Luis Escobar / La Paz
The Good Friday holiday and the weekend offer an attractive time to go on a trip. Tour operators launch one-day packages because they are the offers most demanded by people. Among the proposals are the Honey and Wine routes of Luribay, the Sleeping Dragon in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca, among other places.
Enrique Galván, from the tourism company “Bolivia in your hands”, said that the Honey Route can be done in a single day. On this tour you can visit the Summit, Pongo, the Stone Church, a trout farm, the Jinchumuruni lagoon, the San Rafael tunnel, the Ruta de las Abejas, vacuum swings and enter the Las Orquídeas ecopark, among other sites.
With the Wine Route you can visit the town of Luribay, do a tasting of wines and artisan singanis, you can also reach the Quimsa Cruz mountain range, the hacienda of former president José Manuel Pando, the wineries, the vineyards, the colonial church and the suspension bridge.
Another destination required by tourists is the Sleeping Dragon. In a single day you can visit four islands of Lake Titicaca and enjoy a boat ride. The tour begins with Huatajata, the floating islands, the Sleeping Dragon and the Turtle Island, where you can enjoy the sunset with a guitar. “El Dragón is an island with a rock formation in the shape of a dragon,” said Galván.
The Sajama also stands out with its hot springs and geysers. This route includes walks through the chullpares, the church of Curahuara de Carangas and the Valley of the Rocks.
In Sorata you can enjoy the suspension bridge, the San Pedro grotto, the demonstration of cherimoya and passion fruit liqueurs, the appetizers that most attract the attention of visitors.
The Water Park is another attraction. It is 15 minutes below the Yolosita gate, on the road to Caranavi. It has three swimming pools, slides, green areas, a suspension bridge and spaces to share with the family.
This holiday is one of the few three days that this management will have. May 1 falls on a Sunday and will be moved to Monday. From that date the rest of the holidays fall in half a week. For example, June has Corpus Christi on Thursday the 16th. Five days later, on Tuesday the 21st, the Aymara New Year will be celebrated.
Both July 16 and August 6 will fall on a Saturday and are immovable. All Souls’ Day will be Wednesday. Finally, the Christmas holiday will fall on a Sunday; therefore, Monday the 26th will not be a working day.
“There is more interest from the people. As operators we sell -on this holiday- everything that we can because afterwards the activity practically dies”, said Enrique Galván.
The site that is always in greatest demand is Uyuni. There are packages from one to three days. With the one-day ticket, the tourist leaves La Paz at night to arrive at this town at dawn the next day.
On this intense day visit the train cemetery, Colchane, the Stairway to Heaven, the monument to the flags and a night of stars. He returns -later- to the city of La Paz. Arrival is expected at five in the morning.
The three-day package also allows you to visit Incahuasi and stay at the salt hotel. You can visit the stone tree, the geysers, the hot springs, the Colorada, Verde and Blanca lagoons. In this complete package you can visit the Eduardo Avaroa reserve.
Charquini with restrictions
Charquini, one of the most attractive places in the department of La Paz, once again received tourists, but with a series of restrictions. For example, now, visitors arrive in 12-passenger minibuses and no longer in buses that carried more than 30.
In addition, the community members prevent visitors from going through the Esmeralda lagoon. Before they could reach the ice caves and even climb the snow.
These restrictions were imposed due to the risk that this snowy peak with the intense activity of people could disappear. Among the causes that can accelerate this process are: the entry of four-by-four diesel vehicles, waste and the movement of domestic animals.
In addition, the cost per person rose to 150 bolivianos when before you could reach the area for half.