Bolivia Passport Visa Requirement
Bolivia Passport Visa | With its ice-capped Andean peaks, crystalline lagoons, rugged lowlands, Amazonian rainforest, terraced valleys and windswept altiplano, landlocked Bolivia is a virtual showcase of South America’s most dramatic landscapes.
About Bolivia Country
Its iconic sights include Lake Titicaca, spiritual home of the Inca creation myth and highest navigable lake in the world; the Salar de Uyuni, highest and largest salt lake on earth; and La Paz, the world’s highest de facto capital. The panorama of the city’s ramshackle roofs sprawled across the basin beneath the mighty Mt Illampú is surely one of the most awesome views in the Americas.
The country’s greatest treasures are the Bolivians themselves. Nearly two thirds of the people are of indigenous origin, preserving the continent’s purest cultural roots, which, for visitors, means a dazzling array of colourful festivals, mysterious rituals, haunting folklore music, magical markets and dazzling costumed dances.
While bespoke tourism is emerging, there are also plenty of long bus journeys over precipitous mountain passes, rough-and-tumble jeep trips across empty landscapes and chilly nights at high altitude in budget hostels under llama wool blankets.
Bolivia’s cities encapsulate the country’s staggering contrasts. La Paz mixes both traditional and modern culture in a frenzy of collisions. Weave your way through the backstreets where cosmopolitan restaurants and lively bars compete with witch markets and speeding minibuses. By contrast, Santa Cruz has a younger vibe: famous for its spirited Carnival, it’s the booming hub of the tropical eastern lowlands. Colonial Sucre and Potosí are chronicles of Bolivia’s past – whitewashed mansions, gilt-lined churches, monumental plazas, and steep cobbled streets. While Tupiza and Uyuni offer something different altogether: the isolated culture of Altiplano towns.
From jungle greenery to vast white salt plains and wildlife-filled wetlands, the sweep of landscapes can be overwhelming: one day you can find yourself walking through a canyon of rock formations, the next volcanic geysers and endless stretches of white salt. It is this smorgasbord of remarkable features which keeps trips to Bolivia varied, alive and unforgettable.
Pleas Note: Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel. See also: List of countries with Visa Application form
Bolivia Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
A passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay in Bolivia is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
Ensure you have at least one blank page available 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 two times for further 30 days free of charge.
US citizens require a visa and can obtain this in advance or on entry, where it must be paid for in cash; ensure your US Dollar bills are in good condition. The US Department of State advises travellers to obtain visas in advance from the embassy, as it may not always be possible to buy one on arrival.
1. Nationals of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Romania do require a visa to enter Bolivia.
Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.
Types and Cost
The cost of tourist and transit visas for Bolivia depends on the nationality of the traveller; enquire at the embassy (or consular section at the embassy). For US travellers, a tourist visa costs US$160 and a specific purpose visa (eg for business) costs US$85. For nationals of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Romania, the visa is free of charge.
Tourist visas for Bolivia are valid for 30 days from the date of entry. For US citizens only, this visa can be used for up to three trips per year within a 10-year period, up to a maximum of 90 days per year.
Specific purpose visas for all nationalities are valid for 30 days and can be renewed at the immigration office in Bolivia.
Bolivia transit visas are only required by those who need a visa to enter the country in the first place.
Consulate (or consular section at embassy).
For temporary stays you will need the following: a valid passport with a specific purpose visa; a notarised document addressed to the Undersecretary of Migration requesting temporary stay; a work contract specifying duration of the stay; criminal record certificate; proof of permanent address; application for temporary residency and a completed application form. The government reserves the right to grant or reject foreigners. Enquire at your embassy or consulate for further details.
Allow seven working days for visa processing.
Showing a credit card will suffice.
Other than a passport you may need a return flight ticket or onward journey proof and a yellow fever certificate if arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Extension of stay
You can extend your initial 30-day for a further 60 days. Visa-exempt travellers may only stay for up to 90 days per year. If you wish to stay longer, you should contact your local Bolivian embassy or the Department of Immigration in La Paz.
If travelling on a visa, you have to be able to show the Department of Immigration justifiable cause for an extension.
Entry with pets
To enter Bolivia with pets you need a certificate from a licensed vet, ideally issued no more than 10 days prior to travel, and an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate. It’s advisable to take Spanish translations.
Embassies and tourist offices
Embassy of Bolivia in the USA
Telephone: (202) 483 4410 or 232 4827 (consular section).
Address: NW, 3014 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC, 20008,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0900-1500.
Embassy of Bolivia in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7235 4248.
Address: , 106 Eaton Square, London, SW1W 9AD,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0935-245.
British Embassy in Bolivia
Telephone: (2) 243 3424.
Address: , Avenida Arce No.2732, Casilla (PO Box) 694, La Paz, ,
Opening times:Mon-Thurs 0830-1230 and 1330-1700; Fri 0830-1330; Mon-Thurs 0900-1200 (visa section).
Bolivia Health Care and Vaccinations
* Risk varies from area to area (as does resistance to preventative drugs); check before travel.
** A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over one year of age traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. As of 17 February 2017, the Ministry of Health of Bolivia has indicated that those visiting yellow fever risk areas in Bolivia (areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains, including Beni, Pando, and Santa Cruz) should carry a yellow fever vaccination card.
Medical insurance is strongly recommended. In case of a medical emergency, La Paz has several reliable, private clinics, such as Clinica Alemana and CEMES. In big cities like La Paz, the pharmacies have a rota system whereby at least one will stay open for 24 hours a day. You can find familiar drugs without prescription here, and often the pharmacists can advise whether you need to see a doctor. In La Paz and Santa Cruz, English-speaking doctors are fairly easy to find. Remember to keep all receipts of treatment so you can claim back costs. In rural areas it is harder to find good medical facilities.
Food and Drink
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should be boiled or otherwise sterilised (iodine tablets or tincture are good options). It is best to avoid drinking tap water entirely while in Bolivia. Bottled water is purified (though check the seal as they are sometimes refilled in stores). All branded milk products are pasteurised; powdered or tinned milk is also available. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, and vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Be wary of street stalls or anything that has been reheated.
Vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), commonly known as altitude sickness or soroche, can affect anyone and care should be taken. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, breathlessness, headaches and a rapid heartbeat. Drugs can be bought from local pharmacies, or you can try coca tea which the locals swear by. Allow time to acclimatise to high altitude, especially upon arrival in Altiplano cities.
Upset stomachs are common with travellers passing through Bolivia, caused either by contaminated food or water, or adjustment to new bacteria. Drink plenty of liquids and rehydration salts. If it continues for more than five days it’s best to consult a doctor.
Make sure to bring suntan lotion, especially when visiting Lake Titicaca or the Altiplano. While it may not be hot, the sun up here is strong and many people do not realise they are burning. Lotion can be expensive in the pharmacies, so bring your own from home.
Take extra precautions to prevent against mosquito bites because of the risk of dengue fever in Eastern departments. Affected provinces are Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Pando, Santa Cruz and Tarija. If you’re going into the Amazon, anti-malaria tablets are necessary – check with your local travel clinic beforehand. Mosquito netting, repellent spray or lotion (with at least 35% DEET content) and electric plugs are the best types of repellent.
Rabies still exists in Bolivia, so if you’re spending time in remote areas or are in contact with animals, it’s worth having the vaccine.
Other health threats include stings and bites from insects which can be treatable by hydrocortisone from a local pharmacy. It is always best to bring a first aid kit with you, especially when travelling to remote areas. Antiseptic cream, insect repellent, waterproof plasters, surgical tape, antihistamine, rehydration salts, paracetamol and water sterilisation tablets are all useful.
Bolivia Public Holidays
New Year’s Day
12 February to 13 February
All Saint’s Day
Money and duty-free for Bolivia
Currency and Money
Notes are in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 bolivianos. Coins are in denominations of Bs5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 centavos. Bolivianos are sometimes referred to as pesos.
The Boliviano is tied to the US Dollar. Due to the relative weakness of the Bolivian economy, the boliviano remains vulnerable and so many businesses operate in US dollars. Most hotels and tour operators quote in dollars and will accept payment in either currency. Smaller shops, stalls and local businesses will only accept bolivianos.
Change and coins are in very short supply in Bolivia, which is something of a vicious circle as local buses, shops and taxis often won’t accept big denomination notes. Try to break big notes wherever possible – namely hotels, restaurants, large stores and bus companies.
Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted in most mid- to top-range hotels and restaurants, but otherwise have limited acceptance. American Express is rarely accepted. It is best to carry cash with you – there are ATMs in most larger towns and cities.
There are ATMs in most of the larger towns and cities. Even the smaller towns have at least one bank with an ATM, and there are ATMs available at the larger airports. Enlace is the nationwide network from which you can withdraw either US dollars or bolivianos. Sometimes in smaller towns, banks will offer international withdrawals for a small fee over the counter.
US Dollar and Euro travellers’ cheques are accepted in the large cities, but outside are useless. Pound Sterling travellers’ cheques are not widely accepted. It is best to carry cash with you when travelling to smaller towns.
Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1430-1700, and Sat 0900-1300.
There are no import restrictions on local and foreign currency, but the import and export of amounts between US$50,000 and US$500,000 must be authorized by the Central Bank, and sums exceeding US$500,000 must be authorized by the Ministry of Economics and Public Finance through a ministerial resolution. Export of currencies is allowed up to the amounts imported and must be declared.
Money can be changed in hotels and casas de cambio. There are also plenty of money street changers if there are no official exchanges available, but be sure to check for forged notes in these cases. The boliviano is the preferred currency with exchange against the euro now preferred to the dollar.
Bolivia duty free
The following goods may be imported into Bolivia by persons over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 450 cigarettes or cigars or 500g of tobacco.
• 3L of alcoholic beverages.
• New articles up to a maximum of US$1,000.
Prohibited imports include illegal drugs, unauthorised guns, explosives and ammunition, knives and deadly weapons, counterfeit money and goods, and pornographic material.
Restricted imports include pharmaceutical and medical products, live animals and animal products, wild products, cheese, milk, raw meat, and other food and drinks. You must declare these, and cannot import them without authorisation.
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