Time to Leave Bolivia
Americans only have 30 days in Bolivia and since I used two weeks of that studying Spanish, it didn't give me a lot of time to see other things in the country. I had to make the decision to go straight from La Paz, Bolivia to Arequipa, Peru because I didn't want to be stuck in Bolivia just in case the weather got bad or something went wrong with the buses, which tend to happen a lot.
If I had more time, I would have wanted to visit
- Cocabamba and Toro Toro National Park
- Lake Titikaka
- Isle del Sol
- The Jungle - Pampa
But it's okay, that's for another time very far into the future.
My friend Lachlan who I met in La Paz was going back and forth between doing Huayne Potosi or not. I told him to flip a coin and that made the decision for him so the next morning he joined me on my bus to Arequipa.
Thoughts on Bolivia:
Bolivia is the most indigenous and poorest country in South America but I was actually blown away by how nice the cities were. The first glimpse I got of Bolivia was via the Salt Flats and the towns were all very bare and minimal. I had the idea that everywhere else in the country would be the same. It felt very rural and indigenous, so different compared to Chile and Argentina. But when I got into Potosi, Sucre, and La Paz I was pleasantly very surprised at how civilized and beautiful the cities were. Although everything was still cheaper, there wasn't a sign of the country being as poor as I thought it would be. Another rumor I kept hearing was about the dangerous drunk bus drivers. That was the biggest thing I feared when coming into Bolivia but I never really experienced that. The buses were all well organized and operated to expectations.
There were two great cafes/restaurants that I went to a ton:
- Sucre: Condor Cafe
- This offered the perfect study and eating atmosphere. It reminded me of a local cafe by a university where students can basically spend all day there studying and hanging out. They also had really good cheap foods. The menu of the day was only 25 pesos or a sandwich was only 12 pesos.
- La Paz: Cafe del Mundo
- A really cute, hipster restaurant that brings me back home. They have amazing food from salads, to pasta, to smoothie bowls. I think I went here like 3 times in 4 days in was in the city)