On the recommendation of a British couple I flew back to La Paz from Rurrenabaque with, I booked a day tour to Chacaltaya to see the world’s highest ski lift. Unfortunately, there’s been no skiing at Chacaltaya for the past five years since the glacier melted, but the views from 5,400 meters is still impressive.
I haven’t been able to update the blog for the past several weeks due to the lack of reliable Internet in Bolivia, or rather the expense of reliable Internet when it is available. But I’m finally on my way to Argentina and I’m excited to update everyone about my time in Bolivia!
In late April I spent four days at the Mashaquipe Ecolodge in Madidi National Park, just outside Rurrenabaque. While it was nearly three times the cost of some of the budget jungle tours, I felt that the expense was justified mainly due to the ethics and responsibility of the tour company, but also the small group sizes (just four per guide!) and the better quality of service all around.
Thankfully, the disputes causing the road blocks between La Paz and Copacabana were resolved shortly after my arrival in La Paz and I was able to plan a trip to Lake Titicaca via Copacabana and Isla del Sol. I spent an incredible three days hiking around the lake and getting to know some of the magnificent street dogs in the area. Honestly, some of the dogs I met there were the best travel companions I’ve had so far!
American citizens need to get a tourist visa to visit Bolivia and pay a reciprocal US$135 fee. Opinions aside as to the wisdom of this decision from a Bolivian tourism perspective, I decided to get this taken care of upon arriving in Lima since you have to pay in cash and I didn’t want to carry it around until I got to the Bolivian border. Why didn’t I get it beforehand in New York? Good question. For some ridiculous reason, Americans getting the visa in New York need to have a Certificate of Good Conduct from the police, which costs $50 and requires a visit to police HQ in the Financial District. Gracias, pero no gracias.