Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is an untouched destination with undiscovered beauty, fascinating customs, rich history and diverse wildlife. With a history spanning more than 2,000 years, Bolivia has plenty of stories to tell. Here, you can learn about civilisations that existed before the Incas and experience more recent Andean traditions. Some indigenous Bolivians still practice Andean customs and wear traditional dress, living much like their ancestors did.
However, Bolivia is also modern, evident in trendy Santa Cruz and the capital, La Paz, where traditional culture rubs shoulders with contemporary modern lifestyles. Ideal for every type of traveller, a Bolivia holiday package offers a journey of discovery into lesser-known destinations. Discover its magic while it is still a best-kept secret.
Why travel to Bolivia
- The country is home to iconic Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest and largest saltwater lake.
- It’s the most indigenous country on the continent, with a diverse range of cultures to explore.
- Bolivia is renowned as being one of the best places to view Amazonian wildlife.
- You can travel off the beaten track to explore.
- It’s a great destination to visit year-round.
- The country is a paradise for adrenaline junkies, with so many adventure sports on offer.
A country of contrasts, Bolivia offers so many different fascinating destinations to visit, from snow-capped mountain peaks to tropical jungle, salt flats and dangerous roads. Wherever you go, its jaw-dropping landscapes will amaze and enthral. Let Thompsons Holidays tailor-make a Bolivia holiday package for you, whether you’re seeking adventure or want to relax and enjoy its fascinating culture.
Things to do in Bolivia
With its rugged mountains, desert plains, dense jungle, salt flats and lakes, and unique cultures, Bolivia is a fascinating destination to enjoy a holiday. Still relatively untouched, the country is full of pristine natural wonders waiting to be discovered and an array of adventures and activities to keep visitors coming back time and again.
There are so many things to do in Bolivia, including exciting adrenaline activities, like cycling down the most dangerous road in the world, white-water rafting or climbing volcanoes. You can enjoy ziplining, spot jaguars and go underground in a silver mine – and that’s just a small taste of what awaits you on a Bolivia holiday.
Things to do in Bolivia
- Explore ancient Inca ruins.
- Visit Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world.
- Take a cruise on Lake Titicaca.
- Explore the Amazon to see unusual wildlife.
- Shop in the extraordinary Witches’ Market in La Paz.
- Spot rare James’ flamingoes at Laguna Colorada, the unusual Red Lake.
- Enjoy trekking in the Andes Mountains.
- Discover Copacabana, one of Bolivia’s oldest cities.
- Visit the White City of Sucre, Bolivia’s constitutional capital.
- Enjoy stargazing in Moon Valley.
- Take the cable car in La Paz.
- Explore the garden city of Cochabamba.
Beautiful landscapes, majestic mountains, surreal salt flats, and high-altitude lakes, not forgetting the iconic Amazon jungle are all waiting for you on holiday in Bolivia. This magnificent country is still largely undiscovered, but given time, more and more people will travel there as they find out about its striking tourist attractions. If you’re keen to be ahead of the pack and discover the magic that a holiday in Bolivia has to offer, let Thompsons Holidays take you there on an unforgettable adventure package.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Bolivia is May to October, in the dry (winter) season.
- Summer, the wet season, is from November to April.
- Coldest months: June to September. Wettest time: December to March.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Santa Cruz: 20 hours, 15 minutes with one stopover.
- There are not many regular flights from South Africa to Bolivia.
- South African passport holders do require a visa to enter Bolivia. These are available through the Bolivian Consulate in Johannesburg.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months after departure from Bolivia.
- Bolivia is 6 hours behind South Africa.
- The official currency is the Bolivian Boliviano (BOB).
- Credit cards are widely accepted & ATMs are prevalent.
- US Dollars are accepted in tourist areas, but cash in local currency is preferable.
- Tipping is not customary in Bolivia.
- The official language is Spanish, but around 39 other languages are also spoken.
- Some English is spoken by about 75% of the population.
- Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Bolivia.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- It is not safe to drink tap water in Bolivia. Bottled water is preferable and readily available.
- Many public restrooms charge a small fee for use, so keep change on hand for this.
- Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor work places as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Lightweight clothing in summer, warm layerable clothing for winter.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Transport within Bolivia revolves around buses.
- Towns in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Instead of using plastic bags, take fabric shopping bags with you.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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