Bolivia is four hours behind GMT and the clocks do not change seasonally, so in the summer they are five hours behind.
The local currency is the Boliviano. US dollars are accepted in some larger cities and stores, although you will need the local currency in more remote regions. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted by banks, hotels and restaurants in the main cities, and ATMs can also be found here. Outside of the cities, ensure you have Bolivianos in smaller denominations of cash. Banks are generally open from 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday, and from 9:00am to noon on Saturday.
The standard voltage is 115 / 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type A and C, so you will need to bring a US adapter.
Shops and Amenities
Offices and shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday. Hours are generally 9:30am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm on weekdays, and 10am to 12pm or 5pm on Saturday. Some stores may remain open until 8 or 9pm every day. In general, supermarkets are open until 8pm, sometimes even until 11pm. Please note that the main shops close on public holidays.
The main newspapers are El Diario (the nation’s oldest), Presidencia (published by the Catholic church) and La Razón (published in La Paz). The Bolivian Times is an English-language magazine published weekly. There are a mixture of private and government-run radio stations and tv channels.
Postal rates are high in Bolivia, and on average it costs about $1 to send a postcard. In all major cities, you will find post offices (called Ecobol) where you can buy stamps (they can also be found at kiosks at some airports). It should take around ten days for post to reach Europe (although it sometimes takes longer). We recommend using post offices directly rather than handing post over to the reception of your hotel.
To call Bolivia from the UK, dial 00 591 plus the area code without the initial 0, followed by the number of the person you are calling. To call the UK from Bolivia, dial 00 44 plus the number of the person you are calling without the initial 0. For internal calls, you do not need to dial the area code if you’re within the same area. To call from one city to another, dial 0 plus the city code, followed by the correspondent’s number.
Internet and Mobile Coverage
The internet country code is ‘.bo’. Wi-Fi cafes are easy to find within the main cities, and sometimes in more remote areas. Wi-Fi is also generally found in hostels/hotels and in some public spaces within the larger cities. Mobile coverage is generally good but can depend on your operator, so check with them before travel.