Tupiza is a small and rural town mainly living from agriculture and mining. Tourism is only a very recent phenomenon: the first tourism agency here, the highly recommendable Tupiza Tours, opened 12 years ago and has remained without competition until 3 to 4 years ago. Now the number of tourists is increasing very fast, partly because of the astonishing countryside around this town. Another important reason is that travel agencies here offer much more reliable tours to the Salar de Uyuni than the ones in Uyuni, where problems have immensely increased in the past 18 months.
Before heading to the Salar de Uyuni, one of the highlights when traveling through Bolivia, I decided to take a few days relaxing and discovering the surrounding countryside. There are many possibilities to do so here, hiking, biking, horseback riding. I decided to start with the least demanding option, a full day tour in a jeep going to the main surrounding attractions. For this tour, I joined a very nice German couple from Mainz, Wolfram & Christine, who have traveled intensively throughout the world and with whom I had a very pleasant day sharing traveling experiences.
The surrounding countryside of Tupiza is simply wonderful: strange eroded rainbow-colored rocks cut by meandering dry river beds called “Quebradas”, with slopes full with cactus; hills colored deep red by led and other mineral deposits; rugged amphitheaters that were eroded into spires that resemble a stone forest.
This tour took us actually to all the highlights in the area of Tupiza, making it a day full of beautiful images and very strong impressions. I definitely plan to do another trip to one of the other Quebradas or do some canyon hiking or horseback riding on my own.