About Bolivia

Bolivia embraces an amazing variety of landscapes and climates, from sandy deserts, salt and rocks, to colorful lagoons, to the icy mountains of the Andes, and to amazing tropical forests and Amazonian savannas. It is a country of great cultural diversity that, despite three centuries of Spanish colonial rule, still has many indigenous cultural manifestations.

However, traveling in Bolivia requires adventurous spirit, patience and being prepared for some mishaps while traveling. Tourism in this country still lacks enough organization …Despite being one of the least visited countries in South America, it is one of the  cheapest destinations on the continent, and its cultural and scenic richness and diversity are well worth the visit. My advice: take the adventure!

Capital

La Paz (administrative)

Sucre (constitutional, judicial)

Official language 

Spanish, Quechua, Guarani and Aimará

Money  

  • Official Currency – Boliviano. The US Dollar is also commonly used (only notes in good condition;
  • It is convenient to have a small amount of local money in your wallet for day to day expenses;
  • Credit and ATM cards – The most commonly used credit card is American Express. ATM networks in medium and large cities;
  • Exchange – It is not advisable to exchange money anywhere because there are many counterfeit notes in circulation. Ask for an appointment at the hotel or at the official tourism office. At the border or at the airport, exchange just enough for the most immediate expenses, as the exchange rate is usually not good.

Climate

 Low epoch – (november to april) – It is summer, and at the same time the rainy season. More difficult for climbing, biking and transport.High season  (may to october) – More sunny days, but colder in the highlands. Best for climbing, hiking and biking. Easier transportation, higher prices. October to November – it’s a good time to see the Salar de Uyuni. Good time to get good prices.

Visa

No visa is required for a period of three months.

Main Airports

El Alto International Airport (LA Paz);

Jorge Wilstermann International Airport (Cochabamba);

Juana Azurduy International Airport of Padilla (Sucre);

Viru Viru International Airport (Santa Cruz de La Sierra).

Timezone

GMT – 4:00.

Telecommunications and Internet

 • Country Code Phone Number  +591

• Telephone calls – in Bolivia there are three operators: Entel, Tigo and Viva. Recharging the phone is very easy, recharge cards can be sold also in small local stores. You shave and follow the instructions on the back. Easy;

• Internet – Wi-Fi networks in Bolivia are generally not easy to find, except for hotels and hostels in the most touristy areas. The solution is to have the chip of some operator on your mobile phone with some rechargeable internet package.

Religion

 98% Catholic

Health

The yellow fever vaccine may be required in customs. In high-altitude areas (over 3000m), people can feel the “disease of altitude” (el soroche, as it is known by locals), which turns into respiratory difficulties, headaches and fatigue. The ideal is to make the ascent gradually, avoiding migrating from regions near sea level to areas above 3,000 meters. Example: Santa Cruz de La Sierra (400 meters above sea level), Potosí, (3,967 meters altitude), Sucre (2,810 meters). It is recommended to be moderate in the intake of solids and liquids in the first hours after arrival, to allow adaptation and to avoid great physical efforts on the first day. Locals advise chewing coca leaf or coca mate and in more difficult cases take the appropriate medication (Soroche). This medication should not be taken after 3 pm and do not overdo the dose otherwise it may cause tachycardia. People with heart or lung problems should consult their doctor before going to these areas.

Avoid eating raw foods, prefer fruit that you can peel, and always drink bottled mineral water, being careful to make sure it is sealed.

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