New Zealand Government advice for Bolivia
When travelling to Bolivia, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Bolivia.
There is some risk to your security in Bolivia due to civil unrest and violent crime and we advise caution.
The political situation in Bolivia is unpredictable. Protests are frequent and there is a continuing risk of strikes and demonstrations that have the potential to result in violence. Roadblocks and disruptions to transport, particularly in tourist areas, are also common.
New Zealanders in Bolivia should exercise a high degree of caution, monitor the local media and avoid demonstrations. No attempt should be made to pass or go around roadblocks. If you are already in an area affected by demonstrations or violence you should remain indoors or in a safe location, follow any advice issued by local authorities and consider leaving the area when it is safe to do so.
Violent crime against foreigners, including armed robbery, is increasing particularly in tourist areas like La Paz and Santa Cruz. “Organised” robberies could involve attempts to distract or deceive tourists by posing as police officers or fellow tourists.
“Express kidnappings” have also been reported in Bolivia, where criminals abduct a victim for a short amount of time and force them to withdraw funds from their bank account. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend you use ATMs which are located within bank branches and during daylight hours only. Particular care should be taken at land border crossings with Chile and Peru.
Throughout the country, care should be taken when using public transport. There has been an increase in express kidnappings and robberies involving taxis. Do not use unmarked taxis, and if travelling by bus, try to use direct routes wherever possible.
The tourist police number with English speaking operators is:
In La Paz: 222 5016
In Bolivia but outside La Paz: 02 222 5016
New Zealanders travelling or living in Bolivia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Bolivia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
See our regional advice for Central/South America