I recently have returned from an amazing photography trip to Bolivia. Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America, but has in my mind some of the best and diverse landscapes to be seen. From the jungles of Madidi to the surreal lunar landscapes of the Salar de Uyuni. Bolivia really is a photo heaven.
Photos in La Paz, Bolivia
I started my trip to Bolivia off in La Paz, the country’s de facto capital. La Paz is a city set amongst an amazing mountain backdrop of the Cordillera Real with a snowy mount Illumani towering over it. The city itself is a dizzying 4100m in altitude and you can certainly feel the difference. The city isn’t the prettiest city you will see but what it lacks in style it makes up for in culture. you will see many traditional Aymara women with their distinctive bowler hats throughout the city. Grabbing a photo of these Bolivian woman proves quite difficult as they believe it may take their souls away. For photo opportunities this Bolivian city is great for street photography, albeit undercover, with several interesting markets like the witches market. For great photos of the city and surrounding mountains of La Paz head up to the crazy and rough city called El Alto. Here you can see everything from a bids eye view almost. Plus El Alto is a very strange and different place you will have ever seen. Like a dusty wild west in the clouds.
Next we got a guy to drive us to the Pre-Columbian archaeological site called Tiwanaku. About an hour and a half journey through stunning mountain scenery. Tiwanaku was important civilizations prior to the Inca Empire, around 300-1000AD. The history is interesting, but some maybe a little disappointed as much of it looks like rubble. I managed to get a few nice shots of the statues and the pit.
Photos of the Bolivian side of Lake Titcaca
After visiting the temples we travelled onto Lake Titicaca. This has always been highly regarded, so I was interested in seeing this massive high altitude lake that it shared between Bolivia and Peru. It turned out to be one of my favourite stops on my Bolivia trip for photos. I loved the Inca ruins and the surrounding countryside. For photos I recommend taking a private taxi so you can stop on route. We stayed in Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca. It isn’t the most beautiful town but the areas around are worth a hike or ride to. We also took a couple of days out to visit the stunning island Isla del Sol. Again great photos from here of the Ruins and countryside. One of the highlights of the Bolivia trip was at night alone on the mountains, viewing the trillions of stars above.
Photos of Sajama
The next port of call was Sajama national park close to the border of Chile. This from what I had seen was one of Bolivia’s best photo locations. With the beautiful Volcan Sajama (Bolivias highest mountain) looming over the national park, Llamas and Alpacas grazing and stunning geological features. We took several photos on this part of the trip. Personally my favourite was a photo of Llamas at night with a backdrop of volcano Nevado Parinacota and Nevado Pomerapi.
Photos of Toro Toro
From Sajama we journeyed onto Torotoro national park. This was the biggest surprise in our Bolivia photo tour. Full of caves, amazing geology, dinosaur footprints, rare macaws and canyons. I will have to go back and spend more time here, as it is a photographers dream. We had little time allocated and hence didn’t see the sights in maybe the best time of day. But I can only imagine what these structures would have photographed like at sunset and sunrise. My favourite photos taken here in Torotoro were of the ultra rare Red-fronted Macaw (Ara rubrogenys). They could be found coming in to roost at sunset in the nearby canyon.
Next section of the Bolivia photo trip we took an overnight bus to Potosi, regarded by some of the highest city in the world. This was another of Bolivias great street photography locations. A completely different vibe to La Paz. from here we ventured onto what most people consider Bolivias main attraction, the Salar de Uyuni.
The Salar de Uyuni Photos, Bolivia
We arrived in the very dusty town on Uyuni to begin our tour. It really felt like a wild west town in the middle of nowhere. We planned a 3 day tour of the massive surrounding areas. I have to say this area lived up to the hype. It is truly stunning! We started by driving at dawn through the salt plains of the Salar de Uyuni. It is such a surreal place and absolutely freezing. We wanted to take many photos and stop many times so opted for a private jeep. This paid off as we arrived to the Isla del Pescado in the middle of the salt plains. This island is covered by huge Cacti and makes for some great photos. Maybe my favourite photos of Bolivia came from this section of the trip. We stayed until everyone had gone in order to get the sunset photos I wanted. from here we journeyed on through some of Bolivia’s most amazing landscapes. It felt like driving on another planet. Volcanoes, rare flamingos, Llamas, strange geological structures and surreal lakes. One of the best bits being the Laguna Colorada. A red coloured lake inhabited by rare Flamingos. I took several photos at this location and wished I could have stayed longer.
Lastly I travelled to the beautiful colonial city of Sucre for some rest and relaxation. for me Bolivia’s most photogenic and pretty city. Bolivia turned out to be one of my favourite photo trips due to its diversity, culture and amazing landscapes and animals.
To view the entire collection of photo please here