Frequently asked questions about Bolivia

  1. Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?
  2. Are there opportunities to swim?
  3. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  4. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?
  5. Do I need a visa?
  6. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  7. Do they cater for vegetarians in Bolivia?
  8. Electricity
  9. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  10. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?
  11. Is Bolivia dangerous?
  12. Mobile phone and email
  13. Time difference
  14. Travel guides and maps
  15. What about my passport?
  16. What are other activities and sports I could do?
  17. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
  18. What is the best time to travel?
  19. What is the recommended currency for Bolivia?
  20. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
  21. What kind of luggage should I take?
  22. What kind of transportation is used?
  23. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?
  24. Are there guidelines for interactions with tribes?

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12. Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?
No
13. Are there opportunities to swim?
No
14. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can pre-book transfers (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring. You can add this on your booking form.

15. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?
This is not required
16. Do I need a visa?

You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.Please check the embassy if you need a visa for Bolivia and check out the current situation.Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems.

17. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country and contact after your local practitioner or a specialized health centre and make an appointment to get your shots and pills. Please make sure that you allow at least six weeks for a full program. People who already have had a few shots might do with two weeks. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

18. Do they cater for vegetarians in Bolivia?
Vegetarians will not have a problem in Bolivia and will have a varied choice of meals available to them.
19. Electricity
What voltage and plugs are in use in Bolivia? Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in this country. You could consider taking a universal electric plug.
20. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveler ( from the same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.

21. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?
We stay in mid class hotels in twin bedded rooms with en-suite facilities.
22. Is Bolivia dangerous?

Although Bolivia is generally a safe country, visitors should still be vigilant at all times. Pick-pocketing on buses or in crowded areas is common and baggage theft occurs at stations. Many thieves work in teams to distract their victims. Female tourists should avoid taking jungle and pampas tours on their own and always avoid unlicensed guides.
Months of heavy rainfall are usually responsible for flooding and mudslides throughout the country, which can severely affect transport; the rainy season is usually from November to March


 

23. Mobile phone and email

The international access code for Bolivia is +591. The outgoing code depends on what network is used (e.g. 0010 for Entel, or 0013 for Boliviatel),  The area code for La Paz is 2, but the access code to make a call within the country from another area also depends on what network is used (e.g. (010)2 for Entel, or (013)2 for Boliviatel). Mobile phones operate on a GSM network. Internet cafes are widely available in La Paz and other tourist areas.

 

24. Time difference

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference .

25. Travel guides and maps
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet
26. What about my passport?
You need a passport that is valid at least 6 months at the date of departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.
27. What are other activities and sports I could do?
You can choose to take a boat trip to Isla del Sol, otherwise there will be plentiful opportunites for walking and trekking
28. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
In Bolivia they celebrate the following public holidays:
1st Jan New years Day.
4 Feb Carnival.
21 Mar Good Friday.
1 May Labour Day.
22 May Corpus Christi.
6 Aug Independence Day.
1 Nov All Saints’ Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
29. What is the best time to travel?
The best time to visit is from May through October. It’s true that temperatures are lower during this period, however showers are sparse. In the mountain areas you should count on brief showers occurring throughout the year.
30. What is the recommended currency for Bolivia?

The official currency is the Boliviano (BOB), which is divided into 100 centavos, and is tied to the US Dollar. Money can be exchanged at exchange bureaux called casio de cambios in the main centres, at banks and hotels. Banking facilities are good in the main cities and ATMs cater for Visa, Cirrus and MasterCard. Many hotels and other tourist-oriented institutions accept US Dollars. Major credit cards, including MasterCard, Diners, Visa and American Express, are accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and shops.

31. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
In Bolivia we will stay in high places. Bring along warm clothing, such as a fleece sweater or jacket. By day, it will be mostly sunny, so thin, cotton clothes and shorts are indispensable items. . However, please note that for this trip extra warm clothes are a must, especially in the summer season (May – October) when temperatures may drop at night as low as -20°C. Gloves, hat and / or a scarf should be part of your packing items!
Bringing too little clothing is better than bringing too much as you can buy anything you lack for next to nothing. An umbrella and a thin rain jacket might come in handy, the former protecting against both rain, and blazing sun. You need a good pair of worn-in hiking shoes, with good tread and a pair of flip flops. Other important items are sunglasses, sun creams, toiletries, a first-aid kit, a hat/scarf, a (video) camera and sufficient film/videos and spare batteries, a torch, towel, a pen-knife, a lighter, an alarm clock, writing equipmen
32. What kind of luggage should I take?
We advise you bring along a weekend bag or backpack. A solid suitcase is inconvenient if you have to carry it yourself on and off trains etc. Also, bring along a small backpack or shoulder bag for hand luggage. A thin money belt, to be carried underneath your clothing, is also advised for storage of valuable documents. Take care to put some clean clothes in your hand luggage, in case your main luggage is delayed .For example, the pill and your toothbrush should be in your hand luggage. Check that your luggage is not too heavy.
33. What kind of transportation is used?
You will travel long distances quickly with few rest days. Once or twice, we will take night buses.

34. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?
In Bolivia, it is customary to start with a greeting and to inquire about someone’s well being. You will often hear "Buenos dias, como esta?" . On meeting and parting, men and women give a short kiss on the cheek to women, even if they hardly know each other. Indians do not kiss, but sometimes give a weak handshake. Politeness is highly appreciated. They have a different notion of privacy than we are used to and subsequently can get very close. They emphasise being well dressed and therefore do not expect tourists to be dressed scruffily. Shorts are not actually considered improper; nevertheless, in less touristy regions long trousers are more appropriate. Anyway, most of the time it will be too chilly for shorts. It is considered offensive to call someone of Indian descent Indian, Indigena is preferred.
35. Are there guidelines for interactions with tribes?
Many tribes live in remote areas and have little contact with Western travellers. If you are going to visit such an "exotic" region, prepare yourself well. This will be beneficial both for yourself and for the people you will meet. Here are some do's & don'ts that you can use as a guideline.

• Read up beforehand about the traditions and customs of the tribe(s) you will visit. Then you know what to expect when you are there. Your tour leader can often provide you with information as well.
• First make contact with the chief of the tribe and do not instantly begin photographing. You are dealing with people, not with objects.
• Always ask permission first if you want to take a picture of someone. Put yourself in the position of the person you want to photograph. How would you feel if a person unknown to you suddenly started taking photos of you? In some cases, the tour leader or local guide will ask for permission for you.
• Involve the local people in what you are doing. Make time for a conversation (with hands and feet) and show the photo that you have taken. You may like to bring a few photos from home, and then you can show how things are where you come from.
• Do not hand out things like candy (there are often few/no accessible dentists), balloons (plastic contaminates the area), money or Western trinkets. These types of donations can lead to disagreement, jealousy or quarrels between the various tribes-people.
• Do not purchase authentic, irreplaceable items (and do not accept them when given as a gift). Some examples include jewellery that belonged to ancestors, tools for work such as a sickle or hammer or weapons like a bow and arrow. The tribesmen often only realise afterwards, once the tourists are gone, that they have lost their irreplaceable object(s).