Bolivia at a Glance: Best Time to Visit
Recommended time to visit: The dry season from May - October is considered the best time to visit Bolivia, with dry weather. It can still be chilly at altitude though, so pack warm clothing.
Less popular time to visit: Much of Bolivia sees little rainfall, but generally the wettest months are from December - March. Although Bolivia remains navigable during the wet season, during heavy rain, some areas can become inaccessible. January - March in particular are probably best avoided.
Best time to visit Lake Titicaca: Like much of the country, Lake Titicaca's dry season lasts from May - October, characterised by stunning blue skies and chilly weather.
Best time to visit the Bolivian Amazon: The dry season from May - October sees fewer mosquitos and more accessible wildlife, as creatures are attracted to the main water sources as others dry up.
Best time to visit the Uyuni salt flats: They are spectacular at all times of year, but the wet season from December - April creates a dazzling mirror effect as the rain collects on the surface of the white salt flats.
Climate | La Paz
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Climate | Uyuni
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Festivals and Events
Bolivia might not be at the top of your travel agenda when it comes to festivals but they sure know how to throw a good party. With colourful festivals taking place throughout the year, this South American gem blends tradition and modernity seamlessly as it fills the streets with some of the brightest and most exciting events on the continent. Whether you're after music, food or spiritualism, Bolivia hosts something for everyone.
What is the Alasitas Fair?
This month-long festival sees hordes of people make their way to La Paz to buy everything from cars to university degrees, houses to electronics. Sound like an odd shopping list? That’s because everything they buy is miniature – gifts for Ekeko, the tiny figurine that keeps guard over their houses throughout the year. Originally miniature gifts were bought for this tiny man in order to secure a good harvest but, with time, this wish has morphed into hopes for wealth, good education and travel.
What is the Fiesta de la Virgen Candelaria?
The legend behind this festival is that in 1576 some Inca fishermen were caught in a terrible storm on Lake Titicaca but before they were devoured by the water, the Virgin Mary appeared and rescued them. Out of gratitude, the fishermen built a shrine in her honour, containing a four-foot statue of the Dark Virgin of the Lake, as she’s known. While the statue remains safely in the shrine, a replica is paraded through the streets once a year as people pray and party in equal measure before avoiding being gored during the running of the bulls on the final day of the festival.
What is the Carnaval de Oruro?
This is the only party you need to know about on your trip to Bolivia. Hundreds of thousands of visitors head to the sleepy town of Oruro every year to dress up in extravagant costumes and participate in traditional folk dances in order to celebrate Carnaval. One of the main characters during this festival is the benevolent Pachamama (Mother Earth), a life-giving goddess who can be spotted during the festivities. In 2001, UNESCO designated the carnival a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
What is the Aymara New Year?
One of the most important events on the Bolivian calendar, the Aymara New Year coincides with the Winter Solstice and is a celebration filled with colour and joy. One of the most popular places to bring in the New Year is at the pre-Incan Tiwanaku ruins, where people gather to watch the sunrise filtering through the entrance to the temple. Expect to dance till you drop, chew coca leaves and make merry until the early hours.
To help you plan your Bolivian adventure, here are some more handy travel resources:Best Places to Visit - our favourite destinations
Tourist Visas - details on visa procurement
Top Travel Tips - vacciniations, food, tipping and more