What do you know about Bolivia? Chances are, not much. Sure, you’ve heard of Lake Titicaca and the Uyuni Salt Flats. You likely know it’s in South America and has Andean as well as Amazonian terrain.
But did you know that Bolivia is an up-and-coming country with plenty to offer visitors and residents alike? In fact, three of Bolivia’s highland cities are attracting more and more expats due to the moderate weather, beautiful surroundings, friendly locals, and affordable cost of living.
Take Tarija. This small city of 150,000 people sits in Bolivia’s southern zone, just three hours away from Argentina. The city itself has a lovely downtown scattered with old buildings from the days of Spanish rule, along with modern structures. You’ll find parks every few blocks which are filled with roses, fruit trees, and ornamental plants. Street musicians wander through and you can purchase juices, ceviche, and tamales from the carts parked on the sidewalks.
Tarija is located in the center of Bolivian wine country. A Sunday drive will take you past green vineyards with a pale mountain backdrop. It’s easy to indulge in wine tastings at many of the wineries in the area and purchasing their products is unbelievably affordable with high quality wine priced at under $10 per bottle.
Head north a bit and you’ll find yourself in the charming city of Sucre. Designated as Bolivia’s constitutional city, this is where much of the country’s history took place. There are beautiful government and religious buildings all throughout the historic center and this city also has immaculately maintained parks.
Sucre is a popular city for tourists and backpackers, so you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to dining and nightlife. There are trendy cafés, international restaurants, and even an English-style pub within the city. And there are dozens of museums detailing the country’s bid for independence, the treasures found in the area, and the customs and lifestyle of Bolivia’s varied indigenous groups.
Those looking for a bigger city will do well in Cochabamba with its 750,000 residents. The last decade has seen incredible growth in Cochabamba and today it looks like a city you might find in Southern California. Drive across town and you’ll find yourself among palm-lined avenues backed by new high-rise condo buildings.
The real appeal for this city is the modern and sleek feel that it possesses. If you want country clubs, high-end boutique stores, and a poolside condo, Cochabamba is the place to be.
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