Ice and Fire, Wind and Salt in Bolivia (Pictures)

We spent two weeks traveling across southern Bolivia through some of the most spectacular landscapes on planet earth. After nearly being denied entry into Bolivia and getting told to “get your backpacks and get the fuck out of here” by the Bolivian border guard, we eventually made it in.

We ascended into the Andes to the capital city of Sucre. Sucre is a pleasant city with lots of Spanish colonial architecture, and one of the largest middle classes in Bolivia.

From Sucre we climbed even higher to the silver mining city of Potosí, located at 13,342 feet above sea level. Potosí has a more gritty feel than Sucre, with silver miners flooding the street after work, and brutal temperatures with frequent snowfall. The surprisingly bustling Potosí was founded by the Spanish in 1545 who bankrolled their empire by mining the Cerro Rico. Centuries later the same silver mines are still active, and adventurous travelers can tour them. Although Potosí is not an easy city to visit, it is certainly one of the most authentic cities in Bolivia.

Next we started our three day Salar de Uyuni jeep expedition. We drove across salt flats, passed smoldering volcanoes, bright green, red and pink lakes, and climbed over 16,000 ft passes, and took a sunrise dip in a steaming hot spring. Most people come to this part of Bolivia for the salt flats, but the most impressive part of the journey was the day after. Geographically speaking, this is one of the most spectacular places on earth.