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Bolivia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Bolivia in 2023

Welcome to Bolivia

Bolivia is located in South America, with an area of 1,904,852 square kilometers and a population of around 10 million. The capital city of Bolivia is La Paz, with around 2.5 million people. The country's official language is Spanish, but many Indigenous languages are spoken in different regions.

In this ultimate Bolivia travel guide, we tell you all you need to know to travel to this country and discover Bolivian culture, history, and landscapes - from the best foods and drinks to the best time to go and what not to wear on your trip! So read our tips, check out our recommendations and enjoy your adventure in one of the most visited South American countries!

Document checklist for Bolivia

  • Visa

  • Health Declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

Essential Bolivia travel information

  • Currency - Bolivian Boliviano (BOB). $1 is equivalent to approx. BOB 6,94.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - The cost per day on your vacation in Bolivia can be around BOB 298 (USD 43).

  • Languages - The official language is Spanish, but there are 36 Indigenous languages, of which the more widely spoken are: Guarani, Aymara, and Quechua.

  • Socket type - For Bolivia, there are two associated plug types, types A and C. Bolivia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone -The time zone is Bolivia Time (GMT-04:00).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni, and Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos.

Visa information for Bolivia

Currently, we do not have a tourist visa for Bolivia online. However, we invite you to use our Checker Visa Tool, so you know for sure if you need one to enter this wonderful country.

Apart from this, you also need to have the Passenger Locator Form. Here we tell you what it is.

Passenger Locator form explained

The Passenger Locator Form is a mandatory travel form for all people arriving to enter the country, whether nationals or foreign citizens. This document doesn’t replace a visa and is valid for a single entry.

Typical costs and budget for Bolivia

To make your trip a success, we give you some details of the costs you will have in Bolivia if you have a tight budget.

Daily spending per person - The daily budget per person is around 298 (USD 43).

  • Meals - Daily spending on meals is around BOB 97 (USD 14).

  • Transport - Public transport is around BOB 65 (USD 9.32).

  • Hotel -A room for one person can cost BOB 92 (USD 13,19), and BOB 181 (USD 26,24) for a couple.

A Bolivia trip for one week usually costs around BOB 2,032 (USD 293,66) for one person. Consequently, a two-person trip to Bolivia costs around BOB 4,072 (USD 587,47) for one week.

Transport and ways to travel around Bolivia

Bolivia will impact you! It is a country with a great variety of terrains, such as surrounding mountains, plateaus, and flat lands, all in one nation. A place full of adventure if what you are looking for is a jolt to see and experience something new. Here we will mention the means of public transportation most used by Bolivian locals and travelers.

  • Bus - This is a popular public transport choice among locals, very economical and ideal to tour the country and enjoy the diversity of the landscapes. This mode of transport is for adventurers, as you will find many curves, altitude changes, and different terrains.

  • Micro - These buses run through the cities at a very economical price. You will identify them because they are very colorful.

  • Train - Trains depart from the city of El Alto to the ruins of Tiwanaku, and the last stop is Guaqui on Lake Titicaca. This is a widely used transportation method to discover these places if you want to opt for this travel itinerary. On the Ferroviaria Andina, you can see the routes and book your tickets.

  • Taxi - Taxis can be found in most major cities in Bolivia. An easy and safe way to move into the towns, plus it’s not expensive.

  • Rent car - Many travelers prefer to rent a car with a native driver who can take them to tourist places. You can purchase this service in the cities of La Paz and Santa Cruz.

  • Airplane - If you don’t have the energy to travel by the Bolivian buses, Bolivia has domestic flights that will take you to your destination.

So, which will be your choice of public transportation to travel in Bolivia?

Safety in Bolivia

Traveling to Bolivia is safe, one of the safest countries in Latin America. However, you need to be careful since there are still certain dangers, such as theft, so always take care of your belongings when traveling.

Here are some Bolivia travel tips:

  • Have travel insurance.

  • Know where the local Bolivian embassy is, in case you need some help.

  • There is a significant tourist industry, so feel free to plan trips with hired tours to more remote places.

  • Get round-trip tickets when needed in your travel planning.

  • If you want to learn basic Spanish or be fluent in it, this country is an incredible option, as the accent is very neutral.

We hope to help you with this Bolivia travel advice.

Weather in Bolivia

Knowing the climate you’ll encounter is essential when planning what you want to do in Bolivia. To make you feel more confident in planning your trip, we will give you information about the weather seasons and what experiences these will provide you.

The high season (May-October) is the best season to enjoy nature, perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. In high areas, temperatures can be very cold: below -15°C (5°F); in low places, the climate is warm and less humid.

The low season (December-March) is a great time to learn much more about the culture and discover the views of the Salar of Uyuni. It is a wet season with little rain. A fantastic time to tour the north of Bolivia and visit the salt mines of Uyuni. Besides that, you will learn much more about the culture, since there are many festivals, like the carnival of Oruro and the celebration of Alasitas in La Paz.

The shoulder season (April and November) is the best climate in the country to visit most tourist destinations, given the sunny days and lack of rain, in addition to participating in the calendars of local festivities and their traditions.

Popular cities and towns in Bolivia

Bolivia is an incredible country, and for this reason, you need to visit these 5 top cities:

  • La Paz - It’s a vibrant city to explore. Here you can use the Teleferic to save you time when you move. In addition to its lush mountains, you can climb the Alto and enjoy a fantastic view.

  • Santa Cruz - It is the largest city in Bolivia and is located in the eastern part of the country. Santa Cruz is very popular for its climate, its friendly locals, and its incredible tourist attractions, such as national parks and the Amboró National Park.

  • Cochabamba - Known as the "Garden City" or the "City of Eternal Spring". It is known as the gastronomic capital of Bolivia, so don’t forget to eat its traditional dishes if you visit this city.

  • Copacabana - Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana is a small, picturesque, and vibrant town. Its sanctuary of the Virgin is one of the most popular attractions. *Sucre - It is the official capital of Bolivia and has a colonial architecture, with houses and buildings of white color that you will love. It has a sunny climate, so it must be one of the places in your list to explore Bolivia.

Must do and see in Bolivia

Our Bolivia travel tips are what you must do and see in your time traveling.

  1. Lake Titicaca - It is the highest navigable lake in the world. A place that has incredible views, and that allows exploring where the Inca Empire is said to have been born, a sacred place for many where you should explore and enjoy. You can travel from Copacabana to Isla del Sol, another incredible location, just take a boat.

  2. Uyuni Salt Flats - The world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, is a unique experience. A prehistoric lake formed the 4,000 square mile salt flats. You can visit this place in a 4x4 vehicle and go through this extraordinary salt expanse. Its most beautiful feature is when after a gentle rain, the water remains on the cemented salt and looks like a mirror, reflecting directly to the sky, a whole experience to see!

  3. Jesuit Missions - Around Santa Cruz, the Jesuits created ten missions in the 16th century, six of which were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It’s definitely one of the most exciting places full of history you must know of. It’s the mixture of the new and old world, and the cultural part of Bolivia with a past that still echoes today.

  4. Madidi National Park - It is a park that extends from the Andes mountains to the Amazon. A place with incredible biodiversity, where jaguars, otters, titi monkeys, and other species are found.

  5. Tiwanaku - It is one of the most important pre-Columbian sites in the Americas. A historical site with magnificent handmade sculptures, stone blocks, and a museum with information about this ancient culture that existed for more than 3,000 years.

Typical Bolivian food to try

  • Salteñas - This is a very traditional Bolivian food. They are baked empanadas full of beef, pork or chicken. You can also find their vegetarian version.

  • Silpancho - It is a traditional Cochabamba dish. It has white rice, boiled and sliced tomatoes, crushed meat, onion, and fried egg.

  • Coca tea - Drinking coca tea is sacred to many Indigenous groups in the Andes of South America, and is used for various ceremonial or medicinal celebrations. It is also used to combat the effects of altitude sickness; they prepare an infusion of dried coca leaves called mate de coca.

Vaccine information for Bolivia

Here you can find the vaccine information for Covid and the yellow fever, and other health advice you will need to travel to Bolivia; just click on the CDC website.

Bolivia is the world's highest everything!

Bolivia is the world's highest everything... the world's highest city, it has the world's highest lakes, the world's highest forest and country, all in South America.

Fun facts about Bolivia

  • In Bolivia, there is a prison called San Pedro and it is famous because the prisoners can live with their relatives. A very different prison from others in the world.

  • Bolivia is known for having pink dolphins. Pink dolphins are considered the most intelligent species of dolphin and they live in the Amazon.

  • The Carnival of Oruro is the most famous festival in Bolivia. It was originally an Indigenous festival dating from the 18th century, but now incorporates Catholic rituals in the service of the Virgen de la Candelaria.

  • Bolivia has two capitals. One is called La Paz, but the legal capital of Bolivia is Sucre.

  • Bolivia is home to the largest salt flat in the world. Also known as the Largest Mirror on Earth: the Salar de Uyuni covers a total area of 10,582 sq km at 3,656 m above sea level.

Ready to visit one of the most beautiful Latin American countries? Bolivia is waiting for you!

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