Bolivia Overland Travel Budget – Our Road-trip Expenditures


Before we go to our Bolivia Budget and Expenditures, here are some statistics to place all this in context:

  • Time spent in Bolivia: 340 days (2007-2013), 120 days of which we lived in La Paz because of the Land Cruiser’s massive overhaul.
  • The average distance covered: 37 kms/day (but then again, for 120 days the car was in a workshop for the overhaul)
  • Average expenditure: €23 /day (2 persons)

Our Bolivia Budget

Travel budget for Bolivia

Not included in expenditures: insurance, electronic equipment, medical expenses, and the restoration of the Land Cruiser in 2010.


Prices differ not only per region but also went up between 2007 and 2013. Whereas in 2007 we could eat a set meal (almuerzo) for 5 or 6 bolivianos, in 2013 we hardly ever lunched for less than 10 bolivianos and paid up to 15.

Biocentro Guëmbe
Che Guevara Trail

01. Bolivia Budget – Documentation

Our visas were free of charge (for Europeans), as was extending them. Here’s more on visa and car papers for Bolivia, where you can also read about our mandatory purchase of an Orden de Translado which costs 50 Bolivianos, but for which we paid a dear 100.

Cheese factory in Mallasse.

02. Bolivia Budget – The Land Cruiser

Maintenance is cheap but don’t expect quality, with the noticeable exception of Ernesto Hug’s workshop in La Paz. Having the overhaul done in La Paz definitely has been one of our least, if not thé least brilliant, ideas on our journey, of which we still suffer the consequences, and is definitely not something we’d recommend.

Having said that, for regular maintenance and simple jobs you’ll find numerous workshops in Bolivia.

Coffee plantation El Cafetal.
Jesuit Missions

03. Bolivia Budget – Diesel

I’ve written a lot about petrol stations and the logic of Bolivia’s two-tiered price system for fuel. Bottom line: during the past three months in Bolivia we could not achieve buying fuel for the foreigner’s price (3x the local price), even if we wanted to.

How we managed? Here you can read all about it.

04. Bolivia Budget – Public Transport

Nothing of note.


05. Bolivia Budget – Tickets Sightseeing

Among the sights we visited:

  • The San Francisco church and museums in La Paz.
  • The Che Guevara museum in Vallegrande (a must of Che Guevara admirers).
  • The  Jesuit Missions (fantastic).
  • Museums in Sucre (Check out its textile museum).
  • The UNESCO site El Fuerte in Samaipata (disappointing for lack of explanatory panels).
  • The historic site of Incajallta ( a pleasant surprise, enjoyed details on explanatory panels).
  • The UNESCO site of Tiwanaku (somewhat disappointing for such a major site).
  • Biocentre Guëmbe in Santa Cruz (a must for bird photographers).
  • Coffee plantation of  El Cafetal near Santa Cruz (worth a visit).

Furthermore, we paid for the honor of driving the Death Road to Coroico (super!) and exploring Laguna Colorada and surroundings.

You can conclude considering the number of sights and the low percentage of budget we spent on it, sightseeing in Bolivia didn’t eat up much of our travel budget.

Death Road.
São Francisco church in La Paz

06. Bolivia Budget – Paid Accommodation

We rough camped quite a bit as well as stayed with friends. We spent money on one or two campsites and Hotel Oberland in Mallasse where we stayed a couple of weeks + parked the Land Cruiser for the duration of our visit to the Netherlands.

Here’s an overview of accommodations overland camps in Bolivia, including GPS Waypoints.

Recommended Books on Overlanding

(click on the images to look inside)

Man in the Saddle – Paul van Hooff

I Can I Will, Women overlanding the World

Overlanding the Americas – Graeme Belle

Products from Amazon


07. Bolivia Budget – Special expenditures

Not clearly defined. Anything of size/price that I’d write down, which could be books, clothes, repair/replacement of stuff (not car related), etc.

Travel Guides for Bolivia

(click on the images to look inside)

Rough Guides – Bolivia

Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Bolivia

Lonely Planet Phrasebook & Dictionary – American Spanish

Products from Amazon

Textile Museum Sucre

08. Bolivia Budget – Daily expenditures

Even less defined. All expenditures mentioned above minus what we totally spent is what we call daily expenditures. This is mostly groceries and going out for lunch/dinner.

El Fuerte
Sud Lipez

Check ik out: the Landcruising Adventure Pullover Hoodie Collection

Fuel Up

Thank you to those who bought us a couple of liters of diesel to support our journey and/or website.

Would you like to do the same?

More on Bolivia:

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