Bolivia Travel Tips

Photo opportunities on Salar De Uyuni

Photo opportunities on Salar De Uyuni (the Bolivan salt flats)

Why Bolivia?

Bolivia is an amazing country with a diverse and beautiful natural landscape. The snow-capped mountains of the Andes, Salar de Uyuni (the salt flats), Amazon Rainforest, mountain biking (including the Death Road, but there are others), many unique destinations (including the Witches Markets of La Paz), all make for excellent travel destinations. Bolivia is a crazy country and every day can be an adventure, it is why many travellers love it.

The diversity of the landscapes and culture, and experiencing each day as an adventure is why Bolivia is one of my favorite travel destinations. Travellers must be ready and willing to accept this adventure, you have to be willing to roll with the punches that Bolivia will through you (internet suddenly going very slow for a week, protests in the streets, road blocks when you are trying to get between cities and sketchy roads, are just some).

Go to Bolivia looking for an adventure and you will receive.

For the best things to do, check out our other post – Top Things To Do In Bolivia

Getting Around:

Most trips to get around the country are taken by bus, and you will have to use them at some point to get around. The bus routes are some of the roughest in South America (but they are cheap!). If you are heading into the Amazon you might consider flying, as the roads heading there can be a little perilous.

If you are catching an overnight bus you should watch your gear (quite closely, thieves can be pretty discreet). You can find bus schedules here.

In the cities and towns, walking is often the easiest way to get around – but taxis can come in handy. The rules of the street apply inside taxis as well, don’t go flashing around your valuables.

Health and Safety Tips:

  • Do not drink the tap water in Bolivia. It is reasonably common for Hotels and Hostels to provide purified water and bottled water is readily available.
  • If you are catching a taxi, consider ordering it by phone (as opposed to hailing it off the street), especially in La Paz. This is what we were told by locals/hostels/bars.

Other Tips:

  • Spanish is the most commonly spoken language in Bolivia, although many indigenous languages are also commonly spoken throughout the country. It is not too difficult to get around Bolivia with only limited Spanish (in our experience).
  • Bolivia is a good place to consider visiting the Amazon Rainforest, it is cheap, there is plenty of wildlife in parts of the Amazon in Bolivia and there is little to no Malaria.
  • Bolivia is also a good location to consider learning Spanish. It is a super cheap place to live, parts of the country such as Sucre are not overly touristy, and the lessons are cheap.
  • If you are looking for good internet, your best bet is to stay with an expat or  well-off Bolivian (available through sites like Airbnb and Roomarama).
  • It is always handy to have small change and notes on you, as many shops and transport options may not have change for large denominations.
  • Don’t flush your toilet paper after use, put it in the bin provided.

Other Useful Websites on Bolivia:

Top Things To Do In Bolivia: Our take on what to get up to when travelling through Bolivia.

SucreLife – Built by a Scottish/Australian couple currently living in Sucre. Wide range of articles and excellent source of information for finding out what events are on around town.

Boliviabella – Good selection of articles on travelling, working and living in Bolivia.

Greentoadbus.com – Handy for looking up bus schedules around Bolivia.

 

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