International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

Useful links

Bolivia Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Bolivia - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Bolivia due to the continuing political and social tensions and frequent illegal roadblocks throughout the country.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Demonstrations

Demonstrations and labour strikes occur frequently, often with little or no notice. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Protesters often use dynamite during protests.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)  

Roadblocks

Roadblocks are common, can be erected suddenly and can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. They have stranded travellers for several days. The following are particularly vulnerable to blockades:

  • all roads in border areas, especially along the Bolivia–Peru border
  • roads leading to international airports

Before departure, check with your airline to determine if there are delays or changes in flight schedules.

If you plan to take a road trip:

  • review your travel plans to determine if they will be affected by demonstrations or civil unrest
  • take personal security measures
  • monitor local media

Once a roadblock is in place, local authorities, officials and vendors will not be able to enter or exit the city to provide supplies to stranded travellers. As a precaution, you should take extra:

  • food
  • water
  • medication
  • warm clothing

Don’t cross roadblocks, even if they appear unattended. This may aggravate the situation and lead to physical harm. Instead, consider:

  • taking an alternative safer route
  • returning to your place of departure

Road closures and blockages – Bolivian Highway Administrator (in Spanish)

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common in large cities, including La Paz and Santa Cruz. Thieves target tourist areas and public transport.

Criminals often operate in organized groups. They will distract victims while an accomplice steals from them. Strategies include:

  • staging a fight
  • starting a conversation or offering help
  • blocking a sidewalk
  • throwing an object or liquid on the victims, then offering to help clean up
  • posing as a victim of crime
  • posing as a law enforcement officer
  • using a young child to lure a tourist to a separate location

To avoid becoming a victim of theft:

  • ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • don’t travel alone, especially at night
  • be cautious of strangers approaching you
  • remain alert to your surroundings at all times
  • avoid showing signs of affluence
  • avoid carrying large sums of money
  • keep cellphones, cameras and other electronic equipment out of sight

Violent and drug-related crime

Violent crime against tourists is uncommon but does occur. Foreigners have been victims of armed robberies and assaults at tourist destinations.

Violent crime, carjacking and civil unrest, mainly associated with drug trafficking, pose risks in:

  • the Chapare area between Santa Cruz and Cochabamba
  • the Yungas region, northeast of La Paz
  • all borders with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru

You should avoid visits to prisons offered by unscrupulous guides, as prison guards cannot guarantee your security.

Express kidnapping

Express kidnappings have occurred at tourist destinations. Criminals ask for small, immediate ransoms. The kidnappers usually force their victims to withdraw funds from an ATM or to arrange for family or friends to pay the ransom. This ploy is often used by criminal taxi drivers, who pick up the victim and then stop to pick up associates. These kidnappings are committed by organized gangs and occur throughout the country.

  • Use only reputable taxi companies or ride-sharing apps
  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • If armed criminals threaten you, cooperate and don’t resist

Car theft

Vehicle and auto-parts theft, as well as theft from vehicles, are a problem throughout Bolivia.

  • Keep valuables in the trunk, and only when necessary
  • Park your car in a supervised lot
  • Keep windows and doors locked at all times

Fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:

  • Pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • Use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • Avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • Cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • Check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Fraudulent police officers

Criminals often pose as police officers and ask to examine the traveller’s belongings or ask the traveller to accompany them to a bogus police station, sometimes in collusion with a criminal posing as a taxi driver or another passenger.

Under Bolivian law, there’s no obligation to go with an officer to a police station unless they have a formal written request from a judge with your name on it. Any search or seizure must occur at a genuine police station in the presence of the prosecutor.

If you’re stopped while travelling by someone claiming to be a local authority, ask to see their official identification.

Medical scams

Canadians visiting Bolivia for surgical procedures have reported falling victim to scams by medical companies that insist on retaining passports as collateral. Once the procedure is complete, the company attempts to extort more money from the patient before returning their passport.

If your passport is inaccessible due to such a situation, you may not be able to receive full passport services. You may also be subject to investigation by Passport Canada.

  • Carefully research medical clinics if you plan to travel to Bolivia for medical services
  • Never hand over your passport to anyone

More about overseas fraud

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Sexual assaults occur periodically, including at clubs and hostels.

  • Be cautious when dealing with strangers and new acquaintances
  • Lock your room when you return to your hotel/hostel.

More about overseas fraud

Water activities

Swimming

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Boat tours

If you take a boat tour:

  • make sure the vessel you are boarding is carrying appropriate safety equipment and that life jackets are provided for all passengers and accessible at all times
  • don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unsafe
  • verify the safety standards of ferries with your tour operator

If in doubt about the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

There are no official minimum safety standards for tour operators. 

Only participate in tours in Uyuni, jungle expeditions, boat trips, mountain biking and other adventure activities with well-established companies. Ensure that your travel insurance covers your recreational activities.

Hiking and trekking

Be vigilant when hiking or trekking:

  • in the areas surrounding La Paz, such as the Muela del Diablo
  • near Rurrenabaque
  • the Bolivian Andes
  • in the Yungas region
  • on the Inca trail

Criminals have targeted tourists in these areas.

If you intend to hike or trek:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • stay away from stray dogs, which can be aggressive and carry rabies
  • obtain detailed information on hiking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes

Spiritual cleansing ceremonies

Spiritual cleansing ceremonies involving hallucinogenic substances (ayahuasca, peyote, San Pedro, etc.) have led to serious illness, injury, assault and even the deaths of several tourists.

Ceremonies involve consuming substances that can cause medical complications and severely impair cognitive and physical abilities. They often take place in remote areas with no access to medical or mental health facilities or resources. Often, there is no access to communications with local authorities. Facilities generally lack basic first aid or emergency plans to help those suffering from physical or psychological illness during these ceremonies.

Spiritual cleansing ceremonies are not regulated and individuals offering them are not licensed. There is no way to assess the safety of any of the services or the operators.

Avoid participating in spiritual cleansing ceremonies using hallucinogenic substances.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Accidents and fatalities are common.

Although improved highways connect Cochabamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Sucre, many roads in Bolivia are unpaved. The old Yungas road is considered one of the world’s most dangerous roads.

Many vehicles are poorly maintained.

Outside major cities, four-wheel-drive vehicles are necessary, especially in mountainous areas.

Common road hazards include:

  • narrow, winding roads
  • lack of guardrails on mountain roads
  • inadequate or non-existent street lighting
  • lack of signage
  • poorly marked construction sites
  • unpaved roads and potholes
  • unfavourable weather conditions, sometimes causing landslides

Many drivers lack formal training and don’t respect traffic laws. They may drive:

  • aggressively and recklessly
  • at high speeds
  • while intoxicated
  • without lights turned on at night

Public transportation

Public transportation, including buses, trains, shared and unlicensed taxis, and mini-buses, is unsafe. The level of crime is high in vehicles and at transportation hubs. Accidents are common due to:

  • poor maintenance of vehicles
  • lack of safety standards
  • poor road conditions

Buses

Local and intercity buses are frequently involved in traffic accidents, especially overnight buses. Accidents involving less reputable, poorly maintained tourist buses have caused injuries and fatalities among tourists.

Use only tour buses operated by well-known, reputable companies for trips. If you have any doubt about the safety of a bus or its driver, use another company.

If you choose to travel by intercity bus, exercise caution in:

  • La Paz bus terminals, including the main bus terminal on Peru Avenue in Zona Norte, the terminal near the La Paz cemetery, and the Minasa terminal in Zona Villa Fatima, due to petty crime
  • the Santa Cruz bus/train terminal, where violent crimes against foreigners have occurred
  • Coronilla Hill, adjacent to the main bus terminal in Cochabamba, due to assaults

Taxis

Many taxis are poorly maintained and may not have functional seatbelts.

Avoid hailing taxis on the street. Instead, call radio taxi companies that are registered with authorities from a landline or from a hotel. Radio taxis are identifiable by the telephone number and name of the taxi company on the vehicle’s roof.

  • Take note of the taxi’s registration and telephone numbers before you depart
  • Pay special attention when taking taxis to and from airports, particularly in Santa Cruz and La Paz, where bandits are known to rob tourists
  • Decline transportation from people offering cheaper fares
  • Never share a taxi with strangers
  • Avoid taking motorcycle taxis
  • Negotiate the fare with the driver before departure, as taxis are not equipped with meters

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Useful links

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Bolivian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you arrive in Bolivia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 30 days
Business visa: required 
Student visa: required
Volunteer work visa: required

Registration

All foreign residents and tourists must register their home or accommodation address online, using the web-based registration process (SIGEMIG). This can be done prior to arrival in Bolivia.

If you have not completed the electronic registration prior to arriving in Bolivia, immigration inspectors at the port of entry will register you and give you further instructions. Your registration must include lodging information for your entire stay. If you fail to comply, you will be subject to fines upon leaving the country.

Address registration – General Directorate of Migration (in Spanish)

Extensions of stay

If you’re a tourist wishing to stay for more than 30 days, you must apply at the General Directorate of Migration to obtain a tourist visa for another 30 days before the end of the first 30-day period. This extension can be obtained twice, at no extra cost and to a maximum of 90 days during one calendar year.

If you have overstayed the 90-day period without proper authorization, you may be fined upon departure.

General Directorate of Migration - Government of Bolivia

Other entry/exit requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.

Immigration officials will give you an immigration card when you arrive. Make sure to keep it, as they will ask for it when you leave the country.

When arriving by land, ensure your passport receives an exit stamp from the country you’re leaving and an entry stamp from Bolivia. If you fail to do so, you’ll be fined upon departure. Avoid travelling at night, when border officials and police may not be present.

Children and travel

Bolivia has strict requirements for the entry and exit of persons under the age of 18, including special documentation.

Parents of children travelling alone, with 1 parent or with another individual are strongly encouraged to contact the nearest Bolivian embassy or consulate before departure to ensure that the latest entry and exit requirements, which may change without notice, are met.

Travelling with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

Recommendation

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Malaria
  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholerahepatitis Aschistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus yellow fever and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Leishmaniasis Cutaneous and mucosal

Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing facilities

Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:

Quality of health care varies greatly throughout the country. Good health care is available only in private hospitals in larger cities. Public medical services and facilities don’t meet Canadian standards. There’s limited access to health care facilities in rural areas, and very limited ambulance service throughout Bolivia. Evacuation by air ambulance can be difficult. Some air ambulance providers are unable to fly into locations at higher altitudes, such as La Paz.

Many clinics and hospitals accept payment in cash only. They may require upfront payment or refuse to allow you to leave their premises until you’ve paid for services.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive. You may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medications

If you take prescription medications, it’s your responsibility to determine their legality in Bolivia.

  • Bring sufficient quantities with you
  • Always keep them in the original container
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

Some prescription medications are considered as narcotics in Bolivia. Consult the list of controlled substances to avoid trouble.

Bolivia’s list of controlled substances – Vice Ministry of Social Defence and Controlled Substances (in Spanish)

Altitude sickness

Some parts of Bolivia, including La Paz, Salar de Uyuni and Lake Titicaca, are located at high altitudes. Some travellers may develop altitude sickness, which can be fatal. Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms.

Travel to High Altitudes – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

Bolivian drug laws include a zero tolerance policy. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.

Travellers have fallen victim to scams in which illegal drugs are hidden inside objects or luggage that an acquaintance has asked them to bring to or take away from Bolivia. Dating websites are reportedly a source of such scams.

  • Pack your own luggage
  • Never transport luggage or packages on behalf of another person

Unlicensed bars

Unlicensed bars in Bolivia are illegal. They are known to sell drugs and should be avoided. Police may detain and question you if they raid the establishment, even if you’re not consuming any illegal substances.

Useful links

Exports

It’s illegal to export any item that the Bolivian government considers a national treasure (patrimonio cultural) without formal written permission from the Ministry of Culture, including:

  • pre-Columbian artifacts
  • historical paintings
  • items of Spanish colonial architecture and history
  • native textiles
  • flora, fauna and fossils

Any type of excavation for fossils or collection of fossils without prior written authorization is illegal.

Identification checks

Police and immigration officials occasionally conduct identification checks. Carry copies of the identification and Bolivian entry stamp pages of your passport when you’re out.

Photographs

Locals may find the presence of photographers intrusive, particularly in remote areas.

  • Be careful when travelling with cameras and communications devices
  • Ask for permission before you photograph people, especially children

LGBTQ2 travellers

Bolivian law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

Homosexuality is increasingly socially accepted, but much of Bolivian society remains conservative. LGBTQ2 travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Bolivia.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Bolivia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Compulsory military service

Military service is compulsory in Bolivia. Males aged 18 or over who are dual citizens must undertake military service upon arrival in the country.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Bolivia.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Bolivia by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Bolivia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You must carry an international driving permit to rent or drive a vehicle.

The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.00%. If the police suspect you of drinking and driving, they could confiscate your driver’s licence on the spot and apply heavy fines and jail sentences.

If you’re involved in a traffic accident, remain at the scene until local police arrive. Attempting to leave the scene violates Bolivian law.

International Driving Permit

Money

The currency in Bolivia is the boliviano (BOB).

Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller or more remote tourist destinations and towns.

It’s difficult to exchange Canadian dollars in Bolivia. Bring U.S. dollars if you need to exchange cash.

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Natural disasters and climate

Rainy season

The rainy season extends from November to March.

Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged. Heavy rains may contribute to dangerous landslides. In particular, the Uyuni Salt Flats become dangerous to visit in the rainy season.

If you decide to travel to Bolivia during the rainy season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Forest fires

There is a risk of forest fires during the dry season, from July to October. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of a significant fire:

  • stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Latest alerts – Vice Ministry of Civil Defence

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 110
  • firefighters: 119
  • gender-based violence: 800-14-0348
  • ambulance service in La Paz: 165
  • tourist police in La Paz: +591-2-222-5016

Consular assistance

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.

La Paz - Embassy of Canada (Program Office)
Street Address2678, Calle Victor Sanjinés, Edificio Barcelona, 2nd Floor, Plaza España (Sopocachi), La Paz, BoliviaTelephone591 (2) 241-5141Fax591 (2) 241-4453Emaillapazconsular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-BoliviaFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Peru and BoliviaTwitter@CanadaBolivia

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Bolivia, in La Paz, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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