Bolivia: What We Loved, What We Struggled With & Other Personal Thoughts
Bolivia felt to me like a country that holds on tightly and proudly to its traditions, costumes and uniqueness. Coming from Chile the difference was noticeable from day one: less westernised, less advanced but also more authentic.
The beauty of this country is created by the interesting mix between new and old. Centenary traditions that try to survive the economic evolution, and they do manage in quite a organic way, giving Bolivia this touch of roughness, authenticity and uniqueness.
What we loved
In a world where everything is resembling itself more and more, where you find the same shops, same looks, same experiences everywhere, Bolivia is a breath of fresh air. Nothing is perfect here, globalization has arrived but only in a mild way, traditions are not only preserved but dressed upon the sleeve with pride.
My fondest memory of Bolivia will forever be the ‘cholitas’, with their colorful outfits and beautiful bowler hats. Once discriminated, today the ‘cholitas’ and their wonderful tranditional clothing are seeing a raise in the new generations who are reclaiming their heritage.
Friendly and helpful people
As in Chile, in Bolivia we were welcomed by the kindest people. In two weeks we only had great experiences and interactions and we found Bolivians very proud of their country and willing to help you discover it and have the best time.
For traveller, Bolivia is a dream as it is extremely cheap. If you visit with euros or dollars, your money will go a long way. We’ve been able to afford to eat both for lunch and dinner everyday and also afford to visit some expensive restaurants.
What we struggled with
We found the country generally very backward in terms of garbage in general. We had the first encounter with the issue as soon as we arrived in Uyuni where there are fields covered with garbage due to the lack of appropriate facilities and the wind carrying the dirt just outside the city. Recycling is not a concept that has yet entered the country, unfortunately.
Not everywhere, but La Paz was quite a shock in terms of air pollution. There are way too many cars and the traffic is horrific. Moreover, the public buses are extremely old and produce black fumes that are quite intoxicating.
Internet is a struggle. Wifi is really slow pretty much everywhere, and not present as much as in other South American countries.
Very few shops and restaurants will accept cards, so you will always need to carry cash around. On a positive note, drawing money will not cost you anything in most cases (depending on your bank).
If you have any more question or doubt about visiting Bolivia please send us a message! We would love for everyone to visit this beautiful country and enjoy it as much as we did.