Sustainable Travel in Bolivia

Bolivia shares the largest lake in South America, Lake Titicaca, with Peru. A full third of Bolivia’s land is spread across the Andean mountains. Its largest city and its principal economic centers are on the Altiplano Plateau, known also for the massive plain of salt, Salar de Uyuni. At an altitude of 12,024 feet, it is the largest and highest saltpan on earth. The plateau itself is one of the most extensive areas of high plateau, second only to Tibet. The bulk of the Altiplano lies within Bolivian and Peruvian territories while its southern regions lie in Chile and Argentina. The Altiplano was the site of several pre-Columbian cultures including the Tiawanaku, and became one of the furthest points of the Inca Empire before Spain conquered the region in the 16th century. The Altiplano Plateau includes cities such as El Alto, La Paz, Puno, Potosí and Oruro. Bolivia is home to at least ten groups of indigenous people, including the Aymara and the Quechua, which have strongly influenced Bolivian culture and resulted in a rich folklore tradition. The "devil dances" at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America. The well known "Carnaval de Oruro" festival which was among the first 19 "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" named by UNESCO. Bolivia offers unique locales and singular adventures.

What are they doing right?

Perhaps more than any other Latin American country, Bolivia has lead the way in establishing some of the most successful indigenous community sustainable tourism programs. Through a pioneering and innovative partnership with Conservation International, for example, and with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, the indigenous community of San José de Uchupiamonas created a successful model of community-based conservation based on sustainable tourism practices. That project resulted in the award-winning Chalalan Ecolodge, inspiring other similar successful sustainable tourism projects around the country.

The Finch Ranking

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The destination recognizes sustainability as being important and have embarked on establishing sustainable tourism practices.

This land-locked country is known for its high altiplano, the dramatic vistas of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake, and the lush forests of Madidi National Park, a global biodiversity hotspot with an abundance of rare and endangered species. Bolivia’s altitude creates many remarkable sites, from its expansive salt flats to the peaks and valleys of the world’s highest capital city, La Paz. Indigenous cultural traditions play a strong and important role in Bolivia today, along with the relics of the Spanish colonial past. Community groups have worked hard to embrace and promote tourism that respects the country’s natural wonders, as well as their cultural traditions. Learn more about the values.

Why the Finch Ranking?