[All content and prices updated July 2013]

Why you should add Bolivia to your Indie/RTW trip

Bolivia has two faces. One face is sweating in the dense jungle, the other is shivering at the top of a high mountain. Considered the most remote of South America’s countries, Bolivia has much to offer the rugged traveler looking to really escape both the hassles and the comforts of home.

  • Travel in Bolivia is not easy, but those who brave it will be rewarded with some of the most surreal, beautiful, amazing, and jaw-dropping landscapes on the planet.
  • If you’re looking to explore the Amazon basin, Bolivia is the cheapest place in South America to do so.
  • Speaking of cheap, Bolivia is probably the cheapest country in South America to travel in. Indie travelers can get by here on about $25USD per day – extreme budget travelers even less!
  • Want to get away from the crowds in the Peruvian Andes? Head to Bolivia and challenge yourself with some top notch hikes, and have the mountains all to yourself.
  • Jungles, mountains, salt flats, and the highest lake and capital city in the world – explore them all in a week in Bolivia.
  • The ancient Samaipata ruins are located just two hours east of Santa Cruz and the UNESCO endorsed Tiwanaku archaeological site is said to be an amazing and peaceful destination where they work to uncover Bolivia’s history.


There are daily flights to La Paz from North America and Europe, and both flights and trains from South America. The train system in Bolivia is seemingly always being overhauled and trains vary in quality. Trains are cheaper than flights but may not be worth the extra time and the extra cold if you’re not of the disposition that shared discomfort with locals makes traveling worthwhile. Travel by bus in Bolivia is the norm for indie travelers, but be prepared for little comfort, bumpy rides, and white-knuckled adventures.


La Paz is Bolivia’s capital city, the highest capital in the world, and home to much of Bolivia’s lodging. The accommodations run the gambit of quality, but you would have stopped reading long ago if you were looking for five star resorts.

Bolivia’s hostels are widespread around the country and are a very cheap accommodation option.