State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2

Bolivia Travel Advisories From Canada, the UK & USA

US State Department alerts visitors to ongoing unrest in the Plurinational State of Bolivia
Bolivia flag
South America (Vax Before Travel)

The U.S. Department of State updated its Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Plurinational State of Bolivia regarding civil unrest.

This October 23, 2019, ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Advisory says visitors to Bolivia should be on alert for demonstrations in the major cities in Bolivia, such as La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz, and Potosi.

Demonstrations may cut off traffic on major thoroughfares, highways between cities, and airport access. And, domestic and international flights may be delayed or canceled.

Separately, the UK’s Foreign Travel Advice for Bolivia was updated on October 23rd, saying ‘Take care when traveling around Bolivia, particularly when you first arrive. There is a risk of ‘express kidnappings’. If you take a taxi, use a registered company. According to the Mayor’s office, registered taxis display a sticker on their windows.’

Additionally, the UK said ‘you should be aware that the availability of food, money, petrol and other goods may be intermittent due to road blockades.’ 

Furthermore, the Canadian Travel Advisory updated on October 23rd says visitors should be on alert when visiting these areas in Bolivia:

  • Los Yungas region: In the Chapare area between Santa Cruz and Cochabamba and in Los Yungas region, northeast of La Paz, violence, mainly associated with drug trafficking, poses risks. In the departments of Beni, Pando, and Santa Cruz, there is a high police presence.
  • Border with Peru: The situation is tense in areas along Bolivia’s border with Peru.
  • Lake Titicaca: Disputes between local communities on Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca have caused disruptions to transportation along the popular tourist route between Copacabana and Isla del Sol. If you plan to travel to Isla del Sol, be sure to carry extra food and water, and expect significant travel delays.

Bolivia has a population of about 11 million residents and is located in central South America, with a varied terrain spanning the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, and the Amazon Basin rainforest. 

At more than 3,500m in elevation, Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, sits on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau with snow-capped Mt. Illimani in the background.

In 2016, Bolivia welcomed a total of 959 thousand tourists, an increase from 882 thousand arrivals a year earlier.

If you decide to travel to Bolivia, the U.S. State Department suggests:

  • Limit your plans for travel, plan for alternate travel routes, and avoid demonstration areas.
  • Shelter in place if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Contact your airline or travel agency prior to travel.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • The U.S. Embassy La Paz is located at Avenida Arce 2780, La Paz, Bolivia, +(591) (2) 216-8000.

From a health perspective, UK health authorities have classified Bolivia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. This means pregnant women are discouraged from visiting Bolivia.

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested on June 18, 2019, that visitors to Bolivia are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations.

Furthermore, Bolivia is included in the CDC’s Global Measles Outbreak Notice, issued on June 10, 2019.

And, the Ministry of Health of Bolivia states that all travelers visiting yellow fever risk areas must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination.

The CDC suggests the Stamaril Yellow Fever vaccine for all travelers older than 9 months of age, visiting most areas less than 7,546 feet in elevation.

Moreover, the Stamaril vaccine should be administered at least 10 days before entering an endemic area, since protective immunity may not be achieved until at least this time has elapsed.

Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled with a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.

Vaccine financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts.     

Travel news is published by Vax-Before-Travel. 


Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee

Article by
Dani Reiter