Sleeping

There is no strictly regulated terminology for categories of accommodation in Bolivia, but the following terms generally reflect the size and quality of an establishment (from largest and best, to smallest and simplest):
hotel
,
hostal
,
residencial
, and
alojamiento
. A
casa de huéspedes
is a family-run guesthouse. A
pensión
is a simple restaurant, not a place to sleep. It is best to book in advance during school holidays and local festivals .

Away from the main cities, high-end hotels are scarce. Getting off the beaten track usually means sacrificing comfort, and sometimes standards of hygiene. Prices are low in Bolivia, but not uniformly so. The eastern part of the country tends to be a bit more expensive, especially the city of Santa Cruz. Smaller places that see plenty of tourists, such as Coroico, Rurrenabaque, Sorata or Copacabana, on the other hand, are full of good-value accommodation. Even in La Paz it is possible to find a clean, comfortable hotel room, usually with a shared bathroom, for around US$5 per person. There are seasonal variations in hotel prices in resort towns, and prices can rise during public holidays and festivals. Some hotels may impose a curfew; around 2400 in La Paz but earlier in small towns, ask before you go out.

Youth hostels
or self-styled 'backpackers' are not necessarily cheaper than hotels. A number of mid-range
residenciales
are affiliated to
Hostelling International (HI)
, www.hostellingbolivia.org
; some others just say they are. Another website listing hostels is www.boliviahostels.com, but they are not necessarily affiliated to HI.

Camping

Camping is best suited to the wilderness areas of Bolivia, away from towns, villages and people. Organized campsites, car or trailer camping does not exist here. Because of the abundance of cheap hotels you should never have to camp in populated areas, except for cyclists who may be stuck between larger towns. In this case the best strategy is to ask permission to camp on someone's private land, preferably within sight of their home for safety. Arrive in daylight and pitch your tent as it gets dark; ask permission to camp from the parish priest, or the fire chief, or the police, or a farmer regarding his own property; never ask a group of people - especially young people. If you can't get information from anyone, camp in a spot where you can't be seen from the nearest inhabited place, or road, and ensure that no one saw you go there.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
Products in this Region

Bolivia Handbook

Bolivia is home to enormous biodiversity: surreal volcanic landscapes, lush valleys, enormous salt...

Peru, Bolivia & Ecuador Handbook

Tracing the range of the Andes - the geographical and cultural spine of South America - Peru,...

South American Handbook 2016

South America is epic. Home to the world's highest waterfall, the longest mountain range and the...
PDF Downloads

  No PDFs currently available

Digital Products

Available NOW!
Read more...