Flights from the UK
Average flight time is 16 hours. There are no direct flights from the UK to Bolivia; routes to La Paz involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid and Lima, Peru; or a change of plane via the USA.
A note about altitude
Much of Bolivia is occupied by stunning high Andean terrain, with La Paz at 3,500m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking. We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude. If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.
Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.
Peso Boliviano. Notes in local currency (and in some cases US dollars), can be withdrawn from ubiquitous ATMs in principal cities and some smaller towns; there are many money exchanges (casas de cambio) and banks which exchange US dollars (a few accept euros or sterling but the rate may be poor).
When withdrawing money from an ATM using a debit card, you are offered a choice of account type from which to make your withdrawal: select 'Credit Card' (ie NOT Current account or Savings Account options).
When to go
The weather can be a critical factor: the altiplano
highlands look their best in the sunlight Apr-Oct, in Dec-Jan it can be dull and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m). The lowlands of the east are hot and humid all year around.
GMT -4 hrs.
A visit to Peru via Lake Titicaca, 122 km and a couple of hours' drive from La Paz; a holiday in Chile, entering the country via the dazzling salt lakes of Uyuni.
Gran Poder: La Paz, Late May/early Jun annually: processions of groups of indigenous dancers in costume, with historical and cultural themes.
Carnival: Oruro, La Diablada, Feb-Mar: One of the most eye-catching on the continent, with parades of people in elaborate costumes.