1. IT'S INCREDIBLY CHEAP
One of the top three things to consider when visiting a country is how much things cost. In Bolivia, your money goes a long way.
Your daily budget is likely to be less than £25 ($30) per day including accommodation, meals, transport and experiences such as walking tours, museum and other attractions. Organised tours always cost more, but they are still cheaper in Bolivia compared to Peru, Chile and Argentina.
You can get away with eating for under £7.50 ($10) a day in Bolivia, and when it comes time to treat yourself to a nice meal in a restaurant, you won’t feel guilty as it will hardly break the bank.
Check out our daily and monthly budget breakdown of Bolivia here:
2. IT'S FAR LESS TRAVELLED
Clearly, the fact we’re writing this article suggests that fewer people visit the country than they do their neighbours.
That in itself is a great reason to visit. Take Machu Picchu as an example; there’s no doubt it’s wonderful and should be on everyone’s list when visiting Peru; however, the sheer number of tourists puts a slight dampener on the experience.
It’s rare you will ever feel that way in Bolivia.
You will come across travellers in La Paz and Uyuni, but even then you don’t feel swamped. And because there’s less tourism, there’s also fewer tour guides, taxis and street sellers clamouring for your attention.
You can easily escape to towns such as Cochabamba and Sucre and become the only traveller around. Even during the popular highlights such as the Salt Flats Tour you hardly come across other groups of travellers, and everything feels much more personal.
3. BOLIVIA HAS ITS VERY OWN JURASSIC PARK
Most children are fascinated by dinosaurs, and as you grow up and learn more about them, they become even more intriguing.
That’s why visiting Bolivia is the perfect trip for any natural history fanatics.
You can find some of the best-preserved fossils and footprints in Bolivia’s beautiful Torotoro National Park. The prints are remarkable as the impressions are deep and clear.
You’re able to see all of the toe prints and work out what species of dinosaur left it. It leaves you with an astounding feeling of looking back in time. It’s even more impressive when you consider dinosaurs were extinct from the planet 66 million years ago. That’s over two billion days ago!
Torotoro National Park is way off the beaten track in Bolivia, close to the city of Cochabamba. Check out our posts below for more info:
4. CLIMB THE EASIEST 6000M MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD
As you can expect, the Andes make it hard to avoid climbing mountains when you’re in South America.
Activities involving the longest mountain range in the world are likely to feature heavily throughout your trip. You might never have climbed a mountain before visiting the continent, we certainly hadn’t, but we quickly became addicted to multi-day hikes and exploring the incredible mountain range.
Bolivia’s Huayna Potosi just outside of La Paz is considered by many to be the easiest 6,000m mountain to climb in the world.
Let’s put that into perspective. If you summit this mountain, you will have climbed almost 70% the height of Everest. That’s some achievement.
A word of warning. While it may be easier than others, it’s still no walk in the park. It’s cold, it’s hard to breathe, and some technical climbing is involved. But if you have a decent level of fitness and don’t struggle with altitude sickness, this is something worth considering.
Our list of the best things to do in La Paz covers climbing Potosi along with several other amazing hikes and activities:
5. YOU CAN EASILY VISIT THE AMAZON
Bolivia is one of nine countries from which you can visit the Amazon and is also one of the cheapest of the lot.
Tours begin from Rurrenbaque in the north of the country, and packaged deals can be purchased for as cheap as $200. This includes return flights and a 3-day tour.
Some may not want to dive deep into the Amazon because of their fear of creepy-crawlies or mosquitos. That’s why we’d recommend the Pampas tour in the Madidi National Park as the tour is mainly spent on water rather than in the thick jungle. The tour is incredible; you’ll see all types of wildlife including birds of paradise, caymans, pink dolphins and capybaras.
Every day was an absolute treat.
Check out our blogs on how to choose and book the best Amazon tour in Bolivia and what to expect:
6. THE 'WHITE CITY' OF SUCRE
Sucre is a relaxed and beautiful city, often called the ‘white city’ due to the number of brightly plainted colonial buildings throughout the city centre.
If you’re only visiting La Paz and not Sucre, then you’re missing out on a lot of the country’s fascinating history. One of the best things to do when in Sucre is the walking tour where you will see the city’s architecture, learn about the rich history of Simon Bolivar, and see spectacular views from the Recoleta viewpoint.
Our guide to Sucre has everything you need to know from hostels to great bars to the best places to eat:
7. LEARN SPANISH FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE
If you plan on spending more than a month travelling around South America, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Spanish.
Not only will this help you in your day-to-day with transport and grocery shopping, but the locals will also appreciate the effort made and want to chat.
Learning Spanish in Bolivia is an excellent choice as lessons cost as little as £4 ($6) per hour! The best schools are in La Paz or Sucre, but we’d recommend Sucre as the city is much more laid back and the weather is warmer all year round.
8. THE RED ROCKS OF TUPIZA
Tupiza is a unique town near the Argentinian border. The town is surrounded by deep red rocks projecting from the earth in all shapes and sizes, creating mazes of narrow canyons and valleys.
And best of all, you can wander into these canyons and valleys from the main town and explore on your own, no guides required. Foreign tourism hasn’t reached the area yet, so this is another great place where you can get away from the tourist trail. If you are planning an extended trip in Bolivia it’s somewhere we’d highly recommend.
Read more about how to get to Tupiza and how to plan a trek through the valleys below:
9. EASE OF TRAVEL
It’s easy to get around in Bolivia as buses are frequent and cheap.
The journeys are never too long if you’re visiting more than just La Paz and Uyuni. This is another reason we’d recommend staying longer; it’s better to break up longer trips and see things on the way. The best place to book tickets is online at Bolivia Tickets.
Internal flights are relatively cheap as well and you can fly to the Amazon or Uyuni from La Paz for as little as $60 with the right deal.
Be sure to check out our Bolivia itineraries to see how the best travel routes through the country:
Travelling other countries in South America apart from Bolivia? See how easy it is to cross the border into Peru or Chile to turn your journey into an extended multi-country South America backpacking trip:
10. YOU CAN VISIT ALL YEAR ROUND
Saying you can visit all-year-round doesn’t mean the weather is going to be perfect all the time.
It’s more a suggestion that you shouldn’t bother planning your trip around the weather as there’s so many different sub-climates – it’s impossible to get perfect weather everywhere you go.
The high altitude of La Paz means it’s always going to be a bit cold, but the best time to visit is in the Bolivian winter, which is the dry season (April-Nov).
The Amazon can be scorching hot and receiving heavy rainfall almost every day if you visit in the summer which is rainy season. But rainy season means more animals, and the dry season means fewer mosquitos – so there isn’t a ‘best option’ here.
Sucre and Torotoro stay warm and sunny all year round.
For Uyuni, you will want to visit in summer (rainy season), so you can see the mirror effect.
You can’t win in Bolivia so don’t worry about the weather – just go and enjoy yourself.
Of course, when visiting Bolivia, the two main attractions will be La Paz and Salar de Uyuni, but every traveller should know these and we wanted to cover some less well-known parts of the country.
One thing to mention about Salar de Uyuni is that it’s so much more than the visiting the salt flats. The sights and experiences on day 2 of the tour when you head into the mountains are endless, and the tour far exceeded our expectations.
For more information on Uyuni and La Paz, we’ve covered them in detail in our blogs here: