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Camping in Bolivia


Given Bolivia's exquisitely sculpted landscape, it's no surprise that so many visitors would rather sleep outside than in a fancy hotel. Bolivia is the perfect place to escape from the chaos of everyday life, providing a rare opportunity to trade in your crack-berry, laptop and television for a tent, sleeping bag and breathtaking (sometimes literally) views. With over twenty national parks and endless hiking and trekking routes, there are plenty of places to set up camp in Bolivia.


Most camping is done in conjunction with hiking and trekking, often with the help of local tours or guides. The most popular treks generally begin in La Paz and end in the northern Yungas. Ancient, well known trails include: Choro, Mapiri, Takesi and Yunga Cruz. If traveling with a guide, most of the necessary equipment (i.e. tent, sleeping bag, stove) will be provided, but feel free to use your own gear, if of better quality. If you bring your own stove, a multi-fuel model is your best bet. Unlike white gas, which can be scarce, kerosene is very easy to find. Alcohol burning stoves are not optimal, as they require more fuel, but methylated alcohols are generally accessible.


If you decide to set up camp in an area seldom frequented by tourists, first make sure that your presence is welcome. Around villages, ask a local official or the owner of the land for permission. Theft is quite common so never leave your belongings unattended and don't tell too many people about your site. However, not everyone has bad intentions. Some Bolivians may never laid eyes on fancy camping equipment before, so their attention may be nothing but curiosity.


When it's time to depart, try to leave the countryside as healthy and clean as it was when you got there—if not more so! Take your trash away, including toilet paper and try to do your “business” away from water, burying it nice and deep. Lastly, only use hygienic products that are biodegradable and nature friendly. Say thank you to Bolivia by doing your part to preserve these beautiful areas so that others can enjoy them for years to come.


Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Hiking in Bolivia,

By Emma Mueller
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry...
14 Jul 2009

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