For Americans: Getting a Bolivian Tourist Visa in Lima

Americans need a visa to enter Bolivia. It’s possible to get the visa at the border, but there are several known scams, not to mention you would have to carry US$135 and all your paperwork throughout your backpacker trip.

A good alternative is to get the visa at the Bolivian embassy in Lima, which is located at Los Castaños 235 in San Isidro, about 20 km / 12 miles from Pariwana Lima Hostel. The staff at Pariwana can help you get to the embassy. It’s open from 09:00 – 13:00 and you should get there no later than 11:00.

At the embassy, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your passport, with at least 6 months’ validity and 2 blank pages
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • A completed application form
  • A Yellow Fever card
  • A travel itinerary proving onward travel from Bolivia
  • A copy of a hotel reservation in Bolivia
  • A copy of a bank statement and credit card
  • A color passport-sized photo

You will then be given a bank account number. You will have to take your $135 US cash, in brand new condition, to a Banco Continential about four blocks away. The process to deposit the cash is extremely quick, and once you have a receipt from the bank you can return to the embassy to retrieve your passport, which will have a Bolivian visa, good for five years, inside.

It seems like a lot of work, but it’s worth it for the adventure travel that awaits in Bolivia!