The beautiful surrounding of Tupiza is full of quebradas, cañones and valles. It's excellent for exploring by foot, but it's also possible to go on horseback, mountainbike or by jeep. Most tour agents have simple maps (not to scale) if you want to set out on your own. You can buy a map to scale at the post office, near the Plaza. Some places of interest are:
- El Cañon
- El Angosto
- Entre Rios
- Cerro Elefante
- Mirador Christo
- Puerta del Diablo
- Valle de los Machos
- Cerro la Cruz
Some of the tour agencies (by no means complete):
- Valle Hermoso, Avenida Pedro Arraya nº478. Offers excellent 4-day Salar de Uyuni jeep tours and horseback riding trips.
- Tupiza Tours (at Hotel Mitru). Offers horseriding trips and 4-day Salar de Uyuni tours. 35Bs./h horseriding, 1300 for Salar de Uyuni.
- La Torre Tours, Regimento Chivas 220. Offers amongst others tours to Salar de Uyuni.
- El Grano de Oro, Avenida Pedro Arraya 492 Tupiza. offers different tours including a 4 day jeep tour to Salar de Uyuni. Experienced drivers, excellent food and the only tour operator from Tupiza which drove through the flooded saltflat which was a big plus (April 2012). Negative point is that they use very old jeeps which have some discomforts as not able to open (all) the windows and bad isolation so some dust will enter the jeep.
There are great horseback riding tours of the surrounding landscape, which looks a lot like the American southwest of western movies. The tour agencies have a syndicate: 30 Bs per hour. Ask for leather leggings.
If you'd like to be a little more independent or economical, hiking or biking along the same trails as the horses is also an option.
Tupiza has a biweekly local market stretching down from just outside the train station. Mainly consists of electronics, cheap clothes, and random knick-knacks. There are also many food kiosks and vendors past the main strip. Interesting drink and jello vendors, as well as vitamin quinoa juice.
- Pastipizza. Moderate, bad service.
- Ristorante Italiana, Florida 272. For Italian food
- Il Bambino, Florida y Santa Cruz. The 10 Bs. set lunches are incredible popular with the locals.
- Cafe El Dobende, Calle Florida No. 29. A cozy coffeeshop with fantastic coffee (4-7Bs.) and salteño empanadas (3Bs). Specifically, the cafe con leche and the cappuccino are delicious. The owner is very welcoming, and they have a variety of Spanish books on their shelf. 2-10Bs..
- Escargo, Calle Avaroa y Serrano. almuerzo. Daily (copious) set menu of 4 courses. 20Bs..
- Market, upper level. Local food at local prices. from 7Bs (negotiable).
On weekends there could be some local fiesta, ask around.
- Diver...Gente, Florida (One block off the square). Lights of all colors are flashing, the DJ mostly trusts his DVDs. A bottle of booze 100 Bs.*
There are only two hotels/hostels in Tupiza with WiFi:
- Hotel Mitru - Slow and expensive rooms
- Valle Hermoso - Un-usably slow, all run from a single mobile sim card.
Other than that there are many internet cafes which are reasonably priced but very slow at peak times.
- Hotel Mitru (Av Regimento Chicas 187), ☎ +591 2-694-3001. Probably the best in town. Rooms vary from budget to luxury. There is a nice swimming pool. The staff is friendly and many of the rooms need renovation. But the included breakfast is fantastic - a large buffet spread of many things. There is WiFi in the rooms, but it can be slow at times. There is also one computer available - shared among 60 guests, so it's invariably always in use. Bs.200 for double (as of 10/5/13).
- Valle Hermoso, Avenida Pedro Arraya nº478. Two HI hostels (and a travel agency). Cheap, clean and well maintained doubles and dorms. 10% hi discount. Has WiFi but all run from a single mobile (sim card) so very very slow, email took all night to load. 100bs for double (as of 10/5/13) 10% hi discount available.
- Tupiza Hostal, Calle Florida No.10, ☎ +591 6945240. Close to both the bus station and train terminal, as well as the main square. Has a lovely courtyard with a fig tree, and a kitchen - though not very well equipped, this seemed to be one of the few hostels with a usable kitchen in town. Friendly staff (father and little son), and interesting gringo visitors. The door is watched 24/7 although at night the doorman is asleep, so ring persistently and/or call ahead if arriving on the 4am train. Rooms are clean, and blankets are provided. 25 Bs. per night.
- La Torre Hotel, Av. Chichas 220, ☎ +591-2-6942633. Check-in: 9AM, check-out: 11:30AM. This is very nice hotel, staff is very friendly. They also offer 4 day tours but these should not be used as they simply take a commission and hand you off to any driver they can find
There are several tour agents offering the four day trip to the Salar de Uyuni finishing in Uyuni. Make sure you are well acclimatized if you're doing the trip this way, since you'll go from about 3000 to 4200 m, climbing 1200 meters in just a few hours.
Furthermore there usually are daily busses to
- Villazon (3-4 hours, 15 Bs.)
- Potosi (6-7 hours, 40-50 Bs.)
- Uyuni (5-6 hours)
- La Paz (Bolivia) (80Bs)
And more destinations. Ask around at the bus station for those. Not all busses leave daily because there aren't enough people to fill the bus.