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Moving to Bolivia?

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Peter B. Krehmer

Living in Bolivia, from Switzerland

"I was amazed how many like-minded expats there are in La Paz; it was great to get in touch with such a friendly group of people."

Heather Albrey

Living in Bolivia, from Australia

"Expat living in Bolivia can be difficult at times. The InterNations community made it a lot easier for us. "

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Bolivia at a Glance

Moving to Bolivia

Bolivia has much to offer anyone considering to move there due to its both culturally and geographically diversity. Discover Bolivia’s indigenous heritage and stunning places. Read more upon the land and its people, visas for Bolivia and more in our guide.

It has average temperatures ranging from around 15°C (59°F) in the higher parts of the country to 30°C (86°F) in the lower regions, everyone can feel comfortable. All architectural tastes can be satisfied too, with properties available in both indigenous and colonial styles.

The Land and Its People

In 2014, Bolivia had a population of around 10.6 million — the population size has tripled in the last 50 years. Just under 70% of the population lives in urban areas with the remaining living in more rural areas.

Bolivia is estimated to have the largest population of indigenous people in South America; the majority of these people are Quechuas. White people make up 15% of the population and mainly live in the big cities like La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. Afro-Bolivians make up a small part of the population, along with Bolivians of Asian origin.

Spanish is Bolivia's main language and its second most spoken language is Quechua.

Visas for Bolivia

Various visas can be obtained for Bolivia. If you are considering a short visit before moving to Bolivia, tourist visas allow a person to stay for up to 90 days. A specific purpose visa can be acquired with a letter of intent from the company or organization that has sent a person, a photo, a signed application, an itinerary and a bank statement. A temporary stay visa can be acquired with a valid passport, special purpose visa, work contract, criminal record certificate, proof of address, application for temporary residence and letter to the under-secretary of Migration. A visa for indefinite residence can also be acquired under specific conditions. There are Bolivian embassies around the world; information of their whereabouts can be found online.

Getting to Bolivia

Airplane is the most common way to get to Bolivia, although it is worth noting that South America has a huge bus network, so it is easily reached by bus from other South American countries. By plane, the best options from Europe are with Air Europa or Boliviana de Aviacion from Madrid to Santa Cruz, and from the USA there are flights from Miami to La Paz and Santa Cruz with American Airlines. There are also plenty of flights available from various South American countries.

Other options include by train, car and boat — these are less reliable than plane or bus but are viable options depending on your starting point.

InterNations Expat Magazine