Bolivia holidays

Essential Information

Currency
Bolivia, Boliviano
1.00 USD = 6.92 BOB
CURRENT WEATHER
Rain
+9°C

Why Bolivia

Do not be fooled by the proximity of Bolivia to the equator to think of a temperate climate. High altitudes sometimes bring cold temperatures. The best times to explore the totality of the country on Bolivia holidays are the months of May to October, to better enjoy its dry days. The local summer months (from November to April) bring the rainy season, and it is not uncommon for the roads to become impassable from being so muddy.

Some people see Bolivia as the poorest country in South America and think it must be an ugly place, dangerous and not at all touristy. If you are one of those, do not be fooled by the talk: Bolivia has some of the most beautiful landscapes in South America, such as Salar de Uyuni and Lake Titicaca, as well as exotic cities full of attractions such as La Paz, Potosí, and Oruro.

This nation of strong indigenous traditions often scares those accustomed to the easy tourism offered by other South American countries. Roads in poor condition, cities with chaotic traffic and a hotel network that often boils down to a small establishment under family management are some of the obstacles to overcome to get to know a beautiful and unique country.

Little by little, the scares give way to enchantment (allied with a good dose of patience) and the eyes begin to witness the beauty of colonial cities such as Potosí, whose historic center was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, or the unique experience of crossing the desert areas in the south of the country, such as those traveling by land between the Salar de Uyuni and the Atacama Desert in neighboring Chile. La Paz is one of the main gateways to the country by air. Its proximity to fantastic sites such as Lake Titicaca and Tihuanaco, as well as fabulous Andean peaks, makes it an ideal logistical center.

When to go

The country is located in the tropics, and Bolivia has a hot and humid climate. ... In low altitude areas, the climate is warmer. The average annual temperature is between 8 degrees Celsius in the Altiplano and 26 degrees Celsius in the eastern plains.

What influences the Bolivian climate is more the altitude than the latitude. In the Altiplano, where are the main attractions, it is cold. The summer is also cold and rains much more than in the winter, the dry season. So if you can avoid December, January, and February on holidays in Bolivia it is better. The best times are autumn (April and May) and spring (September to November).

The country has a vast Andean region that occupies almost a third of its territory, formed by snowy peaks and the Altiplano, where is La Paz.

Bolivia is devoid of coast: the small coastal strip that belonged to it was lost to Chile in 1879, after a war and long negotiations.

Where to go/stay

Even though they are concentrated in the same region, there are hotel options for all tastes and budgets on Bolivia holidays, and because it is a cheap destination that offers many outdoor activities, such as the Tiahuanaco ruins and Lake Titicaca, La Paz has become a sought-after city by backpackers.

The airport is located in El Alto. The trip to downtown La Paz can be done by taxi or van and takes about 30 minutes. One thing: anyone going to leave La Paz by plane must pay the airport boarding fee, which is $24 for international flights. We recommend BOA - Bolivian Aviation. The planes are good, no drama at all. The only drawback is that there was a long delay both on the way and the return. So you could get the impression that they are very disorganized. Another way is to go for Gol. There are flights to Santa Cruz de La Sierra. You can go 10,000 miles there. From there, you have to take another flight to La Paz by BOA or by another company called Amazonas.

Things to do

The country has stretches of Amazon rainforest, has endless deserts, has volcanoes, has Lake Titicaca, has the Andean altiplano and has even snow all to be experienced on Bolivia holidays! So let's start with it, the snow, so wanted and pursued by many tourists.

Bolivia has its snowy mountains. And they are not few. But let's talk about the most accessible ones. Or rather, the snowy peak can be easily visited by those who are in La Paz, the Chacaltaya.

At 5,395 meters of altitude, the Chacaltaya is 30 km from La Paz, and you do not have to be any climbing expert to get there. Just buy a cheap package at any tourist agency in the city, spend just over an hour in the chaotic traffic, inside a van, and wait a little longer until you reach the Chacaltaya ski resort. But the landscape compensates for any inconvenience along the way.

La Paz is the largest city in Bolivia and the seat of government. And what does this have to do with the attractions of the city? Nothing, but it is good to arrive knowing the minimum, for example, thinking that it is the capital of the country, which in fact is the city of Sucre.

But the charm of La Paz has nothing to do with the government. The thrill is to walk its streets crowded with people and their open markets. In fact, you are unlikely to see anything like a shopping mall or big department store in La Paz.

The center of the city, especially on the outskirts of the Metropolitan Cathedral of La Paz, looks more like a large outdoor fair.

A famous La Paz attraction that also deserves to be explored on holidays to Bolivia is the Las Brujas Market, nothing more than a few cobbled alleyways filled with small, mystic artifacts like witches' symbols, llama ferns (and they smell like ferns from Llamas) and sacks with coca leaves to chew. We said CHEW, DO NOT SMOKE.

Despite so many people from the highlands in the streets, speaking the incomprehensible Quechua language, you will probably have no contact with them, backpacking in South America or a leisurely traveler.

What dominates the hyped points of the city  is the pubs, the less eccentric restaurants (there must be those who like it, but for us the worst thing about Bolivia is food) and the hostels where there are the gringos.

The index of Germans, Icelanders, Swedes and Israelis in La Paz is higher than in any other major city in South America. And these people handle the best parties and travel through La Paz day and night. Try to fit in.

Basic tour: Valle de la Luna, with its strange rock formations, which seem more like something from another planet.

Adventure ride: descend more than 3,000 meters by bike along the "Death Road." The name scares, but the tour is organized by tourist agencies, and even children can participate.

In short, La Paz is this: China of the Americas, the most exotic place you can meet without having to spend two days inside an airplane. Do not be scared by the "exotic," the city has good hotels, good restaurants and is quite safe.

Planning Your Bolivia Holidays

I imagine that many people have no desire or interest in taking a trip to Bolivia. Do not be put off.

But know that Bolivia has a people rooted in indigenous traditions, strong typical foods, different natural beauties and simplicity, a lot of simplicity. The first contact is usually somewhat scary, and the public roads are often in poor condition, traffic is chaotic, poverty is clear. But the fright gradually becomes an enchantment in the face of such cultural richness.

For these and other reasons, it is certainly one of the fascinating places in Latin America.

Bolivia is an international and multicultural country. In addition to the Spanish language, Bolivians also use their dialect variations, such as Quechua and Aymara. Most of the population is Catholic, but it does not fail to celebrate their folk customs, especially the traditions referring to the goddess Pachamama (Mother Earth). Bolivian culture has many Inca influences and other indigenous peoples in religion, music, clothing and food, leaving a rich historical legacy. Even poor in its economy, it is extremely rich in its attractions. Historical buildings record a remote past, and people make this country much more beautiful than you can imagine. That is the strong point on your holidays in Bolivia.

The country is divided into seven regions: Altiplano, Central Valley, Tropic, Yungas, Chaco, Pampa, and Amazon. In the center is the Altiplano, a large plateau where most Bolivians live. Its eastern part is covered by the Amazon rainforest, while in the western part, there is the largest salt plain in the world, the Salar de Uyuni; La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Sucre, Cochabamba, Oruro, and Copacabana are the main tourist cities. Your trip to Bolivia will be full of natural beauties. The exuberance of nature in its majestic landscapes and the scenery made up of immense plates of salt, volcanoes, geysers, ponds and mountains can scare away any unsuspecting tourist to see so much beauty in one country.

Conclusion

A country is full of natural and culturally rich beauties. A cheap country to travel and that does not require a visa for the Mercosur countries. That is Bolivia. However, the country is still on the list of destinations most visited by Brazilian tourists, which in South America includes Chile and Argentina and maybe because Bolivia is known as "tough". You will always hear someone say that it is a difficult country to travel. For backpackers, however, this can be an added attraction. A challenge! But it is not so much. You just need to know a few things before you go on holidays to Bolivia and you can take the trip around the country and you will certainly be surprised.

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