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Destination: Bolivia

  • Travelling there: Most direct flights to Bolivia occur from within South America to main airports like Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) in Santa Cruz and El Alto Airport (LPB) in La Paz, altitudinally the highest international airport in the world. There are few direct services offered by US and European airlines, and the prices reflect this. Enter overland through Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina or Paraguay.
  • Capital city: Sucre.
  • Population: 10.87 million.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic.
  • Language: Spanish is Bolivia’s official language.
  • Currency: Bolivian Boliviano (BOB).
  • Climate: Bolivia's climate is uniform, with changes in weather more connected to altitude and topography than season. With the country’s high elevation, temperatures can swing from hot and humid during the day, to freezing at night. It has distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • Transport: In cities and towns micros (half-size buses), minibuses and trufis (fixed route vans/taxis) are cheap and plentiful. Travel between towns on bus-camas (sleeper-buses). Hiring a taxi is also relatively inexpensive even for long distances. The rail network has been severely downgraded and covers only a small fraction of the country. If trying to save time, flying between cities is probably best.
  • Best time to travel: The best time is winter, which runs from May and October. It is dry, the days are sunny and the skies are blue, making it an ideal time for trekking and climbing. Tourism is at its peak during this period, expect higher prices.
  • What to wear: Trying to pack for this country of contrasts can be challenging. Layer up — evenings can be cold, and the daytime very hot. Style-wise, casual is fine.
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