Bolivia - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events
Facts for the traveller for BoliviaVisas: Regulations change frequently, but currently citizens of Japan and most EU countries can stay 90 days without a visa; citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can stay 30 days without a visa. Most other nationalities require a visa in advance - usually issued for a 30-day stay.
Health risks: Altitude Sickness, Chagas' Disease, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis, Malaria, Rabies, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever
Time: GMT/UTC -4
Dialling Code: 591
Electricity: 220V ,50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
When to Go to Bolivia
Bolivia lies in the southern hemisphere; winter runs from May to October and summer from November to April. The most important climatic factor to remember is that it's generally wet in the summer and dry in the winter.
While the highlands and altiplano can be cold in the winter and wet in the summer, the only serious barrier to travel will be the odd road washout. In the tropical lowlands, however, summer can be miserable with mud, steamy heat, bugs and relentless downpours. Travel is difficult, and services may be stifled by mud and flooding.
Also consider that the high tourist season falls in the winter (late June to early September), due not only to climatic factors, but also to the timing of European and North American summer holidays and the fact that it's also Bolivia's major fiesta season. This means that both overseas visitors and lots of South Americans are travelling during this period.
Bolivian fiestas are invariably of religious or political origin, normally commemorating a Christian or Indian saint or god, or a political event such as a battle or revolution. The festivities typically include lots of folk music, dancing processions, food, alcohol, ritual and generally unrestrained behavior. Major fiestas include Fiesta de la Virgen de Candelaria, a week-long festival in the virgin's honor, best seen in Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca (early February); Carnaval is a nationwide event but is best seen in Oruro (the week before Lent); Phujllay is held in Tarabuco to commemorate the Battle of Lumbati (early March); the animated Festividad de Nuestro Señor Jesús del Gran Poder is held in La Paz to celebrate the power of Jesus Christ (May-June); and Independence Day is a riotous nationwide party (6 August).