About 180km southwest of Oruro, the remote village of Chipaya is home to the Chipayas, an ethnic group culturally and linguistically distinct from both the Aymara and Quechua. Now confined to a small territory in this desolate region, the Chipayas are thought to have descended from the Urus. Driven into the unforgiving environment of this remote corner of the Altiplano over several centuries under population pressure from the Aymara, the Chipayas eke out a marginal living by growing quinoa, fishing and catching aquatic birds. Despite their desperate poverty, the Chipayas have maintained their unique language, culture and religious beliefs, and many of the village’s buildings are still distinctive circular huts with doors made from cactus and roofs thatched with aquatic reeds.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Bolivia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Bolivia: make time for South America’s most misunderstood country

Bolivia: make time for South America’s most misunderstood country

Bolivia brims with unique and barely-visited landscapes and cultures. It offers everything from the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats, to the Par…

28 Dec 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook