Bolivia Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Bolivia is an incredible destination where you can see the world's highest capital city - La Paz, visit the spectacular Andean Peaks, explore the tropical Amazon, stay in a remote jungle lodge or get amazing pictures at the Salt Flats and Lake Titicaca. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Bolivia.
Bolivia Travel Ideas, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs
Travel to Bolivia
If you would like to go travelling in Bolivia and need inspiration, with One World 365 you can search itineraries and experiences to visit the very best locations in the country. Get information, tips, itineraries and inspiration for visiting on our guide to travelling in Bolivia.
- Capital: Sucre (population 250,000 approx)
- Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
- Population: 9,000,000 (approx)
- Language: Spanish + local languages Quechua / Aymara
- International Dailing Code: +591
- Country Size: 1,098,500 km2
- Language: Spanish (view our Spanish language courses in Bolivia)
How to Get to Bolivia
La Paz is served by El Alto international airport, with regular flights to Lima, Bogota, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo elsewhere in South America, as well as numerous destinations within Bolivia, particularly Sucre and Santa Cruz. Intercontinental flights are usually completed either via a change in Lima or Santiago, or via a direct flight to Miami and onwards to Europe or other North American destinations.
Top Reasons to Visit Bolivia
- There are so many beautiful forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains to see which are relatively untouched
- Get off the beaten track and see how local people live, experience the culture, food, festivals and atmosphere of the country
- Spectacular scenery
- Compared to other countries in South America, Bolivia is very cheap
- Bolivia is a safe country to visit
- Get an authentic local experience
- There are lots of National Parks, acient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage sites
Best Places to Visit in Bolivia
There are some many highlights of Bolivia and these are some of the places you need to add to your itinerary:
This city is high, around 12,000 feet above sea level making it the highest capital city on the planet. Taking a few days to adjust to the climate is recommend and there are lots of old colonial building, cafes and places of interest to check out.
Salar de Uyuni
The world’s largest salt flats, you can read more below.
If you are seeking adventure you might want to ride the La Paz death road. The North Yungas highway as it is known locally is very dangerous with cliff falls and many deaths a year but it is also one of the most popular places to visit for thrill seekers wanting to race down on mountain bikes.
Green and Red Lagoons
These two spectacular natural pools are usually visited as part of packages to the Salt Flats. Both pools contrast in colour and with the volcanic landscape you will get great photos.
Madidi National Park
If you are into nature and scenery then the Madidi NP is somewhere to visit. Expect mountain glaciers, rainforest and also lots of jungles lodges. The money generated from visitors here goes back into support the local Quechua community who live in the area.
A UNESCO World Heritage site with ancient ruins.
The biggest lake in South America and somewhere you have to visit.
The largest city in Bolivia with pretty colonial buildings
Local excursions allow you to visit mines where local people work - not an experience if you are claustrophobic
Experience one of the most spectacular areas of the world and get off the beaten track going in search of exotic wildlife.
Pico Austria / Huayna Potosi
This is the place to visit if you are into trekking.
Travelling & Backpacking in Bolivia
Bolivia was named Bolivia after Simón Bolívar and the country has a facsinating history, it was a key part of the Inca Empire and then was colonised by the Spanish.
Bolivia is one of our favourite destinations in South America, no country in the world has scenery and landscapes like this. With One World 365 you can search packages from the best local and international travel operators who can help you get an authentic experience and discover the real Bolivia. You will get to learn more about the friendly local people, visit the highest capital city in the world - La Paz and also visit one of the most famous deserts in the world.
Mountain biking is a fast-paced activity for those who like to challenge their fitness levels. What could be more rewarding than heading off the beaten track and discovering that special secluded spot that seems like it exists for no one but you? With lots of space to roam and nooks and crannies to discover, Bolivia’s magical landscape could be described has having an other-worldly feel about it. There are also last minute deals and late availability departures.
Gap Year in Bolivia
Mix culture, adventure and sightseeing on a gap year in Bolivia. Search ideas for how to spend an amazing gap year in Bolivia today. There are lots of agencies offering cheap packages and different itineraries so please research all options, most use local guides, local transport and small locally owned hostels and hotels.
Health & Safety
Everyone has different experiences from different destinations and even places which are classed as dangerous can be perfectly safe, most of the time it is wrong time at the wrong place and Bolivia is no exception. Try not to be paranoid, it is very easy to hear past stories and be put off from planning a trip to Bolivia. Top tips for staying safe in Bolivia include trying to not stand out too much, this can be difficult but obvious things include not walking around with a large map looking lost, possible get a drink in a cafe instead.
It is also never a good idea to flash valuables in public, for example a laptop, tablet or phone. Be discreet and don't attract any unwanted attention, the same goes with money don't let people see you carrying large amounts of money. If you are applying by yourself then try to get chatting to other backpackers who you might be able to tag along with for day trips etc. People are your best form of up to date advice and guidance and other people might be going to places and invite you along. Practically its always better and more fun to travel with others.