Airplane: the largest national airline LAB (LLoyd Aereo Boliviano) went bankrupt in 2007. AeroSur, the second national airline, flies relatively reliably. A new national airline is to be founded.
From Germany (Frankfurt / M.) As well as from Vienna and Zurich, LAN Chile and Iberia offer connections with stopovers in Madrid and Lima.
According to ehealthfacts, there are only a few airlines that offer direct flights to Bolivia, the ticket prices are usually quite high. There are no direct flights to La Paz from Europe. All flights go via the USA or South American countries. There are direct connections from Bolivia to most major South American cities, and the cheapest flights to / from Chile and Peru. Flights to La Paz are more expensive than Santa Cruz due to the cost associated with the altitude.
The cheapest flights from Europe are usually charter flights with fixed return flight dates.
Regional flight connections
Aerolíneas Argentinas flies daily between Santa Cruz and Buenos Aires and Gol Airlines flies between Santa Cruz and Rio de Janeiro, among others. AeroSur has a weekly flight between La Paz and Miami. LanChile connects La Paz with Iquique and Santiago. The Brazilian TAM Mercosur connects Asuncíon with La Paz and Santa Cruz. LanPeru flies daily from La Paz to Cusco (usually via Lima).
Other airlines that have Bolivia in their program: American Airlines and Grupo Taca.
The South American Airpassis offered by the airlines TAM and TAM Mercosul and is valid in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile (exception: Easter Island), Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay on all routes offered by these airlines. The South American Airpass is available for stays between 7 and 45 days, buyers must be outside of South America and have international round-trip travel. The Airpass must be purchased for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 countries, a maximum of 8 flight coupons are allowed (if a destination is Iguazú, the maximum number is 9). A maximum of 2 flight interruptions are allowed per country traveled. The flight route must be determined and reserved in advance. Flights may be rebooked, but the flight route cannot be changed after purchasing the Airpass.
The Oneworld Visit South America Pass is used by British Airways, American Airlines, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Iberia and Qantasoffered. It is valid in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay on all routes of the participating airlines. The pass is only sold to people living outside of South America and is valid for a maximum of 6 months after arrival in South America. The minimum number of flight coupons for this Airpass is three, there is no maximum number. Infants younger than 2 years travel free of charge, but they are not entitled to a seat. The entire route must be determined before purchasing the Airpass. Change of route or flight date changes are chargeable. Cancellations before the start of the trip are subject to a fee, after the start of the trip there is no refund of the price.
Airports: La Paz International Airport (LPB) (El Alto) is 14 km south-west of La Paz. From here, minibuses and taxis drive into the city. There is also an airport bus that runs all day (journey time around 20 minutes).
Santa Cruz International Airport (VVI) (Viru-Viru) is 10 miles from Santa Cruz. Buses and taxis also go into town here.
Ship: since Bolivia is a landlocked country, there are no direct ship connections. However, there are ways to reach Bolivia by train from the Pacific and Atlantic ports in Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Bolivia’s nearest port is 90 km from La Paz (Arica in Chile). From here there are bus and train connections to Bolivia.
The most important seaport in Bolivia is Guaqui on Lake Titicaca, from here you can reach Puno in Peru by ship.
Train: from Uyuni you can take the Tren Internacional to Calama in Chile.
In the past, the railway line between La Paz and Arica in Chile was also served, but this has been shut down.
Car: The routes from Brazil and Chile are relatively poorly developed, you should only travel to and from Paraguay with an off-road vehicle. The roads from Argentina and Peru (Pan America) are not a problem. From La Paz you can reach the Pacific coast near Ilo in Peru within 5 hours.
The Andean Strait runs from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile via Bolivia to Arequipa in Peru.
In the rainy season, smaller roads can be in poor condition, and car journeys can be difficult during this time. However, the main routes remain relatively easy to drive.
Foreigners entering Bolivia by car require a “hoja de ruta” (a traffic permit), which the Servicio Nacional de Tránsito issues at the border. This document must be presented at all police checkpoints. Tolls are often collected at these checkpoints and the vehicle is searched for contraband goods.
If your documents are in order and you are ready to answer a few questions, entering Bolivia will be no problem. At smaller border crossings it can happen that you are asked for an “exit fee” – this is not legal. Note that opening times at the Bolivian border are not always adhered to. If you plan to leave Bolivia outside of the border opening hours or at points where there are no border posts, it is usually possible to get an exit stamp at the nearest migration office before leaving.