Bolivia Volunteer Information

VISA :    

Purchase 90 day Visa at border for Chile & Bolivia (free if you hold N.Z. Passport)

DISEASES & VACCINATIONS  - see your Doctor. 

These countries have malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis HIV / Aids & chagas disease.   Bring Doxycycline 100mg tablets for malaria, start taking one tablet two days prior to travel & continue taking two weeks after return. Recommend Hepatitis A & B and update Tetanus & Polio....advise Dr Derek Allen - on arrival any medical conditions or medication you are taking.  

Bolivia you need  Yellow Fever Vaccination that must be completed 10days prior to arrival. Protect yourself when travelling against mosquito bites with insect repellent.

TRAVEL INSURANCE     "Know Before You Go”   the importance of taking out comprehensive  travel insurance  before you go.  Remember, an emergency abroad can be extremely expensive.  If you need to be returned to your home country it could cost you thousands of dollars, unless you are adequately insured.

REGISTER SAFE TRAVEL   Please register your travel arrangements with   www.SAFETRAVEL.GOVT.NZ  - help them find you in an emergency, so they can check on your well-being or send you important information. Volunteers from other countries, please register with your own country.


Fly from Auckland to Santiago, Chile (NZD3220)  then bus to Metro (1600 pesos) or check with Aerolineas Argentina for cheaper flights from Sydney to Santiago or Buenos Aries and then onto La Paz. (Be careful arriving at La Paz with cheeky taxi drivers who do not use meters)  Overnight bus (about US$16, 110 Bs) taking 17 hours to Santa Cruz. An 8 hour wait here for the next bus (US$5, 30 Bs) to Trinidad.


Santiago, Chile -  Hotel Nuevo Valparaiso, 5000 pesos/night for single room with shared bathroom, close to Central Plaza  (for those among you who are naturally shy, the bathroom is not compulsory shared, once you are in the bathroom, lock the door behind you and it is all yours).

La Paz  - with a Lonely Planet book/map one can actually walk to the bus station over maybe 2 hours, but please understand that the airport is at 4000 metres above sea level, so the air is quite thin should you arrive from sea level.  Your body will acclimatize but this takes a minimum of two weeks. To some people, two weeks is a longish time to spend in the Arrival Hall, but once you are acclimatized, the wait is certainly worth it!

Trinidad  – Residencia November 17th  not far from the Central Plaza and economical (US$4.50/night, 30 Bs) Trinidad is quite rural in that 80 % of the motorbikes, the main transport are not registered and 50% of the cars and 4WDs are not registered. In the Central Plaza it is common to see the South America Sloth, making its way amongst the branches of the trees in the Plaza.

San Joaquin - Take 4WD transport/pickup for the 5 hour trip along a dusty, dry road to San Joaquin. (In the wet season of January to March I think that dust will not be a problem at all).  Accommodation from 50 Bs/night.  See Mayor/ Gynaecologist - remember to borrow mattresses for clinic beds at Mont Azul or take airbed.

Mont Azul  - This is a trip of 3.5 hours in a 4WD this road is definitely a compulsory 4WD track, with one part a long and difficult crossing of a mud patch buried under a metre of stagnant water.  Accommodation free in Clinic. 

Official language:   Spanish

Currency:     Bolivian bolivianos  (BOB)   ( approx: NZD 1 =  5.6767 Bolivian  BOB) 

SIM CARD    ENTEL  best Sim Card for sending messages  to NZ 0274 network only.

However, you can receive from 021 & 0274 network.

MONT AZUL  - Beer, fizzy drinks & biscuits, rice + maybe flour available in the village. Transport  - 4WD transport 800 Bs each round trip.

Useful things to bring:


Sleeping bag / Pillow

Permethrin-impregnated mosquito net (double with round frame) 
Pocket knife with can opener
Mosquito repellent and sunscreen – both vital items! Mosquito coil
Hat, sunglasses, sarong
Rope, 2 0r 3 hooks to hang mosquito net & clothes line, clothes pegs
Plastic mug and plate, utensils /Torch
Stethoscope  / ipad/ipod/laptop / good book   
Small rucksack for daily use.                                                                                       T ake muesli bars,  cup of soup, noodles, coffee & hot chocolate sachets, milk powder

Lonely Planet phrasebook – Spanish  (learn a little Spanish)

What is needed by Nurse’s Clinic :

Tetanus vaccine and solar powered chillers to prevent heat deactivation; Urine dipsticks; Glucometer; Medical books for nurse in Spanish; Vacuum extractor for difficult childbirth; sunhats; sunglass; zinc & castor oil cream; Daivonex cream for psoriasis man; connection for running water & electricity; clinic had sink, taps, & light. Bandages; Disinfectant; BP machine; stethoscope; nurse relief, nurse support, asthma spacer; plaster for immobilization; teaching tooth extraction; antibiotics; anti hypertensive meds; contraceptive display stand; vegetable grow plots; Public Health Posters (Spanish) suture kit; and sutures.


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@ 2010 TroppoDoc Charitable Trust | Website donated by ESPDesign.co.nz