Are you planning on embarking on a solo adventure in Bolivia but worried about safety and traveling logistics? Look no further! We will guide you through everything you need to know for your solo travel experience in Bolivia.
From exploring the best places as a solo traveler, transportation options and budgeting for your trip.
We will also cover important topics such as health and well-being, safety tips for solo travelers in Bolivia, and must-try Bolivian dishes. So if you are ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in one of South America’s most beautiful countries, keep reading!
Last updated on: 02-01-2023
Is it safe to travel alone in Bolivia?
Solo travel in Bolivia is generally considered safe, but it’s important to take precautions like you would in any other destination. The country is known for its friendly locals and stunning landscapes, making it a popular destination for solo travelers.
Bolivia holds the 78th spot on the Global Peace Index. The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.
While the crime rate is increasing, Bolivia is still considered one of the safest places in South America.
Overall, solo travelers have reported feeling safe in Bolivia, with many recommending the country for its diverse landscapes, friendly people, and affordability.
What is the best time to visit Bolivia for solo travelers?
The best time to visit Bolivia for solo travelers is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. This period offers clear, sunny skies, shorter days, and slightly lower temperatures, making it ideal for trekking and other adventure sports.
Additionally, the dry season is the best time to visit the Salar de Uyuni salt flats when they aren’t flooded.
Altitude sickness can be a concern, so it’s advisable to start at a lower altitude and gradually make your way up. Coca tea can help alleviate the dizziness associated with altitude sickness.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in Bolivia?
The most important holidays and festivals in Bolivia include:
- Alasitas Festival (January 24): This fair takes place in La Paz, where Bolivians buy miniature items to offer to Ekeko, the Aymaran God of abundance, in the hope of bringing good fortune and wealth into their lives.
- Fiesta del Gran Poder (May or June): This festival in La Paz pays homage to El Señor de Gran Poder or Jesus Christ, featuring thousands of dancers in colorful costumes parading through the streets.
- Urkupiña Festival (August 14-18): Celebrated in Quillacollo, this festival honors the Virgin of Urkupiña, featuring cultural events and rituals.
- Aymara New Year (June 21): This festival marks the winter solstice and is celebrated at the Tiwanaku Ruins, with lively street parties and celebrations.
- Oruro Carnival (February and March): This religious festival is celebrated in honor of Jesus and features colorful costumes, intricate masks, and thousands of dancers competing in the streets to give thanks to Jesus.
How to meet other solo travelers in Bolivia
Engaging with local traveler meetups, hostels, or online travel communities can facilitate connections with travel buddies in Bolivia. Joining group tours or day trips provides the chance to meet new people and share unique travel experiences.
Additionally, consider downloading a travel buddy app or leverage social media and travel forums for tips, advice, and companions.
Is Bolivia expensive for solo travelers?
Bolivia is generally an affordable destination for solo travelers. On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $30 to $50 per day, including accommodation, meals, transportation, and activities.
According to Numbeo, Bolivia holds the 114th spot (out of 140 countries measured) on the Cost of Living Index by Country.
The country has long been a favorite among backpackers and adventure travelers due to its affordability, making it an attractive destination for solo travelers.
What are the best places to visit for solo travelers in Bolivia?
Some of the best places to visit for solo travelers in Bolivia include:
- La Paz: The highest capital city in the world offers a unique blend of cultural diversity, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. It’s advisable to spend a few days here to acclimate to the high altitude and explore the city.
- Sucre: Known as the most beautiful city in Bolivia, Sucre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered the best place to take Spanish classes in South America. It’s a great place for solo travelers to meet new people and immerse themselves in the local culture.
- Salar de Uyuni: The world’s largest salt flat is a must-visit destination, offering a unique and stunning natural wonder. Many solo travelers opt to join a 4×4 tour to explore this breathtaking landscape.
- Lake Titicaca: This high-altitude lake shared with Peru offers a serene and culturally rich experience, with opportunities to visit the indigenous communities on the islands and learn about their traditional ways of life.
- Santa Cruz and the Amazon: Santa Cruz, located in the oriental part of the country, offers a different climate and a variety of delicious traditional foods. The nearby Amazon region provides an opportunity for nature exploration and adventure.
What are the best ways to get around in Bolivia?
The best ways to get around in Bolivia for solo travelers include:
- Bus Travel: Buses are the most common mode of transportation in Bolivia, offering extensive coverage and affordability. Long-distance buses are available for intercity travel, and some companies like Todo Turismo, Trans Salvador, and Trans Copacabana are well-regarded. Websites like TicketsBolivia and EnBus provide English-language options for comparing prices and booking trips.
- Air Travel: Flying is an option for those seeking a quicker and more comfortable mode of transportation, especially for long distances. While it may be more expensive than bus travel, it offers convenience and time savings, particularly for solo travelers with limited time.
- Train Travel: Train travel is limited in Bolivia, but there are some tourist trains available for specific routes, such as the route from El Alto to the ruins of Tiwanaku. However, train travel is not as extensive as bus travel.
- Taxis and Trufis: Taxis are available in most larger cities and are relatively inexpensive. Trufis, shared minivans, are another common mode of transportation for getting around within cities.
Overall, solo travelers in Bolivia have a variety of transportation options, with bus travel being the most common and affordable choice for exploring the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural attractions.
5 Must-try dishes in Bolivia
Here are 5 must-try dishes in Bolivia:
- Salteñas: These are savory pastries filled with meat, potatoes, peas, and a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. They are a popular snack or light meal in Bolivia.
- Pique Macho: A hearty and flavorful dish consisting of beef, sausage, boiled eggs, french fries or potatoes, onions, and red and green peppers. It is known for its generous portions and is a satisfying meal for solo travelers.
- Sopa de Maní: This is a peanut soup, a traditional Bolivian dish with a rich and creamy texture, made with peanuts, meat, and vegetables. It’s a hearty and flavorful soup that is worth trying.
- Silpancho: A traditional dish from the valleys of Cochabamba, consisting of layers of white rice, boiled and sliced tomatoes, and thinly pounded meat. It is often served with onion, beets, parsley, and a fried egg.
- Pastel de Queso: A Bolivian-style cheese empanada or cheese cake made with deep-fried empanada-style dough filled with gooey cheese that’s often dusted generously with powdered sugar. It’s a popular breakfast or snack option in Bolivia.
These dishes offer a diverse and delicious culinary experience for solo travelers visiting Bolivia, allowing them to savor the rich flavors of the country’s traditional cuisine.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.