Traveler warning: Roadblocks in Potosi have many tourist stranded

This warning is for people traveling to Bolivia in general and to Potosi city, Uyuni Salt flats  and Potosi Department in particular. Roadblocks in Potosi Department have many tourist stranded. 40 french nationals and as many as 20 other European tourist are abandoned in that area for as many as 15 days with no end in sight, therefore traveling to this area is not recommended at the moment. Travelers are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational between the promoters of this act and security forces, demonstrators, and bystanders, and escalate into violence. Travelers are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any protests. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a large gathering, it is recommended you leave the area immediately for your own safety. Travelers should stay current with media coverage of local events.In addition to civil unrest in cities, it is not uncommon for roads between cities to be blocked by protesters or marchers. Please note that the police have limited capabilities outside major cities and communication is poor.The police will be on alert for potential civil unrest. Because the police will be involved in addressing potential civil unrest, there will be minimal police patrols. As a result, you can expect criminals to take advantage of large crowds and use ruse or diversionary tactics to prey on potential street victims. Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and theft are the most common street crimes during such periods. Everyone is advised to limit their cash on hand, unnecessary credit cards, jewelry, and other portable valuables.

Easter in Bolivia (Semana Santa en Bolivia)

Being Bolivia a deeply catholic country, Easter (Semana Sanata) is a major event across the nation, and it's consider high season for hotels and hostels around the country. Since most city dwellers use this opportunity to relax in small towns and touristy hot spots like Coroico and Copacabana near La Paz, Samaipata and the Missions near Santa Cruz or Uyuni Salt Flats in Potosi.

Easter starts on Wednesday (31st) in many cities and small towns with people visiting at least 7 churches on a small and very family oriented pilgrimage. Normally most people will take half day of on Thursday to start the long weekend, so most cities start to get deserted and there's little activity during the next days, only processions and other liturgics acts will disturb the peace and tranquility of those days.

Friday is a holiday, so all banks and official buildings will be closed that day, so it would be a good idea to have some cash on hand just in case. Selling alcohol and gambling are not allowed during Good Friday and most clubs will be closed during that day. Even though, this rule is not always followed.

Easter ends with Easter Sunday mass and large processions, and on Monday all goes back to normal.

We hope this information helps you plan your activities during those days and we wish you a great time while visiting Bolivia.

Carnaval in Bolivia

 Carnaval, Carnival or Mardi Grass in Bolivia is about to begin, as in most of the Catholic Countries around the world, the celebration of the days before lent will start on  Friday, and they will last until Ash Wednesday, with parties and celebrations through out the country. Many are the adjectives for the Carnival in Bolivia. Grand, majestic, magnificent, wonderful are some of the words with which this event is described. It combines the ancient customs of each region, department, city and rural community in the country, with European traditions brought over the colony.

Oruro Carnaval (Carnaval de Oruro)

Declared by UNESCO as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, the lavish "Carnaval de Oruro" features a vast wealth Cultural Heritage, which combines dance and music with the devotion to Our Lady of Socavón.

This expression represents the greatest folkloric shows in Bolivia, with dances such as the Devils, Moreno, Caporales, Tinkus, Llamerada, Sicuris, Incas, Antawaras, Tobas, Wacas Waca, Kullawadas, Pujllay and others, whose members, besides orureños, come from all regions of the country, as well as from abroad, to express through dance, their faith and devotion.

The “Entrada de Carnaval” (Carnaval Parade) takes place on Saturday, it’s the highlight of the Oruro Carnaval, when dancers wearing luxurious costumes will parade a long the city and spectacle of more than 50 fraternity with more than 500 participants each accompanied by large musical bands. The fiesta runs until the early hours of Sunday. “El Alba” (The Dawn) will take place during the first hours of Sunday, during Sunrise dancer and musical bands at the Socavón will salute the Virgin Mary of el Socavón, showing the skill and Bolivian musical richness all accompanied by the applauses and cheers from the attending public.

At these dates Oruro receives over 500,000 tourists, between local and foreign visitors. This event generates around $ 8 million dollars in business, for the four days of Carnaval. The Carnival of Oruro is a magnificent demonstration of pagan costumes and religious devotion. It is an amazing demonstration of folk culture, involving young and old people; without distinction of social classes or race.

Santa Cruz Carnaval

It reflects the joyous spirit of the Santa Cruz habitants. It begins one month before the Carnaval with the "pre-carnavaleras" in which all the Carnaval Groups (Comparsas) elect their Queen. A week before the carnival takes place in “mini-corso”, with the proclamation of the Carnaval Queen; witch is selected among the Comparsas Queens.

On Carnaval Saturday, from evening until dawn of Sunday of the carnival takes place in the spectacular “Corso” (Carnival Parade) with the Comparsas dancing in the streets about 300 of them. They dance through the city streets to the beat of drum bands. During the parade, public enjoy the luxury and colorful of the Comparsas costumes, impressive floats carrying the Comparsa queens.

The show reaches its pinnacle when the Carnaval Queen enters the main stage. The party continues on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, days in which people dance and play in downtown streets; playing with water, foam and paint.

The diversity of options varies according to geography and cultures of each region. No matter where you are during the Carnaval you will have a great time for sure. The Carnaval in Bolivia is a synonym for good times and party, all mixed with music and tradition.

Carnaval Dates

Se next the Carnaval dates for this year and the following:

•2011 - Carnaval date - March 4-8

•2012 - Carnaval date - February 17-21

•2013 - Carnaval date - February 8-12

•2014 - Carnaval date - March 1-4

•2015 - Carnaval date - February 13-17

•2016 - Carnaval date - February 5-9

•2017 - Carnaval date - February 24-28

•2018 - Carnaval date - February 9-13

•2019 - Carnaval date - March 1-5

•2020 - Carnaval date - February 21-25

Enjoy Alasitas fair in La Paz, Bolivia

Alasitas is Bolivia's festival of small wishes; this fair is a mix of Catholicism and Andean tradition celebrated annually on January 24 and it last for two weeks. In the Aymara language, Alasitas means "buy from me" and in pre-colonial times Alasitas was celebrated in September, Bolivian springtime, to ensure a good crop.

The largest fairs is held yearly in the capital of
La Paz, Bolivians and tourist alike, buy miniatures representing the material goods they aspire to own (like a new house, car, plasma TV, a bachelor degree or even marriage certificate) and then offer them to the Ekeko, the God of Abundance, in addition a Catholic priests give their blessing to the newly acquired miniature goods as well.

Alasitas is a festival for everybody and celebrated by Bolivians from all levels of society. It is celebrated by the inhabitants of villages, cities and countryside, by the highlanders and the lowlanders, by all Bolivians. If you are in La Paz during this time don’t miss an opportunity to be part of this tradition.

Date: January 24th (the fair last for two weeks)
Name: Alasitas
Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Type: Religious/ethnic

Be part of Bolivian history this January

If you are in La Paz, Bolivia on the 21 and 22 of January you could be part of Bolivian history. Tourist and people from around the world are arriving to Bolivia for the installation of the second term of President Evo Morales, to be undertaken on Tihuanaku (21) and La Paz (22). The demand for rooms and travel packages has increased dramatically according to the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ivan Cahuaya; he reported on Friday that a survey by his office to various travel agencies found the increase of tourists to Tihuanaku and La Paz where 21 and 22 January will undertake the installation of the second term of President Evo Morales.

Cahuaya said for that reason, the flow of tourists in January has increase significantly and is something extraordinary, considering that January is traditionally considered as a low season.

"The visitor will come to Bolivia not only makes its way down to a single site, but has a program that allows you to visit other tourist sites, then what do we do anticipate that in January we will have a significant flow of foreign visitors and nationals in the department of La Paz "he said.

Now you know, so don’t miss out this opportunity and be part of a historic moment in the history of this beautiful country.

Weather for you’re vacation in Bolivia

Weather for you’re vacation in Bolivia

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than poor weather. If you're like many people, you probably find one of the hardest parts of planning a trip is discovering what kind of weather you are likely to run into in Bolivia. But it’s not as hard as you might think. By the time you've finished reading this post and checking out some of the links from it, you should have no problem with the weather aspect of trip planning to Bolivia.

Prior to you Trip

You can start your weather planning by going to our site or for more in depth information we recommend you to use the Weather in Bolivia site; at both sites you will find complete descriptions of the weather you will find at the place or places you're planning to visit in Bolivia.

Once you’ve clicked the links we provided you above look out for the name of the city or cities you’re planning to visit, once there read the weather descriptions, check current weather, forecasts, average temperatures, satellite views, the best time to visit each city, etc.

We recommend you as well, to read our Traveler Tips page; it’s full of recommendations and ideas on what to take with you on you’re trip to Bolivia. It’s recommended to take the time to research your destinations and their weather patterns at all times throughout the year. Knowing this means more time for fun and enjoyment on you’re vacation.

Once you get there

Once you get to the city or cities you’re visiting check constantly for updates or alerts on the weather forecast so you get more time to prepare for any type of weather you might run in to. And at last the most important tip of all, have fun.