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Border Crossings

Bolivia and Argentina border

Travelers coming from Argentina will most likely take a bus to the Argentine border town of La Quiaca and cross into the Bolivian border town of Villaz贸n by foot. The two immigration offices are only a few meters apart from one another, and crossing is usually a hassle-free endeavor, especially if necessary visas have already been obtained. From Villaz贸n, there are many buses and a train to other destinations in Bolivia like Tupiza, Oruro and La Paz. Another major crossing between Argentina and Bolivia is at Pocitos/Yacuiba.

U.S. citizens need a tourist visa in order to enter Bolivia, which can be applied for at the border or in advance at a Bolivian embassy. It costs $135 and is valid for 30 days with multiple entries allowed, but can be extended to up to 90 days, depending on nationality. The money must be in cash and in U.S. dollars. Among other documents, a yellow card indicating the reception of the yellow fever vaccine is mandatory. Check the embassy website to confirm the cost and required documents to cut back on hassle at the border.

Bolivia and Peru border

Many international buses run between Bolivia and Peru. Probably the most popular route is from Copacabana to Puno, Arequipa or Cusco, Peru via the Desaguadero crossing, or vice versa. Most of these buses stop at the border, allow travelers to collect their exit and entry stamps, and then meet passengers on the other side. The majority of buses make a stop in Puno, where passengers may or may not have to switch buses before continuing onward to their final destination. It is best to confirm these details when booking your international bus ticket. This Copacabana-to-Puno route can also be completed by boat instead. See our Bolivia International Boat Travel section for more information on this and on the possible river crossings in the Amazon Basin. Additionally, another less popular and more time-consuming overland crossing exists at Yunguyo/Kasani.

Bolivia and Brazil border

The most popular land crossing to get to and from Brazil is between Quijarro, Bolivia and Corumb谩, Brazil. Most travelers will take a train to Quijarro, and then either walk or take a taxi to the immigration offices at the border, which are a little over a mile away from the station and separated by a bridge. After receiving an entry stamp on the Brazilian side, you will find many city buses waiting to bring you to Corumb谩. There are also two popular boat crossings at Guajara-Mirim/Guayaramer铆n and Brasileia/Cobija. A yellow fever vaccine is necessary in order to enter Brazil from Bolivia.

Bolivia and Chile border

Those looking to cross the border into Chile will most likely go from La Paz to Arica, Chile through the Chungara-Tambo Quemado mountain pass. Another option is to book an extended tour of the Salar de Uyuni that includes a stop in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. In this scenario, the tour company should assist in the border crossing process, making it an easy way to get to Chile from Bolivia. Alternatively, if your tour ends in Uyuni, you can independently cross into San Pedro by way of Hito Caj贸n or take a train to Calama, Chile with a stop at the Avaroa/Ollag眉e crossing. Less popular, but still viable, is taking a bus from Oruro to Iquique, Chile via the Pisiga/Colchane crossing.

Bolivia and Paraguay border

There are several bus companies that run daily routes from Santa Cruz or Villamontes, Bolivia to Asunci贸n, Paraguay along the Trans-Chaco Highway. Another option is to go through Brazil, either by river or land via Corumb谩, both which require multiple stops along the way.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Getting Around, Getting To and From San Ignacio de Moxos, Villaz贸n / La Quiaca Border Crossing, Getting To and Away, Getting Around Bolivia By Boat, Getting To and Away From Oruro, Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado Tours, To and From Yanacachi, Getting To and From San Borja and When To Go.

By Jena Davison

I am a curious, passionate and free-spirited travel writer, currently working as a Staff Writer and Editor for V!VA. Shortly after...

09 Jul 2010

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