Bolivia Most Interesting Attractions
Bolivia is home to a well-known lake with the funniest name ever.
Haha, lolz. Right?
I'm not sure why it's called that, but Titicaca means "Stone Puma" in the indigenous language. Apparently because the lake is shaped like a puma.
[Map courtesy of Google]
I personally don't see how the lake's shape looks like a Puma. But, the South Americans Indians said it does, therefore it must be true. Besides, they were right about human sacrifices and the world ending in 2012, right? Of course.
Technically, only half of the lake is in Bolivia, and the other half is in Peru. Maybe the Bolivian part of the lake looks like a puma? I don't know. But the lake is super big and super blue. It's famous for being the highest navigable lake in the world. And also because it has a funny name.
I wanted to swim in the lake, so that I could say, "I swam in Lake Titicaca!" But the water was pretty cold, so I didn't. I just took off my shoes and walked into the water. So, technically, my feet swam in the water. And because my feet are attached to my body, that means that I swam in it too.
I also found this really funny bathroom at the lake:
It says "Papachos" for men and "Mamitas" for women.
I don't know why, but I found that really funny. I feel like seeing those bathroom doors alone is a good enough reason to visit the lake.
Lake Titicaca is cool and all, by far the Bolivia's BEST and probably my FAVORITE tourist attraction of all time is called El Camino de la Muerte - THE DEATH ROAD.
The Death Road was never intended to be a tourist attraction. It was just a road in Bolivia that is so steep and dangerous that an estimated 200-300 people fall off and die every year ...
...and I went on it. Because I'm crazy. And I'm glad I did because it was FREAKIN' AWESOME!
Notice the white cross on the left side of the photo.
This road starts somewhere 15,000 ft / 4,000 meters above sea level, waaaaay up in the plains of Bolivia. It ends at 3,000 ft / 1,200 meters above sea level, deep in the Amazon jungle. That's a descent of around 12,000 feet! The road is chiseled out of the side of the mountain and is super narrow, hardly wide enough for one car. If you fall off, it's 2,000 feet to the bottom. No guard rails. Bye-bye.
There are multiple tour groups in La Paz that take you down the road on bikes. Before choosing a group to go with, make sure to ask if anyone has died on their tour. If they say no, then you can go.
There were 22 people on my tour, and we each got a helmet, a bike, a cool outfit. Notice, the weather is foggy, it's cold, and everyone is wearing layers of clothes. As we continue down the road, the weather gets warmer and the weather nicer. Suddenly, the paved road ends, and the dirt road through the jungle begins.
To make a long story short, I didn't fall off and die. No one in our group did. A tour van followed us bikers the entire time in case of an emergency. But even if someone did fall off, I'm sure there is little that the help van could do. Emotional support, I guess.
The rode is so steep, that you don't even have to pedal. Just use your brakes and maneuver away from the edge. It isn't difficult and it's pretty safe if you focus. I heard that the last person to die was a Japanese tourist who attempted to take photos while biking.
[For the record, I didn't take these photos while I biked. All the photos were taken by our tour guide and given to us later. I was smart enough to focus completely on the road.]
Eventually you begin to pass under waterfalls and find yourself in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
The experience was so awesome that I knew that I wanted to come back and do it again WHILE I was still doing it. It was that amazing. Sure, there is a touch of danger, but I encourage you to try it if you're ever in Bolivia. You can drive as slow as you want and take your time. It's really safe if you're not crazy.
In the end, the entire group is taken to a restaurant, were you eat and go swimming. It's funny, you start freezing 15,000 feet above sea level, and you finish at 3,000 feet, swimming in the pool and soaking up sun. Absolutely amazing.