Bolivia Oruro Carnival - 2014
Trip code: Wan-156
Price from: £900
While famous for its high altitudes, salt lakes, and pristine Amazon jungles, Bolivia also excels at festivals and the main one takes place once a year in February.
We have put together an experience that includes an opportunity to be a part of the Oruro Carnaval and plenty of time to visit the rest of the country’s highlights.
About the Carnival
Every year tens of thousands of Bolivians and even a few foreigners from all over the world descend on the highland mining town of Oruro, to line the streets and plazas, fill temporary grandstands or sit atop roofs and balconies for its annual Carnaval celebrations. A blend of old and new world beliefs, it has become one of the most spectacular cultural events in Latin America.
Thousands of folk dancers and musicians have rehearsed for months to troupe around the city in close-knit companies each with their own colourful costumes and extravagant masks. For 20 blocks of the town, the groups hop to distinctive music and dances enacting stories and morality plays that delve into Bolivia’s ancient past, Inca and Spanish conquests and modern-day spirituality for an evolving celebration that has continued since the early 1800s.
Although the main parade is for dancers only, the party atmosphere spills out€ross the town and into the surrounding countryside with eating, drinking and countless offerings to Pachamama (Mother Nature). The ch-alla offerings consist of sprinkling drinks on all things so that abundance will come, festooning objects and people with colourful streamers, confetti and water balloons before the Carnaval is laid to rest for another year.
Day 1: (25 Feb) Arrive in La Paz
Day 2: (26 Feb) At leisure to explore La Paz independently and acclimatise to high altitude
Day 3: (27 Feb) Overland trip to the lakeside town of Copacabana, followed by a boat trip across Lake Titicaca to the Sun Island, spiritual cradle of the Inca Empire.
Day 4: (28 Feb) Explore Sun Island before returning to La Paz.
Day 5: (1 Mar) Full day Carnaval with seats in the main plaza that provide a perfect view of the parade at the heart of the action. Optional a mid-afternoon guided trip to the Socavon Sanctuary to see where the parade finishes and the religious meaning it has for the dancers.
Day 6: (2 Mar) Overland trip to Sajama National Park. Visit the highest forest in the world, gentle trek. Overnight stay at a comfortable lodge.
Day 7: (3 Mar) Sajama National Park - La Paz ( or continue your trip to Chile)
UYUNI SALT FLATS EXTENSION
Day 1: La Paz - Uyuni - Flight
Journey to Uyuni, railway outpost and gateway to the Salt flats region
Day 2: Uyuni - Salt flat - Siloli Desert - Volcanos and Lagoons.
Day 3: Return to La Paz or travel to Chile
Alternatovely you can join our February 2014 Bolivian Odyssey small group tour and add the Oruro Carnival as an extension to your trip. Contact us for more details.