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Tupiza

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Altiplano : Potosí : Tupiza
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Tupiza is a small town in the Potosí Department of Bolivia, close to the border with Argentina.

Get in

By train

Tupiza has connections to Villazón on the Argentinian border and north to Uyuni and Oruro. Ask at the train station for the latest departure times.

By bus

Bus schedules tend to change regularly. There are daily buses to Villazón. Buses direct to La Paz leave daily in the afternoon, stopping at Potosí and Oruro on the way.

See

The beautiful surrounding of Tupiza is full of quebradas, cañones and valles. It's excellent for exploring by foot, but it's also possible to go on horseback, mountainbike or by jeep. Most tour agents have simple maps (not to scale) if you want to set out on your own. You can buy a map to scale at the post office, near the Plaza. Some places of interest are:

  • El Cañon
  • El Angosto
  • Entre Rios
  • Cerro Elefante
  • Mirador Christo
  • Puerta del Diablo
  • Valle de los Machos
  • Cerro la Cruz

Some of the tour agencies (by no means complete):

  • Valle Hermoso [1] (Avenida Pedro Arraya nº478), offers excellent 4 days Salar de Uyuni jeep tours and horseback riding trips.
  • Tupiza Tours [2], (at Hotel Mitru), offers horseriding trips and 4-day Salar de Uyuni tours.
  • La Torre Tours (Regimento Chivas 220), offers amongst others tours to Salar de Uyuni.

Do

There are great horseback riding tours of the surrounding landscape, which looks a lot like the American southwest of western movies. The tour agencies have a syndicate: 30 Bs per hour. Ask for leather leggings.

If you´d like to be a little more independent or economical, hiking or biking along the same trails as the horses is also an option.

Buy

Tupiza has a biweekly local market stretching down from just outside the train station. Mainly consists of electronics, cheap clothes, and random knick-knacks. There are also many food kiosks and vendors past the main strip. Interesting drink and jello vendors, as well as vitamin quinoa juice.

Eat

  • Pastipizza, moderate, bad service.
  • Ristorante Italiana, Florida 272, for Italian food.
  • Il Bambino, Florida y Santa Cruz, the 10 Bs. setlunches are incredible popular with the locals.
  • Cafe El Dobende, Calle Florida No. 29, Tupiza. A cozy coffeeshop with fantastic coffee (4-7Bs.) and salteno empanadas(3Bs.). Specifically, the cafe con leche and the cappucino are delicious. The owner is very welcoming, and they have a variety of spanish books on their shelf. 2-10Bs..
  • Escargo, Calle Avaroa y Serrano, Tupiza. almuerzo. Daily (copious) set menu of 4 courses. 20Bs..

Drink

On weekends there could be some local fiesta, -ask around.

  • Diver...Gente, Florida (A block off the square). Lights of all colours are flashing, the DJ mostly trusts his DVDs. A bottle of booze 100 Bs. *

Sleep

  • Hotel Mitru, Av Regimento Chicas 187, 02-694-3001, is probably the best spot in town. Rooms vary from budget (Bs.40) to luxury (US$25). There is a nice swimming pool. The staff is friendly and many of the rooms need renovation. But the included breakfast is fantastic - a large buffet spread of many things. There is WiFi in the rooms, but it can be slow at times. There is also one computer available - shared amongst 60 guests, so it's invariably always in use.
  • Valle Hermoso, Avenida Pedro Arraya nº478 [3], run two HI hostels (and a travel agency). Cheap, clean and well maintained doubles and dorms.
  • Tupiza Hostal, Calle Florida No.10, 6945240. Close to both the bus station and train terminal, as well as the main square. Has a lovely courtyard with a fig tree, and a kitchen - though not very well equipped, this seemed to be one of the few hostels with a usable kitchen in town. The door is watched 24/7 although at night the doorman is asleep, so ring persistently and/or call ahead if arriving on the 4am train. Rooms are clean, and blankets are provided. Beds are 25Bs. per night (as of May 2010) 25 Bs. per night.
  • La Torre Hotel, Av. Chichas 220, 591-2-6942633, [4]. checkin: 09:00 a.m.; checkout: 11:30 a.m.. This is very nice hotel, staff is very friendly
  • La Torre Hotel, Av. Chichas 220, 26942633, [5].

Get out

There are several tour agents offering the four day trip to the Salar de Uyuni finishing in Uyuni. Make sure you are well acclimatized if you're doing the trip this way, since you'll go from about 3000 to 4200 m, climbing 1200 meters in just a few hours.

Furthermore there usually are daily busses to

And more destinations. Ask around at the bus station for those. Not all busses leave daily because there aren't enough people to fill the bus.

There are trains to both Villazon and Uyuni every other day. Last but not least, you can take a (shared) taxi to Villazon (3 hours, Bs. 25) or Uyuni (5-6 hours).

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