Known as “the Villa de San Bernardo de Tarija” and “San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarija”, the city of Tarija can be found in southern Bolivia. Citizens of Tarija call themselves “Chapacos” and are able to enjoy a very relaxed lifestyle, with a three hour siesta every day, beginning at noon, when shops and businesses close and families return home. Expats living in Tarija will find the main plaza is surrounded by restaurants offering various cuisines, as well as fast food outlets. Shops selling local handicrafts and internet cafés in the main plaza are very close to the market and the university campus, and it is easy to get around the center of Tarija on foot. Tarija enjoys a warm, Mediterranean climate, and local wine tours are popular. Membership of InterNations, the global online community for expats, gives expatriates living in Tarija the opportunity to network via the online forums on the InterNations website in order to find others with similar interests and professional standing for business and social purposes.
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The Capitán Oriel lea Plaza Airport has flights to and from the main cities of Bolivia, including Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Tarija has a regional bus terminal, with regular domestic and international services. If traveling from Argentina, it is possible to travel to Tarija from the border town of Bermejo by bus or a colectivo, a shared taxi, which is a reasonably cheap alternative. Relocating to Bolivia, or any foreign country, can be a daunting prospect, with many pitfalls for those not prepared for the language and cultural changes they will encounter. As an InterNations member, any expatriate moving to Tarija can call upon expertize of the InterNations community to guide them through specific difficulties with helpful hints and tips. For general advice on the relocation process, the InterNations Expat Magazine is packed with information and covers a wide range of topics, from culture shock to offshore banking for expats.
Tarija City has many local businesses, but grape growing, wine production and agriculture are still its main sources of employment, together with the San Pablo Catholic University, Tarija. The region of Tarija has very large deposits of oil and natural gas, with extraction and distribution to Argentina and Brazil in particular providing a lucrative trade for Bolivia. An expatriate working in Tarija may visit the twin forty-meter high waterfalls of Chorros de Jurina on a day trip, or the university-run Paleontology Museum in Tarija itself. A membership at InterNations affords a useful way of locating and meeting fellow expats in Tarija and its surrounding areas to enjoy the attractions of the city, including the curiously blue and white striped former Governor of Tarija house, styled to look like a castle.