Bolivia

Bold and brash, Bolivia lifts travellers to its dizzying heights with stunning scenery, legendary landmarks and a rich, indigenous heritage. Bolivia is an energetic, enigmatic piece of South American sorcery – alive with passion, awash with colour, connected to the past but living very much in the present. Leave Bolivia off your travel list at your own peril.

Bolivia Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Bolivia

Departing Days Price USD
12 Mar 2017 Bolivia Highlights 12 $1458
17 May 2017 Bolivia Highlights 12 $1575
19 Apr 2017 Bolivia Highlights 12 $1516
19 Mar 2017 Bolivia Highlights 12 $1458
20 Nov 2016 Bolivia Highlights 12 $1597

All our Bolivia trips

DAYS
15
FROM
USD $2,720
CAD $2,970
AUD $3,187
EUR €2,205
GBP £1,640
NZD $3,429
ZAR R29,384
CHF FR2,261
Discover Peru's sacred land of the Incas. Visit Lima, the Amazon, Cuzco, Puno, Lake Titicaca, trek the Inca Trail and...
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24
FROM
USD $6,389
CAD $7,224
AUD $8,407
EUR €5,762
GBP £4,356
NZD $9,220
ZAR R79,408
CHF FR5,904
Visit South America and travel to the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Visit Quito, San Cristobal, Lima,...
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47
FROM
USD $5,683
CAD $6,282
AUD $7,470
EUR €5,175
GBP £3,840
NZD $7,875
ZAR R68,870
CHF FR5,295
Discover the lush beauty of the Amazon, the elegance of Buenos Aires and the awe-inspiring history of the Incas in...
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40
FROM
USD $5,251
CAD $5,796
AUD $6,645
EUR €4,595
GBP £3,415
NZD $7,145
ZAR R61,255
CHF FR4,695
Journey through South America, from Lima to Buenos Aires, and explore stunning landscapes, buzzing cities and ancient...
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25
FROM
USD $4,360
CAD $4,765
AUD $5,680
EUR €3,935
GBP £2,915
NZD $6,095
ZAR R52,365
CHF FR4,030
Visit South America and travel to Peru and Bolivia. Travel from Lima to La Paz, visit Cuzco, explore the Inca Trail...
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12
FROM
USD $1,534
CAD $1,687
AUD $2,010
EUR €1,395
GBP £1,030
NZD $2,160
ZAR R18,520
CHF FR1,425
Visit South America and travel to Bolivia. Travel from La Paz to Sucre, visit the city of Potosi, tour Salar de Uyuni...
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5
FROM
USD $1,122
CAD $1,315
AUD $1,380
EUR €975
GBP £715
NZD $1,485
ZAR R12,975
CHF FR997
Venture deep into the Amazon on this exciting five-day adventure in the jungle
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63
FROM
USD $8,131
CAD $8,901
AUD $10,585
EUR €7,335
GBP £5,435
NZD $11,385
ZAR R97,595
CHF FR7,505
Prepare yourself for the ultimate South American adventure starting in Ecuador. From the dizzying heights of the...
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56
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USD $7,425
CAD $8,203
AUD $9,760
EUR €6,760
GBP £5,010
NZD $10,495
ZAR R89,980
CHF FR6,920
Explore stunning scenery, incredible natural sights and experience food, music, and culture like never before as you...
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20
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USD $2,871
CAD $3,298
AUD $3,845
EUR €2,585
GBP £1,990
NZD $4,085
ZAR R35,740
CHF FR2,645
Get off the tourist trail on this extraordinary adventure through Bolivia and Argentina. Visit historic Potosi,...
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12
FROM
USD $1,632
CAD $2,166
AUD $2,189
EUR €1,467
GBP £1,109
NZD $2,351
ZAR R23,195
CHF FR1,578
Discover Incan heartlands on this Overland Bolivia and Peru tour. Travel from La Paz to Cuzco and take in Lake...
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22
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USD $2,522
CAD $3,354
AUD $3,357
EUR €2,260
GBP £1,709
NZD $3,609
ZAR R34,978
CHF FR2,418
Travel from La Paz to Lima and discover the vibrant heart of Inca culture. Trek an Inca trail and visit Colca Canyon,...
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FROM
USD $1,760
CAD $2,344
AUD $2,327
EUR €1,576
GBP £1,190
NZD $2,508
ZAR R23,989
CHF FR1,755
Travel from La Paz to Buenos Aires and discover the heart of South America. This vacation has it all, from a Salar de...
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36
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USD $5,022
CAD $5,548
AUD $6,600
EUR €4,570
GBP £3,390
NZD $7,095
ZAR R60,830
CHF FR4,680
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Visit Potosi, Salar de Uyuni, Buenos...
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21
FROM
USD $1,792
CAD $2,350
AUD $2,483
EUR €1,614
GBP £1,241
NZD $2,670
ZAR R28,520
CHF FR1,787
Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Tour Santiago, Mendoza, Cafayate and Salta....
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112
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USD $9,878
CAD $12,924
AUD $13,644
EUR €8,864
GBP £6,814
NZD $14,667
ZAR R156,614
CHF FR9,845
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...
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21
FROM
USD $1,788
CAD $2,382
AUD $2,363
EUR €1,598
GBP £1,209
NZD $2,542
ZAR R24,248
CHF FR1,783
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina and Chile from La Paz to Santiago. Visit Potosi, Salar de...
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112
FROM
USD $9,740
CAD $12,996
AUD $12,923
EUR €8,757
GBP £6,597
NZD $13,895
ZAR R132,422
CHF FR9,727
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...
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22
FROM
USD $2,474
CAD $3,290
AUD $3,293
EUR €2,220
GBP £1,677
NZD $3,537
ZAR R34,378
CHF FR2,374
Travel from Lima to La Paz and fall in love with Incan South America. Complete the Inca Trail trek, visit Arequipa,...
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12
FROM
USD $1,680
CAD $2,230
AUD $2,249
EUR €1,511
GBP £1,141
NZD $2,419
ZAR R23,759
CHF FR1,622
Take a scenic Overland tour from Peru to Bolivia. Be wooed by the vibrant heart of Inca lands
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42
FROM
USD $4,326
CAD $5,762
AUD $5,748
EUR €3,885
GBP £2,932
NZD $6,181
ZAR R57,352
CHF FR4,142
Visit South America and travel through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina from Lima to Buenos Aires. Follow the Inca Trail,...
DAYS
60
FROM
USD $6,114
CAD $8,153
AUD $8,128
EUR €5,492
GBP £4,145
NZD $8,739
ZAR R79,004
CHF FR5,709
Go Overland from Lima to Rio with Intrepid Travel. Uncover hidden treasures from Peru to Brazil via Bolivia and...
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207
FROM
USD $16,280
CAD $21,310
AUD $22,500
EUR €14,610
GBP £11,235
NZD $24,190
ZAR R258,200
CHF FR16,270
Travel the length of the Americas from North through Central and to the very tip of the South. From Anchorage to...
DAYS
3
FROM
USD $972
CAD $1,137
AUD $1,195
EUR €845
GBP £620
NZD $1,310
ZAR R11,235
CHF FR865
Travel from picturesque La Paz to the spellbinding Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat on the planet.
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6
FROM
USD $1,257
CAD $1,525
AUD $1,610
EUR €1,045
GBP £822
NZD $1,730
ZAR R18,475
CHF FR1,157
Journey from La Paz to Uyuni and take part in an incredible 4WD safari across the Bolivian salt flats and Atacama...

Bolivia trip reviews

Our Bolivia trips score an average of 4.47 out of 5 based on 173 reviews in the last year.

2016 Bolivia Highlights , August 2016

Kim Marshall

Bolivian Salt Flats , August 2016

Andy Skelton

Articles on Bolivia

Shopping for spells at the Witches Market in La Paz

Posted on Mon, 18 Jul 2016

Talismans, cure-alls and mystic ointments – welcome to Bolivia's famous Witches Market.

Read more

Best of Bolivia: a photoshoot with Instagram legend Tyson Wheatley

Posted on Wed, 13 Jul 2016

If you're debating Bolivia vs Peru vs Ecuador for your next South American adventure, this might just tip the scales. Prepare for serious wanderlust.

Read more

Everything you need to know about Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

Posted on Fri, 12 Feb 2016

Unless you’re an astronaut (if you are – can we be friends?), most of us will never walk on the moon. But on the Bolivian Altiplano, you can get pretty close.

Read more

Got the food blues in Bolivia

Posted on Tue, 16 Oct 2012

Jacqueline Donaldson discovered a drink made from corn that's a curious colour but a great local treat...

Read more

About Bolivia

At a glance

Capital city: Sucre (constitutional, population 225,000); La Paz (administrative, population 880,000)
Population: 9.9 million
Language: Quechua, Spanish, Aymara
Currency: BOB
Time zone: (GMT-04:00) La Paz
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin)
Dialing code: +591

Best time to visit Bolivia

May to October (winter) is generally considered to be the best time to visit Bolivia, as days are usually dry and clear. Summer (November to April) is the rainy season, and during this time it can get hot and humid. The peak tourist season runs from late June to early September. This season holds the best weather for travel, but is Bolivia's main fiesta season and holiday period, so some disruptions can be expected at times.

bolivia weather map chart

Geography and environment

Laguna verde, Bolivia
One of only two landlocked nations on the South American continent, Bolivia is a mixture of highland plains, lush valleys, steep canyons and tropical forests. Bordering Peru and Chile in the west, Bolivia extends across the Andes ranges, cradling its capital city (La Paz) within the high plateau of the Altiplano. Over 40% of Bolivians live in this mountainous area, a landscape of volcanic flats and craggy peaks. Further west are two of Bolivia’s most contrasting features. To the southwest lies the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, while the far northwest encompasses Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake.

Top Picks

'Death road'

Top 10 Bizarre Bits of Bolivia

1. Giant Frogs

No, Lake Titicaca’s high altitude isn’t causing you to hallucinate – you may have just caught a glimpse of the world’s largest aquatic frog. Measuring in at up to 50 centimetres long (the size of an adult foot!), the extremely rare Titicaca Water Frog can weigh up to 3 kilograms.

2. Lost City of Titicaca

So you weren’t hallucinating when you thought you saw a giant frog, but surely there's nothing else hiding beneath Titicaca’s surface? Wrong again. In 1988, taking hints from a local legend, divers descended to Titicaca’s murky depths and discovered a real-life lost city. The temple complex, believed to be pre-Inca, is said to be over 1,500 years old.

3. El Tio and the Potosi Mines

A sombre experience at the best of times, the plight of the Potosi miners is one of Bolivia’s more tragic tales. In many ways emblematic of this are the ghastly effigies of El Tio, the guardian of the mines and the god of the underworld. Workers offer cigarettes and coca leaves in the hope that they will receive good fortune, paying their respects to this terrifying spirit on each descent into the darkness of the mines.

4. Macho Valley

Not known for their subtlety, Bolivians have named this valley ‘Macho’ for a reason. Meaning ‘male’ in Spanish, this collection of phallic shaped rock formations is a sight for sore eyes.

5. Bolivian Bus-Train

Looking for a cheaper way to travel from Sucre to Potosi? Look no further than the Bolivian bus-train, a transport innovation like no other. Faced with the dilemma of having a complete railway but no train, locals simply converted a bus, swapping its tires for tracks. The result? A scenic and thrilling way to ascend this 4,000 metre climb - all for the very fair price of $3.50!

6. The ‘Death Road’

If the Bolivian bus-train doesn’t get your blood pumping, the harrowing ‘Death Road’ may literally send you over the edge. Snaking its way across the Yungas toward the Amazon rainforest, this road is among the world's most dangerous. But try telling that to the locals, who insist on driving massive trucks and buses at brisk speeds along its narrow, twisting path – at least affording their terrified passengers the views of a lifetime.

7. Women’s Wrestling

Bolivia’s newest sporting phenomenon comes in the form of feisty 'cholitas' (women). These ladies compete in professional wrestling bouts around the country, much to delight of their adoring fans. Part circus, part sport, all female - these unique sportswomen are undoubtedly some of wrestling’s fiercest competitors.

8. Witches’ Market

Creepy masks and odd trinkets sold by astrologists and sorcerers - Bolivia’s famous Witches’ Market never fails to leave a lasting impression. See real-life witches selling potions, casting spells and stirring cauldrons - this madhouse market is full of wacky characters and strange souvenirs.

9. Salt Hotel

Apart from being one of Bolivia’s most famous attractions, the Salar de Uyuni salt plain offers one of the quirkiest accommodation options on the market. For 30 dollars a night, visitors to the world’s largest salt flat can stay in a hotel made entirely from salt. That’s right, salt floors, a salt roof, a salt bar and even a salt dining table. One things for sure, you won’t be asking anyone to “pass the salt” in this zany hotel.

10. The Dinosaur Wall

Discovered by Bolivian construction workers in 1994, Cal Orko (or the Dinosaur Wall) is a prehistoric oddity of epic proportions. Found on the banks of a cement quarry, this collection of over 5,000 tracks from 330 different species of dinosaurs is a rarity in the world of palaeontology. Over 68 million years old, it's thought that this quarry was previously a gigantic lake, its steep slopes once traversed by gravity-defying dinosaurs keen for a drink. Nowadays, this precious landmark is beginning to crumble - resulting in conservation efforts from the Bolivian government.

FAQs on Bolivia

BOLIVIA TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Yes - in advance

Please note: if you are required to apply for a visa to enter Bolivia, you will need the following to support it:
- a copy of the Intrepid voucher that you receive after purchasing your trip
- a copy of the Itinerary which you can obtain from the Trip Notes for your specific trip on our website.
While tipping isn't mandatory in Bolivia, it's customary to add spare change or a small amount to restaurant bills. Although most restaurants and bars may already include a 10% service charge within the bill, feel free to add more if the service was good. Taxi drivers generally don't expect tips.
Internet cafes can be found in Bolivia's large cities and towns frequented by tourists. Internet availability is less widespread in rural and remote areas, so be prepared to disconnect for a while when travelling out of the city.
You should be able to use your mobile phone in Bolivia's cities, but prepare for less coverage in remote or mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming enabled before leaving your home country.
Bolivia has a mix of flushable toilets and squat toilets so expect both. It's a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser, as these aren't always provided.
City bus fare = 1.50 BOB
Cup of coffee in a cafe = 10 BOB
Bottle or can of beer = 10 BOB
Simple lunch = 20-25 BOB
Dinner in a restaurant = 80 BOB
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Bolivia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water - ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards can be used at most top-end hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist establishments. Expect to pay cash when dealing with smaller vendors, family-run restaurants and market stalls.
ATMs can be found in most of Bolivia's major cities and tourist areas. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and small villages so have enough cash to cover purchases when travelling away from the larger cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Feb 11 Carnival
Mar 29 Good Friday
May 1 Labour Day
May 30 Corpus Christi
Aug 6 Independence Day
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/bolivia/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Bolivia Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Bolivia

1. Be considerate of Bolivia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Whispering in the Giant's EarWilliam Powers
The PearlJohn Steinbeck
Devil in the Mountain: A Search for the Origin of the AndesSimon Lamb
American VisaJuan de Recacoechea
1491Charles C. Mann