The 13 Most Important Things Tourists In Bolivia Should Never Do.
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Due to interminable delays and a notoriously informal service industry, travelling in Bolivia can be difficult at times. A trip across the country doesn’t have to be frustrating if you have the appropriate information and plenty of patience.
Apart from all of the things you should do and see in Bolivia, there are a few things you should avoid.
Continue reading to learn what not to do in Bolivia to make your trip go more smoothly.
Keeping yourself safe while visiting in Bolivia
When people learn that I live in Bolivia, they frequently inquire about my safety.
Yes, it is true! Living in La Paz, I am always completely at ease taking public transportation and coming home alone after midnight.
The key to staying safe everywhere you go is to be aware of your surroundings. Bolivia is no exception.
But here are my top thirteen safety and awareness advice for Bolivia:
Turn Down A Gift From A Local
If a Bolivian offers you a present, you should almost always accept it. Politely declining a local’s kindness is considered exceedingly impolite and may even be considered a personal affront. So, no matter how bad or unwelcome your new gift is, simply smile and say “gracias.”
Tap Water Is Safe To Drink
While certain parts of the country claim to have potable tap water, it’s best not to take any chances. Bolivia’s water delivery infrastructure lags well behind that of the industrialised world, thus parasites and other nastiness are likely to abound. Small amounts can be safely swallowed in metropolitan regions when brushing your teeth or eating washed veggies, for example.
On An Overnight Bus, Forget To Bring A Blanket
When travelling overnight in Bolivia, the most common mistake is forgetting to bring sufficient of warm clothing. Outside, temperatures in the Andean mountains drop well below freezing at night, and onboard heating is almost never available. So, while boarding an overnight bus, do like the natives do and dress as warmly as possible.
The Night Before A Death Road Tour, Go Out Drinking
Getting pissed the night before this extremely risky journey is considered a badge of honour by many raucous hikers. In actuality, it’s both ridiculous and quite hazardous. On this harrowing drop, you’ll need all of your wits, so skip the beers the night before if you want to survive the world’s most dangerous road.
Expect Everyone To Communicate In English
In Bolivia, as in the rest of South America, English is not widely spoken. Only the upper crust and those in the tourism industry speak the language, with the majority unable to comprehend anything. So brush up on your Spanish or prepare for some inventive charades games while you travel across the country.
Ignore The Zebras
Any large Bolivian city’s downtown areas are a chaotic tangle of blaring cabs and snarling buses pushing for space. Each day, a group of friendly zebras takes to the streets to provide some order to the chaos. You’ll be OK if you follow their lead. If you don’t, you can expect to be publically humiliated in front of a gaggle of locals.
Photograph The Locals
Many indigenous Bolivians, who make up the majority of the population, dislike having their pictures taken, particularly the more traditional and elderly members of society, who are also the most photogenic. Before taking a picture, always seek permission, and don’t be surprised if you have to pay.
Expect Everything To Run Smoothly
At most, the Bolivian attitude toward timeliness could be classified as casual. Things run late all the time, whether it’s buses, tours, meetings, or social gatherings (especially social occasions). There are also things to contend with, such as poor road conditions, strikes, and blockades. Take it all in stride and remember that in Bolivia, patience is a virtue.
Expect Excellent Client Service
Bolivian customer service is likewise quite informal, with many waiters and merchants appearing disinterested by Western standards. Remember that many of these workers work long hours for little pay before becoming enraged and publishing a critical TripAdvisor review. There is also not the same cultural value placed on customer service as there is in the industrialised countries.
Drinking In Public Places
Despite Bolivia’s fondness for alcohol, public use is prohibited. The only time viewers are required to have a cerveza in hand is during one of the country’s many colourful parades.
Believe The Undercover Cop Who Wants To Do A Narcotics Search On You
These are the infamous phoney cops that want nothing more than to lead you to a remote location and take your possessions. Real cops will only bother a tourist if there is an obvious crime, so don’t believe these con artists, no matter how convincing they appear to be. If they persist, simply create a scenario and watch them vanish.
Expect To Be Charged By Credit Card
Only a few expensive businesses, hotels, and restaurants accept credit cards in Bolivia, so cash reigns supreme. However, ATMs are ubiquitous in cities, so this should not be an issue.
You Should Spend All Of Your Time In Cities
Bolivia’s true beauty stems in her stunning natural beauty. There’s no shortage of stunning natural landscapes to appreciate in this large and diverse country, from hot Amazonian jungles to snow-capped Andean highlands. So get out of town and see some of Bolivia’s magnificent national parks.
Traveling in Bolivia can be scary for a first-time visitor to South America. Given Bolivia’s many tourism attractions, there isn’t a lot of information readily available for visitors.
Bolivian travel does not have to be frightening or difficult, and there are far too many incredible sights and experiences to be missed.
Bolivia is, in the end, a fantastic country with a lot to see, see, and experience. Don’t allow fear prevent you from seeing this incredible place.
To make your vacation a unique, gratifying experience that you will never forget, be observant, flexible, and jump on a micro or two.
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