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Cities in Bolivia 🇧🇴 The A-Z Guide
Small country, not many ideal options here...
🇧🇴 Bolivia 🇧🇴
The land of…
Well, that’s harder to breakdown than with most other countries.
Because Bolivia is just a small land-locked country in southern South America thats famous for:
Marginally average girls
Most would agree those aren’t exactly “exciting” for the average red-blooded LatAm traveler — although arguments could be made.
Bolivia is *actually* pretty dope.
I’d have no qualms spending 2-3 months here and enjoying the hell out of it.
Seriously, your boy Jake Nomada could base up here for a few months without issue. In Bolivia! Yes.
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Why Visit Bolivia?
This wouldn’t be your first option when visiting LatAm.
Bolivia doesn’t have beaches.
Bolivia isn’t known for beautiful women and bunda.
Bolivia is hard to get to — especially when you factor in the bullshit visa upon arrival process and fee.
The country offers a few things.
Insane nature and bio-diversity
If you wanna do wild shit in nature that doesn't involve the ocean, Bolivia is wonderful.
There’s world-class hiking and adventure tourism here.
I'm talking things like...
Uyuni Salt Flats
The Death Road
And that's just the tip of the iceberg when talking about insanely cool nature activities in Bolivia.
The country is full of pristine nature and bio-diversity. Hell, my Airbnb host a few years back in Santa Cruz even offered to take me alligator hunting.
Weird, but wild.
Now you might be thinking...
"Ok, cool. I can do some tourism here for a week or two and dip"
You could. I’m certainly not saying Bolivia should be higher on your list than Colombia or Brazil.
However, there is place in the country that might be worth spending some time with boots on the ground.
A highly livable city that offers more than meets the eye…
Cities in Bolivia 🇧🇴
In such a small country, of less than 12 million people, there aren’t going to be too many options for long-term living.
There’s only a couple big cities in the whole country.
However, one of them is livable — and highly off-the-beaten-path.
Let’s dig in…
Santa Cruz de la Sierra 🇧🇴
Population: 1.9 million in the metro area
Suggested Length of Stay: 1 week - 3 months
Santa Cruz de la Sierra is the biggest city in the country, although La Paz has a larger metro area split into multiple cities.
This spot also has the best women in Bolivia by far — including a smattering of Braziliana medical students.
Santa Cruz is also more developed than you'd expect. With high-rise apartments, a nice mall, great dining options, and more.
It’s a semi-nice place to live overall.
Plus, Santa Cruz is an insanely cheap place. Like living like a king for $1,500 USD a month…or less!
The nightlife here is also insane on the weekends. You’ll love partying here, especially if you speak a little Spanish.
Better than expected girls
Cheap as hell
More developed than you’d expect
Great nature and things to do nearby
Hard to get to
Only a few ways to pass the time
Bolivia visa issues
Medical care lacking
La Paz 🇧🇴
Population: 800K in the city, 2+ million in the metro
Suggested Length of Stay: 1 week - 1 months
The capital of the country and what most would consider the most important city in the country.
However, La Paz isn’t exactly ideal.
There’s lots of backpackers that spend time here. People are not as friendly as in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as the “Andean” culture is very wary of outsiders.
Oh, and it’s pretty damn cold here. Plus, the altitude here can make for a rough few days in La Paz.
That being said…
La Paz is super cheap. There’s definitely some wild nightlife, especially in the backpacker bars. Plus, you’ve got easy access to some incredible nature and world-class tours from the city.
Just not a place I’d “base up” in…ever. So many better options in South America.
Definitely a unique city
Great nature nearby
Cheap as can be
Cold as hell
Altitude can be rough
Marginally average girls
Tons of backpackers
People not as friendly as other spots in LatAm
Suggested Length of Stay: 1 week - 1 month
Mid-sized city surrounded by nature. Good hiking nearby.
More Spanish blood than you'd expect. Well, at least far more than in La Paz.
Which brings me to my next point…If I had to choose between spending a month here or in La Paz:
I’d choose Cochabamba 10/10 times.
But Cochabamba vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra…SC 10/10 times.
Cochabamba is surprisingly fairly developed in some ways. There’s a solid food scene with uniquely Bolivian dishes here.
There’s even a BJJ gym that's legit here — which is ran by one of my old training partners from Panama City.
You could make this city work on a short stay, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
Decent population, won't get too boring for a week or two
Great nature nearby
Friendlier than La Paz
Decent weather during the day
Hard to get to
Would get boring in a few weeks
Gets cold at night
Population: 400K metro area
Suggested Length of Stay: 2 days - 1 week
Small city that is fairly “Andean” in most ways.
Great weather year around — well, at least far better than La Paz.
Plus, there’s beautiful colonial architecture all around the city here.
You'll most likely come here on your way to the salt flats. You could stay a few days before or after and explore.
Not a place to spend too much time, as I really only included it on this list due to the salt flats.
Close-ish to the salt flats
Cool colonial architecture
It's just not a place to spend more than a week. Legit no reason to stay here.
Bolivia 🇧🇴 Overall
Bolivia is underrated.
But in the sense that most people don’t “rate” or even consider Bolivia at all.
It’s not a spot that’s on the radar of most red-blooded male travelers in LatAm — and for good reason.
Most travelers here are grimey backpackers who check out La Paz, do some cool nature trips, and then get the hell out.
Which is probably the ideal way to do things.
However, Bolivia is an interesting country.
You have world-class bio-diversity and adventure tourism.
There’s one highly livable city, Santa Cruz de la Sierra — which is worth checking out for a short to mid-length trip.
Plus, the place is truly off-the-beaten-path once you get out of La Paz and the salt flats.
No, it’s not a place to spend all year — like Brazil, Colombia, or Mexico are — but it’s not as bad as some claim.