In a month’s time we’ll have been travelling in South America for a year. As we start to look back on our favourite experiences, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni or salt flats is definitely one of our highlights.
We spent four days in a jeep touring Southwest Bolivia and on the last day we reached the salt flats. The Island of Incahuasi (also known as Fish Island) is a unique place: a rocky, cacti covered island in the middle of the huge white salt flats.
We have set ourselves a monthly budget of £1000 ($1550) for two people, so our daily budget is £33 ($50). We also have an extra few thousand set aside for big expenses like tours, major activities and flights.
We heard from other vegetarians who had travelled through Bolivia that we’d be eating a lot of egg and chips (unfortunate as we don’t like eggs), and have to put up with finding bones in supposedly vegetarian soup. It didn’t sound promising. We spent seven weeks travelling around the country, and although we wouldn’t recommend it as a foodie destination, we managed and only had to eat eggs a few times. As always in South America you can survive as a vegetarian, but it does take some searching.
Here are our tips for travelling as a vegetarian in Bolivia.
While drifting off into a delicious siesta on a steamy hot jungle afternoon I was woken by a loud rustling in the trees around our semi-open stilted hut. Looking up I saw tiny yellow squirrel monkeys swinging down from the trees and onto the roof of the hut next to ours. I stared in amazement and then jumped into action, grabbing my camera and taking photos. This provoked the curiosity of the squirrel and howler monkeys that continued their exodus (where they were going I don’t know), and they began to peer into my hut on their way down, staring straight at me.
We fell for Sucre instantly – the sunny weather; youthful, modern vibe; cobbled streets; terracotta roofs and white colonial buildings made us feel like we were in Spain until you discover pockets of Bolivia. Women in voluminous skirts and long plaits serve fresh orange juice from street carts; young working children sell their version of the Big Issue; and pirate DVDs are sold on the chaotic streets around the central market.