We arrived in Bolivian from Peru, as we crossed the border close to the Titicaca lake. In total, we spent 17 days in Bolivia. Here are the places we visited in Bolivia:
- Isla del Sol on the Titicaca lake, from the 12.10 to the 13.10
- La Paz, from the 13.10 to the 14.10
- Rurrenabaque and its beautiful pampa, from the 15.10 to the 19.10
- Sucre and close to it, our trek in the Maragua crater, from the 20.10 to the 25.10
- Salar de Uyuni, from the 26.10 to the 28.10
Retrospectivelly, I think we rushed a little bit through the country and missed some nice points of interest. For example, we heard from other travelers that the region around the Sajama National Park is extremely beautiful and worth the detour.
In Bolivia, we spent an average of 70€/day for two persons. We were a little bit surprised, as we thought that Bolivia would be less expensive than Peru. This might be true regarding the food, but it is not for the rest. When we were in the country, 1€ was about 7 peso boliviano.
- In order to get a clean double room with windows – many rooms are without – we paid around 80 to 160 BOB per night with breakfast. On average, I would say we paid around 120 BOB per night for our accommodation.
- On average, we paid between 10BOB and 20 BOB for a lunch menu. Most of the time, we cooked our dinner at our hostel.
Activities are surprisingly expensive in Bolivia, at least when you compare it to Peru. The pampa tour we did in the jungle and the prices to visit the Maragua Crater around Sucre were definitely higher than what we expected. This and the fact that we flew to Rurrenabaque from La Paz instead of taking the bus are probably the two reasons why we spent more than what we planned in Bolivia. The tour in the Salar was also not really cheap, though totally worth it!
If you don’t fly, 25€/day/person should work out – but you won’t be able to do many activities…
In comparison to Peru, the prices of accommodations were very slighly less expensive. However, for about the same price, we definitely did not get the same quality! Here is the list of the accommodations we stayed in:
- Isla del Sol: Las Cabanas – the room had an amazing view on the Titicaca lake and the price was fair. It is located 5 minutes away from the village.
- La Paz: Journey Hostel – there are only dormitories there, so if you are looking for a private room, it is not for you. The hostel is quite nice, but don’t expect to get a good hot shower: either you burn yourself, or you freeze 😉 we also tried the Hostal Austria, but we didn’t like it, it was noisy and it smelled bad in the room.
- Rurrenabaque: El Lobo – nice hostel but a bit pricy. Actually, you probably won’t find much cheaper as Rurrenabaque is not really cheap… The double rooms are great, with a balcony overlooking the swimming pool.
- Sucre: Hostelling Senor de las 3 Caidas – very cosy accommodation where we felt at home. It is a big house with a garden and a nice living room.
The traditional bolivian food is relatively similar to the one in Peru: soup as a starter and chicken for the main dish, very often with potatoes. Close to the Titicaca lake, trouts are on every menu, cooked with many different styles – delicious! Fruits are very tasty, especially mangos. You won’t find any fruits or vegetables in Supermarket: in order to buy them, you have to go to the market. In each city we visited, we could find delilcous freshly pressed orange juice for a ridiculously cheap price – around 0,30€ 😀
Food is probably one of the reasons why we spent more than what we had planned in Bolivia. Kai and I were both sick a couple of times in Peru, therefore we were a little bit more careful when choosing our restaurants – meaning we tended to go for one recommended on Tripadvisor. It is no mystery then that we had to pay a little bit more than in an unknown local restaurant…
But on the bright side, this allowed us to eat in very nice restaurants, and still for a reasonnable price most of the time! We particularly enjoyed the Condor Cafe restaurant in Sucre and one delicious Cuban dinner in La Paz.
What we liked
The freshly pressed juices you can get at very corner made the happiness of Charlotte! Otherwise, the landscape is very often breathtaking in Bolivia and we loved it: the pampa around Rurrenabaque, the quietness of the Isla del Sol on the Titicaca lake, the amazing Salar de Uyuni…
We also loved the feeling of Rurrenabaque! The city is small and it seems like time just doesn’t matter there – and the caipirinha were really delicious 😉
What we liked less
Both of us didn’t enjoy La Paz, the city was just to big for us – and we didn’t really feel safe. We met people who enjoyed their stay there, but on average travellers we talked to didn’t really like La Paz.
It is certainly a great starting point for many excursions, especially regarding the surrounding 6000+ m mountains. We even considered climbing the Huayna Potosi, but Charlotte was not feeling 100% fit at that time. As we didn’t want to spend more time in La Paz than necessary, we decided not to wait any longer and moved on.