ABOUT Bolivia is a democratic republic that is divided into nine areas. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west. Bolivia was named after Simón Bolívar, a leader in the Spanish American wars of independence. The revolutionary leader Che Guevara was killed by a team of CIA officers and members of the Bolivian Army on 9 October 1967, in Bolivia. The CIA reported that Guevara was captured on 8 October as a result of the clash with the Cuban-led guerrillas. He had a wound in his leg, but was otherwise in fair condition. Bolivia has its constitutionally recognized capital in Sucre, while La Paz is the seat of government. Most people who do need tourist visas can obtain them on arrival. Air travel is the obvious way to get to Bolivia, the main airports are located in La Paz to the western side of the country and in Santa Cruz to the east, from Europe to Bolivia are now with Air Europa or Boliviana de Aviacion from Madrid to Santa Cruz. Travelling by car keep in mind that only about 5% of all the roads in Bolivia are paved. However, most major routes between cities are paved (Aka big cities, Santa Cruz, La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre) . 4x4 is particularly required when off the flatter altiplano. Be aware that in mountainous regions traffic sometimes switches sides of the road. This is to ensure the driver has a better view of the dangerous drops. An international drivers license is required but * most* times EU or US drivers licenses will be accepted. Bus transportation in Bolivia is a nice cheap way to get to see the beautiful scenery while traveling to your destination. Unfortunately the buses often travel solely at night. There are different types of buses: "bed bus" with fully reclinable seats and leg platform (bus cama), "semi-bed bus" (semi cama), normal. Keep in mind that roads are occasionally blocked due to protests, often for several days. So ask several companies at the terminal if you hear about blockades, unless you are willing to spend a few days sleeping on the bus. Bus travel is usually pretty cheap. The national currency is the Boliviano (BOB, Bs). Bills come in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10. Bolivia Altiplano traditional alcoholic drink is chicha de colla, a whitish, sour brew made from fermented corn and drunk from a hemispherical bowl fashioned from a hollowed gourd (round-bottomed so you can't put it down). It's customary to spill a bit of chicha on the ground before and after drinking it as an offering to Pachamama, the Inca earth godess.
CLIMATE Bolivia's climate varies drastically with altitude and from one climatic zone to another. It ranges from humid and tropical to cold and semiarid. In most parts of the country winters are dry and summers are somewhat wet. Despite its tropical latitude, the altitude of cities like La Paz keeps things cool, and warm clothing is advised year-round. The summer months in Bolivia are November through March. The weather is typically warmer and wetter during these months. April through October, the winter months, are typically colder and drier.
BEWARE Apply common sense and take precautions that apply elsewhere. All tourists should be careful when selecting a travel guide and never accept medication from unverifiable sources. At night try to use "radio taxis" as fake cabs are common and robbings and even rapes do occur.
Beware of a scam involving 'non-uniformed' policemen asking for your passport and permit; official policemen will always be satisfied with a copy of your passport and a copy of your the Bolivian visa on your passport. In the event that the con-artists requesting this get aggressive, scream, yell, or do something to attract the attention of passers by. This usually will be enough to scare them away. Single females are more vulnerable than other travelers, but you can safely still enjoy this beautiful country provided you take some precautions. If staying at hostel/guesthouses, always a good idea to find a group to travel with. If you are insistent on travelling by yourself, stick to daytime hours, don't carry a lot of valuables with you, and always always always know where you are going. The 'improvements' made to Yungas Road (the famous highway to death) have made the experience of traversing it go from emotionally harrowing to finger-biting, and Bolivian bus drivers seem all too confident when crossing it. Make sure to look for a reputable driver/bus line from other travelers if you do decide to make this trip.