The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before travelling to Bolivia. Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
For entry requirements for Bolivia, please contact the nearest Bolivian Embassy or Consulate
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Safety and Security
Most visits to Bolivia are trouble-free. However, occasional episodes of social unrest can affect main tourist areas, transportation and domestic and international travel. Irish citizens are advised to stay away from such demonstrations, to monitor current developments and to contact their travel agent or tour operator prior to departure.
The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Since the beginning of 2006, there have been an increasing number of violent crimes against foreign nationals. There have been reports of European nationals being attacked, robbed, sexually assaulted and threatened with murder. Some foreign tourists have been murdered. There is a continued risk of further attacks. You should remain extremely vigilant and cautious about your surroundings whilst travelling around Bolivia, especially on arrival in the country. Take the usual commonsense precautions with your valuables and travel documents.
Bolivia is a risk country for dengue fever transmission. The disease is concentrated in the Departments of Pando and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The other main outbreaks were in the areas of central Cochabamba, the tropical zones of La Paz [Department], and in the city of Riberalta, in the Beni region (northeast Bolivia) and the Tarija Department.
A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required by foreigners when entering certain high-risk areas. These areas include all of the regions of Santa Cruz, Pando and Beni, and much of Cochabamba, Tarija and northern La Paz departments. The cities of La Paz and Sucre are risk free.
Malaria risk is present throughout the country, excluding urban areas, and excluding the the highlands of La Paz (above 2500m / 8202ft) and the two southwestern provinces of Oruro and Potos.
Local Laws and Customs
Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine. In their efforts to control the production, the government have harsh penalties for those caught trafficking or in possession. You should therefore be very careful with your luggage and belongings and avoid any contact with prohibited drugs.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Floods and landslides, especially in mountainous areas, are a regular feature of the Bolivian rainy season, which runs from November to March. Roads are frequently impassable for days at a time.
The climate of Bolivia varies drastically from one ecoregion to the other, from the tropics in the eastern llanos to polar climates in the western Andes. The summers are warm, humid in the east and dry in the west, with rains that often modify temperatures, humidity, winds, atmospheric pressure and evaporation, giving place to very different climates. When the climatological phenomenon known asEl Niño takes place, it provokes great alterations in the weather. Winters are very cold in the west, and it snows around the mountain ranges, while in the western regions, windy days are more usual. The autumn is dry in the non-tropical regions.
Additional Country Info
There is a continual risk of demonstrations and strikes throughout Bolivia. These protests could affect local travel. Some interdepartmental bus routes have been disrupted as a result of a dispute between operators and the government. You should monitor local reports for updates.
There have been a number of serious road accidents recently involving jeep safari tours which have resulted in the deaths of several tourists. Travellers are encouraged to check the conditions of vehicles, to wear seatbelts at all times, and to encourage drivers to drive safely and to respect speed limits. Some of Bolivia’s principal roads are paved, but of variable quality. Most roads are unpaved rough tracks, which are graded from time to time.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
Consular affairs in the country are dealt with by the Irish Honorary Consul General, Peter O’Toole. His contact details are available in the above link.Top