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Visiting Boliva next year.

Requesting advice for a future trip.
9 years ago, April 25th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #109555  
While traveling through South Africa I met an Aussie who spoke about his numerous trips during his lifetime. And he really piqued my interest when he told me that the most exotic country he visited was Bolivia so now I must absolutely go there. I would greatly appreciate any advice from someone who has traveled there especially if it is possible to do so independently. I've looked at Intrepid and GAP and neither really offer the experience I am seeking. My thanks in advance.
Reply to this

9 years ago, April 27th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #109673  
Definitly possible to travel Bolivia independently. What kind of edperience are you looking for - if you detail more, perhaps it would be eaiser to reccomend you where to go.
You can have a look at our blogs from Bolivia to see where have we been and what have we seen, and get some ideas and decide dfor yourself if you like it or not...


Lilach Reply to this

9 years ago, April 27th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #109679  
Thank you for your kind reply. I have viewed and admired your blogs on Bolivia and South America and its quite impressive. I only wish I could even contemplate such a journey. My wife and I plan on staying in La Paz for a few days then venturing throughout the country. I'm more interested in the wonders of nature and would love to engage in outdoor activities such as rafting and canoeing. I love mountains, but I would rather ski on them rather than go climbing. My wife is more into beaches so that may be a problem since Boliva lacks access to the ocean (due to Chile I believe). Any advice you can offer on traveling throughout the countryside using whatever means of transport and where to stay would be wonderful. I would imagine being able to speak Spanish might come in handy. Thank you again and I wish you a safe and joyful journey. For me the most memorable part of traveling is not what you see or do, but rather the people you meet.

Glen Reply to this

9 years ago, April 27th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #109715  
Dont know for how long you are going to travel. The shorter it is, the more you should plan in advance and book in advance, so you do not spend time on inquirees. If oyu have something like 3 weeks, I can reccomend an itiniary like that: few days in La Paz - from here you can do a lot of day or two activities - biking in the death road, mountain climbing, rafting etc. ; fly to Rurre and do Pampas tour for 3 days then spend a day or two more in Rorre relaxing - no beach, but there are nice pools with music and young atmosphere in town. You can also have ajungle tour foe a few more days. Bus ride to Sucre - this is a nice colonial town you can spend a few days at. There are some biking tours around, but I cannot really recommend as we have not done any of them; Also by bus from la paz you can go to Uyuni and go for a 3 days adventure in the Salar de Uyuni. These are the main highlights. Regarding where to stay - this is really depends on the level of hotels you are used to. We stayed in low cost hostels, but perhaps you need something better... Reply to this

9 years ago, April 28th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #109786  
B Posts: 37
I've never been to Bolivia myself, but it is on my list of countries to visit.

Having read up a bit about Bolivia i have heard La Paz being mentioned alot (particularly the bus station), unfortunatly this is mainly due to kidnap/mugging stories. If you check the missing persons area on this forum you can see two people who where kidnapped and killed there and if you check the website set up for these two there are countless other stories from 2000-2007 with similar circumstances (although not resulting in death).

From what i have read i'd be very careful around the bus station and what method of transport you take. Use reputable bus companies (rather than little mini busses etc) and make sure if you use a taxi that it is a registered taxi.

Most of the cases involved fake police, so if a policeman asks for your pin number, to see your money/cards or to get in a taxi with him so you can be taken to the station - just don't do it. Smile and walk on (playing ignorant works wonders!).

That being said, there are also countless stories about how great the country is and how much people enjoyed going there. I don't think people should be scared off countires, but people should be aware if they are going to an area where they may encounter problems. I will still be including Bolivia in my travels, but i'll make sure i'm particularly careful! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 18th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #111236  
N Posts: 2
hey. i've just came back from bolivia a couple of months ago. i stayed there working for 3 months and went travelling for one more month with my boyfriend. i got to know bolivia and the bolivianos quite well, so i guess i can help you out a little bit.
first of all, travelling indipendently is not a problem at all. most of the places are reachable by flota (in bolivia used word for bus), whenever it takes ages and a lot of patience to get to some places off the beaten track. infrastructure is not quite developed yet. there still exist some dirt roads where a bus needs 24 hours to get to the place instead of maybe only 18 if it was a proper road. but there are as well places like the famous salar the uyuni, where you have to take a tour (min. 4days, 3 nights), to get around to see all the things. or if you wanna go to get to know the amazonas, you need to take a tour as well.
talking about means of transport. you can fly to almost every bigger place in bolivia. but some of these places like rurrenabaque in the amazonas only have a dirt-airport which means that planes cant land in the rainy season. as i mentioned before, public transport is quite good in the sense that you can get everywhere you need. its cheap as well. there are also posibilities to buy tickets for tourist buses in the hostels you might stay. there way more comfortable and sometimes faster than the flotas used by the bolivianos. but i think its worth travelling by public transport the bolivianos use, so that you can somehow also live their life and not be the 0815-package-gringo.
if you wanna do stuff indipendently: learn some spanish!!! otherwise your a welcome victim in the sense of getting ripped off whenever they can (taxi, markets, buses etc.).
ok, now to your interests and what you wanna see there. as you know, bolivia has everything but beaches... and heaps of outdoor activities. if you like biking, do the deathrail by bike going down to coroico. but watch out that you get a reliable company with safe bikes! in coroico you can go canoeing, as theres many rivers. in the amazonas as well. talking about the amazonas. its amazing to go hiking there. rurrenabaque is one of the most popular getaways to discover the rainforest and there are a lot of different agencies which offer different tours. i would strongly recommend you CHALALAN! its an indian community who developed an ecotourismplace in their community together with an NGO from holland (?). from my opinion (used to work in la paz with tourism) it is the only place where they really act eco-friendly. every agency says they do it, but none really does. its a bit more expensive though, but amazing.
You wrote that you will stay in LP for a couple of days. I strongly recommend you to stay in the cute little hotel called El Consulado. its about 50$ per night but a unique diamond in LP. But of course, this depends on how much you think to spend. There are of course cheaper places at the tourist road Sagarnaga.
Well, i already wrote so much and maybe a bit unorganized. but i hope it helps you a bit. i have a lot more to tell, but i guess space is limited. so if you have a concrete question, dont hesitate to ask me. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 19th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #111319  
We had a fantastic, if sometimes frustrating time thanks to all the roadblocks, in Bolivia and woul highly recommend the country. We had a blog on there, that you might find useful.

I'd recommend not going with GAP - we met a couple in La Paz who were with GAP and when we met them again in Chile, they said the trip had been fun but frustrating due to the lack of freedom and the fact that they were part of a large group and the stresses that brings. Plus it had ended up costing more than they expected.

Bolivia is, generally, a safe country and it's very cheap! Reply to this

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