A trip to Bolivia is like traveling back in time – back to a time when the Incas ruled and indigenous languages were spoken. Although the Incas have long since gone and after them came the Spaniards, the mark they have left on the country is far from extinct.
Bolivia is the world’s 28th-largest country and it boasts almost twice as much land space as Texas. It is landlocked right in the middle of South America, sharing borders with Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Chile. But despite being deprived of a beach-front like most of its neighbours, Bolivia’s breathtaking varied landscape and moderate climate more than makes up for it. The peaks of the Andes and lush rainforests seem to surround the country, providing active travelers with plenty of outdoor pursuits to keep them busy.
Bolivia was names after Simon Bolivar who was the leader of several sovereign movements in South America during the 1800s. He is credited with leading the fight for independence in the countries known today as Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and his namesake, Bolivia.
Bolivia has a high altitude and varied climate. The highlands are cold, the valleys are temperate and the lowlands stay warm. Winter lasts from June to September, and the rainy season from December to March.
April through October is peak season for flights to Bolivia. It is the winter, however the weather is dry and generally sunny. It is the best time to visit for trekking.
November through March are off-peak months. Trekking is not possible during this time but most other travel to the country is still good. Weather varies depending on destination, especially with varied altitude.
There are a number of carriers for flights to Bolivia within the country and air is by far the most convenient and reliable means of transport. There is a regular service between La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz and all link Bolivia flights to smaller cities.
Taxis and micros (minibuses) are very popular and relatively inexpensive and can be used even for long distance travel.
The train service isn’t great in Bolivia. There are two major lines in the east and west of the country. However, only the ferrobus operates effectively. All other lines are very slow, though inexpensive.
Buses are the cheapest and relatively reliable means of travel, though breakdowns, especially in remote places, are not unusual. Roads are often poor and unpaved so driving can be tricky.