Getting There in Bolivia

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International flights from the USA, Europe and neighboring countries land at the airports of La Paz and Santa Cruz. La Paz has the highest airport in the world.  It is located in the adjoining city of El Alto. The ride to La Paz takes a half hour to descend into city center by taxi. The descent is quite spectacular with beautiful scenery as La Paz is surrounded by mountains including Illimani at more than 6000 m. 

The taxi fare from El Alto to La Paz is approximately $8.00 USD. Viru Viru Airport in Santa Cruz is more distant from the city center so the ride there costs around $15.00 USD. 

The airlines that go Bolivia from the USA are American Airlines and LLoyd Aereo Boliviano (LAB). Both are good lines. Other carriers from Lima include Taca and LAN Peru, Varig and Gol from Sao Paulo, Aerolineas Argentinas from Buenos Aires, LAN Chile from Santiago and Arica, and TAM Mercosur from AsunciĆ³n.

Land travel to Bolivia provides the traveler with three choices. The first is the cheapest but often the most uncomfortable and unpredictable. Buses reach Bolivia's borders at Desaguadero and Yunguyo in Peru, Villazon and Yacuiba in Argentina, Corumba/Puerto Suarez in Brazil, and Tambo Quemado in Chile.  There is no direct bus route from Paraguay. There are three major train routes. One takes passengers from the Brazilian border at Corumba to Santa Cruz. Another rail route to Santa Cruz is possible from Yacuiba on the Argentine border. Finally, the major tourist route for train buffs from Argentina starts at Villiazon/La Quiaca at the border and goes to Oruro via Uyuni. Uniquely, various types of boats make the trip across Lake Titicaca from Puno, Peru to either Copacabana or Huatajata in Bolivia. You can obtain passage on a slow cruiser, a moderate speed catamaran, or a rapid hydrofoil. 

June 16, 2004 change by lithigin

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