Bolivia 2 weeks
Replies: 11 - Last Post: May 11, 2012 10:02 PM Last Post By: vistet
May 10, 2012 1:03 PM
Bolivia 2 weeksI've only got 11->13 days holiday and was looking into Bolivia but have a few questions
1) Is it possible to get around 3 sights in this time given infrastructure? and what kind of transport is there eg minibuses available like Asia or just buses?
2) I would be flying straight from London to La Paz and no time for stop off - Is Altitude sickness going to be an issue do others go straight there or via Peru first? I coped with 3200m in Nepal over 3 day trek
3) I know next to no Spanish - Are there backpacker routes were you can kind of make it along?
May 10, 2012 2:05 PM
11. Depend what sites you are after, always aim for flights, your limited time is not suitable to use buses and minibuses
2. Altitude would be a problem, I've been many times over 4000m, but you loose you acclimatization when you go below. Flying from sea level can cause some discomfort, but no one knows how you will react.
3. You will pay premium for not knowing the language, and it will be hassle to get around with public transport, taxis etc. Bolivia is not like SEA, almost no one speaks English, some tour agencies yes, but that's it. I suggest to start learning ASAP
May 10, 2012 2:21 PM
2Cheers it sounds like Bolivia may be better as a bigger "Part of S America" trip rather than spur of the moment 2 week holiday.
May 10, 2012 2:37 PM
3It definitely is, it's a place when things are slow. Being stressed that things are not going according to schedule can spoil your trip. Save Bolivia for the time when you more time. I would choose something closer to Europe for that limited time.
Note that flights are usually expensive, as there is no direct connection to Europe, so it's really not worth it.
May 10, 2012 8:10 PM
4Your Nepali experience gives no clue - that´s within guidelines , and flying in to La Paz is outside. I acclimatize better than average , and count the first day on a flyin or a drive to the same altitude in the Himalayas as a write off . Many do worse.
Medical consensus : use Diamox , start 24 hours before the flyin , but don´t expect this to be a magic fix. See a doc for this and make sure you are not allergic to sulfa medication.
May 11, 2012 2:29 AM
5I agree...better to choose Bolivia as part of a longer SA trip...or spend more time there.
You don't have the time to do it any justice at all.......
May 11, 2012 8:29 PM
6Yeah, altitude is likely to be a problem and slow you down. And Bolivia is not the best place to be if you don't speak any Spanish & are in a rush! LOL!!
If you only have such a short time (and no Spanish) why not consider a tour with one of the 'adventure' companies like G Adventures, Intrepid, Peregrine etc? Many people on here do not recommend tours (being a forum for independent travelers) but in your situation it could be a good option. My first ever trip was with GAP Adventures to Peru... and I've been coming back independently ever since :-)
Something like this - which gets you straight out of La Paz to avoid altitude problems!! Yes, of course the tours are an expensive way to do it, but they are designed to make life easy for people with limited vacation time.
May 11, 2012 8:40 PM
7"..straight out of La Paz to avoid altitude problems!!"
First night at 3650 , second night 2750 , third ...4090. Hardly ideal.
May 11, 2012 9:14 PM
May 11, 2012 9:31 PM
9OK then..sloppy reading. Still a bit glossy to call this a way to avoid altitude problems , with the first night in La Paz and a 1300+ meters jump in sleeping elevation to Potosi.
Edited by: vistet
May 11, 2012 9:47 PM
10OK then, it was a bit glossy - what I meant to say is that it would be a way to minimise being slowed down by altitude problems... rather than spending several of your 11 days in La Paz to acclimatise, this takes you straight to a lower elevation. And because your transport & accommodation is all arranged for you and you're supervised, you can sleep (or attempt to do so) on the bus / minivan and not worry about where you're going or how you're getting there :-)
You are going to feel some effects of altitude in Bolivia no matter HOW you travel. Peru might be a better option for whistle-stop tour - similar culture / feel, but at slightly lower elevations.
May 11, 2012 10:02 PM
11First night below or above 3000 is a key factor - I´d check if there are any same day flights to Sucre. On a short trip every wasted day starts to mean a lot , so it makes sense to spend some money and time to get the first nights right. Make every day count.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$8.67 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$69.69 per night