Bolivia Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


Vaccination needed receipt required
Eat Drink 5
malaria 4
Typhoid & Polio 3
cholera 2
yellow fever 1


Medical care in the country is often problematic in terms of technology, equipment and/or hygiene. An American clinic in La Paz is available for emergencies. Reasonable hospitals are exclusively in private hands, which often charge very high costs. It is therefore strongly recommended to take out travel health insurance with return transport. An individual first-aid kit should be taken with you and protected according to the temperatures on the way. Check indexdotcom for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers older than 12 months who plan to enter within 6 days of a stay in a WHO yellow fever endemic area, who plan to visit yellow fever endemic areas in Bolivia and who plan to travel to a WHO yellow fever endemic country want to leave. The vaccination against yellow fever is effective from the 10th day after the vaccination and is therefore valid. The yellow fever endemic areas of Bolivia are below 2,300 m, which includes the Bolivian Amazon river basin. [2] A certificate of vaccination against cholera is not an entry requirement, but there is a risk of infection, especially in the departments of Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, El Alto, La Paz, Oruro, Potosi, Riberalta, Santa Cruz, Tarija and Tupiza are affected. Since the effectiveness of the vaccination is disputed, it is advisable to seek medical advice in good time before you travel. To protect yourself, you should practice careful drinking water and food hygiene. Vaccination is only recommended in rare cases. [3] Typhoid occurs, poliomyelitis does not. Typhoid vaccination is recommended for backpacking and long-term stays. [4] Malaria protection is required year-round for all regions below 2500 m. There is a risk in the north on the border with Brazil, in the departments of Pando and Beni, especially in the area of ​​Guayaramerin, Riberalta and Puerto Rico and in the lower elevations of Tarija, Cochabamba and La Paz. There is a medium risk in the remaining rural areas below 2500m. There is little or no risk in the cities and in the Oruro department, the provinces of Ingavi, Los Andes, Omasuyos and Pacajes (La Paz department) and the Potosi department. The less dangerous form Plasmodium vivax (malaria tertiana) is predominant. The more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum (malaria tropica) occurs in the departments of Pando and Beni, especially in Guayaramerín, Riberalta and Puerto Rico. Chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance of Plasmodium falciparum have been reported. Long-sleeved clothing, mosquito nets and insect repellent offer sufficient protection. In areas with a medium and high risk of malaria (below 2500 m), emergency medication is recommended. [5] Due to the risk of possible infections, careful drinking water and food hygiene must be ensured. Water should generally either be boiled or otherwise sterilized before it is used for drinking, brushing teeth and making ice cubes, or it should be bought packaged. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. Unpasteurized milk should be boiled. Only mix dry and canned milk with sterile water. Dairy products made from unboiled milk should not be consumed. Meat and fish dishes should only be well cooked and served hot. Eating raw salads and mayonnaise should be avoided. Vegetables should be boiled and fruits should be peeled.

Other risks

Chagas disease is caused by assassin bugs, which are mostly found in the southern half and central part of the country. Travelers who stay in simple huts and in the open air are recommended to use mosquito nets to protect them from insects. Dengue fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, occurs nationwide. An effective insect repellent is recommended. Heterosexual and homosexual contacts and the use of drugs (unclean syringes or cannulas) generally pose a risk of HIV infection. The UV radiation in Bolivia is very strong due to the extreme altitude and can damage the skin. Sun protection through skin-covering clothing and sunscreen with a sufficient sun protection factor is therefore absolutely necessary. Cardiac sufferers should take time to acclimatize due to La Paz’s extreme altitude. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. Vaccination against hepatitis B should be given during longer stays and close contact with the local population, as well as for children and young people in general. Leishmaniasis, transmitted by whiteflies, occurs nationwide. Skin-covering clothing, mosquito nets and insect repellents offer protection. Plague cases have been reported from the southern half of La Paz (provinces: Franz Tamayo, Sud Yungas, Valle Grande). Protection against rats and fleas through safe sleeping places and more frequent linen changes as well as keeping away those who are already sick reduce the risk of infection. If you work in areas affected by the plague, it is advisable to take antibiotics prophylactically. Rabies occurs nationwide. Carriers include dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccination is recommended for backpackers, children, occupational risk groups and for longer stays. In the event of a bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The infection often goes unnoticed or only has mild symptoms. previously documented, isolated deaths were mainly related to other pre-existing conditions. The Federal Foreign Office advises pregnant women against non-essential travel to areas with current Zika outbreaks because the virus is suspected of causing microcephaly in the unborn child. There is neither a vaccination nor a medicinal prophylaxis. Consistent compliance with personal mosquito protection measures is recommended.

Health certificate

For long-term stays, an HIV test in Spanish is required. Details from the consular representations (see contact addresses).



1 boliviano = 100 centavos. Currency code: Bs, BOB (ISO code). The Boliviano is pegged to the US dollar. Banknotes are in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 Bs; Coins in denominations of 5, 2 and 1 Bs and 50, 20 and 10 centavos. The US dollar is also widely accepted as a means of payment.

Credit cards

Major credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted in the largest hotels, restaurants and shopping centers in the larger cities. However, credit cards are rarely accepted in smaller shops and in remote, smaller towns. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card.


Bank cards The Girocard (formerly EC card) with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol is accepted worldwide. It can be used at ATMs with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol. Bank cards must be activated for foreign countries. ATMs are mainly available in larger cities. Further information from banks and credit institutes. Attention: Travelers who want to pay with their bank customer card abroad and withdraw money should find out from their bank about the possibility of using their card before starting their journey.

Travelers cheques

Traveller’s checks are no longer available in Germany and Switzerland and are hardly available in Austria. Traveller’s checks can only be cashed in Bolivia in La Paz and in El Alto at an exchange office.

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 09.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

No restrictions on importing and exporting local and foreign currencies. Amounts from US$ 10,000 to US$ 20,000 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies) must be declared, from an equivalent value of more than US$ 20,000 an approval from a financial institution is required.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged in the larger cities in banks, in Casas de Cambio (exchange offices) and also in hotels. The easiest way to exchange US dollars is in smaller denominations. US dollars are also widely accepted as payment.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
BOB Bs 1 EUR = 7.26 Bs
1 CHF = 8.59 Bs
1 USD = 6.94 Bs

Bolivia Money