Bolivia is a beautiful, geographically diverse, multiethnic, and democratic country in the heart of South America. It is surrounded by Brazil to the northeast, Peru to the northwest, Chile to the southwest, Argentina and Paraguay to the south. It shares with Peru control of Lake Titicaca (Lago Titicaca), the world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3, 805 m).Sometimes referred to as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is one of the most "remote"... Read more...
Who’s been here?
Latest updates from our Bolivia travelers
Cities and Destinations in Bolivia
Bolivia is a beautiful, geographically diverse, multiethnic, and democratic country in the heart of South America. It is surrounded by Brazil to the northeast, Peru to the northwest, Chile to the southwest, Argentina and Paraguay to the south. It shares with Peru control of Lake Titicaca (Lago Titicaca), the world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3, 805 m).
Sometimes referred to as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is one of the most "remote" countries in the western hemisphere; except for the navigable Paraguay River stretching to the distant Atlantic, Bolivia and Paraguay are the only two landlocked nations in the Americas. It is also the most indigenous country in the Americas, with 60% of its population being of pure Native American ancestry.
The Highland Valleys
The Tropical Lowlands
The Yungas and Chapare
Air travel is the obvious way to get to Bolivia, the main airports are located in La Paz (Bolivia) La Paz to the western side of the country and in Santa Cruz to the east. The arrival plan must be based mostly in the purpose of your visit to the country; you have to remember that La Paz receives most of their visitors due to the immense culture and heritage from the Incas and other indigenous cultures from the Andean region, and therefore from La Paz it is easier to move to the Tiwanaku ruins, Oruro ’s carnival, Potosí ’s mines, Uyuni, Lake Titicaca, Coroico Los Yungas valley and the Andes mountains ; since La Paz is the seat of government all the embassies and foreign organizations has their headquarters in the city in case of any emergency nevertheless there are councils from some countries with offices in Santa Cruz. On the other side, Santa Cruz with a warmer weather could become a good location for doing business visit other alternatives in tourism like the Misiones, the Noel Kempff Mercado national park or visit the eastern cities. But don’t forget that the cities in the south and central Bolivia, like Cochabamba, Tarija and Sucre also offer a very rich experience, there are several to get to these cities from La Paz or Santa Cruz.
From the USA
There are departures from Miami to La Paz and Santa Cruz with the Bolivian airline Aerosur, and other nations’ airlines including American Airlines, TACA, LAN Chile, LACSA, Avianca, among others. The price could go from 522$us with a duration of 6 Hours and 20 minutes in a direct flight Miami-La Paz provided by American companies and 685$us with a duration of 8-17 hours in flights from Miami-Santa Cruz-La Paz provided by Aerosur. Other Latin American companies also offer less expensive flights with scales in Lima, Bogotá or other cities in the continent. American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Continental Airlines also offer flights from major US cities to La Paz but all of them make scales in Miami before heading to the Andean city.
Regular flights are booked from Madrid (Barajas) to the International Airport in El Alto, La Paz and Viru Viru in Santa Cruz service provided by companies like Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Comet, Delta Airlines, KLM and Aerosur; the last one only offering the route Madrid-Santa Cruz-La Paz, while the others stop directly in La Paz; the cost could go from 1000-1200€ to other higher prices depending on the class and duration. There are also less frequent flights to La Paz from other major European cities like London, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin but they may have scales in other European cities before crossing the Atlantic.
Once you have your international flight booked-its far easier and cheaper to organize your internal flights from the point of departure.
From within South America
Gol airlines will have your best deals to Brazil, and Aerolinea Argentina the best deals to Argentina. LAN Chile/Peru will always have flights between Bolivia and these countries but many budget travelers still find them a bit expensive and prefer overland options
There are many train lines in Bolivia, each with varying degrees of quality and efficiency. However, adequate transportation via train can be found.
The FCA timetable can be found at their website http://www.fca.com.bo/fca1/itinerariostarifas1.htm.
It is common for tourists to travel through a land border at the north-east of Chile/ South-West of Bolivia.
Keep in mind that only about 5% of all the roads in Bolivia are paved. However, most major routes between cities are paved (Aka big cities, Santa Cruz, La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre). 4x4 is particularly required when off the flatter altiplano. Be aware that in mountainous regions traffic sometimes switches sides of the road. This is to ensure the driver has a better view of the dangerous drops.
An international drivers license is required but most times EU or US drivers licenses will be accepted. There are frequent police controls on the road and tolls to be paid for road use.
Bolivia By Bus, All information about bus in Bolivia you can view in [www.boliviabus.com], like Hours, frecuency, destinations, all travel information touristic.
There are many options for traveling from Argentina to Bolivia by bus. Check out the Bolivian Embassy's website http://www.embajadadebolivia.com.ar/turismo/acceso.htm in Argentina for specific options.There is also a bus that runs from Juliaca and Puno in Peru to Copacabana.
It is common for tourists to arrive in Bolivia by boat, by navigating from the port city of Puno, Peru, over Lake Titicaca.
Transportation strikes (bloqueos) are a common occurrence in Bolivia, so try to keep tuned to local news. Strikes often affect local taxis as well as long-distance buses; airlines are generally unaffected. Do not try to go around or through blockades (usually of stones, burning tires, or lumber). Strikers may throw rocks at your vehicle if you try to pass the blockade. Violence has sometimes been reported. Many of these only last a day or two. It is usually better to wait.
Flying within Bolivia is quick and fairly economical. AeroSur connects most major cities.
Aerocon-flies from Trinidad to the harder to reach places of Bolivia like Cobija, Guayaramerin, Riberalta and Santa Ana (La Paz region). They also fly to La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz, their office is in Aeroperto El Trompillo and their website is listed below.
Aerosur http://www.aerosur.com-the best known national airline. Aerosur flies from Santa Cruz to Sucre, La Paz and Cochabamba everyday. You can book your ticket at any of the many Aerosur offices around the city of Santa Cruz or any travel agency. Flights can be booked as late as 1 hour beforehand if seats are available.
Amaszonas Av. Saavedra Nº 1649, Miraflores, La Paz email@example.com +591 2 222-0848 Most famous for their La Paz to Rurrenabaque route but also fly to Trinidad, Guayaramerin, Riberalta, Cobija, San Borja, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Fares are listed under tarifas on their website, listed below. Their office in Santa Cruz is in El Trompillo airport.
GOL +55 11 3169-6100-has a nightly flight from Santa Cruz into Campo Grande for just US$50.
TAM Transporte Aéreo Militar Montes n 738, La Paz +591 2 212-1585 phoneextra= +591 2 284-1884 This airline provides utilizes small planes but is actually one of the most well organized and reliable. Their office in Santa Cruz is in El Trompillo Airport, also where all of their planes leave from. Flights from Santa Cruz to Sucre or La Paz 4 times a week from U$45. Confirm weight restrictions. It is rumored to be only 15kg checked and 3kg carry on.
Bus transportation in Bolivia is a nice cheap way to get to see the beautiful scenery while traveling to your destination. Unfortunately the buses often travel solely at night. Keep in mind that the road from La Paz to Cochabamba is occasionally blocked due to protests, often for several days. So, if you are planning to use the bus, you should also be willing to spend a few days sleeping on the bus. Also be wary of the World's Most Dangerous Road that goes from La Paz to the valley of Los Yungas. Bus travel is usually pretty cheap. Estimate that it will cost you about 1 USD for every hour of travel (it's easier to find travel times online than actual price quotes). Prices do change based on supply and demand. Sometimes you can get a deal by waiting until the last minute to buy. Hawkers are constantly crying out destinations in the bus stations cajoling potential riders to take their bus line.
For longer trips between towns and cities that aren't served by bus, shared taxis are common.
When to go
There have been numerous reports of women tourists being drugged and raped during jungle excursions from Rurrenabaque. All tourists should be careful when selecting a travel guide and never accept medication from unverifiable sources.
If possible try to take radio taxis private cabs by calling them since there have been some incidents at night of fake cabs taken from the streets that are used to steal their occupants.
It is a good idea to register with the consulate of your country of residence upon entry into the country.
Some parts of Bolivia like La Paz (3650), Potosí (4010), Oruro (3950) and the Lake Titicaca region are high altitude, so adequate precautions against soroche altitude sickness should be taken.
At local pharmacies they sell soroche pills, that are supposed to help with altitude problems. In many parts of the Altiplano you can purchase coca leaves, which are reputed to be useful against soroche. Coca tea ( mate de coca ) is available in tea bags in many markets.
However, severe cases of high altitude disease can be treated at the High Altitude Pathology Institute at Clinica IPPA http://altitudeclinic.com. This Clinic has the most advanced technology including a hyperoxic/hypoxic adaptation chamber. In addition, the sun's ultraviolet rays are much stronger--up to 20 times--than at sea level. A sun hat, sunglasses, and skin protection (sunblock or long sleeves) are advised.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for those who plan on spending time in the Bolivian Amazon. It must be taken 10 days prior to the person’s arrival into the country if the visitor plans to visit rural areas.
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended if the visitor plans to visit tropical-rural areas.
As a preventive measure, taking the following vaccines is recommended: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Tetanus, Diphtheria and Measles Booster-Vaccines.
Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon Bolivar, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.
Quick Facts about Bolivia
8,989,046 (July 2006 est.)
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)
Country Dialing Code