Is it safe to travel as a solo female traveller in Bolivia?
Good question. Yes in the main it is but you need to be careful and make good decisions. Bolivia is a big country and there are areas that are very deserted and getting help can be difficult. If we compare Bolivia to the UK, The UK fits into Bolivia 5 times. The Beni which is a territory in the north of Bolivia is 230,000 square km with just half a million people living here. Its easy to get isolated and distances between towns are vast.
Overall the people are wonderful and will do as much to help you as they can.
My tips for female travellers in Bolivia would be:
- Plan your trip well.
- If you take a bus and train there will be families and other females traveling that route and you will be safer.
- If you get on a river boat, wait for the one that has a family traveling or a mixed group.
- Don’t get on a 4 day river trip with just men. You will probably be OK but its not worth the risk.
- Taxis are generally safe but it’s better to get a radio cab where the driver can be traced.
- Check prices before you travel / board, as they will charge you more if you don’t.
- Let someone know your itinerary and when you are due leave and to arrive.
- You can use friends for this or check in with vAMMos for free. We can provide backup and advice to any traveller.
- Dress code – generally it’s fine to wear comfortable clothing and shorts, plus vests are fine.
- Again, use common sense about what you wear. Bolivia is very “machismo” still and has yet to catch up in some ways around the topic of equality a person’s rights.
- Unlike the UK, Police in Bolivia can give you a hard time and you shouldn’t assume you are totally safe in their company. Treat them as a group of men that you don’t know and make decisions accordingly.
My overriding message is this “DO travel!”
It’s an amazing place to be. You can do it safely and I have worked with solo female travellers who have spent 6 months or more traveling safely throughout Bolivia. Give me a call or drop me a line if you would like to discuss your trip and would like some advice. I’m happy to help.