Tomorrow morning (Thursday, May 3) we leave Tiquipaya and head to Buena Vista! We arrive at night and then will spend the whole day on the 4th preparing for to trek.
These five days/four nights will be spent in the magical Parque Amboro, where we will hike through natural pools/waterfalls, an area with 50 different species of orchid, spend a day with thousand-year-old species of fern that were around millions of years ago (with the dinosaurs)! Throughout all of this, we hope to see lots of wildlife, including hundreds of bird species, insects, reptiles, monkeys, sloths, capybaras, and more.
Following our trek, we will arrive at Santa Cruz! We will see the beautiful Güembé biocenter, which houses all types of life, but especially butterfly diversity! Beyond that, we are excited to just explore the infamous city.
We arrive at Semaipata! We hope to have a lesson on climate change from a local expert the day we arrive. The next two days, we will see two main attractions: the stunning caves and waterfalls at the Ecological Center, and El Fuerte, a pre-colonial archaeological site which houses buildings from the Chanè, Inca, and Spanish cultures.
We land in La Paz on the 15th! Over the course of the next five days, we have a diverse set of activities planned. We hope to fill a day with charlas, and possible take a tour of the US embassy; we will see Tiwanaku, another pre-colonial archaeological site which dates back to the Inca empire; we will partake in an LGBT march and prepare for a trek; we will hike to either Calon de Palko, Valle de las Ánimas, or La Muelle del Diablo, three incredible options around the city; and, finally, we will (hopefully) visit our El Alto homestay families from back in September, and potentially go bowling!
For these three days, we will have a short but sweet homestay in Santiago de Okola, right on the shore of Lake Titicaca! Potential activities include a tour of the community, hiking to the top of the “Sleeping Dragon,” learning about the local medicinal plants, a weaving workshop, an agro-biodiversity workshop, a starlit bonfire, and a boat ride on the lake!
These five days we’ve set aside for reflection and deeply debriefing the time we’ve spent here in Bolivia. We will do this at Copacabana, a town also on the shore of Lake Titicaca, but quite different (though just as beautiful).
Following a wholesome five days, we will head back to La Paz, gather our things, buy last-minute souvenirs, visit last-minute museums, probably cry a lot, and finally head back home.