We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Planning to travel to Bolivia?

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Planning to travel to Bolivia?

As a Bolivian I get asked many questions about when is the best time to travel to Bolivia, how far are the salt flats and when is the best time to visit them. As the Bolivian Forum is not very active, I am here to help answer some of your questions and I will ask some contributos to join the conversation

Here I have listed 2 of my top questions and my reply. I hope it helps. Please note these are my personal view:

When is the best time to visit Bolivia?

Spring time (September-November) is the best time, as it is not too cold in the salt flats and desert, with far more sunshine and very little rain.

Is Bolivia safe to travel to?

Like many countries you visit as a tourist there are risks, particularly if you don’t speak the main language (Spanish).

Compared to most South American countries, Bolivia is safe for travellers, although crime rates have increased slightly over the last five years.

But I always say that it is important to be streetwise and not to carry all your valuables with you when out and about. I always recommend making electronic copies of your passport and travel tickets accessible online and on paper.

I will be posting more soon, but feel free to ask.

73 replies to this topic
lake arrowhead
5 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

We plan to bus from Lake Titicaca to La Paz then bus to Secure and Potosi, then back to La Paz. We would like to take night busses. Do they have express busses? Is bus travel safe for two women.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

Hi,

Yes, Bolivia is safe to travel, more than people think. Our customers are always surprised how safe Bolivia is compared to the news and reports. however you have to remember that you are travelling to a different country where you might not speak fluent Spanish. I will also say that is always best not to be too friendly with men if you are in a bar, just to avoid necessary hustle. make sure you are always vigilant with you personal belongings as there a plenty of pick pockets.

Night buses are safe and very comfortable, I will recommend that you buy tickets for the "bus cama" type of buses when travelling to Sucre and returning from Potosi to La Paz. There will be night buses options, and most of them stop very little or not at all, it will be more comfortable travelling in a "bus cama". You can probably get cheaper buses, but not as comfortable for such long trips.

I will recommend that you stay in Sucre a few days if you want to chill out and enjoy the city, as it is warmer than La Paz and Potosi.

I am not sure when you are travelling, but if you go between May- August, it will be very cold in some sections, ensure you take some good thermals.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

Here I have two more frequently questions, when travelling to Bolivia.

1.- Will altitude affect me when I arrive to La Paz?

Most likely yes, although if dealt with sensibly, there is no need to think this may be a problem at all for your visit.

In fact I only know one person, my friend Bridget, who felt no effects at all from being at high altitude. We even had her tested amid simulated conditions at the Altitude Centre in London, which gave a rare conclusion that Bridget could indeed run and walk as if she was at sea-level.

The reality for most people is that on your first day at high altitude you will have to take it easy, drink plenty of water, eat and sleep. Your body needs to adjust and this should minimise any uncomfortable headaches or breathlessness.

As I mentioned in a recent newsletter, I found that taking Altivit tablets before my most recent journey helped me in adjusting to high altitude quicker than for previous trips.

2 Are there any direct flights from the UK or Europe to Bolivia?

From 29 November 2012, Spanish carrier AirEuropa is introducing two weekly flights from London Gatwick to the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, via Madrid.

From the USA, direct flights to Bolivia leave from Miami.

London, England...
Level Contributor
1 post
22 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

Hi

My wife and I are planning to go to Bolivia in February next year. We had hoped to visit the Pantanal from Bolivia but I am struggling to find information on how to go about this. We will be arriving in Uyuni (from Chile) but following this I do not know how to go about getting to the Pantanal region, nor what it might cost in time and expense. Could you maybe pass on any recommendations as to how best to visit the Panatanal region in Bolivia once arriving in Uyuni?

Many Thanks

Breton

5. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 04 January 2013, 10:35
 
Ubud, Indonesia
Level Contributor
56 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

We travelled in Bolivia in 2011 and used Kuoda Travel who organised a private guide for us which was just the best and not that expensive. The guide was about our age a born and bred Bolivian and a delight to share time with.

I have written about them on my blog here:

worldwideadventurers.com/south-america/…

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
2,755 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

BibiTellezGarside you have been offering some good advice but after reading your profile your last post sounds like you are touting for business. This is against forum guidelines.

Travel agents are welcome participants on TA but they need to be very careful they do not cross the line and in no way encourage a poster to contact them so they can be of further assistance to them.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

I have been very careful in only giving advise.

I apologies to this forum, my intention is only to help people travelling to Bolivia.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
2,755 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

Bibi you were very careful in your first few posts but at the very end of the one that's now gone you did encourage the poster to look at your profile to see how you could help them. Your profile indicated that you owned a Travel agency in London- that just happened to be where that poster was from. At that time you had the actual name of your business in your profile.

I can see that you have amended your profile and now make no reference to your line of work. You could have left it in but just made sure you never directed people towards yourself. As such I hope you stay around and offer some other great advice to travellers as I am now trying to do. Unfortunately as I found before I went to Bolivia it is not a very busy forum and posters often get no responses to their posts.

I am in no way an expert on Bolivia- just offering my opinion based on my experiences. For future travellers it would be great to have someone offer excellent advice without trying to direct them to their business.

It would also be a good idea to keep your eye on threads started by other people and offer advice their- not just here in the thread you started.

Cochabamba, Bolivia
Level Contributor
225 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Planning to travel to Bolivia?

Hi, I know you posted months ago, but If I´m not wrong you are planning to travel February 2014 to Bolivia, so my advice would still be a little helpful. I actually never been to the Pantanal and yes I can assure that it´s very hard to find information on the internet about it. I´m bolivian and can assure you that there is not direct way to go from the Salt Flats to the Pantanal. But, the safest way to plan your trip would be get from the Salt Flats to the city of Oruro (by bus or train, defineteley the train is the best option, I´ve been there, usually an 8 hour trip). And from Oruro, take the bus to Cochabamba approximately 3-4 hours of journey). From Cochabamba you could take a flight to Santa Cruz (you could continue your trip by bus too but it´s a very tiring 10 hour trip and the road is not very good). From Santa Cruz, I´m pretty sure you could find tours to El Pantanal, for this you have to get to Puerto Suarez and you could take the train (this is the part that I´ve never been to) but I´m pretty sure that that´s the way to go, unless you take a private tour.

There are other options for doing this trip, depends on what other cities you want to pass on the way, most tourists would choose to travel to La Paz or Sucre , but that would take more time. Unfortunately the Salt Flats are not very connected with the rest of the country, you could choose to go from there to Potosi and then o Sucre and the Santa Cruz, but keep in mind that the road from the Salt Flats to Potosi is not very good and I heard many travelers complain. If you need more information, just le me know, I would be more than happy to help you.

Reply to: Planning to travel to Bolivia?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted