When coming to Bolivia as a tourist or for a short period, you’ll find that accommodation services are going to be quite cheap in our country. But also that you’ll need to take some precautions to avoid getting fooled by overpriced hosting services and to choose the right hotel, hostel, or Airbnb units that may meet your needs.
When using Airbnb in Bolivia, you’ll pay around $25/day for a decent 1-bedroom unit. Either a hostel or 1-star hotel will cost you ~$15/day, and a 3-star to 5-star hotel $35-$70/day. Generally, accommodation services in Bolivia will cost around 25% to 40% of what they cost in the first world.
We are Bolivians and real estate experts (see our Bolivian real estate website) that have spent all our lives here, so we’ll give you all the details about the costs of accommodation services for both Bolivian and foreign tourists in our country. Also, we’ll give you some tips about which accommodations to avoid when staying here in Bolivia.
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The real cost of accommodation in Bolivia
When coming to Bolivia for some days or weeks, or for a short time, you’ll find that your accommodation expenses will certainly be cheap if you compare these with what you have to spend in other countries.
On Airbnb, you’ll spend an average of $25/day for a 1-bedroom unit (1 person). Hostels will be somewhat cheaper, having an average of $15/day for the same unit, and hotels will be a little bit more expensive averaging $35/night for the same unit.
You’ll also need to pay some admin fees and other utilities that will range from $1 to $5 per day in all these places. Even regarding 5-star hotels, you’ll find that they are not as costly as you may think.
|Type of cost||Avg. spending in Bolivia/day|
|Accommodation (1 tourist. / day)||$35|
|Avg. Airbnb spending (1 tourist)||$25|
|Avg. Hostel spending (1 tourist)||$15|
|Avg. Hotel spending (1 tourist)||$35|
|Other accommodation fees||$3|
If you are coming for at least 1 month or more, you’ll also be able to get discounts in all these places. You may be familiar with these discounts on Airbnb, but you can also get them easily on common hostels and hotels that are available in Bolivia.
Pricing list for hostels and accommodation in Bolivia
By far, the best option to stay in Bolivia is Airbnb. This company has units for rent and apartments of great high quality. These units will give you the same comfort as in other countries, even countries of the first world.
But you can also use hotels that offer good services in Bolivia, at least hotels of 2 stars and beyond. You’ll find that a 4 to 5-star hotel here will bring almost the same quality of service as common Airbnb rentals in the first world.
Remember to take precautions when staying in hostels, they are very low quality in Bolivia and some of them are even risky for your safety. These places also tend to charge a lot more to foreigners than to Bolivians. We strongly advise you to stay only on either Airbnb units or in at least 2 or 3-star hotels.
In the chart below, you can see the detailed prices for several unit sizes, for different accommodation services available in Bolivia:
- 1-star hotels
- 3-star hotels
- 5-star hotels
|Type of home or apartment||Avg. cost (per day)|
|Airbnb 1-bedroom unit||$25|
|Hostel 1-bedroom unit||$15|
|1-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||$20|
|3-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||$35|
|5-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||$70|
|Airbnb 3-bedroom unit||$50|
|Hostel 3-bedroom unit||$30|
|1-star hotel 3-bedroom unit||$35|
|3-star hotel 3-bedroom unit||$60|
|5-star hotel 3-bedroom unit||$130|
|Airbnb single-family house||$60|
|4-5 star hotel penthouse||$150|
|Utilities (full stay)||$5-$20|
|Administrative fees (full stay)||$10-$40|
Also, all these places will charge you some additional fees concerning room utilities, admin fees, tips, cleaning fees, security fees, etcetera, but they’ll be around $1-$5 per day, or in most cases $30 for the full stay.
Different incomes and the cost of accommodation
Below, you can see the average spending that natives will have when traveling as tourists in Bolivia. As a common tourist coming from a first-tier country, you should compare yourself to an upper-middle-class Bolivian:
|Lower-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)||Middle-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)||Upper-middle-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)|
|Avg. accommodation expenses / Day||$8||$13||$30|
|Avg. accommodation expenses / 7 days trip||$50||$120||$250|
When Bolivians travel within the country, they mostly tend to stay at cheap hotels or 1 to 2-star hotels. Even more, many of them take advantage of their relatives living in other cities, to get accommodation with them, and in this way, they don’t spend anything.
And by cheap hostels we mean hostels or hotels that are around $7 to $15 per night. Lower-class or middle-class people from Bolivia find relatively secure these cheap places, but for foreigners, it’s just a different story, these places are very risky for their safety, as they offer poor services, and also their owners will make everything more costly.
On the other hand, upper-middle-class Bolivians will normally stay in at least 2-star to 4-star hotels that are available within the country, or in a few cases, they’ll use Airbnb (Airbnb is not widely used in Bolivia by natives and almost only by foreigners).
They have enough income to get enough comfort and a great traveling experience. Savy overseas tourists also go for at least 2-star hotels or Airbnb here in Bolivia, because they know they’ll get a decent experience, and that with 4-star hotels or more, they’ll get the same level of service as in developed countries.
Foreigners and the cost of accommodation
When visiting Bolivia, you’ll realize that the owners of hostels and hotels usually will try to charge you more than Bolivians, just because you are from overseas.
This situation can’t be avoided easily, hostel and hotel owners will overprice their services for foreigners. But some accommodation services may be more or less overpriced depending on the type of service you are going to get, as you can see in the table below:
|Type of accommodation expense||% of overpricing for first-world tourists|
|Airbnb 1-bedroom unit||0%|
|Hostel 1-bedroom unit||50%|
|1-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||30%|
|3-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||20%|
|5-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||10%|
As you can see, because Airbnb is a serious and reliable worldwide company, it’s not able to overprice anything above the prices shown in its app. In contrast, hostels will significantly overprice their services to foreigners (~50% or more), and the cheaper the hostel, the more it’ll be overpriced for overseas tourists.
Hotels also will be a little bit more overpriced to people from other countries, particularly for tourists coming from the first world, but the more stars the hotel has, the less overpriced it will be. In general, hotels will overprice their services from 10% to 30% to foreigners.
What in general will be highly overpriced (between 100% to 200% more) will be the additional fees, like cleaning fees, admin fees, room utilities, etcetera. For example, if a Bolivian gets charged around $20 for other accommodation fees, it will increase to $50 for a person coming from the first world.
Comparing the cost of accommodation in Bolivia versus other countries
As you can see Bolivia in general has way cheaper accommodation prices when compared to first-world countries. For example if compared to the US, they’ll cost only an average of 25% of the price in that country. Almost the same situation will be for the UK and Canada, averaging 30% to 40% of the hosting prices in those countries.
Even though these services will be far cheaper, you’ll get almost the same comfort and functionality as in the first world, if you rent at least an Airbnb unit or beyond a 3-star hotel in our country.
|Accommodation expense / Day||Bolivia||USA||Canada||UK||India|
|Avg. Airbnb 1-bedroom unit||$25||$94||$60||$70||$15|
|Avg. Airbnb single-family house||$60||$233||$90||$110||$25|
|Hostel 1-bedroom unit||$15||$35||$35||$30||$8|
|3-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||$35||$140||$50||$40||$25|
|5-star hotel 1-bedroom unit||$70||$400||$270||$250||$100|
A different story is India, In this country almost all costs, including accommodation, are significantly less expensive than in Bolivia, more specifically, it’s around 59% less costly.
As we said before, you can get even cheaper prices if you stay in a hostel or in a 1 or 2-star hotel, but by no means, you shouldn’t stay you those places, you’ll put at risk your safety (with possibly hidden thieves and robbers), your possessions, and also you’ll get overpriced services in the majority of cases.
Here we have shown you the detailed prices and costs you are going to face when getting accommodation services here in Bolivia. You have seen that, generally, you’ll have to spend around 25% to 40% of the costs that you spend in first-tier countries.
Also, you now know that a 1-bedroom Airbnb unit will cost around $25 per day. A common hostel and 1-star hotel will charge you about $15 per day. 3-star hotels will charge you around $35 per day and 5-star hotels at least $70 per day.
You also have seen that it’s very unsafe and risky to stay in hostels and 1 or 2-star hotels in Bolivia, they are not this risky for Bolivians, but very dangerous for foreigners. You should always stay in at least 3-star hotels, or any kind of Airbnb rental, to avoid possible threats to your safety and overpriced and bad quality accommodation services.
Finally, you have realized that people in Bolivia try to save money by staying with their relatives in places they normally visit, also they are very likely to stay in cheap hostels and 1-star hotels, but to foreigners these places are dangerous. Also that for Bolivians it’s not common to use Airbnb.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know more about how much it really costs to live in Bolivia, including expenses related to food, traveling, clothes, etcetera, visit our dedicated guide: The cost of living in Bolivia, all the details you should know.
BolivianExperts.com, information about how to live, work, invest, and travel in Bolivia.