As a child of the Facebook generation who only let Twitter into her life reluctantly, I resisted Instagram for a long time…and immediately got hooked as soon as I gave in to the photo-sharing app! The travel pictures I see on it every day are like porn to my wanderlust and a constant source of inspiration, so I’ve decided to share the best of them with you!
With each installment, the Wanderlust Instagrammy Awards showcase the best of a different country through my choice of photos submitted to the Instagram hashtag #inwonderlands.
This time, I am taking you to BOLIVIA, a country I visited on my tour of South America two years ago.
Did you know that Bolivia holds 50% t0 70% of the world’s lithium reserves, mostly concentrated in the giant Salar de Uyuni salt flats? Lithium is a very valuable resource as a key component of electric batteries, but the country’s communist/slightly anti-American stance and Bolivians’ devotion to ‘Pachamama’ (‘the Mother Earth’) – as evidenced by President Evo Morales’ regular UN ecological interventions in traditional llama woollen jumpers (if you have never seen this, look it up!) – means that they won’t allow foreign corporations to exploit the Salar and are only extracting the lithium slowly in order to preserve this natural and touristic site.
Take that, Western greed!
Anyway, Bolivia may be the poorest country in South America, but that’s only moneywise: it is absolutely NOT lacking in natural wonders or opportunities for adventure!
With the world’s largest white desert, two of the world’s highest cities, the record-breaking altitude of Lake Titicaca, and the chance to cycle down one of the world’s scariest roads (appropriately called ‘The Death Road’), it’s an outstanding land in every way.
And that’s without mentioning the colourful traditions. If you’re looking to experience the real South America, the one you saw in Tintin and movies, Bolivia is where it’s at!
But a picture speaks a thousand words, so here’s the visual evidence!
The cities of Bolivia
1. La Paz has possibly the most spectacular geographical setting ever!
2. I mean: this skyline! Feeling dizzy in the highest capital in the world…
3. The busy streets of La Paz
4. Atop the Potosí mining mountain. The miners drink 96% alcohol and chew coca leaves to keep going all day!
5. The ‘White City’ of Sucre is considered Bolivia’s most beautiful…
6. … maybe because of the stunning colonial architecture of the constitutional capital?!
The landscapes of Bolivia
7. Bolivia’s star: Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat
8. You can spend hours taking crazy photos. Such as: this!
9. Meta: not a Magritte painting, but a picture of people taking pictures of each other…
10. Sometimes the Salar turns into a giant mirror. Who needs filters with places like these?
11. Or these?
12. Road trip anyone?
13. It never stops… Geyser in Eduardo Avarao Andean Fauna National Reserve
14. Who would you swim in these thermal baths with?
15. Swinging off an abandoned wagon at Uyuni train cemetery
16. Taking a break at the border with Chile
The people, daily life and traditions of Bolivia
17. Shopping from ‘witches’: ‘Any dried llama foetuses on sale today?’
18. The colours of Tarabuco market: pick your Andean blanket
19. Sucre’s colourful fruit market
20. The long walk home…
21. Young happiness
22. More of that happiness
23. ‘Cholita wrestling’ may be one of the world’s most random traditions: women in traditional costume doing ‘lucha libre’
24. And they are NOT kidding!
The llamas of Bolivia
25. Llamas are cool…
26. …so they totally deserve their own category
27. Aren’t they photogenic?
28. Total poser
29. Okay, poserS!
30. But flamingos, they’re not bad either!
Thank you to @seintheworld of Photos of S&E, @evagiblin, @de5ka, @dpalmar of Diego Palma Estudio, @daritozap, @christopherchriv of Blog du voyage, @bash.j, @lafranchutaviajando, @simo_dreamandlive of Viaggia Sogna Vivi, @ginamiroula, @cimikoglu, and @ruthontherun for sharing their amazing pictures! If you like their work, check out their accounts on Instagram and follow their adventures on their websites.
In the next Wanderlust Instagrammy Awards, I want to bring you to a country I just discovered and fell in love with: Latvia. Start tagging your best Instagram pictures #inwonderlands for a chance to be featured!
Do these pictures make you want to go to Bolivia? Which one is your favourite? Do you like llamas? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you on Instagram? Find me at @camwonderlands.
If you would like to follow the rest of my adventures, consider also subscribing to the blog to receive all updates by email, and connecting with Camille in Wonderlands on Facebook, where I regularly post snapshots and musings that haven’t made it onto the site.