Authentic artefacts can be bought in local markets and shops such as weavings, woodwork and ceramics Leather, and hammocks.
Bolivian cuisine stems mainly from the combination of Spanish cuisine with traditional Indigenous Aymara ingredients, with later influences from the Europeans. The three traditional staples of Bolivian cuisine are corn, potatoes, and beans. These ingredients have been combined with a number of staples brought by the Spanish, such as rice, wheat, and meat, such as beef, pork, and chicken. Almuerzo is the most important meal of the Bolivian day, so much so that daily life tends to revolve around it. Long lunches are traditional throughout the country, so businesses and shops often close for lunch. A typical Bolivian lunch would consist of several courses, including a soup, a main course of meat, rice, and potatoes, then a dessert and coffee and traditionally followed by a siesta.
Light informal clothing is worn all year round and for most activities. Exceptions are the winter season in the Southern areas, where warmer clothes are necessary, and dinner in the more sophisticated restaurants where formal clothing is expected. Those intending to stay in Amazon-Jungle or Pantanal- Marshlands lodges should pack light comfortable clothes, hat, swimsuit, long sleeve shirts, rain coat, sunglasses, suntan lotion, binoculars and a torch.
The best time to travel in the highlands is during the dry season, (April to October), this is the cooler winter period. In the southern altiplano the sky will be blue but it will be very cold, dropping to many degrees below freezing at night. For most trips the dry season is best because the weather is stable and the roads are in good condition. The summer rainy season from November to March can cause transport problems in the highlands, while the eastern lowlands are warm and steamy year-round. Depending on your activity and region you are traveling to, weather, road or river conditions may warrant travel only during certain seasons.
In general shopping hours are from 0900am to 1200pm, then siesta for two hours and resume from 1400pm to 1900pm. Many businesses open earlier and stay open later. Banks in general open from 0900am to 1200pm and from 1430pm to 1700pm and some open on Saturdays from 0930am to 1200pm.
Voltage in some parts of the country is 110 volts, and 220 volts in some others. Major hotels have double
voltage. Please pack a converter and an adaptor.
The official language in Bolivia is Spanish, but Aymara, Quechua and Guarani are also spoken. In addition to this, there are different linguistic groups throughout the various regions of Bolivia. The aborigines that inhabit Bolivian territory have different physical characteristics and other defining traits such as language structure that have traditionally classified them into three groups: Andino, Tupi Guarani, and Araguaco or Arawacan.
The Bolivian currency is the Boliviano. Bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 bolivianos; in coins of 1, 2 and 5 bolivianos, and in 10, 20, and 50 Bolivian cents. There are banks and exchange booths within the airport where you can exchange your currency for bolivianos. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are found in Bolivia’s main cities. The most widely accepted credit cards in Bolivia are American Express, Visa, and Master Card. Foreign currencies, in cash and travellers cheques, can be exchanged in banks, “casas de cambio” (exchange booths or stores) and hotels. The majority of transactions that take place are with American dollars and Euros, although in some places transactions are also done with less common foreign currency.
A passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay in Bolovia is required by all Nationals.
Ensure you have at least one blank page for stamps before travelling.
Visas are not required by Australian, British, Canadian, and most EU nationals when travelling for touristic purposes. You will be granted an initial 30 day stay which you can extend for a further 60 days.