The Altiplano is an area in the west-central region of South America. Its name refers to a high plain, which reaches altitudes of approximately 4,000 meters above sea level. This plateau stretches across Chile, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Tupiza is a city to the south of Bolivia and forms part of this Altiplano. The city is home to 20,000 inhabitants and is 100 kilometers from the Argentinean border. Tupiza has many adventures on offer. If you feel like stepping into a scene from an old Western movie, the city provides a similar small-town feel.
You will be aware of the altitude until you acclimatize, as the city is set 2,950 meters above sea level, with fascinating terrain for an adventure.
Much of the Tupiza’s economy is generated through agriculture and mining. The land in the area is rich in lead, silver, tin and antimony. The city was once home to the biggest mining company in Bolivia, although this is no longer the case. There is still a functioning refinery to the south of Tupiza.
Tour guides are an excellent way to explore Tupiza. They offer tours by horseback, jeep, foot, mountain bike or whatever way tickles your fancy. Some of the things worth exploring in the city are, El Cañon, El Angosto, Entre Rios, Cerro Elefante, Mirador Cristo, Puerta del Diablo, Valle de los Machos, Cerro la Cruz and many other secret locations good tour guides have up their sleeves.
El Cañon is around a two-hour excursion from the center of Tupiza and offers hiking and a possible overnight stopover. There you will be surrounded by a maze of rock walls and caves. As with most attractions in the area, El Cañon requires a short trek, and some planning to ensure things run smoothly. Remember to bring sturdy clothing, as the conditions can be challenging. It is advisable to ask your tour guide about the tour you are planning on getting yourself into. For some of the tours, you will need to pack small snacks and water, and a basic first aid kit may also be advisable.
The city offers a variety of sleep options in both hostels and hotels at reasonable prices. You can expect most accommodation to have tour guides working with them. Make sure you have something warm to sleep in, as some of the nights can get surprisingly chilly, considering the daytime weather is rather mild. Of course, cooler weather is often to be expected at high altitude. Tupiza is an excellent choice for an adventure off the beaten track.