Last updated: 4 Dec 2018

Bolivia

About

Bolivia, landlocked at the heart of Andean Latin America, remains something of a well-kept secret. Explore the street life in the world's highest capital city: La Paz is situated 3,632m above sea level and is overlooked by Mount Illimani.

Take a cruise on Lake Titicaca, the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, which straddles the Bolivia-Peru border. Discover the garden city, Cochabamba, with its excellent local cuisine, warm climate and imposing statue of Christ.

Venture into the Amazon and stay at a jungle eco lodge, such as Chalalan typical jungle trips include motorised canoe trips, guided rainforest walks with a local guide who knows the indigenous plants and wildlife, and rustic lodge accommodation.
Official Name:  Plurinational State of Bolivia
Capital:  La Paz (LPB)
Currency:  Boliviano (BOB). USD is accepted in tourist areas. . 
Language:  Spanish, but Quechua, Aymara and Guaraní are more widely spoken. English is not widely spoken, but may be understood in the tourist areas. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 591
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2018: 

Jan 1, 22; Feb 12, 13; Mar 30; May 1, 31; Jun 21, 22; Aug 6; Nov 2; Dec 25

Side of the Road:  Right.
Best time to go:  May – October is the winter / dry season but also the high season.
Best for:  Amazon Jungle, Carnival, Archaeological Sites
Plugs:  Most of Bolivia is 220V/50Hz as well having 110V and 220V supplies. Plugs are two-pronged with round prongs (European) and flat-pronged pins (US)
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. If drinking bottled water, check the seals on the bottle. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Medication is widely available. In rural areas, medical facilities may be harder to find and medication should be carried. Altitude sickness is a common health risk – anyone suffering from diabetes, heart problems or chest problems should seek medical advice before travelling to Bolivia. 
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Rural Bolivians are called campesinos and should not be referred to as Indians. Conservative clothing should be worn when travelling to the rural areas. It is best to ask permission before entering religious ceremonies. It is best to learn a few simple phrases, including greetings. Homosexuality is frowned upon and public displays of affections should be avoided. Roles within the family are very traditional. 
Local Offences/Laws: Penalties for drug-related offences are severe. 
Travel Tips / Warnings:  Try to break big notes of currency where possible, as smaller shops, stalls and buses will only accept small notes. Take care when buying food from street vendors – hygiene is poor in some areas. Street protests and strikes can affect the main tourist areas – travellers should keep up to date with current conditions and avoid demonstrations. Female travellers should avoid travelling to the rural areas by themselves and only use licenced guides.  
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Bolivia by persons over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco
• 3L of alcoholic beverages
• New articles up to a maximum of US$1,000

Prohibited Imports: Prohibited imports include illegal drugs, unauthorised guns, explosives and ammunition, knives and deadly weapons, counterfeit money and goods, and pornographic material. Restricted imports include pharmaceutical and medical products, live animals and animal products, wild products, cheese, milk, raw meat, and other food and drinks. You must declare these, and cannot import them without authorisation.

Issuing Authorities

Consulate General of Bolivia
1 Erslwold Way, Saxonworld, Johannesburg
PO Box 91026, Auckland Park, 2006
Cell: 083 377 9081
E-mail: seabeco@tiscali.co.za
Please sms 083 3779081 to schedule an appointment. Calls are no longer accepted.
Hours are THURSDAYS only 1100-1530.

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SA Representative

Representation accredited from Lima, Peru.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A &B , Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk