FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BOLIVIA
Here you will find the answers about the FAQ questions.
Transport - Currency/Exchange - Internet/Photos - Telephone/Electricity - Health - Trekking - Transport in Bolivia - Salar de Uyuni - Luggage/Clothes - Climate - Language - Accommodation - Shopping
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- Is it possible to hike in the rainy season?
The rainy season is from November to March. In this time trekking is possible, but your clothes have to be adequate.
- When is the best season for trekking?
Best season to hike in Bolivia is from May to October which is also peak season.
The most famous treks are:
Choro Trail (about 3-4 days)
Takesi Trek, or Inka-trek (2 days)
Both trekking routes are very close to La Paz.
- Are there any alternative routes?
Bolivia offers a lot of different routes. The following treks are also recommended.
Mapiri-trek (about 7-8 days)
Curva-Pelechuco-trek (4-5 days)
Trans-Kordilleren-trek (about 10-21 days)
Camino del Oro-trek (5-6 days)
Illampu-Roundtrek (7 days)
Transport in Bolivia
- Which documents are necessary while travelling in Bolivia?
To enter the country, most European as well as North American citizens need a passport that is still valid for at least 6 months. Tourists do not need a visa. When entering, you will be asked to fill in a tourist card ("tourist visa") which will entitle you to a 3-months stay in Bolivia. Sometimes you will also be asked for a proof for your onward journey such as a ticket for your flight back home or continuing to another country.
During your trip you should always keep a copy of your passport (with entry stamp) with you. When travelling in the rainforest you should carry the original. A copy that is certified by the embassy will also be accepted in most cases.
In the case of loss of your passport, please contact your embassy who will issue an substitute document.
For students it is recommended to apply for the ISIC International Student Identity Card (www.isic.org). With this ID students get reductions of up to 50 % on many entrance fees and even airline tickets.
- How safe is travelling in Bolivia?
Just like most South American countries, Bolivia is a very young democratic republic, facing its major and minor problems and difficulties. For further information click here.
- Is it common to bring little gifts and presents to the local, poorer inhabitants?
In many South American countries, tourists like to bring little gifts for the local population. Also in Bolivia there are many poor people, both adults and kids, that are begging or selling candy in the streets. Especially children are of course happy if you give them little presents but you should be careful with giving them sweets. In many places this has already exceeded limits and children are suffering from bad teeth. We would recommend to rather buy some fresh fruit or bred once you are there and give it to them.
- Am I expected to tip in Bolivia?
If satisfied with the service and not already included in the final bill, we would recommend you to give tips. You should especially consider tipping your guides at excursions and treks. In restaurants you should always check if the final check already includes a lump sump ("incl. 10 % servicios"). If so, you are not expected to give any more tips.
Salar de Uyuni
- When is the best season to go there?
The best time to visit this wonderful place is the dry season between may and october. Nevertheless the tour operators are well equiped and the Salar can be visit all over the year.
- What is necessary for the trip?
Warm clothing a warm sleeping bag and of course sun protection and sun galsses with UV-protection are necessary.
Normally you will travel by bus to Oruro. From there you can take the train to Uyuni. Please care for the train time table, click here.
- Is it possible to leave my baggage on any saftey place, while doing trekking or rainforest programs?
We recommend you taking an extra smaller bag for short trips besides your large main suitcase with you. The part of the luggage that you won't need to e.g. hiking or do a rainforest program, you can usually leave in one of your hotels or with your tour operator's office.
- Which clothes are necessary for a vacation in Bolivia?
The clothes you should take with you depend on the region(s) you are planning to visit. Find more information here.
In any case we recommend to carry along warm clothing. Even in the dry season it can be very cold in the hights of the Andes.
In the rain forest waterproof clothing and shoes are absolutely indispensable.
- When is the best season travelling Bolivia?
There is no uniform climate all over Bolivia, it rather depends on the region you are in. Most attractions are situated in the highlands, so the best season to go would be from April/May to October. In April and May it is still cold in the evening and in the nights.
One hint to go would be the shoulder seasons (May and October) when there are not so many tourists travelling and the climate is still more moderate than in the main dry season. But you should still be prepared for occasional rain showersin September or October!
Also, if you travel at the end of rainy season/beginning of dry season, vegetation is still relatively green and even more beautiful!
- Which climate prevail in the altiplano?
In the highland is very little condensation. During the rainy season between november and march are often rain showers, but it is also possible that it will rain over a longer period. During the dry season the temperatures in the shadows and also in the night are low. In the daytime it is possible to get very hot. Generally warm and rainy clothes are recommended.
- Which climate prevail in the central mountains?
In the high mountains the climate is more gentle then in the altiplano. Cochabamba for example is located on 2.558 meter altitude and is called "city of eternal spring". Nevertheless you should bring there also some warm clothings.
- Which climate prevail in the lowland /rainforest?
In the lowland the climate is tropical and humid, because the humidity is in this region greatest and rainy clothing is absolutely necessary in this region. Beside this you should also wear thin and easy clothing.
- Is it possible to learn spanish in Bolivia?
The Spanish that is spoken in Bolivia is said to be one of the clearest and purest in South America and also those who only speak Spanish as their foreign language will understand it. There are various language schools. Most of them are in the larger cities of the country, like La Paz or Santa Cruz.
- Do i have to speak spanish to travel around Bolivia without problems?
English is spoken in almost every tourist center and tourism company. Guides of most excursions and treks will generally speak Spanish and English.
- What can I expect in regards to accommodation in Bolivia?
In Bolivia you will find accommodations of all price and quality ranges. Usually you will find a free room, even in peak season, without prior reservation. But very often hotels and hostels on the cheaper side will require sharing a bathroom with others or might not have hot water.
We do recommend our partner hotels. Most of them are centrally and ideally located in beautiful destinations and were chosen subject to various criteria that had to be fulfilled, more...
- Do I have to book the accommodations in advance?
We would recommend to reserve your accommodation prior to your arrival, at least in the higher frequented tourist places like La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba or Coroico.
If you prefer staying in hostels, you can usually find cheap ones upon arriving at your destination.
- What can I buy better and cheaper in Bolivia than at home?
In Bolivia you can buy good quality and rather low prices, especially of silver and gold jewelry as well as knitwear (over all from llamas and alpacas) and handicrafts.
- What things should I bring better from my home country to Bolivia?
Prices for groceries are generally rather low compared to Europe. What is expensive in contrast and should therefore be brought from home are any cosmetic and hygiene products like shampoo, shower gel or creams and lotions. Also films for your camera are more expensive in Bolivia then in your home country.
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