Getting Around Bolivia

  • Along Yungas Road
    Along Yungas Road
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  • Yungas Road closer to Coroico
    Yungas Road closer to Coroico
    by xoxoxenophile
  • Mountains along Yungas Road
    Mountains along Yungas Road
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Most Viewed Transportation in Bolivia

  • lemondrop's Profile Photo

    Bolivian buses

    by lemondrop Updated Jun 25, 2006

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    Riding on the buses in Bolivia can be a great part of your travel experience. One big plus is that the scenery is fantastic, and the bus is a nice way to enjoy that while getting from point A to point B. The buses are also very cheap. If there is one minus it has to be that the buses will pack in as many people as possible. Even if your bus starts out from it's destination with a light passenger load and plenty of space, it doesn't mean that it will stay that way. People wave down passing buses from anywhere along the road. You might see a group of 15 people board from out in the middle of nowhere. The buses tend to be at least half full of Cholas (indigenous women usually wearing bowler hats) at any given time. These ladies are usually rather rotund and take up a lot of space...and this is coming from a resident of the U.S., the fat capital of the world. Another piece of advice is to know the fare, as the ticket sellers might try to overcharge gringos.

    Selling snacks to the bus passengers Sleep and lollypops on the bus
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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Bolivian Travel in General

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 19, 2007

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    Bolivia is a large country (like Texas and California combined) and the logistics of getting around can take large amounts of time. For example, the bus from La Paz to Oruro takes 3 hours and the train from Oruro to Uyuni takes 7 hours. The 4WD trip from Laguna Verde back to Uyuni takes 7 hours. The bus from Uyuni to Potosi (25 Bs.) takes 6 hours with only one 30 minute break for lunch. Share a collective taxi from Potosi to Sucre for 30 Bs. and save an hour (bus ride is 3 hours).

    In general, all buses, trains and flights left pretty much on time. Bus seats are numbered and you buy a ticket for a specific seat. No bus I was on had a bathroom. The bathroom on the train was very clean.

    Flying was the best way to cover the large distances; however, it's expensive compared to the buses and trains and there are a limited number of flights each day. The Bolivian airline, LAB, was modern and efficient, but was having financial problems (operations were suspended in Apr 07). While I was there, the La Paz airport was closed part of the time due to political demonstrations.

    The La Paz bus station was designed by Eiffel (of French tower fame). Radio taxis in downtown La Paz charge 7 Bs. for a trip in that area.

    La Paz Bus Station
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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Typical Bolivian Bus

    by AlbuqRay Written Nov 22, 2003

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    The bus from Uyuni to Potosi (25 Bs.) takes 6 hours with only one 30 minute break for lunch and to use the "bathroom;" actually you had to find a bush (hard to do on the Altiplano) or a building if you wanted a little privacy. There may have been a banos but I didn't find it. The sopa in the restaurant was pretty good (2 Bs.).

    Lunch Stop in Pella
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  • utttz's Profile Photo

    bolivian roads

    by utttz Updated Feb 25, 2004

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    what can you find after a turn?
    a road
    a hole
    no road at all
    a dog
    a generic cattle
    a lama
    a cow
    a sheep
    a goat
    a cow
    a llama or other camelides
    a kicking donkey (luckyly it slipped)
    a broken car
    rompimuellas
    a police post
    a dead horse with vultures
    an incoming truck
    a breathtaking view (at least this is not dangerous)

    I'm sure the more you drive the more you find but this is what I found.

    potosi to uyuni
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    trains

    by utttz Updated Sep 2, 2003

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    trains unfortunately has been almost abandoned in bolivia; there's still something around uyuni but it's just a "once upon a time" trip.
    They speaks a lot about development but they seems to forget that train is still the most effective and compatible medium distance carrier....

    science train
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  • andal13's Profile Photo

    Flying High

    by andal13 Updated Oct 13, 2003

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    Probably the best way to arrive in Bolivia is the plane, although you can go by car, bus or even ship (from neighbour countries, of course!). Bolivia has two international airports: El Alto, close to La Paz, and Viru-Viru in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Lloyd Aereo Boliviano is the national airline.

    Probablemente la mejor forma de llegar a Bolivia sea por avión, aunque pueden ir en auto, bus o incluso barco (desde países vecinos ¡por supuesto!). Bolivia cuenta con dos aeropuertos internacionales: El Alto cerca de La Paz, y Viru-Viru en Santa Cruz de la Sierra. El Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano es la aerolínea nacional.

    Plane

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  • Chicha15's Profile Photo

    Flotas to other departments

    by Chicha15 Updated Nov 9, 2005

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    If you are traveling by Flota, you will notice that there are lots of what seems to be unplanned stops. I got nervous about the constant loading and unloading of luggage. My cousin who lost his luggage on a previous trip told me that its good practice to tip the luggage handler to look after your belongings. I tipped 5 Bolivianos before and after my arrival on all my trips, it was worth the peace of mind and the cost equals about a dollar!

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  • Chicha15's Profile Photo

    El Micro

    by Chicha15 Updated Aug 31, 2005

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    When at all possible...Walk! its safer! No lie, i got in a cab and the whole inside was refurbished...the steering wheel that used to be on the right handside is now on the left...and the seat was a lawn chair, tied down by wires!! I felt like getting out immeditely but we were off so fast, i just held on and laughed! The Micros are not any better, i avoided them totally on this trip. No mode of transportation is up to code and you really take a chance when you ride in any of them. The rides are very cheap though! Things are a bit different when traveling to another department. If you want to see the country take a Flota. They arent too bad and its worth to always buy a first class ticket. In some departments there are no airports so this will be your only mode of trans unless you hire a private driver, but my advise is the flota, you get to see all of the interesting stops and customs. I ate dried llama in a bag at one stop! i was so hungry! and i couldnt believe i could make such a purchase! use caution when eating such items, i have a stomach made of steel:)

    El Micro

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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Mamore River Ferries

    by AlbuqRay Written Feb 10, 2004

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    The Mamore River is a major tributary of the Amazon River. It starts in central Bolivia and runs north to Brazil. Puerto Las Puentes is a crossing with many ferries. The ferries are pushed by the small boat tied alongside. The ferries are large enough to hold 3-4 cars.

    Puerto Las Puentes
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  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo

    Trinidad : Avoid the small buses - Pas de minibus

    by Maillekeul Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    There are big buses leaving Trinidad : take them, and avoid the small ones, if you want to travel with a bit more confort and without being treated like a sucker by the companies (selling more places than there actually are, giving you a wrong departure time...)

    Il y a des gros bus qui partent depuis Trinidad. Dans la mesure du possible, prenez les et evitez les minibus, si vous voulez un minimum de confort et ne pas etre considere comme un con par les compagnies (qui vendent plus de places qu'il n'y en a et vous filent de mauvais horaires de depart).

    You have to cross the river ! Il faudra passer !
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  • asgottl's Profile Photo

    Motorcycle

    by asgottl Written Feb 27, 2003

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    In order to conduct epidemiological surveillance in my intervention community, it was necessary for me to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I loved the motorbike, but I had a difficult time dealing with the dogs....who always seemed to attack!

    Learning to ride

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  • RobyG's Profile Photo

    Acrossing the Border From Argentina to Bolivia

    by RobyG Written Jan 21, 2008

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    To across the border from Argentina to Bolivia it's not hard at all. I took the bus from Salta (north of Argentina) to Villazon which is the first village you find when arrive to Bolivia from this side. The Village is amazing because it will introduce and welcome you very well to all the things are gonna happen in Bolivia in the rest of your staying. It's a bit shocking the first day as the two country are really different to each others, but the real and old South America is actually this, the great indigenous people that you can mostly find in Bolivia and Peru'.
    In Villazon a good Hotel (25 bolivianos x night) is just in front of the main square.
    From Villazon I booked the train to the Salar Uyuny but make sure to book it as soon as you get there because it's only one train running everyday. Don't reserve on this train the first class, get the cheapest class because the difference of money doesn't justify the service offered and the cheap class is good too.

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    Travelling inside the cities

    by chancay Written Nov 22, 2002

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    Take a bus (Micro = the bigger ones = like old US-Schoolbusses) or Trufi ( these little Toyota (most of them) transporters) to almost every place inside cities of Bolivia. The prices you can find in the front window, but it´s always difficult to know which one is the right one. Normally it´s written as well in the front window, but who knows always the name of the districts or streets that are near to where you wanna go......so, it´s difficult to help here, you have to ask before or ask the second boy or man who´s always with the driver, they try to help normally (if ther´s time).
    You pay inside or when you are leaving the Micro/Trufi. You can stop these ones as well as taxis at every place, better at corners. To leave the bus just say e.g. at the corner ("escina") or "baja" (, that means "to alight").
    A taxi costs you between 3 and 10 bolivianos, depends how far you wanna go, ask for the price before getting into the car.

    Terminal en Cochabamba

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    The Bolvian border crossing is unforgettable

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 2, 2002

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    There is no better way to enter Bolivia than by bus from Peru. You drive around Lake Titicaca en route and at least stop in Copacabana for an hour even if just on the way to La Paz. You have to get off the bus at the border and go through customs of both Peru and Bolivial It's a fun place to meet up with other backpackers traveling around the two countries. It's about five dollars from Puno in Peru to Copacabana in Bolivia.

    Doreen walking into Bolivia at the border crossing

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  • kzapanta's Profile Photo

    Gotta get back to Peru today

    by kzapanta Written Sep 19, 2006

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    So, who ever said Bolivia is dangerous is whack. What a beautiful country. Amazing people, very honest. Bolivianos is cheap. The penuts and chocolate wafers are so tasty.

    Oh important facts: There are taxis, minibuses, buses, and military vehicles that can transport you around this great country. Getting to the Peru/Bolivian border is a piece of cake. Just watch it if you decide to do it on a Friday since every Friday is market day ON the border. Its quite entertaining to experience. But it is nice to see Peru again on time so that we can catch our flight home.

    gracias!!
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