Bolivia

FAQ

Is Bolivia a safe place to visit?
Yes absolutely.   You will find that most places in South America are no more dangerous than any major city in Europe or the USA. You shouldn’t let all the horror stories that you might hear deter you from traveling to this beautiful country.   You will find that while Bolivia is experiencing some turmoil in regards to economic, social and political problems: it is still a safe country to visit, you just need to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

What kind of precautions would I need to take while traveling through Bolivia?
Here are a few tips for your safety but nothing better can be recommended than to use your common sense.

  1. Take care of your personal belongings, particularly when traveling on the bus or train.
  2. Do not carry with you large amounts of money or expensive jewelry, make use of your hotel’s safety deposit box.
  3. Hoaxes of plain clothed policemen are rare, but keep in mind that real policemen only have the right to see your passport (not your money, tickets or hotel room)
  4. Never give your credit/bank card PIN number out to anyone.
  5. Try and use taxis that are part of an official taxi company; these are often recognizable with a sign on the taxi’s roof stating a company telephone number.
  6. Do not walk alone late at night and avoid traveling alone after dark outside of the common city areas.
Will I be affected by altitude sickness when traveling to La Paz or Potosi?
Altitude affects people in different ways, some people suffer from some of its symptoms, others do not feel anything.  Some of the most common symptoms of altitude sickness is nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and fatigue.  These are all normal symptoms, however, if these symptoms were to turn severe you should seek immediate medical attention.

Is there any medical treatment to prevent altitude sickness?
There are a myriad of pills on the market that claim to prevent altitude sickness.  Before traveling, consult your doctor or chemist.  You can also buy the “sorochi pill” at many pharmacies throughout Bolivia.  A more natural remedy is drinking coca-leaf tea.  For the first few days in high altitude it is recommended that you take it easy and not to over exert yourself.

Is the water safe to drink?
Generally, the tap water in Bolivia is NOT safe to drink, and you can get quite sick from drinking it.  Bottled water is readily available throughout Bolivia, and it is quite cheap.  If your stomach is particularly sensitive it is highly recommended that you use bottled water to brush your teeth and to be careful when ordering drinks: make sure you order them without ice. (“sin hielo”)

Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Bolivia?
To enter into Bolivia there are no compulsory vaccinations. However, if you are traveling to the rainforest areas then you should have a Yellow Fever vaccination.  Other recommended vaccinations include: tetanus, polio, typhoid.  And, also for certain areas, Malaria tablets.  You should consult your doctor before leaving on which vaccinations you should receive.

 What time zone is Bolivia?
Bolivia is four hours behind GMT (one hour ahead of EST).  Daylight-savings is not observed in Bolivia, so during these months (April-October), Bolivia is on EST.

Are Automatic Teller Machines available in Bolivia?
You will find ATMs throughout the main cities of Bolivia, such as La Paz and Santa Cruz.  It will be unlikely to find an ATM in remote areas.
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Weather in Bolivia
El Tiempo La Paz
La Paz - Bolivia
El Tiempo Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz - Bolivia
El Tiempo Sucre
Sucre - Bolivia

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