Sharp turns, nausea-inducing hills, and a patchwork of chaotic roads, the bus system of Bolivia is an experience to say the least. Although traveling by bus in Bolivia is the cheapest and easiest way to maneuver around the country, it is definitely not always the most comfortable.
But don´t fret, there are ways to get around the back-breaking travel of Bolivian Bus transportation, below are a few tips on how to travel both comfortably and cheaply through the crazy roads of Bolivia.
On night buses choose¨Full Cama¨
It´s best to spend a little bit of extra money for a comfortable seat in order to avoid hours of excruciating travel. Buses that are traveling to bigger connecting cities around the country can be as long as 12-15 hours. If this is the case, traveling by night is optimal because you save on a night´s worth of hostel accommodation and arrive at your destination the next morning. Bolivia offers three types of buses clases. Regular, Semi-Cama and Full-Cama. If you want to have a restful night of sleep, spend the extra 15 bolivianos (2 USD dollars) and opt for Full-Cama. The seats are bigger, cushier, and recline all the way. Your mind, spirit, and body will be grateful when you arrive at your destination rested in the morning.
Take a blanket
No matter when you travel buses in Bolivia can be freezing. The windows are often broken and locked open, so a constant flow of bone-chilling breezes can be expected. In Bolivia, blankets are often sold outside bus terminals for around 30 bolivianos (4 USD). Take my advice and buy one, or purchase one before your trip and have it as a backup for warmth. There is absolutely nothing worse than being stuck on a bus freezing your butt off!
Scout out your Options
The minute you walk into the door of any Bolivian bus terminal be prepared to be bombarded with agents yelling at the top of their lungs as if they were praising the holy lord about where they are going and when. Don´t be alarmed and don’t get overwhelmed, make sure you check in with all the ticket counters, prices vary and so does quality. This includes having a bathroom on board .There can be as much as a 30 boliviano difference between tickets. Check the time of departure, the time of arrival and weigh all of your options. Be warned: many ticket officers just want to sell you a ticket, if they say there are bathrooms, wifi, or any extra added luxury, don´t be surprised if you get on board and there is none.
Have you traveled by bus in Bolivia?