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La Paz and the altiplano: Fact file

When to go

The weather can be a critical factor: the city looks its colourful best in the sunlight Apr-Oct, in Dec-Jan it can be dull and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m).



Getting local currency

Peso Boliviano. Notes in local currency and in some cases US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in prominent avenues eg Bolivian National Bank and Banco Mercantil de Santa Cruz.; there are many money exchanges (casas de cambio) and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).

Time difference

GMT -4 hours. 

Getting there

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. 

Combines with

A visit to Lake Titicaca, 122 km and a couple of hour’s drive away; Coroico (70km) in the semi-tropical Yungas over an icy Andean pass: get there by scenic road, cycle or hike; Sucre, Bolivia’s southern colonial second city accessible by air in an hour; the silver and tin mines of Potosí, prosperous key city in imperial times, 2-3 hrs drive from Sucre; the salt lakes of Uyuni, close to the Chilean border. 

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