The small border town of Villazón is the main crossing from the Argentinian town of la Quiaca across the Villazón river into Bolivia. From there the road leads north towards Potosí, the capital of the Department with the same name.
The road leads through Tupiza, a friendly town and capital of the Sud Chichas Province within the Potosí Department, at an elevation of around 3,160 metres with a population of about 23,000. It is an attractive place along the Río Tupiza with plenty of opportunities for hikes in the countryside or up the hill at Corazón de Jésus for a view of the town.
Around the town of Tupiza are landscapes characterised by dramatic red escarpments with strange rock formations: the quebradas, normally dry but susceptible to flash flood runoff from sudden cloudbursts.
A nice 5 kilometres hike is the walk into Quebrada de Palala with its jagged rock formations and cacti. Further afield, about 10 kilometres, is the appropriately named Quebrada Seca (= dry) with great views. From Tupiza the road continues north, past small villages and across rivers, leading to Potosí at over 4,000 metres above sea level.