Today is the start of a unique adventure to South America, where in a 49 day period I will be exploring Bolivia and Brazil. These two countries share a common border, and two of the world’s most prominent ecozones – the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal, an expansive wetland region - cover a large portion of Brazilian landscape as well as straddling the eastern portion of Bolivia.
These two countries are very, very different.
- Bolivia is a Spanish speaking country while in Brazil the language is predominantly Portuguese.
- Bolivia was once a stronghold of the Incan empire and the majority of the populations are descendants of these Incas, while Brazil’s population is an exotic mix of Europeans, blacks - descendants of African slaves - and indigenous Indians.
- Physically, Bolivia is an Andean country dominated by the high rugged mountains of the region and is landlocked, while Brazil has miles of coastline on her Atlantic seaboard and the huge Amazon Rainforest dominates the interior.
- Also Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and probably the least expensive for the traveler, while Brazil is relatively prosperous as well as one of most expensive countries to visit in South America.
I will be covering a lot of ground on this trip. The journey starts in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, which at 11,500 feet above sea level makes it the highest capital of the world. For one week, I will stay in the highlands – taking in La Paz, Lake Titicaca and the Island of the Sun, the birthplace of the Inca.
From the Highlands of Bolivia, I will proceed to the Lowlands – starting at the colorful town of Rurrenabaque, the gateway to the Bolivia’s Amazon Basin and Madidi National Park. The most exciting part of this excursion will be a 4 day/3 night stay at a nature lodge located deep in the rainforest and owned by indigenous peoples of the area.
Finally, before crossing into Brazil, I will finish my stay in Bolivia at the hip mountain resort of Samaipata located in the Bolivian Oriente (Southeastern Bolivia). The village/resort town is a couple hours drive from Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s most populous city.
Then onto Brazil for the 2nd half of my long journey! You are welcome to join me if you are an adventure seeker and love the hot, muggy weather of the tropics. See my wild itinerary!