Blogs from Villazón, Potosí Department, Bolivia, South America


South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón February 10th 2011

Here we are, last day in Bolivia. After Tupiza (and a nice hot shower..) I am heading to Villazon to cross the border and go to Salta, Agentina This country was amazing. It is told to be the most authentic country of South America. Well, this is mainly because it is the poorest ! But somehow it is one of the richest: Life is like nowhere else, friendliness of people, landscape, .. Of course this is very cheap: You sleep for less than 10euros, and with 15euros you are like a king. Food is similar, for 10-15euros you have an amazing dinner with lots of wine (like one bottle each) in the top range restaurants. What was amazing is the lack of infrastructure: Most of the towns and roads are unpaved and you heavily depends of ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón March 18th 2010

No pictures in this one: I thought it was worth posting this short entry as we do not often get to cross land boundaries in the EU anymore and it was also the most uncomfortable day of the holiday so far, for reasons I will explain. The night bus from Salta left at 00.45. The red wine and steak did not help and I had a very bad night´s sleep. We arrived early and it was barely light and freezing cold. I got a taxi to the Immigraciones and joined the already large queue knowing that the officals would not be there for another two hours. We got hrough the Argentinian side and then had to wait while the Bolivian officials photocopied some immigration forms to fill out . How could they run out of forms! ... read more

Geo: -22.0801, -65.5887In a spur of the moment decision we added another day to our trip north and headed for Bolivia. Do you know you can walk right into the country? Right past the checkpoints like you owned the place? But first we had to get there.The highway follows the Humahuaca gorge north through some pretty bizarre country (see photos). It's a geologist's dream. It changes from one ridge to the next. I couldn't believe how varied it was. It looks like Arizona in some places, like eastern Montana in others, southern Utah in others and in some--like nothing any of us had ever seen before. Looking at photos is like having only a grain of it--it's too vast--too odd--too different to put in photos or words. Sorry, I tried.When we were all sitting at dinner ... read more
We just want to have fun
Socialist headquarters at Tilcara
Bolivian girl brings baby to work

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón October 27th 2009

My bus from Salta arrived in La Quiaca (Argentina) at 6pm on Tuesday 27 October. When I stepped off the bus I almost passed out due to the altitude and had to take a few deep breaths. I got chatting to an English couple (David & Zoe) and we decided to meet up on the train that left from Villazon the following day. I took a short taxi ride to the Bolivian border which was basically a very small bridge. It was very straightforward to walk across and they do not even check your bags. Just fill in a small form and get your passport stamped. Now in Villazon (Bolivia) I walked up the street and checked into the first nice hotel that I saw. Then I walked around town and it was noticeable how different ... read more
Leaving Villazon - view from train

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón March 15th 2009

Coca in cheek and my meanwhile 30kg backpack in tow (where am I accummulating this stuff from!), I cross (on foot) the border Argentina/Bolivia (to the first town called Villazon). Immediately, without warning, we (I travelled with a Canadian lady called Maude) are greeted welcomely by sand dust, rubbish flying through the air, stinky smell, and about a million people. Utter chaos. Dogs are running through the streets stopping at every piece of rubbish in search for food, often bumping head on into our legs. Maude and I make our way express to the Bolivian Bus Terminal. I couldn´t believe what I saw. Women with babies hanging from their backs, 10 year old boys ... just about every local, were attacking us from all sides, shouting ´Tupiza!´ (this is the town we want to get to), ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón December 18th 2008

Day 625 (14.12.08) So the bus that had deposited us in Tupiza at 4am several days ago would sadly be the bus that would continue on to the border at Villazon where we were next headed. That meant an unspeakable hour being set into the alarm clock and three bleary eyed travellers arriving at the bus station for a 4am departure. After a sleep filled couple of hours we realized the bus had come to a halt and looking out the window it was clear that we hadn't yet arrived at our destination. Mark set off to try and find out what had happened to find that with rain fall over the last few days the road to the border had turned to mush and a bus a little further up was well and truly stuck ... read more
Crossing the border
Crossing the border
Crossing the border

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón October 2nd 2007

On all that we’ve gone through the past 2 weeks we could probably easily write a 100-page novel - not quite fitting for this little blog. However, writing just a short paragraph or two would not do justice in describing this final journey - the climax of our year-long escapade, perhaps. So, we’ve deviated from the usual format for this blog entry, and instead are going to put down some summarized extracts from our personal diaries. Day 1 - Too Easy! We arrive in Uyuni, a remote town of 10 000 people nearby the world’s largest salt plane, to investigate the possibility of an off-road trip in the beautiful south of Bolivia, but first we need to get the car revised and look for a guide who knows the region. As we check in to a ... read more
Spare Fuel
The Machine
Salt Planet

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón September 29th 2007

I arrived at the border last Saturday. Journey details: Origen/Destination... Salta - La Quiaca Mode of transport... Bus Company... Flecha Bus Cost.... 35 Pesos Duration... about 7 hours Remarks... I got the night bus up which left Salta at half past midnight Saturday. The cost of 35 euros was a standard price (every company was charging it). Flecha Bus were ok but the bus I got on didn't actually say La Quiaca on the front, but JuJuy. After enquiring with the driver I discovered that the bus did, in fact, go all the way up to the border. I arrived in La Quiaca at around 7am freezing my nipples off and feeling a little depressed at my continued inability to sleep on anything moving. I left the bus and asked a random guy where the border ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón August 11th 2007

Where have the last three months gone? It seems that only yesterday we were up in Bermejo renewing our visa. This time we headed up to La Quiaca and crossed into Villazon, Bolivia. It was a terrible journey as the bus wasn't overly comfortable and all the people around us snored loudly all the time (except two people who chatted on their phones with brightly illuminated screens!). That's what MP3 players were invented for eh!! What did we do before they came along?! We arrived at the border at 7.30am Argentine time, and hour ahead of Bolivian time. Just as we got to the Argentine police window, the cleaner arrived, and the window was closed in our faces! We had to wait about half an hour for the border guard to have his mate and for ... read more
On Track
Outdoor Pool

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Villazón April 26th 2007

I am in Bolivia! I feel so excited to finally be here, for some reason Bolivia overtook Brazil on the list of places I was most excited to go to on this trip and here I am. I passed through Argentina only momentarily to get here, going San Pedro (Chile)-Salta (Argentina, Jujuy Province)-La Quiaca (Jujuy Province, the border crossing for Bolivia)-Villazon (border town in Bolivia where you cross immigation and pick up buses and trains north). I havea couple of hours until my bus north to a town called Tupiza, which was originally just a place to pass through on my way to Uyuni, but it sounds interesting so I will stay there a couple of nights and pick up the famous ´death train´(actually, I never heard of it until last night when I read about ... read more

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