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Person jumping at salt flats, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia Travel Guide

Bolivia, a landlocked country in South America, offers a unique and adventurous travel experience. Start your journey in La Paz, the world's highest capital city, where ancient traditions and modernity blend seamlessly. Explore the colourful markets of Witches' Market and immerse yourself in the rich indigenous culture. Embark on a thrilling adventure to the otherworldly landscapes of the Uyuni Salt Flats, the largest salt flat in the world. Marvel at the vast expanse of shimmering white salt, dotted with cacti-covered islands, and witness breathtaking sunsets that transform the landscape into a surreal dreamscape.

Continue your exploration of Bolivia's natural wonders by visiting the Amazon Rainforest, a biodiverse paradise teeming with wildlife and vibrant ecosystems. Take a boat ride along the mighty Amazon River, hike through dense jungles, and encounter exotic wildlife, including colourful birds, playful monkeys, and elusive jaguars. For outdoor enthusiasts, the towering peaks of the Andes Mountains offer unparalleled opportunities for hiking and mountaineering, with options to climb iconic peaks such as Huayna Potosi or explore the dramatic landscapes of the Yungas region. Bolivia's dramatic landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and thrilling outdoor adventures make it a captivating destination for adventurous travelers.

Key Facts

Time Zone



Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)

Dialing Code


  • It’s a unique and beautiful country
  • Bolivia is fairly safe and the people are very friendly and welcoming
  • It’s cheap!
  • You can cycle down the World’s Most Dangerous Road!
  • It has got brilliant adventure activities such as tall mountains to climb, quad biking and jungle trekking
  • The hostels in La Paz are fun and a great place to meet other travellers
  • Trips to the Amazon are the cheapest in South America
  • Love golf? You can visit the highest golf course in the world
  • Culture is still strong in Bolivia. Whilst there you can see the country’s traditional festivals, food, songs and costume
  • It’s home to the world’s largest deposit of sand in Salar de Uyuni, an eerie sea of salt – amazing!
  • The sunsets are incredible. Visit the magical island of Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca

La Paz is the second largest city and is the administrative capital, while Sucre is the constitutional capital. La Paz is the world’s highest capital located 3,660 metres above sea level, and the country’s main airport is located there.

  • 3-day tour to Salar de Uyuni – drive along the sea of salt in a 4WD jeep, check out giant cacti, watch flamingos feed at the beautiful lagoons and take a dip in the natural hot springs
  • Isla Del Sol, Lake Titicaca – beautiful, mystical and a great place to stay for a couple of nights. Hike the circuit trails for fantastic views of both sides of the islands and explore the old Inca ruins
  • Explore the Amazon jungle by motor canoe, swim with river dolphins and go piranha fishing for your lunch!
  • Cycle down the World’s Most Dangerous Road – 64km of terrifying fun
  • Visit the Witches Market in La Paz – stock up on ingredients for magic spells and potions. You can buy dried snakes, frogs and turtles!
  • PARTY!! Check into a party hostel in La Paz. Here you will meet loads of other travellers, all up for a good time
  • Learn the lingo by spending a week or month at a language school and learn the essentials before travelling around Bolivia
  • Do you enjoy climbing and want a new challenge? Climb the 6088 metre-high Huayna Potosi. It’s mentally and physically tiring but so worth it when you reach the summit
  • Beautiful Sucre is worth a visit for its stunning architecture, historic buildings and museums

Try the following great dishes:

  • Humitas: Steamed corn leaves with cheese
  • Empanadas: Savory pastry with cheese, onion and olives
  • Chola sandwich: Roast pork leg and lettuce
  • Change de Pollo: Chicken soup with potato and peas and onion
  • Charque de Llama: Fried dried llama meat served with corn, hard-boiled eggs and cheese
  • Lunch is the main meal of the day for most people in Bolivia

The weather in Bolivia is diverse and unpredictable due to its elevation, ranging from extremely humid to, at times, freezing cold. Summer is between November and April and this is also Bolivia’s rainy season. The most popular time to travel is in the winter from May to October when the country is at its driest. The temperature reduces with altitude and when the sun goes down it can get really chilly, especially in the mountainous and salt desert areas. When the sun is out, the rays can be really fierce, so always keep your sunblock handy.


Visas may be required in order to enter or transit through certain countries depending on your passport nationality, your reason for travel and how long you intend to stay.

Visa, passport and entry rules are subject to change and you should check the most up-to-date information from the relevant embassy or visa specialist.

To make things easier we have teamed up with The Travel Visa Company who are one of the UK’s leading travel visa specialists. You can use their website, alongside embassy websites,  to find out the specific entry requirements for the countries you intend to travel to.

For a fee, their dedicated team of experts can also apply for visas on your behalf, taking away the hassle and streamlining the process for you if you wish. For more details on the services they provide please click here – The Travel Visa Company


Passports must be kept in good condition. Travellers with damaged passports may be refused entry at immigration. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that all travel documents are in good condition before they travel. Most countries will also require at least 6 months of validity on your passport from the time you finish your trip. 

Further Entry Requirements

Some countries will require proof of certain vaccines, such as yellow fever or covid, in order to gain entry. Please check with the relevant embassy or a visa specialist before travelling.

There are over 30 different local languages officially listed in Bolivia, but over 75% of the population speaks Spanish, a hangover from the conquistadors. English is not understood by many people and if you want to get the most out of a trip to Bolivia, we recommend spending at least 2 weeks or, better, 4 weeks at a language school learning basic Spanish

220V - 50Hz

Electrical Plugs

European plug with two circular metal pins

Plug with two parallel flat blades

Bolivia is the third largest cocaine producer in the world. Avoid contact with illegal drugs and take care of your luggage and belongings. Penalties for drug trafficking or possession are severe, with a minimum sentence of 8 years. Prison conditions in Bolivia are very basic.

Bolivia has several illegal bars and if caught in one you may be detained for questioning, especially if there are drugs on the premises.

If you are carrying cameras or binoculars to remote areas, especially coca-growing areas such as the Chapare and the Yungas, take care and always check before taking photographs of local people.

Although homosexuality is not illegal in Bolivia it is still frowned upon by the majority of Bolivians. Altiplano is more conservative than Santa Cruz, where attitudes are usually more liberal.

We have selected what we believe to be the key points that you should be aware of when travelling in Bolivia.

Gap 360 follows advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and we recommend that you frequently check the FCDO for updated travel advice. You can find the website here:


Keep vigilant when travelling in Bolivia as petty crime can be a problem in tourist destinations and in central La Paz, especially in busy areas or on buses. Don’t leave your belongings unattended and keep your valuables, passport and travel tickets in a secure place.

So-called ‘Express kidnappings’ can be a problem in Bolivia, which are opportunistic and usually short-term, random abductions, the goal of which is to extract cash from the victim. Victims can be held for up to several days for the use of their bank or credit cards. Travellers are particularly vulnerable at overland border points with Peru, Chile and Argentina. Take care in the Cementerio General and Sopocachi areas of La Paz and try to use direct buses if travelling from Copacabana to La Paz.

There have been some reports of kidnappings involving taxis, mainly in Santa Cruz and La Paz. If travelling by taxi you should only use an established firm of ‘radio taxi’ which can be identified as they display the name of the taxi company and the phone number on the roof, and those registered with the mayor’s office display a yellow sticker in one of their windows. Radio taxis should carry no other passengers. Remain vigilant around transport when in tourist sites such as Rurrenabaque, as there have been some reported attacks on lone travellers using motorbike taxis. Beware of anyone who tries to offer help at taxi ranks or bus terminals as thieves may work in teams and use distraction methods.

You may be subject to an ID check by either the police or immigration officials, so you should keep a photocopy of your passport (with Bolivian immigration stamps) with you, and leave the original document in a safe place. Criminals have sometimes been known to impersonate police officers, using false ID, uniforms and even bogus police stations, and then team up with fake taxis to target travellers. Bogus police officers may ask for passports or other information and then try to persuade you to get into a taxi, where you may be robbed or taken to a cash point to withdraw money. In Bolivia, you cannot be searched without a written order from a state prosecutor.


Travellers are advised not to use airports outside the 9 departmental capitals in Bolivia as standards of safety outside these areas are of concern.

The road system in Bolivia is poor and accidents involving public transport have been reported, especially on long-distance buses, often because bus drivers drive for long hours. Most buses and taxis do not meet European standards and often don’t have seat belts.

Other than the principal roads, many roads in Bolivia are unpaved tracks. During the rainy season from November to March, roads can be washed away or flooded. 4-wheel drive vehicles are the best form of transport during the rainy season.

At night, broken-down vehicles with no warning lights can be a hazard.


As the political situation in Bolivia is unpredictable, demonstrations can become violent without warning so travellers are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Border areas and other remote regions are also at risk from demonstrations. Road blockades can be set up by protest groups without warning; do not attempt to cross these blockades.

Prison Tours

While in Bolivia you may be offered a prison tour, but not only are these illegal they are also unsafe and no guarantee can be made of your safety once you are on prison premises.

Adventure Activities

Bolivia is well known for its adventure activities, which include mountain biking, salt flat tours and jungle tours. No official minimum standards are applied to tour operators, so always use reputable companies and make sure that your travel insurance policy covers you for the activities you wish to do.

If you want to take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca or go on a jungle river excursion, please note that the boats used on such trips are often very basic.

‘Death Road’, which runs from La Paz to Coroico through the Yungas Valley, is a popular spot for mountain biking, but always ensure that your bicycles are in good condition and that your guides have all the appropriate safety equipment and carry first-aid kits.

Natural Disasters

The rainy season, from November to March, can cause regular floods and landslides, especially in mountainous areas, often making roads impassable for days.


You should be in touch with your GP around 8 weeks before you travel for vaccination or health advice. A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for those travelling to areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains, including the entire departments of Beni, Pando, and Santa Cruz, and some areas in the Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija departments. If an outbreak of yellow fever happens in an area designated as ‘high risk’ for yellow fever, the government will set up vaccination points at police checkpoints at which you may be vaccinated if you do not already hold a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

An outbreak of AH3N2 flu has recently been confirmed in Bolivia, with La Paz, Oruro and Potosi the most affected areas due to their low temperatures.

Dengue Fever is common in Bolivia, with rain and flooding increasing the mosquito population leading to greater vulnerability to dengue breakouts. Malaria is also common in lowland tropical areas such as Beni, Pando, Yacuiba and Paracari.

Altitude sickness can be a problem, so take care when staying in high altitude areas. Don’t drink alcohol for the first couple of days, and make sure you eat only light meals and drink LOTS of water. It is important that you visit your GP before travelling to areas of high altitude if you suffer from either high blood pressure, respiratory problems or a heart condition.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should carry a letter from your doctor describing your condition and any medication you have been prescribed. If you carry your own medicines with you, make sure they are in original, clearly labelled containers.

Diarrhoea can be caused by contaminated food or water so we advise you drink bottled water.

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