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Flamingos, Siloli Desert, Bolivia

Bolivia Holidays

The place for travellers to immerse themselves completely into a culture. While the facilities on offer are typically simple compared to its neighbours, the culture, wildlife and landscapes are anything but.

Bolivia is a rugged jewel nestled in the very heart of South America. Landlocked by its affluent neighbours, it remains the poorest country in South America but what it lacks economically is more than compensated for with a wealth of indigenous culture, striking scenery and unique people.

A combination of colourful clothing, bustling markets and wide landscapes make Bolivia a photographic paradise.

Potosi main square
Bolivia

What to expect on your Bolivia holiday

The first thing you’ll notice in Bolivia is the altitude, which takes time to adjust to. The capital La Paz sits at 3,600m above sea level. Potosi is the highest city in the world, sitting at 4,090m and Lake Titicaca famously sits at 3,800m. Don’t rush into a busy schedule of sightseeing. Take it gently and allow time to acclimatise for the first couple of days.

Even more noticeable than the altitude is the contrast in climate between the chilly highlands, where temperatures drop dramatically at night, and the hot steamy jungles which support such a glittering display of wildlife and plants.

Explore Bolivia

  • Lake Titicaca
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Southern Deserts
  • Sucre

Experiences

Discover some of our suggested activities to include on your Bolivia holiday

Track Big Cats

In the company of an expert local tracker, look out for some of the world’s most elusive big cats that include ocelots, jaguars and pumas.

Learn Amazonian Medicine

Discover the natural medicinal properties of the rare plants of the Amazon, such as wasai and cordoncillo, which are used for kidney health and anaesthetic respectively.

River Eslabon

Trek over forest paths, looking out for spider tapirs, deer and wild boar, to reach River Eslabon and bathe in its pools.

Cruise the Amazon

Sail on the world’s mightiest river during an authentic Amazon cruise that navigates far off the beaten track.

Search for Pink River Dolphins

Head out to try and find the elusive and magnificent pink river dolphins, which only live in the fresh waters of the Amazon Rainforest.

Amazonian Country-Hopping

Consider exploring the Amazon in more than one country, moving between Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia or Bolivia to experience the remotest corners of the Amazon Basin.

Swing in a Hammock

After a morning of adventure, head back to your cabin to swing in a hammock to read a good book (or simply for a siesta).

Explore Madidi National Park

Adventure on foot with a naturalist guide in to the Madidi National Park, an area that overflows with wildlife such as macaws, hummingbirds and anaconda.

Discover Sucre

Stroll the streets of the 16th century UNESCO town of Sucre with its whitewashed buildings.

Volcán Licancabur

Explore the barren wilderness and admire the shimmering reflection of Volcán Licancabur in the still emerald waters of Laguna Verde.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

James Armitage

Hot, steamy and lush, James has explored the extremes of this fascinating country including the resting place of Che Guevara and where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where purported to have been shot
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Very satisfied with all aspects of our trip. Steppes kept us fully informed of the progress of the arrangements and gave us various choices of hotels.

Nick

Frequently asked questions about Bolivia

Can I cross overland into other countries?

Absolutely. From the salt flats then it works particularly well to travel to or from Chile’s Atacama desert. From La Paz and Lake Titicaca then you can easily reach Peru and Argentina is another possibility from the South of Bolivia.

Is it possible to travel luxuriously in Bolivia?

Luxury isn’t usually a label applied to Bolivia holidays but it is certainly possible to travel fairly comfortably. Part of the charm of the country is that a relatively simple infrastructure prevents more visitors from arriving. In reality, this can make for some bumpy road journeys but internal flights work well for any larger distances. There are some quirky accommodation options such as airstream campers on the salt flats, salt hotels, beautiful colonial hotels and also some boutique options in La Paz.

When’s the best time to go to the salt flats?

The incredible Salar de Uyuni is a must when travelling in Bolivia and the best time to travel is usually from April through to October. June to August are the coldest months so you do need to be prepared to wrap up warm, particularly at night. During the coldest months there is also a chance of snowfall that can sometimes disrupt overland border crossings into Chile.

Will I be able to cope with the altitude?

Bolivia is certainly a country with a lot of beautiful areas at high altitude so it is pretty much impossible to travel here and avoid being high above sea level. We can share lots of tips about how to prepare for altitude and to cope with it. The planning of your trip is also essential and we always take into account a slower pace to allow for acclimatisation.

Will the food be really simple?

Traditional Bolivian cuisine often includes corn, potatoes, beans & rice as well as chicken, pork and beef. Around Lake Titicaca fresh trout is the speciality. Food is tasty and hearty with lunch being the main meal of the day. In La Paz there are some wonderful restaurants including Gusto, a Claus Meyer restaurant. As well as local food there are international options available in hotels and larger towns and cities.

Can I use my mobile phone in Bolivia?

Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Bolivian cities and around tourist destinations, but can be far less comprehensive in rural areas. As always, roaming charges will apply and these can be quite expensive. However, it is cheap and easy to obtain a local SIM card, which will offer far cheaper rates.

What is the international dialling code for Bolivia?

591

What is the time zone in Bolivia?

Bolivia is four hours behind GMT. It does not observe daylight saving time.

How long are the flights to Bolivia from the UK?

Flights from London to La Paz, via Bogota or Lima, take approximately 17 hours.

Do I need a Yellow Fever vaccination?

This is usually recommended for visitors heading to lower altitude areas in eastern and northern Bolivia. For more information, please check with a GP or nurse, and consult the NHS Fit for Travel website (www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk).

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