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Travel Tips – Visa Requirements

// August 13th, 2014 // No Comments » // Travel Tips

travel tips bolivia

Always take in consideration that each country to be visited might have a different set of requirements to enter depending on your citizenship. Often this means getting a visa, though some countries allow you to get it upon arrival, and others just might require some sort of proof of lodging or return flight, or maybe just a vaccination certificate.

So always make sure you check with local authorities, so that you don’t get any surprises once your trip has started. Embassies and consulates are also a great source of information for this, and of course hitting travel forums will always help.

We have put together a little chart just so you know what to be prepared for in terms of requirements when visiting some of the main destinations in South America:

United States

Canada

Argentina No visa required, only valid passport.USD 160 fee to be paid online prior to arrival. No visa required, only valid passport.USD 92 fee to be paid online prior to arrival.
Bolivia Tourist visa required.USD 135 fee to be paid.Yellow fever shot required. No visa required, only valid passport.USD 25 fee to be paid upon departure.Yellow fever shot required.
Brazil Tourist visa required.USD 160 fee to be paid.Yellow fever shot recommended. Tourist  visa required.USD 65 fee to be paid.Yellow fever shot recommended.
Chile No visa required, only valid passport. No visa required, only valid passport.USD 132 fee to be paid upon entry.
Ecuador No visa required, only valid passport. No visa required, only valid passport.
Peru No visa required, only valid passport. No visa required, only valid passport.

For more information on requirements, fees and processes, please, visit the following links:

For U.S.A citizens: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html

For Canadian citizens: http://travel.gc.ca/

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: You can’t miss Uyuni!

// August 13th, 2014 // No Comments » // Travel Tips

travel uyuni

Uyuni is located in the Potosi and Oruro departments, near the center of the country, and is well worth the trip as here you can find the amazing Salt Flats, the biggest salt desert in the world, along with its high altitude location gives a full on white landscape that at the very least will astound you with its contrasts.

Along with the salt flats there are also plenty of sites in the outskirts that you can’t miss such as rock formations, and geysers, and you can also find populations of pink flamingos and several species of cacti, which make a great complement for this beautiful place, located at almost 13000 feet.

Uyuni is one of those places that no matter whether you visit it in the winter or the summer it will for sure make for awesome landscapes and can’t-miss photo ops. Lodging options can be a bit limited but if you want to spend a little more to have a one of a kind experience then we recommend hitting the salt hotel (yes, it is completely made out of salt blocks!).

There’s three ways to get to Uyuni, if you wish to get there quick there’s local flights from La Paz that can take less than an hour, or if you have a bit more time available and wish to enjoy the sights there’s buses available from Oruro, Potosi and La Paz, or the traditional trains from Oruro that can take around 4 hours.

If you want more information about the Uyuni Salt Flats ask your travel specialist.

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Exploring Bolivia

// August 13th, 2014 // No Comments » // Travel Tips

travel bolivia

We have showed you a bit of Ecuador on our last newsletter so now let’s travel a bit south and get to know another of Peru’s neighbors: Bolivia.

Although most of its territory is located in the high plains, Bolivia also has a jungle area, quite rich in flora and fauna, but unfortunately not as well known or visited. Bolivia is often related to pre-Hispanic cultures and that’s no wonder considering the richness of its culture and the beauty of its Andean landscapes.

There are two main entry points into Bolivia: La Paz and Santa Cruz as both have international airports. You can also enter the country though the borders, travelers tend to arrive from Peru or Chile as it is fairly easy and more affordable than flying in.

One of the highlights of Bolivia is the impressive Tiwanaku archaeological site, considered one of the most important ones in South America. It doesn’t hurt that that is surrounded by the Andes and interesting indigenous communities.

Tiwanaku is located near La Paz, and so is the beautiful Titicaca Lake which is shared with Peru. The Bolivian side of this lake has beautiful islands on its own, such as the Sun Island where you will have the chance to sail around in totora reed boats as they did in pre-Hispanic times.

This is just a little taste of all the amazingness you can find in a little country like Bolivia, which is waiting to be discovered.

More about La Paz

More about Bolivia

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Visiting Santa Cruz in Bolivia

// August 13th, 2014 // No Comments » // Travel Tips

travel bolivia misiones

Santa Cruz is one of the biggest cities in Bolivia and is known as the main center of economic growth in the country, making it one of the most important cities in South America. Also, since it’s located in low altitude (less than 1640 feet above sea level) it enjoys great weather, plus it has some of the best tourist services in the country, especially hotels.

Of the most interesting attractions of this city are the Jesuit Missions which are over 300 years old and have been declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1990.

The Jesuit Missions were originally built by missionaries to evangelize the native people, but they didn’t realize what a rich cultural legacy they were leaving behind, which can be seen in its baroque architecture in the towns of San Xavier, Concepción, San Ignacio de Velasco, San Miguel, San Antonio de Lomerio, San Rafael, and Santa Ana de Velasco, among many others.

Nowadays, and thanks to a local initiative, every two years the International Festival of Renaissance and Baroque Music is held in the towns of Chiquitos, a unique mix of art expression at a beautiful site that you should not miss.

There’s a lot more to see and do in Santa Cruz, but if this little peak caught your attention, ask your travel specialist to plan your next visit to Bolivia.

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Visiting La Paz

// August 13th, 2014 // No Comments » // Travel Tips

tiwanaku tours

La Paz is usually the starting point to all trips within the country because it has many attractions both cultural and natural in its surrounding areas. We have already talked a bit about Tiawanaku and Titicaca Lake as the highlights, but there’s so much more to see!

For example, near La Paz you will find the unusual Moon Valley, which gets its name from the various craters and canyons that make it a maze like site worth exploring. This site is also full of various species of cacti, among which you can find the famous San Pedro, known for its hallucinogenic properties.

Near La Paz we can also find a bit of the Amazonian jungle, at Madidi National Park, which borders the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve in Peru, and is one of the greatest protected areas in Bolivia. Here you can do many outdoor activities such as canopy, zip line, kayak, and trekking, which makes it the ideal place for nature lovers and environmentally conscious people.

La Paz also has something for the more adventurous ones, since it’s the starting point of the Road of Death, a mountain bike route which crosses the Yungas area and ends in Coroico. It was given this name due to its winding curves and steepness all over, as well as the poor visibility due to fog that plays along with the unpaved road. Even though its name can be a bit intimidating (it does have the word death in it!), it is a great place to visit for daredevils looking for the next thrill.

If this has peeked your interest or you just want to learn a bit more about La Paz and Bolivia, don’t forget to visit Bolivia’s official site (http://www.bolivia.travel/index.php) and don’t forget that: Bolivia awaits you!

For help on planning your trip to La Paz or Bolivia ask your travel specialist.

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Travel Tips

// August 2nd, 2014 // Comments Off // Travel Tips

travel tips

Even well-seasoned travelers can’t overlook travel tips as there’s always some little detail or thing we always feel we could have done differently, so let us give you some pointers (some you may be familiar with, but hopefully most of them will be helpful) to make your travel experience a lot easier.

Let’s start with the planning stage; planning a trip can become a headache with so many options available and so a couple of tips will help you make this experience a lot easier.

First, we would definitely recommend hitting the travel forums, reading reviews from both the places and the services you wish to take once in the destination will give you a great feel of what’s out there, what works and what doesn’t. Communities such as TripAdvisor or travel guides like Lonely Planet or Frommer’s have lots of information available (though the former is free and allows you to interact with other travelers –big plus!).

If you are looking to contact a local service provider or perhaps looking for a particular type of hotel (spa services, free Wi-Fi, anything really!) then visiting travel forums is a great way to get recommendations and even learn some details or spots that you weren’t aware that existed.

We can also recommend is using the social networks, as there will always be someone among your relatives, friends or colleagues that can provide some info or insight in a destination that you are unfamiliar with, a simple status like “Any good places to eat in Guayaquil?” or If you can recommend a nice place to stay in Quito let me know! can give you information that perhaps you will not so easily encounter by googling.

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While in Ecuador… You can’t miss Cuenca!

// August 2nd, 2014 // Comments Off // Travel Tips

Cuenca - Ecuador

Cuenca is one of the lesser known sites within Ecuador, but that does not mean that is any less inviting and it’s fairly easy to get there from either Guayaquil or Quito. Its rich culture and beautiful architecture makes it a must when visiting Ecuador, plus is also close to El Cajas National Park which is not only rich in natural landscapes but also houses many archaeological sites from pre Inca and Inca times.

We can find Cuenca south of Ecuador but still in the highland area with an altitude of around 2550 m. (7750 ft.) above sea level, it’s also a Cultural World Heritage site since 1999 given it’s amazing buildings from colonial times that make this city center a site not to be missed such as the many churches and convents spread out through the city, or museums such as the Pumapungo or the Aboriginal Cultures Museum.

Cuenca is known for its artisans, so if you want to discover local art or handicrafts (we all love a souvenir!) this city has particular areas dedicated to crafts such as gold, silver, leather, and wood, among others. Makes a great experience and gives you the chance to learn more about Cuenca and its people.

Although the weather can get a bit chilly in Cuenca, since is located in a template valley it’s perfect for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, mountain climbing and paragliding.  Also, near Cuenca you can visit El Cajas National Park, an amazing place that has both natural attractions like waterfalls, lagoons, as well as archaeological sites. The place is also ideal if you enjoy the outdoors and want to do some hiking or fishing, and for the most adventurous even camping is possible.

Getting to Cuenca from Guayaquil or Quito is very easy, whether you want to enjoy the landscapes that only a road trip can give you or rather get there by taking a quick flight to make the most out of your time:

FROM

PLANE

BUS

Quito(274 miles / 1310 km)

45 minutes

10 hours

Guayaquil(155 miles / 250 km)

30 minutes

4 hours

So, as you can see, Cuenca is one of those hidden jewels right in the heart of Ecuador that you will be happy you found!

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