If there was a competition of the country possessing the most dramatic and varied landscapes, then Bolivia would give a serious run of its money to other nations. This South-American country is packed with ice-capped Andean peaks, crystalline lagoons, luscious Amazonian rainforests, terraced valleys and rugged mountainous terrains. This land-locked country is not only geographically diverse but also multi-ethnic and a democratic nation.
Kick-start the tour by visiting one of the most significant attractions in Bolivia by heading over to the breathtaking and spectacular Salar de Uyuni. It is a magnificent natural wonder and one of the flattest places in the globe. The 4,000-square-mile salt flats were developed by a pre-historic lake. One has to travel in 4x4 vehicles across the salt flats to view locally crafted structures formed wholly from bricks of salt.
Archaeological buffs will love taking a trip to Tiwanaku - believed to be a precursor of the Inca Empire. It is a pre-Columbian archaeological site housed in western Bolivia. Only a small portion has been excavated but it represents the biggest megalithic architectural victory of pre-Inca South America. Drop by at Oruro and be sure to attend the Carnaval de Oruro, one of the most significant folk-lore and cultural event in all of South America. Preserving and retaining artistic expression, the carnival in Oruro usually starts with the diablada or the devil dance.
Set up by Spanish colonies in the 1500s, Sucre gives tourists a chance to go back in time and imagine how life was in aristocratic Spain in the 16th century. The city is packed with reminders from the past as it is filled with historical monuments and buildings such as La Casa de la Libertad, where Simon Bolivar wrote the Bolivian Constitution and Bolivia's National Library, which is home to documents dating as far back as the 15th century. La Paz is the administrative capital and it is brimming with several museums to visit that talks about the history and culture of Bolivia.
Plan a trip to Cerro Rico, that looms over the city of Potosi, where one can explore the impact that colonization had upon the locals of the country. The mountain came into prominence for it was known to deliver enormous quantities of silver to Spain. Nature lover and wild-life enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve which came into being to protect and shelter endangered Vicuna and the Ilareta plant. It is home to several endangered South American species as well as large flocks of flamingoes. Due to its white salt flats and the rainbow-coloured mineral lakes of Los Lipez, it sometimes appears as if one has stepped into a new planet altogether.
When it comes to shopping, head over to the capital - La Paz - and procure hoards of local artisan goods from all over the nation. Sucre's markets are well-known for their range of weaved products such as ponchos, bags and belts. As for cuisine, be sure to dig into specialities such as Saltenas: Pasties packed with meat, vegetables, sauce, olives and hard-boiled egg. Try Chicha - a fermented maize beer available in the Cochabamba region or Singani - a popular brandy prepared from fermented grapes.
The stay options in Bolivia are plenty with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap accommodations available for tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and tastes.
The climate of Bolivia is varied from region to region. There is no 'best time' as such to visit the nation since the weather is different in each city.