Bolivia seems to be one of the lesser visited countries, when we think about backpacking South America. The main reasons for that might be the under-developed infrastructure, constant altitude changes or maybe other Latin countries do simply better marketing when it comes to tourism. In all honesty, the fact that Bolivia is not as crowded as other destinations made it for us even more desirable destination to explore .
In Bolivia we spent 5 weeks in total. That is not enough time to get to know the whole country. But it is enough time to get an idea of the culture, enough time to marvel at the beautiful and diverse landscapes and enough time to visit some of the highlights of the country. Below you’ll see our travel route. In order to read more about a specific place, simply click on the one you are interested in.
Here is some more general information that we hope you’ll find helpful for planning your Bolivia trip:
Accommodation. Tourism in Bolivia is not as developed as in neighbouring countries, therefore don’t expect to find numerous modern/hip hostels. Also most so called “hostels” are rather guest houses. That means that facilities might not always be in the best conditions, but therefore you’ll find the average price-point very pleasant, especially if you travel on a lower budget. We paid on average 15€ for a private room (expect La Paz and Sucre to be the most expensive stays, up to 20€ p. night for a private). Dorm beds cost normally 5-10€ per night.
Transportation. Price and quality of the buses depend on the route you are taking. You can expect modern and comfy buses on direct trips from Santa Cruz to La Paz or from La Paz to Uyuni. To have an idea on the price: We paid 10€ for an overnight bus from Santa Cruz to La Paz (900km). We suggest that you always ask locals, fellow travelers or hostel staff for price and bus infos before arriving at the terminal in order to not get exploited. If you travel on lesser frequented streets and routes then the buses can be very, very old and the streets pretty bumpy (not fun if you suffer from car/bus sickness).
Food. Eating out is very affordable, even if you chose to go to a restaurant you can manage to pay less than 5€ for a meal. In markets you can grab lunches for under 2€. The best restaurants/food diversity we found in Sucre. If you prefer to cook (that is what we mostly did and do) you will safe even more of your budget, especially if you go to markets to buy fresh vegetables.
Safety. We felt absolutely safe in Bolivia and didn’t experience anything that should make us think differently. As always take care of your personal belongings, wherever you are, especially on buses. When it comes to travelling through the country, some of the roads/streets are definitely not in a great state and that can sometimes make you feel a bit “uneasy” …..but that is also part of the adventure, right?