Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Bolivia International Travel Information
United States Consular Agency, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Edificio Empresarial Equipetrol, 4th Floor
Intersection of Av. San Martin and Av. Las Ramblas
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Telephone: + (591) (2) 216-8000
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(591) 2-216-8000
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bolivia for information on U.S.-Bolivia relations.
All U.S. citizens visiting Bolivia are required to obtain a visa. Most types of visas are only available at a Bolivian Embassy or Consulate in the United States or neighboring country. Tourist visas can also be purchased at any land or air border. U.S. citizens who wish to extend their initial 30-day stay can apply for an extension through the Dirección General de Migración (National Migration Service), which has offices in most major cities. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia website for the most current visa information.
Dual Nationality: Upon entering and/or exiting Bolivia, U.S.-Bolivian citizens may be required to show a valid Bolivian identity document, such as a Bolivian cedula de identidad.
HIV Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Bolivia.
Chapare and Yungas Regions: Organized criminal groups near Coroico and Carnavi in Yungas have committed carjackings and robberies. Additionally, government authorities have used force in past confrontations with residents over coca eradication, and pro-coca groups may attempt to target U.S. interests. Contact the Embassy before traveling to these regions.
Crime: Pick pocketing and petty theft are common.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
Messages regarding demonstrations, strikes, and weather-related events are posted on the Embassy’s website.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police at 110 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +591 (2) 216-8000. After working hours: +591 (2) 216-8000. The National Tourism Police provides free assistance in English to tourists. Contact the La Paz office at 800-14-0081. Contact the Cochabamba office at +591 (4) 450-3880. In the city of Santa Cruz, contact Interpol at +591 (3) 349-7720.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Bolivian authorities are generally required to press official charges within 24 hours of arrest, and to release a detainee within 48 hours if no formal charges are brought. However, investigative and pre-trial periods may drag on indefinitely.
Bolivian law allows law enforcement officials to detain any foreigner pending proof of legal status in country (i.e. passport, visa, or residency card). Though this is rarely enforced, anyone who cannot produce proof of legal status may be detained until legal status is confirmed.
In Bolivia, you may find products made with wild plants and animals. Many of these products could involve protected or endangered species, whose sale and export are illegal. Any protected species that is sold or transported, either live or transformed into food, medicinal beverages, leather, handcrafts, garments, etc., could be seized by Bolivian authorities. Some products, including live animals, require special permits when leaving Bolivia. Knowingly importing into the United States wildlife or plants that were taken from the wild or sold in violation of the laws of Bolivia (or any other country) violates U.S. law.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Mountain Trekking and Climbing Safety: Many popular trekking routes in the Bolivian Andes are at 16,000 feet or higher. Regardless of medical history or physical fitness, you may experience significant health issues due to the high altitude. Exercise extreme caution when trekking or climbing in Bolivia.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTQI+ Travelers: The Bolivian constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Bolivia.
Travelers with Disabilities: Bolivian law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, and the law is unevenly enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility issues may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure, and common in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.
Women Travelers: Bolivia has one of the highest domestic violence rates against women in South America. A very high percentage of women in Bolivia have experienced intimate partner violence. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
COVID-19 Testing: Numerous private and public clinics throughout Bolivia offer COVID-19 testing. For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 testing centers, please visit our medical assistance page.
The designated government agency regulating COVID-19 testing in Bolivia is the Servicio Departamental de Salud (SEDES). There are 9 branches of SEDES in the 9 Departments of Bolivia.
COVID-19 Vaccines: The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in Bolivia. Visit the FDA's website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
Medical care in large cities is adequate, but of varying quality. Medical facilities are generally not equipped to handle serious medical conditions, and risk of infection is high. Emergency medical care outside of large cities, in rural areas, and inside national parks is inadequate.
For emergency services in Bolivia, dial 110.
Ambulance services are not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.
Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging along with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general:
Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery:
Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.
Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:
In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
Many cities in Bolivia, such as La Paz, are at high altitude. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and take precautions before you travel. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
The following diseases are prevalent in Bolivia:
Road Conditions and Safety: Use extreme caution when driving on roadways. Few highways have shoulders, fencing or barriers, and lane markings are minimal. Even when lanes are marked, it is common for drivers to disregard them.
Traffic Laws: Most drivers lack formal training. Maintain situational awareness on the roads and employ defensive driving skills.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Bolivia’s Civil Aviation Authority to be in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Bolivia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.