When is the best time to visit Bolivia?
Although Bolivia is a country of climatic extremes, it is a destination that can be visited all year. The best time to visit the highland areas is April to October - this is the cooler winter period, but it should be dry with plenty of sunshine.
In the southern Altiplano, the sky will be blue but it will be very cold, dropping to well below below freezing at night. The summer rainy season from November to March can cause some disruption on the roads, but travel is still possible, and the lower visitor numbers are a bonus of visiting at this time. The eastern lowlands, including Santa Cruz and the Amazon, enjoy warm temperatures year round.
Nick, Latin America Specialist
I highly recommend visiting Bolivia in September. It still has the advantages of the dry weather, but it gets less busy as the month progresses. This is also one of the best times to see vast numbers of flamingos in the lakes of the high Altiplano - a spectacular sight.
Bolivia Climate Guide
|La Paz||16°C 118mm||15°C 99mm||16°C 70mm||16°C 30mm||15°C 13mm||15°C 5mm||15°C 7mm||16°C 12mm||16°C 31mm||18°C 35mm||18°C 48mm||17°C 90mm|
|Lake Titicaca||15°C 166mm||15°C 129mm||15°C 104mm||15°C 55mm||15°C 21mm||15°C 7mm||15°C 7mm||16°C 16mm||15°C 43mm||17°C 44mm||17°C 57mm||16°C 108mm|
|Potosi||18°C 103mm||18°C 73mm||18°C 51mm||17°C 14mm||18°C 3mm||16°C 2mm||16°C 1mm||17°C 4mm||19°C 9mm||21°C 22mm||21°C 33mm||19°C 73mm|
|Santa Cruz & The Jesuit Missions||31°C 201mm||31°C 124mm||30°C 110mm||29°C 99mm||26°C 79mm||24°C 72mm||25°C 52mm||28°C 49mm||30°C 58mm||31°C 96mm||31°C 145mm||31°C 170mm|
|The Southern Altiplano||21°C 46mm||20°C 40mm||20°C 19mm||20°C 0mm||18°C 0mm||12°C 0mm||13°C 0mm||13°C 0mm||18°C 0mm||19°C 1mm||21°C 1mm||21°C 19mm|
|Sucre||22°C 152mm||22°C 116mm||22°C 102mm||22°C 30mm||22°C 6mm||22°C 2mm||22°C 2mm||23°C 11mm||24°C 24mm||24°C 47mm||24°C 62mm||23°C 118mm|
Month-by-month guide to travelling in Bolivia
Visiting Bolivia in November - March
As the rain season begins, temperatures become a little milder in the highlands and more humid in the lowlands. During the heaviest rains road travel can be disrupted but is still perfectly enjoyable for the more adventurous who don’t mind occasional delays. In the high Altiplano and Uyuni, for example, although overland touring will take a longer route around, you can get some spectacular photographs of reflections on the salt flats.
Events & Festivals
- Carnival (February): Carnival is celebrated across Bolivia, with the liveliest festivities to be found in Santa Cruz and Oruro. Read more »
- Feria de Alasitas (last week of January): A fascinating festival held in La Paz, where countless stalls sell all manner of miniature items which Bolivians purchase to appease Ekeko, the household god of abundance. Read more »
Visiting Bolivia in April - October
Bolivia’s dry season is the most popular time of year to travel, despite the cold weather. Road travel is easier and the bright sunny conditions mean you can photograph the salt flats and Lake Titicaca against dazzling blue skies. June to September is the peak time for visitors, so you should plan well in advance to get the best choice of accommodation. Bolivia’s temperatures are determined by the altitude as well as the season, with highland areas such as La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Potosi and Uyuni generally cool year round and extremely cold at night. This altitude does bring strong sunshine in the dry season, making high factor sunscreen essential.
Events & Festivals
- Bolivia’s Independence Day (6th August): Bolivia’s Independence Day is a public holiday, with patriotic marches taking place in towns and cities across the country.
- El Señor del Gran Poder (May/June): The feast of El Señor del Gran Poder (Feast of Jesus Christ) brings over 20,000 dancers in colourful costumes to the streets of La Paz. Read more »
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