Everything you need to know about backpacking in Bolivia in our ultimate beginner’s guide.
When you say the words “South America”, Bolivia’s probably not at the tip of your tongue.
There’s no arguing that its capital, Sucre is a world away from bohemian Buenos Aires or that its high-altitude cities and absence of coastline means it lacks the vibrancy of Brazil’s sun-soaked beaches and spirited cities.
Despite this, backpacking in Bolivia is a rewarding, exhilarating experience – but only for those looking for a real adventure.
Before you go, you need to realise that Bolivia is unique compared with all of the other countries in South America.
It’s a place where you can find into some of the most diverse, untouched parts of the Amazon Rainforest, hikes through mind-boggling landscapes in the Andes Mountains and days exploring its elegant, colonial towns – all while getting your head around Spanish and the country’s heritage.
Of course, there’s no escaping the fact that Bolivia is one of the poorest South American countries.
But by backpacking in Bolivia as a conscientious, responsible foreign tourist is an important way of boosting tourism and the local economy, while seeing a part of the continent that a surprisingly small number of other travellers ever do.
So whether you’ve been considering travelling in Bolivia or the thought of discovering this beautiful, traditionally South American country hasn’t yet crossed your mind, let me introduce you to the basics with this Bolivia travel guide.
Discover the places you need to visit, the adventure activities you can’t miss and other important considerations for safe and unmissable travel in Bolivia.
READ MORE: Check out our brand new guide to help you travel to Bolivia!
A Guide to Backpacking in Bolivia
Bolivia is an outstanding place to explore and, as someone who lived there for close to a year both volunteering and travelling, I am constantly trying to persuade unconvinced travellers of the rewards of going there.
No, the buses aren’t the most comfortable, yes, it’s sometimes dirty and smelly and if you go in expecting everyone to speak English, you’ll be rudely awakened.
But if you go in with a little bit of Spanish, respect for the local people and a sense of adventure, you’ll have an incredible experience.
General Advice for Backpacking Bolivia
- People don’t speak English, except in…