Climb the Cordillera Real in Bolivia (2024)

Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to[emailprotected].

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is required for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure.However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the "covered reasons."
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered “activity.” Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an "Adventure" or "Sports" package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered withTravelex InsuranceandRipcord Insurancebecause they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel with coverages for remote areasand activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking, without any altitude restrictions.

Climb the Cordillera Real in Bolivia (1)

For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected.

For more information on the available plans visitTravelex Insurance Servicesor contact Travelex Insurance(800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

Climb the Cordillera Real in Bolivia (2)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.

Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:

  • Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims.
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses and military veterans.
  • Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.
  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) options and pre-existing condition waiver within 14 days of your initial trip deposit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories / warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

Several U.S. airlines offer daily flights to La Paz, Bolivia (LPB).

Flights departing Bolivia may be booked for the morning of Day 16.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required when traveling to Bolivia. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Proof ofYellow Fever Vaccination isrequired for traveling in Bolivia. You must present proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a list of clinics where the vaccine may be available.

*Note: Yellow Fever vaccination is currently limited in the United States. You may need to schedule your appointment well in advance.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the La Paz airport please collect your baggage and proceed to the arrivals area. Take a taxi to our hotel.

In-Country Transportation

The provided ground transportation in Bolivia as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for entry to Bolivia.You must present proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a list of clinics where the vaccine may be available.

*Note: Yellow Fever vaccination is currently limited in the United States. You may need to schedule your appointment well in advance.

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

  • Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
  • Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe excess moisture from drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
  • Food - If it is cooked, boiled, or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.

Medical Emergencies

Excellent care for minor illnesses and injuries is readily available. In the event of more serious illnesses or injuries, we recommend transport to any of the Level 1 care centers in La Paz.

Bolivia Country Facts

Bolivia, in western-central South America, is a land-locked country that borders Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the northwest. One-third of Bolivia is made up of the Andes mountain range, while the Eastern Lowlands reach into the Amazon basin.

Bolivia is a democratic republic and is a developing economy with a poverty level near 53%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods. Bolivia is rich in minerals, particularly tin.

Bolivia is a multi-ethnic, multicultural country. Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians, and Africans make up significant portions of the populations, however traditions of racial and social segregation, introduced by spanish colonialism, have carried on in the modern day. Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language, though 36 indigenous languages have official status as well.

Bolivia's constitutional capital is located in the city of Sucre, relatively remote as an economic center, and consequently the seat of govenment resides in La Paz. La Paz is the third largest city in Bolivia, and sits in a bowl surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. The city of La Paz has a population just less than 900,000 residents (as of 2008), but with the nearby cities of El Alto (the location of the airport) and Viacha, is a metropolitan center witha population of 2.3 million, making it the largest urban center in Bolivia.

The mountainous regions of Bolivia were part of the Incan Empire, with the northern and eastern lowlands inhabited by independant tribes. The spanish conquistadors arrived from Cuzco and Asuncion in Peru in the 16th century, beginning a period of colonization in which Bolivia was known as Upper Peru. Much of Spain's empire was built on the silver extracted from Bolivian mines. 1809 marked the first call for independance the beginning of a 16 year war led by Simon Bolivar which resulted in the formation of the republic. Frequent unrest and wars with its neighbors, as well as a series of miliatary dictatorships in the 20th century that were propped up by the American government, have led to periods of turmoil in Bolivia. In 2005, President Evo Morales and his socialist party were elected with an absolute majority in democratic elections, and he was reelected in 2009. He remains the current president.

Weather

The weather in the altiplano region of Bolivia varies drastically, with day-time temperatures reaching the mid seventies and night time temperatures dropping to just above freezing. Snow and nightly frosts occur during every month of the year. We recommend bringing a variety of clothing, and having a down jacket on the airplane, as many flights arrive at night, when termpatures can be quite cold. For current weather conditions, check Weather Underground.

Cultural Etiquette

The people of Bolivia are generally reserved. Do not be surprised if people in the street to not greet you with a smile. Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.

When entering a shop or home, politely use a greeting such as buenos días (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches (good night). Similarly, upon leaving, even if you've had only minimal contact, say adios (goodbye) or hasta luego (see you later).

On city streets, children selling small items and shining shoes can be quite persistent. Some ask directly for money. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm "No, gracias" is generally sufficient.

It is expected that you engage in some degree of bargaining for market or street purchases. This is fun, and should be taken lightly.

Electricity

Electricity in Bolivia is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz. Carry a universal convertor and plug adaptor travel kit.

Money

Bolivia's official currency is the boliviano (BOL).Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

We suggest bringing $500 - $700 total for personal spending money including restaurant meals, drinks, pocket money, and the Support Staff Tip Pool.

The airport exchange counters offer a good rate for changing money, and charge a very modest ($1.50) exchange fee. It is relatively easy to change BOL to back to USD as well. Credit cards are not widely accepted.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.

Tipping

Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much, is completely dependent upon the individual; here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Some restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case, no further tip is required.

Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $100 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program.

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

Resources

Fodor's and other travel service websites are readily available and describe Bolivia travel and facts.

Climb the Cordillera Real in Bolivia (2024)

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