Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America, neighbouring Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Chile.
Two large and separate ranges of the Andean Mountains traverse the country, reaching altitudes of above 6500 meters (21,300 feet). The central Altiplano highland with altitudes of 3000-4000 meters (10,000-13,000 feet) is located between the two mountain ranges. Even though the Altiplano only makes about around one third of the country's surface, around 80% of all Bolivians are living in this area, which reaches far into the neighbouring Peru. On the highland, you can find the cities of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí, having a cool to moderate mountain climate with large differences of temperature between day and night. Lake Titicaca north-east of La Paz is a famous tourist attraction of the Altiplano.
In the country's east, facing Brazil, one can find the sparsely populated tropical lowland with the dry savannahs of the Gran Chaco and the Amazonian tropical rainforest. The international airport of Santa Cruz is located in this part of the country.
The area between the highland and the lowland has a very comfortable climate. This is where Cochabamba, "the city of eternal spring" is located.
Bolivia enjoys a very rich indigenous culture, which is being promoted and protected by the constitution of the "plurinational state". Around 56% of the country's population belong to indigenous communities, particularly Quechua and Aymara.
Our main locations in Bolivia are Cochabamba and La Paz.
As fuel is being subsidized by the Bolivian state, domestic flights within Bolivia are very affordable. Independent from your volunteering/internship location, you can check for flights to any international airport of Bolivia - Cochabamba (CBB), La Paz (LBO) and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Viru Viru, VVI), and we can book you a cheap domestic connecting flight within Bolivia.
Our team of coordinators in Bolivia consists of Zuleika and Adriana in Cochabamba and Sandra in La Paz.
With 700,000 inhabitants, Cochabamba is Bolivia's fourth largest city. Today it is merging in the west with Quillacollo, which itself has some 150,000 people. Both cities are nested in the densely populated Valley of Cochabamba at an altitude of around 2560 meters (8700 feet) above sea level. The fertile valley has a flat bottom expanding around 25x10 km (15x6 miles), while the framing mountains reach heights of some 5000 meters (16,400 feet). The Valley of Cochabamba can enjoy a protected, sunny and moderate climate. The daytime maximums during the whole year are around 23-26 degrees C (73-79 degrees F), while the nighttime minimals oscillate between 13 degrees from October to March and 3 degrees in June and July. Rainy season is from December to March, whereas there isn't almost any rain during the rest if the year.
Cochabamba is a university city full of young life. The city centre with its "Prado", "Plaza Colon" and the botanic garden is modern, green and clean. Cochabamba is home of "La Cancha", one of the largest markets of South America and is being headed by the "Cristo de la Concordia", the world's second highest Jesus statue.
Through its central position in Bolivia, Cochabamba is the ideal base for excursions into the whole country.
Leisure activities in Cochabamba
Due to its 14 universities, Cochabamba has an active young life with lots of bars, clubs, cinemas etc.
The city of Oruro can be relatively easily reached by bus. You can visit Oruro's historic mines and the city's famous Carnival every year in February. During the whole year there are numerous Christian and indigenous festivals in many villages and cities that you can visit, such as Intiwatana on the 21st of June (Andean midwinter) and Urqupiña in August.
From Cochabamba, in cooperation with the language school Runawasi, we can arrange affordable small group excursions, including:
* Day trip to Tunari Nationalpark and climbing Cerro Tunari (5035 m/16,500 feet).
* Day visit of the Inca ruins if Incallajta
* Day trekking trip in the subtropical misty forest of Incachaca
* 3 day trip to Catavi mining area of socio-historical importance on the Altiplano highland
* 3 day trip to Chapare into the tropical lowland of Cochabamba - swimming in rivers and hiking in the rain forest
* 3 day trip to Torotoro Nationalpark including a visit to the inca ruins and climbing Cerro Tunari
La Paz is located at an altitude of around 3600 meters (11,600 feet) within a canyon of the Río Chokeyapue, deeply cutting into the surrounding Altiplano highland. On the highland west of La Paz, the city of El Alto has appeared which during the last years, with more than 1 million people, has grown larger than La Paz; in El Alto you can find the international airport of La Paz-El Alto. The difference of altitude between the southern parts of La Paz which are located further down the canyon and the upper parts of the valley, is almost 1000 meters (3300 feet), resulting in spectacular views when driving down from El Alto into La Paz.
La Paz has average day maximum temperatures during the whole year of 17-19 degrees C (62-66 degree F). During the night it can get chilly with temperatures of 6 degrees C (43 degrees F) from November to March to 1 degrees C (34 degrees F) in June and July. Rainy season is from December to March.
Leisure activities in La Paz
La Paz is a very large city and offers similar leisure activities than European large cities.
It is popular in the Yungas, but also dangerous, to cycle down the "Road of Death" on a mountain bike.The road is shallow and unfortified, with precipices of several hundred meters. A bizarre show is the wrestling of the Cholitas in El Alto, the wrestling women wearing traditional indigenous dresses. In cooperation with the "Vive Bolivia" centre, we offer a variety of cultural courses and activities.