How do I get a Bolivian visa? (for U.S. citizens)
You can obtain a 10-year tourist visa (good for up to 90 days a year for 10 years) through the Bolivian consulate. Go to http://boliviala.org/us-citizen-visa-requirements/ for detailed information on how/where to apply. DO NOT PLAN ON APPLYING FOR A VISA UPON ARRIVAL IN COUNTRY. THE REQUIREMENTS HAVE CHANGED AND IT IS LIKELY YOU WILL BE SENT BACK ON THE NEXT PLANE INSTEAD OF GIVEN A VISA. For a general idea of what you will need to send in, see the list below:
- $160 in money order/credit card
- recent color passport photo
- passport valid for at least 6 months
- invitation letter or hotel reservation
- copy of e-ticket of return trip
- copy of bank solvency (last bank statement or credit card statement)
- Bolivia visa application (see website)
What if I want to stay longer than is permitted by a tourist visa?
If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you have 2 options:
- pay illegal fees for every day spent over 90 days in Bolivia (currently $2.92/day)
- apply for an objeto determinado visa ($80-$100) which is a 30 day temporary visa. This visa allows you to apply for a one year visa once in Bolivia. The one year visa generally costs $500-$600, including lawyer fees, etc. LEAVE AT LEAST A MONTH BEFORE TRAVEL TO BOLIVIA TO APPLY FOR OBJETO DETERMINADO. Consult the nearest Bolivian consulate for up-to-date requirements for an objeto determinado.
What kinds of vaccinations will I need?
- Yellow Fever($80-$120)- required by Bolivian government to get a visa. Get the shot at least 10 days before traveling or applying for a visa.
- Hep A & B– recommended
- Tetanus (up-to-date)- recommended
How much will it cost?
- If you plan to come to Bolivia as an intern through International Teams (the missions organization The Center works under), see below for a rough budget: Centerinternbudget
- Every intern who works with The Center team is asked to contribute $100/mo to The Center ministry. This money is used to buy the daily snack, pay utility bills, buy school supplies, or any other related ministry costs. If you are coming down individually (not through ITeams), please include this in your budget.
What should I bring?
- The electrical system here is 220. Bring a converter for items that require 110 volts (most laptops and chargers accept both 220/110)
- The sun is intense in Coch, but even in the summer it can be cool in the evenings. Bring clothes easy to layer. Shorts and knee-length skirts are ok, although shorts are uncommon in Cochabamba. (Check out www.weather.com for current weather in Cochabamba, Bolivia)
- If you’re working on a construction project, bring appropriate shoes, a hat, sunscreen and work gloves.
Where will I live?
Currently the only set-up we have for interns is to live with one of the Bolivian families on the team. If you aren’t quite ready for the full immersion experience of living with a Bolivian family, please contact Katie Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org) for other possible options.
What will I do?
Tutor kids, pour into needy kids’ lives, share the hope of Jesus, work on construction at The Center building, learn Spanish, try new foods, make nutritional snacks for kids, get involved in a local Bolivian church, be stretched…
What is Cochabamba like? (what is there to do?)
Cochabamba is a high-altitude valley (8,000ft) surrounded by the Andes. It’s a dry climate and tends to be dusty and dry 8-9 months of the year. Dry season (U.S. summer) begins end of April and lasts until August/September. Rainy season (U.S. winter) starts in December and usually lasts ’til March. Overall, the weather in Cochabamba is very temperate, and the locals have a saying “The swallows never migrate” because of how pleasant the climate is year round.
For those who like to climb, Mt. Tunari towers 17,000ft+ over Cochabamba and is a relatively easy climb. There are also lots of trails in the mountains surrounding Cochabamba leading to waterfalls, pine forests, and beautiful vistas. The 2nd tallest statue of Christ in the world is in Cochabamba. There are gondolas that go up and down the hill to the statue, and you can climb up inside the statue on certain days of the week
Cochabamba has a large population of Quechua people, one of the main indigenous cultures in Bolivia. The local open-air market (one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere) is a great place to get weekly groceries, experience the true local culture, and learn how to haggle. If you get hungry while you’re downtown, you can try a salteña, a stew-filled empanada. Cochabamba is famous for them.