Ruta del Che means Che Guevara Trail. Follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara in Bolivia (literally). Hike the paths he and his famous band of guerrilla fighters took on their quest to make Bolivia a central hub for socialist revolution in Latin America.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in 1928 to a middle class family in Argentina, and his consciousness was awakened at an early age. Che decided that personal sacrifice and violent revolution was the only way to create a society of equality. Rejecting his comfortable lifestyle, he set off to travel around Latin America. In Mexico, Che met Fidel Castro. With a small army they overthrew the administration of president Batista in Cuba.
Che Guevara acquired Cuban citizenship and, after having worked as a doctor, military commander, president of the National Bank and minister, he set up his base in, Ñancahuazu, 250 km SW of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
The Ruta del Che is a trek over several days that takes you through some of the towns and forested areas where Che and his guerrilla fighters hid out during their time in Bolivia including Samaipata, Camiri, Charagua, Camargo, Pucará, La Higuera, Lagunillas, and Vallegrande. You can read the biography of Che Guevara here.
Che received little support from the local people and local communist party, and eventually in 1967, after months of guerrilla warfare, Che Guevara was captured and executed in La Higuera, Bolivia. His body was flown to
where it was displayed and later buried at an undisclosed location. Thirty years later, in 1997, Che's body was found buried under an airstrip and was returned to Cuba for burial.
Visitors on the Ruta del Che trail will visit
a town that was once overtaken by Che Guevara’s “guerrilleros”, and Vallegrande. In Vallegrande you can visit the hospital laundry room where Che’s body was displayed to the public and press before disappearing, the Che Guevara Museum, and a memorial erected at his burial site, found after years of mystery.
Tours make a quick stop at a small, picturesque village called Pucara, then proceed on to
where you can visit the site of Che’s execution and a school where Che was kept captive, or take a walk to Quebrada del Churo, the site of his last resistance.
Watch this video of some of the sites you'll see if you take the Ruta del Che tour.
The Che and his band of armed guerrillas covered a lot of territory in Bolivia including other towns such as
the much disputed and very barren region Bolivia lost to Paraguay during the 1932-1935
For more information on this and many other amazing ecotours and
tours in Bolivia
contact Ruta Verde Bolivia. Owners Gijs and Maria Eugenia speak English and Dutch. They were kind enough to share this article and some of their best photos!