The largest bus terminal in the country is inaugurated

The Metropolitan Bus Terminal was inaugurated this wednesday, February 10, in the city of El Alto. It is the largest bus terminal in the country and the second largest in Latin America after the Sao Paulo terminal in Brasil.

Opening ceremony of the Metropolitan Bus Terminal

With an investment of around 250 million Bolivians, this modern terminal is built on a large area approximately the size of 12 regulatory soccer fields. Among its most outstanding features are: a heliport that will be used for medical emergencies, a hotel available for passengers and drivers who wish to stay one night, and mechanical workshops for fleet maintenance.

It also has parking spaces for 300 private vehicles, 58 spaces for the buses that are waiting for passengers to board, an exclusive area for parcel and shipping services, and offices available for police, immigration, children’s advocates and customs personnel.

Metropolitan Terminal of El Alto (source: Página Siete)

In this bus terminal you can find not only interdepartamental transport service, but also international service with ticket office spaces for 72 bus companies. It also has a particular architectural appeal with a 630 linear meter hanging walkway that makes it the largest in the country.

Relaxation spaces for passengers and their companions with a micro-market, food court, cultural area for artistic presentatios and space for the sale of handicrafts and souvenirs. You can find this modern terminal in the Bolivar D area, on Ladislao Cabrera avenue: map.

It is expected that by May of this year a large part of the transportation companies will already operate from this terminal and there will be an internal flow thanks to a public invitation for companies whishing to settle in this terminal.

La Paz – Cochabamba, the busiest route in Bolivia

The trip between the cities of La Paz and Cochabamba is one of the most important in the country. A significant number of people make this journey daily with travel options at different times throughout the day and night. Below we share the travel options you have on this route and some tourist attractions that you can visit in each city.

Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The distance between both cities is about 350 km. and throughout the trip there is an ascent or descent of about 1000m. since the city of La Paz is at an altitude of 3640m.s.n.m. and Cochabamba at 2574m.s.n.m. The city of La Paz is characterized by its steep streets and the descent from the city of El Alto to the La Paz ollada. Cochabamba, on the other hand, is located in the valley and a large part of the city is flat, one of its characteristics is being the gastronomic capital of the country.

The travel time on this route can vary from 7 to 8 hours depending on the departure time and all buses make a stop in the middle of the journey where passengers can buy a snack and use the bathroom. Take advantage of the discounts of Tickets Bolivia for January on this route.

From La Paz to Cochabamba

The buses leave from the bus terminal in La Paz located on Av. Perú; you can enter the following link for the exact location. The travel options are as follows:

Bus CompanyTypeDepartureArrivalPrice
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)07:30am15:30pm106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)11:30am19:30pm106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)16:00pm00:00am106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)20:30pm04:30am106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana 1 MEMLie-flat (80°)21:00pm05:00am106Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)21:30pm05:30am106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana 1 MEMLie-flat (80°)22:00pm06:00am106Bs.

From Cochabamba to La Paz

On this route, the buses depart from the Cochabamba bus terminal located on Av. Ayacucho; you can enter the following link for your exact location. The schedules and travel options are as follows:

Bus CompanyTypeDepartureArrivalPrice
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)07:30am15:30pm106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)11:30am19:30pm106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)21:00pm05:00am106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana 1 MEMLie-flat (80°)21:00pm05:00am106Bs.
Trans Copacabana SALie-flat (80°)22:00pm06:00am106Bs. 74Bs.
Trans Copacabana 1 MEMLie-flat (80°)22:00pm06:00am106Bs.

Some tourist attractions in La Paz

La Paz has been named one of the 7 wonder cities of the world in 2014 by the New 7 Wonders group thanks to various attractions not only from the colonial era but also current attractions. We present some activities you can do in the wonder city:

Visit the witches market located in the center of the city, behind the church of San Francisco, one of the most visited places by tourists. There you can find amulets, traditional mixes and products to make offerings to mother earth, known as Pachamama.

Take a tour from the air throughout the city using the Mi Teleférico transport service that has 8 lines from the neighboring city of El Alto to the southern part of the city of La Paz. You can board the cabins from the city center, Periferica, Sopocachi, Obrajes, Av. Arce, Irpavi, among others.

About 40 minutes from the city center is the unmissable Valley of the Moon, this site acquires its name thanks to the geological characteristics of the terrain with a landscape out of this world. Choose between taking a short tour of about 40 minutes or a longer one of about 2 hours.

Viewpoint Killi Killi. La Paz, Bolivia.

The city of La Paz takes advantage of the characteristic geological ollada it has to have several viewpoints that are easily accessible and very close to the city center. The most visited viewpoints are those of Killi Killi located in the Periférica area, Pura Pura located in the area of the same name and Laicacota, the most central viewpoint of the city on Av. del Ejército.

Some tourist attractions in Cochabamba

Visit the Palacio Portales, the former residence of Simón Iturri Patiño, one of the richest people in the world in the 1930s. Located in 10 hectares of gardens, the mansion was never occupied and is now a Cultural and Pedagogical Center.

If you are looking to buy clothes, accessories, gifts and electronic items; don’t hesitate to stop by La Cancha, one of the largest open-air markets in South America. You find it open every day of the week.

Cristo de la Concordia. Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Take the cable car or walk up to the Cristo de la Concordia, a statue of Jesus located atop the hill of San Pedro. From the top you have an unmissable view of Cochabamba. The monument itself has a total height of 40 meters and is larger than the Christ the Redeemer in Sao Paulo.

Tips for bus travel in times of Covid-19

Tourism has been one of the sectors most affected by the coronavirus and recreational travel has taken a back seat. Now that travel in Latin America is normalizing, after a reduction in daily contagion cases, many people wonder: How can I travel in the middle of a pandemic?

In this blog we share with you some of the recommendations that we were able to collect from international Institutes and Control Centers that published various guides and suggestions for taking bus trips during the pandemic.

General recommendations

First we will talk a little about the general recommendations and measures that are maintained to avoid contagion in any situation. These are rigorous hygiene habits that have been shown to help prevent the spread of the virus.

One of the main recommendations is to use a mask at all times while you are away from home. There are different types of masks, the most effective is called N95, which filters 95% of airborne particles; It is also recommended to use surgical masks, which are quite effective and finally, if you wear a fabric mask, it is recommended that it be made of at least two layers of fabric.

Another important recommendation is frequent hand washing, this is effective since the virus is covered by a protective layer of fat; when we wash our hands we remove that protective layer of fat and the virus dies. It is also advisable to have a gel hand sanitizer, wet towels or a spray with a 70% alcohol solution with you for when you cannot access a sink.

You should also avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose when you are in the street. If you need to cough or sneeze, it is important to do so by covering your mouth with the inside of your elbow, in this way you avoid the spread of particles in the air and these remain in an area with which you usually have little contact.

Finally, we recommend that you avoid the affective greeting with people, say hello from afar, avoiding contact with either cheeks or hands. An alternative that is frequently seen is the salute with the elbow or perhaps with the feet, but a simple gesture of the hand is enough. Likewise, you must maintain a distance of 2 meters with other people.

Recommendations for bus travel

Transportation companies are taking their own prevention measures governed by the authorities now that some of their services have been enabled. In general, they are making the trip with a reduced capacity; buses travel at 50 to 60% of their total capacity. They are cleaned and disinfected completely after each trip and the bus staff must wear a mask as a requirement.

Bus desinfection in terminal

Now we will give you recommendations to travel as safely as possible by bus and avoid contagion as much as possible. Something very important to take into account is that zero risk does not exist, however, with these tips the risk will be considerably reduced:

Evaluate the reasons for your trip

At this time it is important to take into account the reasons why you are making the trip. Is it a vacation trip to relax? Do you feel like traveling after being locked in your house all year? Or maybe is it an important business trip? The ideal is to avoid trips made for leisure or relaxation and only travel if necessary.

Another important aspect to take into account is your health, if you have a risky disease or are among people with high risk, it is best to avoid travel. Also take into account the people who travel with you.

We know that you are tired of seeing the same street every day and now that some trips have been enabled you are surely looking to take advantage of this and travel to get out of the ordinary. We recommend you to do tourism within your city, we are sure that there are several places that you still have to visit. If you really want to travel, find a place nearby.

Choose a safe destination

You must be adequately informed about the epidemiological situation of the destination, as well as the entry restrictions. The more cases of COVID-19 there are at the destination, the greater the likelihood of becoming infected while traveling and spreading the virus to others upon return. On the World Health Organization website you can see the Dashboard with the destination’s situation in relation to COVID-19. We recommend you check the countries that are going through a new wave of infections and avoid traveling there.

Avoid traveling to places where you have to make many stops or stops. It is preferable to travel to destinations close to your city and avoid moving to far away places. Once at your destination, we recommend doing activities that are outdoors and avoiding closed places with several people.

Make the purchase of your tickets safely

Once you have decided your destination, it is time to buy the tickets. To avoid crowds and physical contact for money exchange, we recommend buying your tickets online. In the Tickets Bolivia portal you can purchase tickets with a credit or debit card, through PayPal or by bank deposit. In this way you avoid direct contact with people.

It is also important to choose the time of travel. It is advisable to avoid traveling in peak hours such as early in the morning or late at night, where many people decide to make the trip. You can wait a couple of hours and make the trip to avoid contact with more people.

At the time of travel

The time to travel has come, you must take into account all the general recommendations that we gave you in the first instance such as the use of a mask and you can also use a face shield to take better care of yourself during the trip. Do not forget to wash your hands before and after entering the bus.

Try to travel in the window and open it a little during the trip. This allows constant air circulation within the bus. Finally, we advise you to make the trip with gloves; in this way you avoid contact with the surfaces inside the bus. Once you wash your hands before boarding the bus, you can put on your gloves and take them off at the destination to re-disinfect or wash your hands.

We hope that these tips have been of great help to you and that you take them into account when making your bus trips. Do not forget to take care of yourself at all times and be ready to travel in any situation.

Top 4 reasons to travel Bolivia by bus

As air travel is expensive for most bolivians, and trains do not reach most destinations, bus travel is essential for the transportation of passengers and products in this country. In fact, bus travel is the most common form of public transportation in Bolivia and in South America, both for short-distance and long-distance travel.

paisaje altiplano
Bolivian Altiplano (www.panoramio.com)  

South America is a region of contrasts, and road conditions, too, vary between countries and regions, and even within a country. In Bolivia there are roads that are paved and in good condition, and others that, due to the landscapes they cross, are subject to landslides or flooding, and are more difficult to maintain, especially during rain season (December-February).  

Just as road conditions vary, so does the quality of bus services, depending on the destination to which you are traveling. The more popular destinations tend to have better buses; more remote or less “touristy” destinations may not have very good quality buses to take you there.

All things considered, traveling by bus is one of the most affordable ways to get around Bolivia, and it offers the view of landscapes and cultural experience that you would otherwise miss. So here are our top 4 reasons for traveling through Bolivia by bus:

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1. The environment

Did you know that buses have the smallest carbon footprint of all transportation services? Its true. Cars, trains and planes are all more costly to the environment than buses. One bus can replace 3 cars and spends 60% less energy per passenger mile than trains. In recent years, Bolivia has experienced a modernization of its transportation services, so the buses offered by transportation companies are every time more energy-efficient and environmentaly friendly.

2. Cost-effective

Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to get around South America in general, but this is even more so in Bolivia, where bus tickets are way cheaper than in countries like Argentina, Chile and Peru. Although bus companies raise their prices during high season, and prices can even sometimes change from one day to another according to demmand, the prices of tickets are consistently cheaper than in neighboring countries. For example, bus tickets from Uyuni (one of the hottest tourist destinations in Bolivia) to Potosi can cost around 5 dollars in a good-quality bus. So, traveling bolivia by bus helps you save cash you can spend on something else.

There’s also been a control over the prices for the main destinations in Bolivia. The ticket has a price limit stablished by the goverment for each route. Say what you want about buses, but at the end of the day, bus tickets are much cheaper than any airfare you will find and with buses, what you see is what you get; everything is included in the price you originally paid.

bus-yungas
The Old road to Los Yungas, La Paz, Bolivia

3. Scenery

Pretty simple: If you travel by bus you will see landscapes you would miss if you traveled by plane. You get to enjoy the great scenery while traveling: the incredible mountains of purple and green and pink stone on the way from La Paz to Uyuni; the Bolivian Altiplano flatlands with faraway snowcapped mountains; the valleys of Sucre; the tropical jungle you cross on the way from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz; the tropical mountain forests of the Los Yungas regions. Traveling by bus is the only way to take in many of these sights.

Unlike in airlines, a bus travel allows you to view the beauty of the countryside while traveling. When using an airplane, you will not have much of a scenery apart from the clouds that you will see all through your journey.

National Road in Bolivia with the snowy Sajama.

4. Accessibility

Bus travel is ideal for the adventurers at heart. There are so many small towns with a rich history and national parks that are just waiting to be explored and you can’t easily get to most of those by plane.

So you want to get off the beaten path? Are you interested in going places that most tourist haven’t even heard of? Then going there by bus may very well be your only choice. Air travel in Bolivia is pretty limited, and trains only reach very few destinations. But if there is a road, there is a bus. So plan your bus travels and go where (not many) have gone before!

Travel in Bolivia by bus

One way to travel economically and efficiently is by bus. In Bolivia it is one of the most common ways of transporting between cities or provinces. The buses cover practically all the tourist routes within the country and you can find departure times of your choice. Below we explain how to buy bus tickets to travel in Bolivia in a safe, relaxed and economical way.

Traveling by bus allows you to appreciate the great road landscapes that Bolivia has to offer. Also, did you know that buses have a smaller carbon footprint in transportation? a bus can replace 3 cars and uses about 60% less energy per passenger-mile than traveling by train. So you not only enjoy a rest and a walk with the best views, you also help the environment with your decision to travel by bus.

Bolivian Altiplano (www.panoramio.com)

Online

Online purchases give you the facility of being able to do them from home or wherever you are, without having to go to the terminal and buy the ticket in person, thus avoiding the crowds. Also, buying online you can do it in advance of up to a year before your trip.

You can buy bus tickets online. In the Tickets Bolivia portal you can find information about the travel options, costs and schedules available and make the direct purchase of tickets through the internet.

If you do not have a credit or debit card enabled for online purchases, you can also make the purchase through a bank deposit if you are within Bolivia. If you have any questions about the purchase to be made, you can contact the company at their contact numbers to ensure the trip and the available options.

At the terminal

Of course you can also buy tickets from the same departure terminal. This is a common way to do shopping and you should normally go to the terminal the same day of the trip and even when you are ready with your suitcases to leave and see the options you have in the terminal. Normally you cannot buy tickets days in advance at terminals in Bolivia.

Bus Terminal. La Paz, Bolivia.

The cost of the terminal tickets may be lower, but in high season the prices are usually the same as online. You can also secure a space on the bus by buying in advance.

Precautionary measures

Little by little, trips between departments and provinces within Bolivia are being enabled, and it will not take long for the borders to be opened to public transport. Given this, transport companies are taking the necessary measures to operate safely.

The buses travel with 50 to 60% of their total capacity ensuring the necessary social distancing, in addition, they are completely disinfected after each trip made. To board the bus it is mandatory to wear a mask and to have hand sanitizer with you. You can also access this disinfectant on the bus.

Bus disinfection. (APG, http://www.periodicobolivia.com.bo)

Now that the routes and services are enabled, you can travel maintaining the necessary caution and buying your tickets from home to avoid crowds and maintain the required distance.

Top 4 reasons to book bus and train tickets online

Tourists of the world are quickly turning towards booking everything online, from plane tickets, to hotels and tours. In Latin America, the options for booking bus and train tickets online are not widely available, but buying online has many advantages, even when it is not the most common alternative. Why buy tickets online? Here are our three top reasons.
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Time

No matter why you travel, or for how long, most travelers visiting South America are not only on a budget, they’re on a schedule. You have precious days at each destination, and every moment counts. Booking online helps you plan your trip for more time-efficiency. You don’t want to spend the little time you have in a city going to the Bus Terminal the day before you plan to travel, finding out if there are tickets available, buying the tickets (if they are available) and then going there again the next day to take your bus. When you buy online, you are guaranteed a seat on the bus, and you just need to arrive 30 minutes before, check your luggage and are set to go. No extra time. Plus, you can book your tickets online at your convenience, off business hours; studies show most people have more time to shop and do research online late at night or early in the morning. When you book online you access a 24 hour service.

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Cost

Yes, when you buy online you pay a fee. But if you’re planning to travel in high season months (July-August, November-January) and you book online, you avoid the price hikes that are common to all bus and train companies and that can reach up to 50% or more. So buying online can end up saving you money, even after the fee, which is around 20% of the cost of the ticket. Plus, you get to pick your seats before anyone else with some bus companies. For example, when you buy through Tickets Bolivia, you have the option of writing us an email with your seat preferences, and these will be made known to the bus or train company in order to be able to accommodate you.

Flexibility

So you are an adventurer. You want to keep the planning to a minimum so you can arrange your itinerary as you go along. No problem. Buying online through a company like Tickets Bolivia allows you all the flexibility you need. Once your ticket is booked, you can change the date of your trip, the time of departure and even the route. We do ask you to request for these changes with at least 48 hours prior to your original departure so we can accommodate you. For all of the purchased tickets that were canceled due to the covid-19 infection we offered to change the departure date without extra cost or a refund of the ticket, something that would be harder to do if you purchase the tickets directly from the terminal in advance.

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Safety

When you travel, you worry about safety. Buying online is safe in many ways. First, when you do it through a company like Tickets Bolivia, that works with recognized payment companies such as PayPal, you are ensured the safety of your transaction. You also avoid handling large sums of cash at the bus terminals, which everyone knows are places where one should always be careful. Also, when you buy online there is a company that has your data and is aware of your travel plans. If there should be an incident such as road blockades, or if there is a problem with the bus company, Tickets Bolivia will get in touch with you to explain the situation and work with you to find a solution. And finally, buying online ensures you maintain the social distance and precautions needed. We got your back.

The best Bolivian destinations for museum lovers

Museums are wonderful places that allow us to travel through time through physical objects, be they pieces of artwork or historical relics. In this time of staying behind closed doors, many of the best museums in the world have opened their collections to virtual visits, allowing their expositions to be enjoyed online.

This has been wonderful for museum lovers, but we cannot deny that being there is just different; breathing the air, seeing the light on the objects, listening while a specialized guide lets us in on all the secrets. Just like theater and dance need the presence of spectators to come alive, museums are complete only with the living presence of visitors.

Museo Nal de Arte
Colonial artwork at the National Museum of Art in La Paz

In this post, we tell you all about the best Bolivian destinations for you museum lovers, explaining how you can travel to each city from different points in the country and which are those museums you just cannot miss, so you can plan your trip for when lock-down is over.

La Paz

La Paz is the seat of government of Bolivia, a city of two million inhabitants, at an altitude of 3600 m above sea level. As one of the liveliest cities in the country, it has a large cultural and historical tradition, and a wide array of museums you just can´t miss. Here, we tell you about our favorites:

  • National Museum of Art: located in a majestic colonial house just a block away from the Palace of Government, the National Museum of Art takes you on a journey of Bolivian art from the times of the colony to today´s contemporary pieces, with work from the best artists like Gil Imaná and Gastón Hugalde, among others. The museum is under the administration of the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia (FCBCB).
  • National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore: This museum is located only a few blocks away from the first, and is also under the administration of the FCBCB. Here, you will get to know the different artistic expressions of Bolivia´s indigenous peoples and its cultural and biological diversity, fromtextile art to feather clothes and ornaments. Make sure you don´t miss the impressive collection of ritual and festive masks. This is one of the most original museums you will see in Bolivia.

Museo Nacional Etno Y Folk
The mask collection at the Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore

You can travel to La Paz from Peru easily, through Puno, and make La Paz your first stop in Bolivia. You can also travel to La Paz from Chile, with direct bus trips from Arica or Iquique with bus companies that offer comfortable buses and a very good service. If you are in any other city in Bolivia, you can take a bus to La Paz very easily and at different schedules. All buses from other departments arrive at the Bus Terminal of La Paz, located on Peru Av.

Potosi

Potosi is a city of colonial architecture, with a very rich history and culture. It is key for understanding Bolivia´s history. It was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1987, due to it´s contribution to universal history and its architecture and art attractions. The city was founded on the foothills of the Cerro Rico de Potosi, literally a mountain of silver that provided funds for the Spanish Crown for centuries. At it´s summit, Potosi had more inhabitants than Paris. Today, the city has several museums that might interest you, but we bet this one will be your favorite:

  • Casa Nacional de la Moneda: It is said that, if you took all the silver mined from the Cerro Rico de Potosi during the spanish colony, you could build a bridge from America to Spain. Well, it was here, at the Casa Nacional de la Moneda, where silver coins were minted for the Spanish Colony. Visiting this museum will help you understand the relevance of Potosi in universal history, the way the coins were made, and the importance of our indigenous peoples and cultures.

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Icon of the Casa Nacional de la Moneda. Image by jo vanel from Pixabay

Potosi is a very easy city to travel to, with completely paved highways if you´re coming from La Paz, Villazón or Sucre. If you´re coming from La Paz, you can buy your bus tickets online here. The buses depart from the Bus Terminal of La Paz at 21:30 and arrive in Potosi early in the morning. If you come from Sucre, you can buy your tickets here online. The trip from Sucre to Potosi takes only 3 hours in normal buses.

Sucre

Sucre is a colonial city in the Bolivian valleys, the constitutional capital of the city, despite the seat of government being in La Paz. Known for its streets of white walls and houses with red tile rooftops, its churches and castles and… its beautiful museums. Birthplace of intelectuals, historians, political leaders and writers, it was on the streets of Sucre that the first cry for liberty came about in Latin America, in the 19th century.

Museo Casa de la Libertad Sucre
Interior – Casa de la Libertad

  • House of Liberty:  If you are interested in Latin American history, this is the museum for you. The house of liberty is the place where the Act of Independence of Alto peru was signed in 1825, establishing liberty from the Spanish Colony. Among its treasures is the original Act Of Independence of alto Peru, declared in 2019 as Memory of the World by the Committee  Comité Memory of World-Bolivia (MOW-Bolivia-UNESCO). It also has ancient portraits of the liberators Simón Bolívar, Antonio José de Sucre and José Ballivián, the tomb of captain Juana Azurduy, the first independent flag of South america and other relics.
  • Museum of Indigenous Art ASUR: Unique in it´s style, this museum is a must for those who appreciate and want to know more about the arts of indigenous peoples of Bolivia, specially centered around their textiles. It is said that the indigenous peoples of Tarabuco and the jalq’a, in the department of Chuquisaca, tell their stories and express their cultural identity in their intricate weavings. In this museum, you will see exquisitely woven pieces and you will aproach an understanding of the artistic and philosophic depth of these cultures. You also get to see and meet weavers as they work on their textiles!

Museo asur
Jalka textile

Traveling to Sucre is easy from any main city in Bolivia, such as Santa Cruz or Cochabamba. All you have to do is buy your tickets online and show up at the bus station at least 30 minutes before the trip. Trips from Potosi to Sucre by bus are very frecuent, since the two cities are not far away and the highway that connects them is in very good shape.

We wish you a happy return to museums very soon!

 

Everything You Need To Know About Alasitas

miniaturas_de_alasita_
Caleidoscopic – via Wikimedia Commons

Every year on 24th January starts the annual Alasitas festival which takes place in La Paz and lasts for a month displaying stalls covered in miniature versions of houses, money bills, cereal boxes, passports, iPhone, diplomas, and all the items one may aspire to acquire during the year.

Alasitas is a place where one can also look for love in the shape of a rooster or a hen. To ensure that you will find love during that year, the rooster/hen has to be given to you. You cannot purchase it yourself. The birds have come to represent love and they come in different colors, each representing something: black ones are for widowers, yellow (or gold) are for people looking for a rich partner, white ones represent purity and the red ones are more passionate. Some of them even have professions and different qualities depending on what you look in a partner.

ekeko_2
juhauski72 – via Wikimedia Commons

Everything purchased at the fair needs to be blessed by priests and then offered to the Ekeko, the Andean God of Abundance. He’s easily recognizable by the bags of goods he carries, the chullo (traditional hat) and the cigarettes he’s smoking.

Other traditional and typical items people purchase are golden toads which represent Pachamama (Mother Earth) and are meant to bring fortune and prosperity to your home. Suitcases filled with money are also popular implying that money won’t be missing and that there will be opportunities to travel during the year. Food is another common purchase people make, with miniature boxes of pasta, rice, quinoa and other staples that you can buy.

vista_de_alasitas_2010,_la_paz,_bolivia_-_panoramio_-_lilapagola
lilapagola – via Wikimedia Commons

Alasitas is popular festival that mixes indigenous beliefs and Catholicism, tradition and modernity, illustrating perfectly Bolivia’s complexities and idiosyncrasies. On the first day of Alasitas, at around 12:00pm people gather in and around the churches to have their items blessed by the Catholic priests in a vibrant display of syncretism. And it’s also more than that; Alasitas is a fun, convivial place with food and games, enjoyable for the whole family, where one can also find hand-crafted and artisan goods. Make sure to go and try the plato paceño, a local specialty with corn, cheese, meet and fava beans, and the unmissable api con pastel, a purple-corn drink accompanied by a deep-fried cheese empanada.

Alasitas can be enjoyed throughout the city during 30days, especially on the first day but the fair is held in Parque Urbano in La Paz. The fair then moves to Santa Cruz in September, where it also stays for a month.

If you are travelling in Bolivia in January/February or September make sure not to miss the Alasitas fair. You can easily travel to La Paz and Santa Cruz and plan ahead your trip with Tickets Bolivia.

From Buenos Aires to La Paz, roundtrip by land

Buenos Aires and La Paz are two of the most visited cities in South America, each with particular and contrasting tourist attractions. Buenos Aires is a huge city with a vibrant cultural life and one of the most beautiful of the continent. Buenos Aires is famous for its food, entertainment and nightlife. A port city, it lies at sea level and enjoys the sea breeze and beautiful views of Rio de la Plata. The city of  La Paz, on the other hand, is one of the most important Andean capitals, with an unusual mountain topography that gives it an uncanny beauty and awesome landscapes. At 3600 meters above sea level, the climate is dry and sunny. La Paz is the most important city in Bolivia and is an attractive cultural destination.

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El Obelisco, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires to La Paz

In order to travel by bus from Buenos Aires to La Paz you cover a distance of 2,654 kilometers, through several different cities and towns in Argentina and Bolivia and crossing the border in La Quiaca/Villazón. You can divide the trip into two segments to make it lighter and faster. First, you go from Buenos Aires to the border, in Villazon, and from there on to La Paz in a direct bus.

The buses leave every day from the Bus Terminal Retiro, located on Libertador Av. at 10:00 am and they arrive in Villazon at 14:00 at the bus terminal located on La PAz Street.

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Vista de La Paz, Bolivia

From the same terminal on La Paz Street, the buses from Villazon to La Paz leave every day at 18:30 and at 20:00, arriving in the andean capital at 10:00 am the next day. The buses arrive at the bus terminal of La Paz, located on Uruguay Av., on the corner of  Peru Av. If you want to book today, or if you just want to see the schedules, prices and bus companies, just click on this link:  Buenos Aires to La Paz

And back…

The trip between Buenos Aires and La Paz through Villazon lasts around 36 hours. Nevertheless, in the months of December and January, the trip can be longer because of the time it will take you to cross the border, which can take several hours longer than usual due to the high traffic of people and vehicles.

To get from La Paz to Buenos Aires through Villazon you can divide the trip into two segments, first from La Paz to Villazon, and from there you can take a direct bus to Buenos Aires. The buses from La Paz to Villazon leave every day from the bus station of La Paz. There are many schedules you can choose from, depending on the bus company you choose to travel with, and all buses leave between 10:00 and 20:00. Before boarding the bus, you will be asked to pay a small fee called Uso de Terminal, which costs 2.5 Bolivianos per passenger.

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On the Argentinian side…

The trip from La Paz to Villazón lasts around 18 hours. In Villazon, the buses arrive at the same bus terminal described before, and from there you can also take the bus Buenos Aires, which leaves every day at 10:00 in the morning. From Villazon to Buenos Aires, the trip takes around 27 horas, and you arrive back at the bus terminal Retiro. at around 13:00 the next day. During high season, it is also recommended that you buy your tickets beforehand, to make sure you are able to make your trip as planned. To do this, you can click on the following link: La Paz to Buenos Aires

From Villazon to La Paz by train How to do it by train 

If you love to travel by train, you can make part of the way between Villazon and La Paz with the train companies Expreso del Sur or Wara Wara del Sur. If you are traveling from Buenos Aires to La Paz, once you are in Villazon just take the train from the station located in front of Plaza Sucre. The train will take you to Oruro, a city four hours away from La Paz, and will arrive at the train station located on Velasco Galvarro Street, on the corner with con Aldana St. The time and duration of the trip from depends on the day of the trip and the train company you choose. For example if you take the train Wara Wara from Villazon to Oruro, the train leaves at 15:30 and you arrive in Oruro at 9:30 the next morning. From Oruro, the buses to La Paz leave every 30 minutes all day from the bus station located on Las Banderas Av.

For the trip from La Paz to Buenos Aires, you will take a bus from La Paz to Oruro, and from there the train to Villazon. If you want to see shcedules and train companies that offer this service, just follow this link: trains

If you have any doubts, please contact us at info@ticketsbolivia.com, or follow us in Facebook. Have a great trip!

Peru Hop; The power of being flexible

What doesnt bend breaks, they say. And we believe that flexibility, also known as resilience, is one of the most important values if you want to lead a full and meaningful life. This applies also to traveling.

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Arequipa, Peru

Travelers today want it all: safety, reliability, and also the freedom to adapt their itinerary as they please, to decide to stay longer at one location, or to just take off before planned. You want to be able to plan you trip, knowing when you will be arriving where, when the buses leave, how long a trip takes… but you also want to be able to improvise. You don´t want to lose money if you suddenly feel ill and have to stay in a location longer than you expected, or if it just tickles your fancy to stay longer.

Not many travel companies can offer all of these things. Peru Hop can. This company was started in 2013 by two Irish guys who dreamed of offering tourists in Peru the safe, fun and flexible experience they would have liked for themselves. It is a pleasure for Tickets Bolivia to offer their services at our website. Read on to find out how it works.

 

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La Paz, Bolivia

How it works in 5 simple steps

  1. Choose a pass

Choose from their variety of passes, depending on where you want to start, where do you want to go and how much time you have. For example, if you are in La Paz and want to get to Lima, you can choose a pass that takes you through Puno, Cusco, Arequipa, Paracas, etc., or you can take a more direct pass.

  1. Plan your itinerary

You will be able to see all the intermediate stops between your city of origin and city of destination, and begin to plan where you will get off, and how long you will stay. The pass is good for a whole year. This means if you want to stay at one location for a few days, or months, you can do that. Just go with the flow. This flexibiity allows you to improvise and designn your journey to fit your needs and desires.

  1. Start your trip

Peru Hop picks you up from your hotel or hostel, or even from an Airbnb location. At every destination, they will pick you up and drop you off wherever you are staying, except in Cusco, due to the strict legal restrictions regarding large buses entering the historic center

  1. Hop on and hop off

You decide how long to stay at each stop. Maybe stay one night or one month, it’s up to you! Your pass will be valid for one whole year, so you don’t have to worry about those dreaded fixed schedules other companies offer. Simply log into your HOP LOGIN account and change your itinerary on-the-go.

  1. Finish your trip

Finish your trip and pick up a free t-shirt in their offices in either Lima or Cusco (Subject to availability).

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Lake Titicaca seen from Puno, Peru

Destinations

Peru Hop takes you to Lima, Chincha, Paracas, Ica, Huacchina, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno and Cuzco, in Peru, and to Copacabana and La Paz, in Bolivia. You can choose to spend time at every one of these unique destinations, or to skip some according to your interests and needs. You can go from La Paz, at over 3000 m above sea level down to Paracas and Lima on the seaside, at your leisure, with absolute freedom and in one of the safest and tourist-friendly companies.

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Lima, Peru

 

Peru Hop is simply the best way to get around and it has been built with the needs and desires of tourists in mind to ensure you guys fall in love with Peru and have a stress-free and safe journey! And you can book your tickets online now through Tickets Bolivia by following this link: http://www.ticketsbolivia.com

The best of all worlds, as we see it.