Friday 24 January 2020

Bolivia: NEED TO KNOW

Sarah Ryan

GETTING THERE



There are no direct flights between Europe and Bolivia.

Sarah flew to La Paz from Dublin via Madrid and Lima with Iberia (0818 462020; Iberia.com). Return flights booked through Trailfinders (01-677 7888; trailfinders.ie) cost from €969 all-in.

STAYING THERE

The Irish-owned Wild Rover hostel (00591 2211 6903; wildroverhostel.com) is a home-away-from-home with 'craic' in abundance.

A bed in a 16-bed dorm costs from Bs45 (€4.50). A private room costs Bs150 (€15).

La Senda Verde (00591 7472 2825; sendaverde. com) is an eco-retreat at the end of the Death Road and a perfect base for getting your adrenaline levels back to normal.

Two-and-a-half hours from La Paz, it's set in the middle of the jungle with quirky wooden cabins and a tree-house for four. Rooms from Bs150 per night (€15).

RIDING THE DEATH ROAD

Gravity Bolivia (00391 2231 3849; gravitybolivia.com) arranges mountain-bike trips on the Death Road. A fee of €80 covers bike hire, meals and van transport.

The journey is suitable for confident beginners to experts, but you need average fitness levels to cope with the higher altitudes.

The best time to go is March to December, avoiding the rainy season. Make sure to pack a thermal jacket, bandana, sun protection, shades and a replacement camera battery. At these chilly heights, batteries can often stop working.

ESSENTIALS

No visa is required for Irish visitors for stays of up to 90 days. Check your passport is good for at least six months before leaving.

The Bolivian authorities request that all travellers show valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificates.

The Bolviano (Bs or BOB) is the official currency of Bolivia. 1 BOB = €0.10c.

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