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Overview

Intrepid travelers seeking off-the-beaten-track experiences will love this area: a region of fertile valleys and vineyards. This gives way to a vast, dry and rarely visited desert-like scape, the Chaco. Tarija, the province's pleasant and laid-back town, has palm-filled plazas, attractive colonial architecture and a pulsating market. From here, you can organize trips to the surrounding wineries, Inca trails and fossil-rich areas. Tarijeños — who, it's said, see themselves as more Argentinian than Bolivian — love a party, and hold lively annual fiestas, when folkloric dancers in colorful costumes fill the streets. In contrast, few ...

Intrepid travelers seeking off-the-beaten-track experiences will love this area: a region of fertile valleys and vineyards. This gives way to a vast, dry and rarely visited desert-like scape, the Chaco. Tarija, the province's pleasant and laid-back town, has palm-filled plazas, attractive colonial architecture and a pulsating market. From here, you can organize trips to the surrounding wineries, Inca trails and fossil-rich areas. Tarijeños — who, it's said, see themselves as more Argentinian than Bolivian — love a party, and hold lively annual fiestas, when folkloric dancers in colorful costumes fill the streets. In contrast, few people but the local Guaraní people, Mennonites and diehard travelers visit the arid and scrubby Chaco, which covers most of Bolivia's southeast and stretches into Paraguay and Argentina. Don't be misled, this area is rich in fauna and flora. The arduous trans-Chaco road will guarantee a teeth-shaking adventure and tales to tell the grandkids.

Kate Armstrong
About the Expert

Kate Armstrong is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Bolivia, South America on a Shoestring, Mexico, Greece, and South Africa.

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