Seasons and Weather
Nicknamed the ‘Tibet of the Americas’, landlocked Bolivia is divided into three regions: Altiplano (a plateau at an average of 4,000 metres above sea level, 800 kilometres long and about 130 kilometres wide); the yungas (a series of forested and well-watered valleys); and the llanos (the Amazon-Chaco lowlands). Because of the wide range of elevations and topography, there are many different climatic patterns. The overall temperatures are probably cooler than most people expect. Even in the humid forest regions of the north, frosts are not unheard of. Bolivia’s unprotected expanses contribute to variable weather conditions and the two climatic ‘poles’ are Puerto Suarez for its stifling, humid heat, and Uyuni for its near-Arctic cold and icy winds.
December to March is when most of the rain falls and La Paz is always cool to cold at night, so be prepared with sweaters and windbreakers. La Paz can get quite warm during the day but sometimes mists swirl through the streets and the city can be literally wrapped in the clouds. Throughout the country, night temperatures drop dramatically, and on the high Altiplano, when a cloud passes over the sun, the temperature plunges noticeably. In Cochabamba, Sucre and Tarija, winter is the time of clear, beautiful skies and optimum temperatures. The lowlands experience hot sunny days and an occasional shower to cool off and settle the dust.
Thinking of visiting Bolivia? Download a copy of our Latin America brochure for inspiration.