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Getting to and away

There are three main bus departure points in La Paz – the main terminal, Villa Fátima and the cemetery district.

No trains run from La Paz, but you can pre-book tickets (Calle Guachalla 494, Sopocachi, Tel: 2-241-9770, www.fca.com.bo) – see Oruro for train information and schedules.

BUS

Main Bus Terminal (Plaza Antofagasta, Av. Uruguay and Perú, Information: 2-228-6061/5858) Buses from the Terminal de Buses head to major cities around Bolivia, and internationally. The main bus terminal is to the northwest of town, about two kilometers from the center. There are licensed terminal taxis waiting outside, who charge $1/$1.50 for trips to the main part of the city. You can also walk down the hill to the main road and get a minibus marked ‘prado’ to the main thoroughfare, although there’s not much space for luggage. If you want to walk, it’s about 20 minutes.

Oruro – services leave every half hour from 4 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. (3.5/4 hours, $3-$8.50)

Cochabamba – over a dozen companies have buses to the garden city, about every half an hour from 6:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. (7/8 hours, $4-$10).

Potosi – services leave in the evening, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. (11 hours, $7-$15) Sucre – Trans Copacabana I MEM, Sind.

Copacabana and a few other carriers leave for Sucre every night between 6:30 – 8 p.m. (12-14 hours, $14-$21)

Santa Cruz – overnight buses to Santa Cruz depart from 4:30 -9:30 p.m., with the more comfortable buses leaving earlier in this time frame. Recommended carriers include Bolivar and Trans Copacabana I MEM (16 hours, $12-$25)

Tarija – south bound buses on the 24-hour trek to Tarija leave at 4:30 and 5 p.m. ($15-$30)

Villazon – buses to the Argentine border generally leave between 1 and 2:30 p.m. and 6 and 7:30 p.m. (22 hours, $15-$28)

International services

Chile – Arica/Iquique Buses west to the Chilean coast leave between 6 and 7 a.m. and midday and 1 p.m. (Arica 8 hours, $14, Iquique 12 hours, $19/$20)

Peru

Puno/Cusco - To go direct from La Paz to Cusco, there are daily departures between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. (18 hours, $14). Check which services can drop you off in Puno.

Lima – Ormeño (2-228-1141) have daily departures to Lima at 2:30 p.m. and Rio Paraguay leave at 6p.m. every day (24 hours, $70-$80).

Argentina – Buenos Aires Buses to the Argentine capital with Ormeño leave at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (52 hours, $90) Paraguay-Asunción Flotas do leave for Asunción, but there are a lot more options from Santa Cruz.

Villa Fátima Buses heading into the Yungas region and further north to the depths of the Amazon leave from the Villa Fátima region of La Paz, just north of Plaza Villoroel in Miraflores. The easiest way to get there is by radio taxi, but there are also minibuses marked Villa Fátima that go from the center – ask to be dropped off at the ex-surtidor (old petrol station).

Transport to Coroico leaves from in front of the old petrol station at regular intervals (Flota Yungueña 2-221-3513, Trans Tota? Tel: 2-221-1616). Travel time is between two to three hours and costs $2-3.50 – see Coroico for more details. Buses for Chulumani leave from near the corner of Avenida 15 de Abril and Calle Yanacachi, a couple of blocks north of the old petrol station. Journey time is four hours, cost is $3.50 and transport leaves between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Buses direct to Yanacachi leave from Buses from Calle Ocobaya. For Guanay, there are daily departures from just west of Av. de las Américas (8-10 hours, $6-8). Minibuses and shared taxis also leave from this area for Caranavi ($3-6, 4 hours)

Buses into the Amazon and alto Beni are only guaranteed to leave in the dry season. It’s recommended to buy your tickets in advance. Companies serving this region have their offices along Avenida de las Américas, just further along from the old gas station, and on Calle Virgen de Carmen, west of the avenida.

Flotas to Rurrenabaque leave daily (18-24+ hours, $7). There are also daily departures going to Guayaramerín (40 hours, $26) via Riberalta (40 hours, $23) and occasional flotas for the long slog to Cobija (48-60 hours, $30).

emetery district Buses to the Lake Titicaca area, Sorata, Charazani, the border with Peru and Tiwanaku leave from the cemetery district. Minibuses from Plaza Estudiante and the Prado marked cementario will take you there, but it might be a struggle with lots of luggage. Alternatively, take a radio taxi. For Sorata, there are two companies running a regular service from Calle Bustillos, near Calle Kollasuyo (5 hours, $2-2.50). Buses for For Huarina and Huatajata also leave from here, or get a bus to Copacabana.

For Charazani, buses leave from Calle Cardona (8-10 hours, $4.50). For Copacabana there are buses and minibuses that leave from Calle Aliaga, just off the main road near the small plaza – it’s right opposite the cemetery (3-3.5 hours, $3-$4). Alternatively, there are tourist buses ($4-5) that will pick you up from your hotel, and drop off in the center of town on the return journey. You can also get transport to Puno from here, which stops in Copacabana. For the border with Peru at Desaguadero, there are buses and trufis that leave from Calle J.M. Asin and Calle Eyzaguirre (2.5-4 hours, $1.50-3). These are also the buses to get to get to Tiwanaku.

Air

The international airport is in El Alto (Tel: 2-281-0240) about 10 kilometers from the city center. There are registered airport taxis that cost $7 to the center of La Paz. To get to the airport, you can take one of the airport minibuses that ply the Prado or call a radio taxi. Airport tax is $2 nationally and $28 internationally. Facilities at the airport include ATMs, gift shops, a coffee shop, telephones, toilets and money exchange.

National Flights - There are daily flights to all major cities and towns around Bolivia, either direct or via Santa Cruz. The major Bolivian airlines include Aerosur (Av. 16 de Julio 1616 [El Prado], planta baja, Tel: 2-244-4930), BOA (Av. Camacho 1413, near Calle Loayza, Tel: 2-211-7993, www.boa.gov.bo ), the new national carrier with lots of special offer flights, Amaszonas (Av. Saavedra 1649, Miraflores, Tel: 2-222-0848, www.amaszonas.com), which specializes in destinations in the Amazon and TAM (Av. 16 de Julio 1471, reservations: 2-268-1111, info: 7200-6196) the military airline, which now flies to 21 destinations across the country (TAM fly from the military airport in El Alto).

International Flights - As well as all their national routes, Aerosur also have regular flights to Miami, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Salta, Asunción, Lima and Cusco. Aerolíneas Argentinas also have flights to Buenos Aires. TAM Mercosur have flights to cities in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as Miami, Paris and London. TACA have regular flights to Lima with connections to cities across Latin America and the U.S., and GOL have flights to destinations across Brazil, but you’ll need to change in Santa Cruz.










08 Mar 2010






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