When is the Best Time to Visit Bolivia?
Due to Bolivia's unique and extremely diverse landscape, as well as its landlocked nature, it is possible to visit all year round. However, there is a stark difference between the seasons.
The winter season, which is dry but cooler, runs from May to October. This is the most popular time to travel to Bolivia. Crystal clear blue skies create the perfect backdrop against the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni and Lake Titicaca.
The dry weather also means road travel is easier. The wetter and warmer summer season runs from November through to April.
When to visit the Highlands
Winter in the Highlands
Temperatures at this time of year tend to average around 15°C in the highland, high-altitude areas such as La Paz, Lake Titicaca and Uyuni. Nighttime temperatures can fall dramatically, to extremes of -15°C. However, providing you have anticipated this and packed appropriately, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Summer in the Highlands
Summer is a great time to visit the highlands, as there are fewer tourists and temperatures are warmer. During these months, the arid mountainsides such as Altiplano receive much needed rainfall and become green with lush flora, making it a beautiful area to trek round.
When to visit the Lowlands
Winter in the Lowlands
In the typically humid Amazon, the atmosphere is fresher, with temperatures still regularly reaching around 30°C. Occasionally, cool spells, called surazos, drift in from the south causing the temperatures to fall to around 10°C and lasting a couple of days.
Summer in the Lowlands
In the lowland areas, such as the Amazon, the arrival of the rains make the roads very difficult to navigate. However, at this time, there is an increase in river travel! The atmosphere is hot and humid during summer, with temperatures reaching 30°C+, meaning there are more mosquitoes.
Festivals in Bolivia
Fiesta del Gran Poder
In May or June, the Fiesta del Gran Poder (or ‘Festival of the Great Power’) takes place, celebrating the life of Jesus Christ. This sees thousands of dancers take to the streets of La Paz in colourful, flamboyant costumes.
Aymara New Year
On the 21st of June each year, the national holiday of Aymara New Year takes place. This is a recognition of the indigenous Aymara people who reside in West Bolivia, close to the Andes.
On 1st of November, Todos Santos (All Saints’ Day) is celebrated. A combination of indigenous tradition and Catholic beliefs, Bolivian families welcome the returning dead.
Feria de las Alasitas
The month-long festival of Feria de las Alasitas (Alasitas Fair) takes place in La Paz each January. There are hundreds of stalls selling intriguing miniature items, which are bought as an offering to Ekeko, the Aymara god of abundance. These are then displayed in the hope he will bring fortune and happiness to their lives.
“Our 10-week trip to Argentina, Chile, Easter Island, Bolivia and Brazil was amazingly executed down to the smallest detail, which was no small feat. Everything was pretty much perfect – the recommended hotels and excursions amazing and perfect for the family. A lovely touch was the personalised message, from [our travel designer] George, in each new hotel welcoming us to the hotel and the new area. No complaints!”
Catherine, 5 Stars