Road trip to San Ignacio


Six folks. Four seats. One bus. 10 hours to San Ignacio de Velasco.

Yep, it’s time for a road trip.

We have taken the kids to other cities before — namely Samaipata and Cotoca — but those can be reached by taxi after several hours. San Ignacio is much further, and will require an overnight bus ride.

Yoli and I took several such bus and train rides through Bolivia eight years ago when we toured La Paz, Tiwanaku, Copacabana, Potosi, Oruro, Uyuni, Sucre, etc. I have unpleasant memories of one of those bus rides.

But this adventure to a new place should be fun. We will visit Yoli’s sister Noemi who lives in San Ignacio. We will also explore the town, which is home to one of the Chiquitos missions and close to the border with Brazil.

In planning for the trip, Yoli asked around about what type of bus to take. My inclination was to pay for the most expensive, most comfortable buscama, but family members told us that these are often full of Mennonite farmers who smell bad, making the ride unbearable. Though a family member had experienced this first-hand, I am skeptical. Nevertheless, we are playing it safe and taking a less expensive bus.

The journey will begin on paved roads, but after a while we will be on dirt roads. I will be thankful for all the rain we’ve endured for the last week if it ends up helping keep the dust down. But I sure hope we have some blue sky when we get there. I’m tired of clouds.

Correction: I originally wrote that the trip was 18 hours, but that is quite wrong.

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