Backpacking in Bolivia might be a test of patience, the county is friendly and relatively inexpensive--making it a great destination for anyone on budget.

I first heard about Bolivia when I read about how relatively inexpensive a country it was.  Hey, any place where you can afford to employ a housekeeper on Social Security retirement income is definitely A-OK in my eyes.

That being said, if you're adventurous enough to backpack around Bolivia you'll (for sure) save some Dollars and Euros--but the infrastructure of Bolivia isn't what it's like back home.  The most popular time to visit Bolivia is between June to September.  Which is not summer, by the way, this is Bolivia's winter since they're south of the Equator.

But, just so you know, you'll find tropical weather in the country when you're east of the Andes mountains.  And it can get below freezing in most areas--so plan to travel wearing layers and drink lots of water.  Just make sure it's the bottled kind.

Not much of Bolivia's roads are paved (just around 15%), so getting around the country can really try your patience; and flight delays are quite common.  For anyone relatively fit, get a bike--it's the best way to get around.

I do not have the gumption to bike Bolivia's El Camino de la Muerte, but don't let me stop you from riding down hill Death Road.  Um, that's quite a drop--and my biking skills aren't all that great.  I want to live to see another day in Bolivia.

El Camino Del La Muerte

Actually, I'd like to live long enough to see Bolivia's Salt Flats (known around here as the Saler de Uyuni) that carry on for some 4,000 square miles. 

And I'd like not to get altitude sickness--considering a lot of Bolivia is above 8,000 feet above sea level.  La Paz is the highest capital city in the world at 13,000 feet--so take it easy for a few days to acclimate yourself to the thin air. 

Once you've gotten some lung power back, there's a mountain bike trail that's 40 miles long through the Andes Mountains.  Rather taxi around the city?  That's all right, just do youself a favor and agree on a price with the driver beforehand.

You'll want to keep saving every Dollar because once you've arrived in Cochambamba there are all sorts of goodies (like a pretty local dress in the brightest of colors) to buy at the local markets. 

Trains are another way of getting around Bolivia, but many do not offer convenient connections.  This is one time when first-class is recommended.  Your choice though.

While you decide, I decided to head to Lake Titicaca.  No, I'm not doing the 121 mile long bike trail--I'm just gonna sit here to reflect on the world's highest navigable lake in the world.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna run down to one of the country's internet cafes to let everyone know that I'm not coming back.  I gotta go see the pre-Incan ruins at Tiahuanacu, don't I?

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