Fifty years ago, Che Guevara was killed and captured, leaving behind a legacy that’s as contentious as it is celebrated. Shafik Meghji retraces the revolutionary’s final steps on the Che Trail in Bolivia.

On November 3, 1966, a nondescript middle-aged Uruguayan businessman arrived in La Paz, Bolivia, on a flight from Montevideo. He was clean-shaven, had a bald pate flanked by tufts of grey hair, and wore a pair of thick glasses. His passport gave his name as Adolfo Mena Gonzalez. Yet something didn’t quite ring true.

Within a few months, the distinctive shaggy black hair and beard grew back and the spectacles were discarded. By this point, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna—better known as ‘Che’—had launched a guerrilla campaign that aimed to topple Bolivia’s authoritarian government and spark a continent-wide revolution.

After his success with Fidel Castro during the 1959 Cuban revolution, the Argentine revolutionary had grown restless. Despite an earlier failure in the Congo, he had high hopes for Bolivia—but his optimism was wildly misplaced. Within 11 months of his arrival, it was all over. He was 39 years old when he died.

Fifty years after his death on October, 9 1967, I retraced Che’s final steps along the Ruta del Che (Che Trail) through rugged southeastern Bolivia, a journey that’s as spectacular on the eye as it is historically significant.