When you are traveling across Bolivia, you’ll find that generally, your expenses won’t be as high as in other countries, even as in other South American countries around. You’ll just need to spend several tens of dollars for flying tickets and only a bunch of dollars, or even cents, for traveling within a city.
In Bolivia, a full-round flight ticket for 1 person is around $120 on normal days and near to $200 on holidays. A full-round bus ticket for intercity traveling is around $24, but it can increase up to $40 on holidays. Traveling with a rented car will cost you from $300 to $500 a month.
We are citizens from Bolivia, who have spent all our lives here, so we’ll give you all the details about how much it really costs to travel within our country, either by air or ground. Also, you’ll see the details about traveling by renting a car and how much the cost of traveling between the most important tourist destinations in Bolivia will be.
Table of Contents
The real cost of traveling in Bolivia
Traveling inside Bolivia is not going to cost you a lot of money. You can see in the table below the general transportation costs for a Bolivian tourist, who is traveling across the country.
For tourists coming from overseas, these costs will increase between 10% and 30%, but no more (see the details in a later section). This increase is because many traveling companies here turn up their services more costly specifically for tourists from overseas. This is a bad habit and we are not proud of it, but this is how things work here in Bolivia.
|Type of cost||Avg. spending in Bolivia|
|Traveling (1 Bolivian ppl. / Trip )||$50|
|Trips to tourist places||$3 to $400|
|One-way flight ticket (inter cities)||$70|
|Full-round flight ticket (inter cities)||$120|
|One-way bus ticket (inter cities)||$12|
|Normal taxi trip||$3|
|Public transportation ticket||$0.3|
|Renting a car (1 month)||$280|
As you can see, there are many tourist destinations inside Bolivia you can visit, and to go to each one of them from a major city like Santa Cruz, you’ll spend between $3 to $400 in almost all cases. For example, for going from this city to Uyuni’s salt flat, only traveling will cost you around $100, and a full tourist package around $250 for one person.
It will be about the same price for almost any other tourist destination inside Bolivia, and a traveler will spend between $100 to $300 in most cases.
But if you want to break down the expenses to get only the road or flying costs, then you’ll see that, on average, a one-way flight ticket will cost you around $70, and a one-way bus ticket around $12. This means that, if for example, you want to go from Santa Cruz to La Paz city by air, you’ll spend around $60 and going by ground, around $15.
You can also rent a car and travel across Bolivia by yourself, spending about $200 a month for renting a compact car and $350 a month for renting a family car. When traveling within a city, you’ll spend no more than $3 per ride on Uber and taxis and $0.3 per ride on public transportation.
Pricing list for traveling in Bolivia
In this section, you can see the detailed costs for both air and ground traveling between the most important cities of Bolivia.
As you can see in the table below, going from Santa Cruz to La Paz City is one of the most expensive trips you’ll have. But if you go, for example, from Cochabamba to any other place, you will have almost half of this cost, no matter which place may be your destination.
Later on the table, you can also see the traveling costs from Santa Cruz city to the most important tourist places available in Bolivia. Remember that for tourists from overseas, these costs will increase between 10% and 30% on average.
At the bottom of the table are the average expenses per ride you’ll need to spend if you want to move within a city in the 3 major cities of Bolivia, Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba. In almost all cases, these costs won’t go beyond $3 per ride.
Finally, at the end of the table, you can see the average renting price for different kinds of cars you can rent in our country (see our full guide about how to rent a car in Bolivia, to get all the details about how to achieve this and also save some money in the process).
|Type of traveling cost||Avg. cost (1. ppl)|
|Santa Cruz – La Paz|
|One-way flight ticket||$75|
|One-way bus ticket||$17|
|Santa Cruz – Cochabamba|
|One-way flight ticket||$40|
|One-way bus ticket||$9|
|La Paz – Cochabamba|
|One-way flight ticket||$35|
|One-way bus ticket||$7|
|Santa Cruz – Other cities|
|One-way flight ticket||$70|
|One-way bus ticket||$18|
|Santa Cruz – Touristic places (full round)|
|Uyuni salt flat (combined trip)*||$300|
|Madidi Park (flight ticket)||$300|
|Titicaca Lake (combined trip)*||$200|
|Oruro carnival (flight ticket)||$200|
|Red Lagoon (combined trip)||$150|
|Chiquitos (road trip)||$30|
|Death Road (flight ticket)||$200|
|Samaipata (road trip)||$25|
|Red lagoon (combined trip)||$300|
|Inside Santa Cruz|
|Uber taxi ride||$4|
|Normal taxi ride||$4|
|Public transportation ride||$0.30|
|Inside La Paz|
|Uber taxi ride||$3|
|Normal taxi ride||$3|
|Public transportation ride||$0.30|
|Cable car ticket||$0.40|
|Uber taxi ride||$3|
|Normal taxi ride||$3|
|Public transportation ride||$0.30|
|Renting a car|
|Compact car (cost per month)||$200|
|SUV (cost per month)||$350|
|Gas cost (1 gallon)||$1.80|
|Traffic ticket (avg. cost)||$15|
*Combined trip is the case that includes both traveling by air and by ground.
When going to tourist places within Bolivia, as we say before, you won’t spend more than $400 for a full-round trip (in most cases the cost will be just about $150), including the overpriced services that you may have to pay with some tourist companies. It will rarely be the case in which you’ll need to spend $500 or more for a tourist trip for 1 person.
These prices can increase a lot in holidays, up to 100% in the most extreme cases, the shown costs are for common days and not for holidays, like Christmas or carnival. If this is the case, you should add at least 50% to the costs shown above.
Different incomes and the cost of traveling
When Bolivian tourists travel across the country, their expenses vary a lot depending on the income they have. As an overseas tourist, you should compare yourself to an upper-middle-class Bolivian when traveling here if you want to feel the same comfort as if you were in a first-world country.
Lower-class Bolivians normally go always by ground, in the cheapest bus companies available, so they end up spending around $15 for a full-round intercity ticket and around $2/day in transportation expenses within the city they are visiting.
Is not that much different for middle-class Bolivians, they almost always will travel only by ground, and in exceptional cases by air, but they will buy tickets from better bus companies, getting better comfort. They’ll also occasionally use taxis to move within a city. As a result, they will spend around $50 for a full 7-day trip.,
It’s a very different story for upper-middle-class Bolivians and some wealthy people here. In many cases, most of them will only travel by air, and they’ll also use Uber and taxis a lot more to move within a city. So, their traveling costs will rise a lot, with around $130 for a full 7-day trip.
|Lower-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)||Middle-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)||Upper-middle-class Bolivian (1 ppl.)|
|Avg. traveling expenses / 7-day trip||$30||$50||$130|
|Avg. traveling expenses / Day||$4||$7||$19|
As we just said, you should compare yourself to an upper-middle-class Bolivian if you want to travel fast, with a lot of comfort,s and without any major troubles. But if you are a traveler on a budget, you should be just fine with just spending around $50 in traveling expenses, and with this, going comfortably by ground for a full 7-day trip in our country.
Foreigners and the cost of traveling
As we said at the beginning of this article, traveling agencies and companies in Bolivia tend to overprice their services when they are dealing with tourists from first-world countries. They rely on you not knowing how much they charge to Bolivian tourists. Anyway, the price will not go up too much, about 10% to 30% for most cases.
|Type of traveling expense||% of overpricing||Avg. cost for a Bolivian||The final cost for a tourist|
|Trips to tourist places||100%||$3 to $200||$6 to $400|
|One-way flight ticket (inter cities)||0%||$70||$70|
|Full-round flight ticket (inter cities)||0%||$120||$120|
|One-way bus ticket (inter cities)||50%||$12||$18|
|Normal taxi trip||100%||$3||$6|
|Public transportation ticket||0%||$0.30||$0.30|
|Renting a car (1 month)||20%||$280||$336|
When traveling by air in Bolivia, you’ll also have the possibility to get the cheapest possible flights, like in any other country (you can use TripAdvisor to get the cheapest flying prices also here in Bolivia).
But when going by ground, there’s a lot of hidden information and overpricing set by companies dealing with first-world foreigners. This means that on average when buying a bus ticket to go to some tourist place or another city in Bolivia, you’ll get in general an overpricing of 50%. If you virtually buy your bus tickets or go to the best bus companies, this is less likely to happen.
When getting a ride within a city, you’ll have two very different situations: when getting an Uber you’ll face very fair prices, but when getting normal taxis a lot of the time taxi drivers will charge you much more than Bolivians, they will even overprice the ride up to 100% on even more in some cases.
Also, sometimes, car rental companies will overprice their services if they see that a tourist is trying to rent a car with them, so if you see that a normal car goes beyond $1,500 a month you should try another company. “EuropCar” or “Hertz” in Bolivia are great companies to go with, you also can get the best car rental prices in Kayak.
Comparing the cost of traveling in Bolivia versus other countries
Traveling either by air or by ground in Bolivia will be far cheaper than in first-tier countries, like the US and Canada. But when comparing ground traveling costs these differences will be more pronounced. Something different happens with the UK, because it’s a very small country, so the flying costs are almost the same as in Bolivia.
Remember that Bolivia is a country that is 4x the size of Germany or 2x the size of the state of Texas in the US, so it’s not certainly a small country. From La Paz to Santa Cruz, the 2 most important cities here, there are about 310 miles (500 km) of straight line distance and about 528 miles (850 km) in road distance.
When buying flying tickets, the average cost here in Bolivia will represent only about 25% to 40% of the average cost in countries like the US or Canada. When buying bus tickets, this cost will be even cheaper, representing only around 10% to 20% of the cost in those countries.
|Traveling cost type||Bolivia||Upper-middle-class Bolivian||USA||Canada||UK||India|
|Inter cities one-way flight ticket||$70||$90||$260||$300||$95||$70|
|Inter cities one-way bus ticket||$12||$15||$84||$65||$110||$25|
|Public transportation ticket||$0.30||$0.40||$2.50||$2.50||$2.10||$0.25|
|gas cost (1 gallon)||$1.80||$1.80||$3.50||$5||$7.50||$5|
When comparing the transportation costs within a city in Bolivia, you’ll find that they only represent around 10% to 15% of the cost in first-world countries, no matter if they are Uber, taxis, or public transportation. Bear in mind that normal taxis tend to overprice their services a lot when they see tourists.
Another remarkable fact is that gasoline in Bolivia has stayed at a fixed price since more than a decade ago, it’s been locked at $1.80 per gallon. This represents around 20% to 50% of what gas costs in first-world countries.
In the case of India, the costs of traveling within that country (even though India has mostly as half as cheaper costs as Bolivia on everything) are more costly, because of the huge distances there, but transportation within a city is again about 50% cheaper.
Here you have known the detailed costs of traveling within Bolivia, you’ve seen that when traveling by air, a person will normally spend around $120 for a full-round ticket, and when traveling by ground, this same person will spend around $24 for a full-round bus ticket.
Also, you’ve realized that when traveling with a rented car, the rental expenses will be from $200 to $350, and the cost of gas is $1.80, so you’ll need to spend from $250 to $500 per month in most cases.
Finally, you now know that to travel to the most important tourist places in Bolivia, you’ll spend in most cases between $3 and $400 per person, and that rarely the cost will be more than this. Also, traveling companies tend to overprice services for tourists and you should generally avoid traveling costs and tourist packages that go beyond $400 within the country.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know all the details about how much it really costs to live in Bolivia including food, clothing, transportation or entertainment expenses, etcetera, visit our dedicated guide: The cost of living in Bolivia, all the details you need to know.
BolivianExperts.com, information about how to live, work, invest, and travel in Bolivia.