Generally, camping is not such a popular activity in the South American country of Bolivia. It is not typically an activity that Bolivians do for fun or for vacations. With great hiking and trekking opportunities, however, more and more visitors are starting to see the advantages of camping in Bolivia, allowing them to get even closer to nature, and stay in places that would otherwise be impossible.
Here are some questions answered about camping in Bolivia:
Why go Camping in Bolivia?
Bolivia is known for its spectacular scenery, fascinating indigenous culture, and clear starry skies. Lack of light pollution makes camping in Bolivia a wonderful experience; one can literally gaze up at the stars twinkling brightly overhead. Interestingly, because Bolivia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the Big Dipper Constellation is seen as being upside down!
What Facilities are there for Campers in Bolivia?
A few hostels in the major touristic areas have basic facilities for campers. These usually include toilet and shower facilities, often with cold water, and there may be electricity points that people can use, as well as places in the locale where one can eat and drink.
What About Rough Camping in Bolivia?
Many people travelling overland through Bolivia camp by the roadside. This is usually relatively safe, and quiet. One major consideration when camping in Bolivia is the temperature at night time. Temperatures can fall very low, meaning that several layers of warm clothing and thermal sleeping bags are required for a good night’s sleep. The soil and earth beneath the tent can feel very hard, as with camping anywhere. If possible, a good sleeping mat is recommended so that you do not feel really sore and stiff the following day. Basic supplies can be obtained fairly easily, but if you are planning on going rough camping in more remote areas you will need to ensure that you have adequate supplies of food and water to last for the duration of your planned adventure.
Are There any Other Camping Options?
When looking for a camping spot, it is well worth asking hotels and guest houses if they will allow you to camp in their car park for a small fee. Many will oblige, and some will even let you use the facilities in the establishment. With a lack of arranged campsites, this can be a life-saver when you are looking for somewhere to have a nice shower and a decent rest. Some farmers may also permit people to camp in their fields for a small fee, but there are likely to be no facilities for campers.
Where Can I Find Facilities?
Most public attractions have toilets that one can use when on the road, although you may find it difficult to find somewhere to have more than a basic wash.
Most people who go camping in Bolivia travel around the country using their own private transport. This means that there are the odd nights spent sleeping in the car when a suitable camping spot just cannot be found. There are many car parks and wide sections of road that are suitable for this purpose, although, of course, it is not an ideal long term solution for a camping holiday. It is not recommended to go camping in Bolivia without either having your own form of transport, or a suitable backup plan and the funds to be able to spend the night in a guest house or hotel should a camping spot not be easy to find.
Camping in Bolivia provides a real adventure, and one that people are sure to remember forever. Rough camping especially can provide many tales for many years to come, and lifelong experiences that will be fondly remembered forever. It is only really suitable, however, for those with a real sense of adventure – as well as those who do not mind going without their creature comforts for a night or two! There may be nights were suitable spots just cannot be found, as well as occasions where access to real toilets and showering facilities are difficult to come by. Remember to pack your sense of adventure and have a wonderful Bolivian camping experience.