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Tag: Google Earth

Cerro Pirapi and Pirapi Chico Necropolis and Fortress

About halfway between Caquiaviri and the Bolivia/Chile border at Charaña are two hills on which the ancients chose to build a necropolis and a fortress.  I haven’t had the chance to fully explore these hills, but even the short visits I have made to this area have been very interesting. Even without climbing the hills you […]

Qilqata Chapel

Back on the Patacamaya-Tambo Quemado road, you arrive at the Qilqata Chapel (sometimes Kelcata) only about seven miles from the turnoff to Curahuara de Carangas.  The chapel is only a third of a mile off the road and is plainly visible on your left. Qilqata is a cute little chapel with a walled courtyard and one […]

The Chapel at Quilviri

Only about 2.5 miles south of the road to Curahuara de Carangas, the Chapel at Quilviri is a lovely example of colonial-era religious architecture.  In it’s simplicity and beauty, and with it’s twin bell towers, this chapel is similar to the Santa Barbara chapel in Curahuara de Carangas.  However, its location on the altiplano away […]

Cordillera de Sama Biological Reserve (Reserva Biológica Cordillera de Sama)

There are many incredible biological reserves and national parks in Bolivia which are relatively little known.  Somehow, those seem to be the ones I usually get to.  The Cordillera de Sama Biological Reserve sits on the edge of the altiplano, above Tarija.  We were driving to Tarija in March, 2013 and took the opportunity to […]

Upgrading to a Garmin Oregon GPS–Yes, Do It

So, I finally broke down and got a Garmin Oregon 450.  This is not a review.  There are lots of reviews out there, anyway, and you can find all the details about the unit on the Garmin site.  Instead, my point here is just to mention its usefulness in the Bolivian context (or that of […]

Tiwanaku, Colonial Churches and Natural Arches

Tiwanaku is mandatory, even if you are in Bolivia for only a few days.  It is the premiere archaeological site in the country and provides an opportunity to learn about the longest lived empire in South America.  On the way to Tiwanaku, you can visit the first cathedral in Bolivia and the site of the founding of […]

Valle de las Animas

  The Valle de las Animas, or Valley of Souls, is seriously misnamed.  It is not a “valley” but a region, and I for one fail to see why there is any reason to believe that the rock formations therein have any resemblance to “souls.”  After all, isn’t their lack of a physical form a […]

Maps in Bolivia

Diplomats are crazy about maps, and I am no exception.  So if this post seems over the top, please chalk it up to my profession and just use what you find useful. My own preferences in maps, though I love them all, are topo maps and my GPS.  When I’m at home, Google Earth and […]

Cala Cala (Qillqata) Rock Art

The small, but interesting, archaeological site at Cala Cala, less than 15 miles from Oruro, together with the colonial-era chapel in Sepulturas, along the way, make for a very pleasant half-day trip from Oruro.  If you have a full day for an excursion, you could certainly pack a picnic and spend a few hours hiking around the […]

Caquiaviri and Pacajes Province

  Caquiaviri is a small town on the road to Charaña, which is on the border with Chile and Peru, north of Tambo Quemado.  It’s a great destination for a day trip from La Paz, and it will soon be an even better destination. According to German Ambassador Philipp Schauer, in his book, “Tour Guide […]