbors, artisans and sorcerers rub elbows amidst the daily agitation of typical markets. La Paz's outskirts also offer an array of spectacular sites, such as eerie rock sculptures created from ancient erosion at the Valley of the Moon. Here another spectacular train ride will take us from El Alto (La Paz) to Guaqui via the sacred pre-Columbian site of Tiwanaku, at the foot of the Andes mountains surrounding the Altiplano — a truly impressive and mighty enticing sight.

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• LAKE TITICACA - The religious center where the ancient Andean beliefs interact with the living faith of today’s Aymara people. According to legend, the Sun, as well as the pre-Inca god, Viracocha, rose from its depths. The Incas amended the legend to suit their purposes. They contended that on Titicaca Island, following rains that flooded the earth, the sun placed his male and female children and instructed them to teach the barbarians who dwelt on the earth. Tiwanaku is our destination. We will spend time wandering among the ancient ruins hidden in the folds of the steeply terraced slopes of Puma Punku, Kalasasaya, Akapana...

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• SANTA CRUZ - Back to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the last leg of our journey by train takes us to the small city of San José, in the Chiquitanía region of Bolivia and bordering with Argentina.

• JESUIT MISSIONS OF THE CHIQUITOS - The Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitano Indians are truly monumental treasures and are officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our excursions combine history, religious art, culture, and beautiful countryside as found in very few other parts of the world. The immaculately restored mission churches of Chiquitos are a reminder of one of the more unusual episodes in Bolivia's colonial history.

• BOLIVIAN PANTANAL BY TRAIN (not included in base program) – Covering about 10 percent of the total Pantanal area the Bolivian Pantanal is well preserved and comprises several zones of stunning biodiversity, two of which are part of the National System of Protected Areas. Book your Bolivia Train Trip and ask us for this special extension.

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WHAT?

Rail Adventures - Cultural Exploration in the heart of South America - Easy Hiking - Photography

WHEN?

Year-Round Departures (subject to train schedules).

May - October is dry season.

Day 1 - Arrive Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Day 2 - ‘Tren del Sur’ train ride southbound from Santa Cruz towards the border town of Yacuiba. [B]

Day 3 - Transfer to Tarija's Wine Country in southern Bolivia. [B]

Day 4 - ‘Expreso del Sur’ train ride towards Uyuni. [B]

Day 5 - Explore Uyuni Salt Flats. [B]

Day 6 - Travel from Uyuni to Potosi. [B]

Day 7 - ‘Bus-Carril’ train ride Potosi – Sucre. [B]

Day 8 - Free day in Sucre UNESCO Site. [B]

Day 9 - Transfer to Aiquile. [B]

Day 10 - ‘Bus-Carril’ train ride Aiquile – Cochabamba. [B]

Day 11 - Travel from Cochabamba to La Paz. [B]

Day 12 - ‘Guaqui’ train ride to Lake Titicaca. [B]

Day 13 - Visit Lake Titicaca including Sun Island. Back to La Paz for the night. [B]

Day 14 - Fly to Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Tour the city. [B]

Day 15 - “Expreso Oriental” train ride Santa Cruz - San José de Chiquitos. [B]

Day 16 - Visit the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitano Indians (UNESCO Site). [B]

Day 17 - Ferrobus train ride back to Santa Cruz or carry on to Quijarro / Corumbá, Brazil (overnight train). [B]

Day 18 - Arrive Santa Cruz or Corumbá, Brazil.
Transfer to airport for international flight or carry on with our special Pantanal extension... [B]

Special Bolivia by Train - Fixed Departures

Meals Included: Breakfast [B], Lunch [L], Dinner [D]

Travel on Bolivia's remote railroads and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. A great journey for Rail Enthusiasts and discerned Travelers alike.

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We organize tailor-made tours at competitive prices throughout Bolivia for individuals, couples or groups, off the usual tourist routes and accompanied by accredited local guides, to get you in direct contact with stunning Bolivian landscapes, the people and local culture.

Choose the duration of your Bolivia trip, the places you want to visit, type of accommodation, schedules, ways to get around and even your budget. Everything exactly as you prefer!

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