How to get to Bolivia

Bolivia, a land of breathtaking landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and vibrant cities attracts 1.2 million travellers a year. However, reaching this destination requires some planning, especially given its location in the heart of South America and the limited number of direct flights. In this guide, we'll provide comprehensive information on how to get to Bolivia from various parts of the world, with tips from our local travel experts.

Airfares to Bolivia reflect the lack of competition, and are comparatively high. Prices depend on the season: high season runs from July to August and during Christmas and Easter; fares drop during the shoulder seasons (May–June & Sept–Oct) and even more during low season (Jan–April & Nov to late Dec).

Flights from the US and Canada

Flying to Bolivia from the US and Canada is relatively straightforward, with several options to consider. Direct flights from the US are limited, but American Airlines offers services from Miami to Santa Cruz. 

Most flights from the US and Canada require a layover, often in hubs such as Miami, Panama City, or Bogotá. Popular airlines for these routes include Avianca, Copa Airlines, and LATAM. 

  • A direct flight from Miami to Santa Cruz de la Sierra takes approximately 7 to 8 hours, while a flight from Los Angeles to La Paz may take around 10 to 12 hours
  • You can expect to pay roughly $600 to $900 for a round-trip ticket.

Flights from the UK and Ireland

Travelling to Bolivia from the UK and Ireland generally involves one or more layovers, as there are no direct flights. Common connecting cities include Madrid, Miami, and São Paulo. British Airways, Iberia, and LATAM are popular choices for these routes, offering a range of connections to both La Paz and Santa Cruz. From Ireland, Aer Lingus or Ryanair can connect you to major airports across Europe.

  • The total journey time is typically between 15 to 20 hours.
  • Flights from the UK to Bolivia typically range from £500 to £1,000
  • Flights from Ireland to Bolivia typically range from €600 to €1,200.

Flights from Australia and New Zealand

If you're planning a trip to Bolivia from Australia or New Zealand, you’ll find that there aren't any direct flights, but you can easily get there with a couple of connections.

A popular route is to fly from Sydney, Melbourne, or Auckland to Santiago, Chile. From there, you can catch a connecting flight to El Alto International Airport in La Paz or Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Airlines like LATAM and Qantas have flights to Santiago.

Another good option is to fly to Los Angeles or Miami in the United States, then hop on a connecting flight to Bolivia. American Airlines has flights from these US cities to Bolivia, so you'll have plenty of choices.

  • Flights from Australia to Bolivia typically range from AUD 1,500 to AUD 3,000.
  • Flights from New Zealand to Bolivia typically range from NZD 1,600 to NZD 3,200.
  • The journey can be lengthy, often exceeding 25 hours including layovers.

Travelling overland from neighbouring countries

You can enter Bolivia by land on regular bus services from all five of the countries with which it shares a border – Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Paraguay – which makes the country easy to include in a wider South American trip.

  • Peru: The most popular and straightforward route is from Puno in Peru, via the Kasani border crossing near Copacabana or Desaguadero. Both crossings are an easy bus ride (around 4 hours) from La Paz.
  • Brazil: From Brazil, the main entry point is Quijarro, near the Brazilian city of Corumbá. From Quijarro, you can take a train to Santa Cruz (13.5-18.5 hours). Another option is entering at San Matías, a day’s bus journey from San Ignacio in Chiquitania. In the Amazon region, you can cross from Brasiléia to Cobija or Guajará-Mirim to Guayaramerín.
  • Chile: There are three main routes from Chile. You can take a bus from Arica on the Pacific coast via Tambo Quemado, catch the weekly train from Calama to Uyuni via Avaroa, or go on a jeep tour from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni, crossing at Laguna Verde.
  • Argentina: There are two main crossings from Argentina: La Quiaca to Villazón in the southern Altiplano, with connections to Tupiza, Uyuni, and Oruro, and Pocitos to Yacuiba in the Chaco, with routes to Santa Cruz or Tarija. There's also a minor crossing at Bermejo, south of Tarija.
  • Paraguay: During the dry season (May–September), you can take an arduous bus journey from Asunción to Santa Cruz (roughly 1,000 km/24 hours).
Zara Sekhavati

written by
Zara Sekhavati

updated 29.05.2024

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