Cue the Will Smith song “The Wild Wild West.” The first thing you may notice about Tupiza is dirt; mountains and mountains of dirt that make their way into the street and on your face. Even though you’re in the middle of the desert, the people here are young and smiley and the climate is a nice change from the cold nights of the Bolivian highlands. Still, unless you take a tour there isn’t much to do except watch the youngsters flirt with each other. There is no ATM but banks do cash advances.
Chance Of Hooking Up Rating: 1 out of 5 ?
Most people do the spectacular Salt Plain of Uyuni from the city of Uyuni, but you can do it here through Tupiza Tours (located at Hotel Mitru). They are a little more expensive but it’s a competent outfit and the 4-day tour ends with the salt flat instead of starting with it. Wherever you take the tour from, get dropped off in Tupiza if you are heading to Argentina because the town is conveniently located two hours from the border. Other tours you can do in Tupiza include horseback visits to nearby lakes.
The best restaurant in town (and the only one I found that has cappuccino) is Bella Napoli Pizzeria Restaurant, located on Florida across from the market. The chocolate and banana pancake dessert is yummy. Many gringos eat all their meals here.
Like Potosi, there is not much to do here at night.
Hostal Cnl Pedro Arrayo (Av Pedro Arraya 494)
$3.25 for room with shared bathroom. The clean room is small and the hard bed was made for midgets, but the friendly family service does the trick for a short stay. Hot water.
Hotel Mitru (Av Regimento Chichas 187)
$6 for room with private bathroom, depending on your negotiation skills. Popular hotel with a pool and 24/7 hot water. Comfortable enough with $0.50 book exchange. Tupiza Tours is attached out front.
Tupiza On The Blog
I wrote a story about my digestive problems while on the tour to the Salar, which included the story of a couple that shared my jeep.
Discussion of my beefy gas disappeared by this point, so boy was I surprised when the Englishgirl said, with the utmost concern, “So how’s your beefy gas doing?” Everyone heard. Less damage would have been done if she accused me of giving her genital herpes. My comeback was silence. Continue Reading
Other Cities In Bolivia
If you're only going to visit only Bolivia then I recommend you get this guide, which is far more detailed than the continental guide above, with options that cater to a range of budgets instead of only the shoestring backpacking crowd. Also it gives more respectable treatment to small cities and towns that the larger guide breezes over with a paragraph or two.
South America On A Shoestring Guidebook
This is the guidebook that I used in my six month trip in South America. The maps are excellent, the information is complete and thorough, and the reviews are accurate, which is why it's often called "the bible" by many travelers. The only problem is that everyone else has this book so if you are the type of person that wants to hit the isolated small towns you will be disappointed. My advice is to use this book for its maps and information on getting from city to city, but talk to the locals and other travelers for those isolated gems that Lonely Planet for some reason didn't find worthy to include.
Spanish For Beginners
My copy of this book is so beat up and weathered it's disintegrating before my eyes. I took it with me to South America because I loved how it was organized in a logical way that kept me motivated to keep studying. Lessons start short and easy and increase in complexity as you tackle frustrating readings that help take you to the next level. The only downside of this book is that it was originally published in 1957 so some of the vocabulary is very dated. Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a modern equivalent of this book whose teachings approach the same quality. Last time I checked you can grab a used copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.
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