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To take the Sucre to Yacuiba route is for the truly adventurous who don't mind bumps and dirt. The reward is stepping back into terrain similar to the American "wild west", even though in Bolivia it would be called the wild east, where modern civilization has not yet perturbed nature or culture.

There is only one company that will venture the route with you, Andes Bus Turismo, which leaves 6:30 pm daily, so don't miss it. You'll leave Sucre going first to Tarabuco, home of a great farmer's market selling everything from food to textiles and everything hand made, a very festive atmosphere. A side trip south from Tarabuco will take you to Icla, where you will be able to see an ancient fossilized area of dinosaurs, hike beautiful and prehistoric-looking canyons, and rushing rivers. Then go back to Tarabuco for the main route continuing east.

The road turns from paved to gravel or cobblestone from here, but that's what you came for, right? You head towards the picturesque Tomina (pictured here), forgotten by time in a beatiful Andean valley. Here is the perfect spot to get off the bus, put your backpack on, and just hike the country road from Tomina to Tarabuquillo. It is so out of this world I promise you that you will be a changed person forever, and so few on the planet will ever have the privilege.

Padilla is buses next town along the way, a homey and happy Bolivian country town where you can stock up on supplies, recharge your phone (if you can get a signal), or bed up for a night. After Padilla, you start descending into a lower elevation of the Andes, but just as wild and rugged with forested hillsides and red mountains, gradually becoming greener as you sink into the Amazon basin.

Monteagudo, a pleasant riverside village, greets you with its agreeable climate and bright green hillsides (wheat). I wouldn't blame you for wanting to stay, but you wouldn't want to miss the sweeping vistas to come at Incahuasi, as well as a whole side of Bolivian agricultural life and livestock ranges that feels different than the higher altiplano to the west.

The largest town yet will be your next stop, Camiri, which is essentially where you exit the wilderness and reconnect to the paved national highway. A fun thing to do here is walk across the wood-slatted Hebron bridge.

Continuing south on the home stretch, you will definitely feel like you have left the mountains and you're in the kingdom of the jungle. Villamontes is a proud river fishing town, so get off for a succulent meal of sábalo, dorado, surubí, or dentón (all local fish) and wash it down with sweet mandarin juice grown in the nearby citrus capital of Tarairi.

The end of your journey brings you to Yacuiba at the Bolivia-Argentina border. A handsomely green city, with clean parks and shady palm trees, Yacuiba invites you to wander and walk everywhere. There are several festivals throughout the year here featuring folkloric music. Very importantly (and you might have noticed along the way coming from Camiri) is that Yacuiba is also a train destination, and from here you can go to the train station and travel on rail all the way back to Santa Cruz and beyond!


Tomina, Bolivia
  • On this route:
  • Yamparáez |
  • Tarabuco |
  • Icla |
  • Zudañez |
  • Tomina |
  • Tarabuquillo |
  • Monteagudo |
  • Camiri |
  • Cuevo |
  • Boyuibe |
  • Tiguipa |
  • Villamontes |
  • Villa El Carmen |
  • El Palmar |
  • Yacuiba |