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Travel Guide > South America > Bolivia

Bolivia Getting around

  
 
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Transportation strikes (bloqueos) are a common occurrence in Bolivia, so try to keep tuned to local news. Strikes often affect local taxis as well as long-distance buses; airlines are generally unaffected. Do not try to go around or through blockades (usually of stones, burning tires, or lumber). Strikers may throw rocks at your vehicle if you try to pass the blockade. Violence has sometimes been reported. Many strikes only last a day or two.

There is a government website with a live map showing which roads are closed or affected by landslides

By bus

Bus transportation in Bolivia is a nice cheap way to get to see the beautiful scenery while traveling to your destination. Unfortunately the buses often travel solely at night. Keep in mind that roads are occasionally blocked due to protests, often for several days. So ask several companies at the terminal if you hear about blockades, unless you are willing to spend a few days sleeping on the bus.

Bus travel is usually pretty cheap. Estimate that it will cost you about 1 USD for every hour of travel (it's easier to find travel times online than actual price quotes). Prices do change based on supply and demand. Sometimes you can get a deal by waiting until the last minute to buy. Hawkers are constantly crying out destinations in the bigger bus stations cajoling potential riders to take their bus line.

By plane

Flying within Bolivia is quick and fairly economical. AeroSur connects most major cities.

By train

On some routes, the roads are in such a dire condition that the train becomes the alternative of choice. Trains are more comfortable than one would expect, having for example reclinable seats. The trip from Oruro to Uyuni is especialy beautiful, with the train going literally through an Andean lake on the way.

The train is especially good for trips to the Salar de Uyuni and the Pantanal.

Coming from La Paz, you need to take a three hour bus ride to Oruro to catch the train. You best book your tickets a few days before your trip. In La Paz booking office is at Fernando Guachalla No. 494, at the corner with Sánchez Lima (between the Plaza del Estudiante and Plaza Abaroa). Main stops are Uyuni, Tupiza and Villazon, on the Argentine border. Travel times here.

Between Santa Cruz and the Pantanal it is more straightfoward to organize a trip. Just go to the Terminal Bimodal in Santa Cruz (see the Santa Cruz page for details), or the train station on the border in Puerto Quijarro. The train is also convenient for trips to the Jesuit Missions. Check the website for timetables.

By taxi

For longer trips between towns and cities that aren't served by bus, shared taxis are common. Shared taxi is not safe for tourist, especially if you are solo female traveller.

Transport Companies in Bolivia

Airline Amaszonas
Most famous for their La Paz to Rurrenabaque route but also fly to Trinidad, Guayaramerin, Riberalta, Cobija, San Borja, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Fares are listed under "tarifas" on their website, listed below. Their office in Santa Cruz is in El Tro... more
in Bolivia
Airline GOL
has a nightly flight from Santa Cruz into Campo Grande for just US$100.
in Bolivia
 
Airline TAM
This airline is one of the most well organized and reliable. Their office in Santa Cruz is in El Trompillo Airport, where all of their planes leave from. They fly between La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and Sucre daily. Of the three internal airlines (AeroSur, B... more
in Bolivia
Airline Aerocon
flies from Trinidad to the harder to reach places of in northeastern Bolivia like Cobija, Guayaramerin, Riberalta and Santa Ana (La Paz region). They also fly to La Paz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Yacuiba, and Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz, their office is in Aeropuerto El... more
in Bolivia
 
Airline Aerosur
the best known national airline. Aerosur flies from Santa Cruz to Sucre, La Paz and Cochabamba everyday. You can book your ticket at any of the many Aerosur offices around the city of Santa Cruz or any travel agency. Flights can be booked as late as 1 hour befor... more
in Bolivia
Airline Boliviana de Aviación - BoA
the national airline of Bolivia. Provides economical and reliable travel between the main cities of Bolivia. You can book your tickets online or at BoA-offices in Santa Cruz, La Paz or Cochabamba. Main office in Cochabamba, Calle Jordán #202 esq. Nataniel A... more
in Bolivia
 




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