travel agent in Bolivia, travel agency in Bolivia, tour operator in Bolivia, Bolivia, Lipiko Tours

INFORMATION

GENERAL INFORMATON ABOUT BOLIVIA

Bolivia, officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin.

The Bolivian population, estimated at 10 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. The main language spoken is Spanish, although the Guarani, Aymara and Quechua languages are also common and all four, as well as 34 other indigenous languages, are official. The large number of different cultures within Bolivia has contributed greatly to a wide diversity in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Time zone: The time zone is UTC/GMT -4 hours und and Bolivia has no daylight saving!!

International calling code: +591

Currency: In Bolivia the local currency is the Bolivian Boliviano (BOB). The Boliviano is not easily found outside Bolivia therefore it is better to bring U$D or €uro which can be changed easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash.

Security: Bolivia is generally a safe country! However, like anywhere, wherever there are tourists there are pickpockets. Furthermore, Bolivia is a very poor country, if you wag your money bundles and fine jewellery; you attract the weak souls - here as elsewhere. Stay alert and do not let your bags and valuables unattended.

Shopping: Almost everything is cheaper in Bolivia. You can often find good deals on art, fabrics, clothes, leather, musical instruments etc. Let the seller give you a first offer and then you can start negotiating.

Gastronomy: The traditional Bolivian cuisine is often very fat and the portions are huge. When in altitude you may not have the same appetite and often one portion serves two people. We recommend dishes, such as the Pique Macho, empanadas, chuño (dried potatoes), chicha (corn cider), chairo (chuño soup), Saice (minced meat with rice in sauce), etc.

Climate: The climate and weather in Bolivia vary as greatly as the country's many regions, although when speaking of weather, Bolivians typically refer only to two seasons (the rainy season and dry season) as usually there is no gradual entry into either winter or summer. Changes in temperatures and weather are typically as brusque as the changes in topography from one region to the next. Temperatures depend primarily on elevation. Tropical Lowlands: To the East (from Pando, down through Beni and Santa Cruz to parts of northern Tarija) the climate is usually very hot, humid and often rainy between late September and May. December and January are the hottest months of the year. Summer days are humid and sticky. Nights are warm and musky, often filled with a moist fruity aroma as winds carry the scent of the tropical jungle into the cities. Northwest Valleys: The country’s northwest valley region (called the Yungas, or the jungles, North of La Paz going toward Pando) is surprisingly hot and humid, considering the altitude. It is the cloudiest, rainiest and most humid region of Bolivia. In this region the Bolivian climate and local weather are similar to that of the eastern lowlands of Santa Cruz with even more precipitation per year. Temperatures drop as the elevation increases. At altitudes higher than 2000 meters above sea level it sometimes snows and at 4600 meters the mountains are permanently capped by snow. Above 5500 meters the climate is similar to that of polar regions and there are some glaciers present. Central Valleys: The central valley’s - Cochabamba, parts of Chuquisaca and western Tarija - are temperate to cool. Temperatures are pleasant during the day, but it can get quite cold at night. This region, although high (averaging 1200-1500 meters above sea level) is also rather humid. Bolivia’s valleys are very fertile and covered in dense forest. The rainy season is long and sustained. Altiplano and higher: On the shores of Lake Titicaca, and higher (Potosí), temperatures can reach a balmy 27°C/80°F at midday, but normally by early afternoon a sweater is necessary and the nights are cold. Because of the altitude, the sun feels especially strong here and sunscreen should be worn throughout the entire day. On the Altiplano the winds are cold and harsh and moisturizer or sunscreen (and Chap Stick) are important to prevent both sunburn and windburn. Temperatures in and around the Salar de Uyuni and the South Lipez can drop to -20°C/-4°F. Travellers arriving from the Northern Hemisphere must remember that the seasons are reversed in Bolivia. Keep in mind that in the Southern Hemisphere seasons (and climate) are reversed, or the “opposite” of those in the North, with the hottest months (our summer) being November to February and the coldest months (our winter) being May to July.

Altitude: To be in top form on the Altiplano, it is necessary to acclimatize well. Many visitors complain of headaches, fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite because of the altitude – others remain completely unaffected! In any case, it is advisable to plan for a few days in La Paz, to get used to the altitude. You can i.e. start with a visit to the Lake Titicaca. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before arriving at El Alto airport and avoid physical strain when you leave the airport.

Comfort: Even if the roads in Bolivia have gotten better over the years please note that many of our tours brings you off the beaten track and to the most remote areas of the country – travelling can therefore be a bit rough at times. The accommodation depends on your chosen comfort level however, in some areas there is no choice and accommodation will be basic. In some areas you will not have hot water, heating or light after 22h00 because the generators are turned off during the night –and in some areas you will not have any hot water, heating or light at all!! Is it important that you are able to see this as part of the adventure, and that this only brings you closer to the culture. On the Altiplano it can get very cold during the winter months and a good sleeping bag is a must.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.


GENERAL INFORMATON ABOUT COLOMBIA

Colombia’s diverse climate zones provide something for every kind of traveler. The Caribbean Beaches in the north provide world class resorts intermixed amongst historic colonial cities, while inexpensive beach towns along the Pacific Coast such as Nuqui provide some of the top surfing conditions in the world. The Andean Region, where most of the local population resides is filled with cities brimming with culture. Bogota and Medellin are both world class cities, comparable to San Francisco, Buenos Aires, or Dubai, and filled with all the shopping centers, dining options, nightclubs, and transnational corporations that one would expect to find in such urban centers. To the southeast lies the Amazonian Region, where adventure travelers and eco-tourists can experience the Amazonian rainforest first hand.

More than 99.2% of Colombians speak Spanish, also called Castilian; 65 Amerindian languages, two Creole languages, the Romani language and Colombian Sign Language are also spoken in the country. English has official status in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Including Spanish, a total of 101 languages are listed for Colombia in the Ethnologue database. The specific number of spoken languages varies slightly since some authors consider as different languages what others consider to be varieties or dialects of the same language.

Time zone:Colombia has one time zone, Colombia Time (COT), which is located in the UTC−05:00 zone, 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Its standard time zone abbreviation is COT. Colombia does not observe daylight saving time, but used it during eleven months between May 1992 and April 1993.

International calling code: +57

Currency:The peso is the currency of Colombia. Its ISO 4217 code is COP and it is also informally abbreviated as COL$. However, the official peso symbol is $. As of August 21, 2016, the exchange rate of the Colombian peso is 2,857 Colombian pesos to 1 U.S. dollar.

Security:Today, most travelers will find Colombia safer on average than all of the country's immediate neighbors – an astonishing turnaround. Problems remain, however. Street crime is still an issue, and is on the rise in Bogotá, so vigilance and common sense are always required

Shopping:Shopping malls abound in all areas of Bogotá, so this city is ideal for people who love modern spaces full of large stores specializing in products such as footwear and fashion accessories. In the capital, you can also purchase high quality handicrafts and visit antique markets.

Gastronomy: Colombia's varied cuisine is influenced by its diverse fauna and flora as well as the cultural traditions of the ethnic groups. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. Colombia cuisine also features a variety of tropical fruits such as cape gooseberry, feijoa, arazá, dragon fruit, mangostino, granadilla, papaya, guava, blackberry, lulo, soursop and passionfruit.

Climate:The climate of Colombia is characterized for being tropical presenting variations within six natural regions and depending on the altitude, temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall.[126] The diversity of climate zones in Colombia is characterized for having tropical rainforests, savannas, steppes, deserts and mountain climate.

Altitude: If you’ve never been to Colombia’s capital before it’s important to understand Bogotá’s high altitude and the precautions you should take to stay safe and enjoy your time there.Bogotá’s altitude is 8,675 feet (2,644 meters) above sea level and is one of the highest in South America. Upon your arrival to the city, especially if you come from a much lower altitude place, you’ll immediately notice the difference in the air; the change is usually extreme for most people. Things will probably feel a little lighter at first (i.e. your baggage) as your blood adapts to the different oxygen levels.

Comfort: Colombian geography presents formidable challenges to roadbuilders, needing to communicate its largest production centers deep inside the Andes with major ports in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. All of this carries a heavy premium to roadbuilding, compared with the cost of building highways in flat terrains.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.


Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America.

Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. The Peruvian population is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Time zone: The time zone is UTC/GMT -5 hours.

International calling code: +51

Currency: In Peru the local currency is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN). The Nuevo Sol is not easily found outside Peru therefore it is better to bring U$D or €uro which can be changed easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash.

Security: In terms of crime Peru is in the Latin American average. However, like anywhere, wherever there are tourists there are pickpockets. Stay alert and do not let your bags and valuables unattended.

Shopping: Peru has a lot to offer; gold and silver jewellery, fashion from fine vicuña wool as well as cultural valuables (art and crafts). There are souvenirs that bring good luck, and others that spread the magic of the Andes. In markets you should always bargain down the often very excessive first price. In shops only major credit cards are accepted and that with an extra charge.

Gastronomy: We recommend dishes, such as Ceviche (a kind of fresh sliced raw fish or seafood (sometimes also meat) marinated in lime juice served with marinated onions), Anticucho (grilled beef heart on skewers), papa a la Huancaina, etc.

Climate: The climate of Peru is very diverse, with a large variety of climates and microclimates, including 28 of the 32 world climates. Such diversity is chiefly conditioned by the presence of the Andes Mountains and the cold Humboldt Current. In general, the climate on the coast is subtropical with very little rainfall. The Andes Mountains observe a cool-to-cold climate with rainy summers and very dry winters. The eastern lowlands present an Equatorial climate with hot weather and rain distributed all year long. The costa has moderate temperatures, low precipitations, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The selva is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall. Peru has three main climatic zones: the tropical Amazon jungle to the east; the arid coastal desert to the west; and the Andean mountains and highlands in the middle of the country. In the Andes, which have altitudes over 3500m, average daily temperatures fall below 10°C/50°F and overnight temperatures can dip well below freezing. From June to August is the dry season in the mountains and altiplano (Andean plateau); the wettest months are from December to March. It rains all the time in the hot and humid rainforest, but the driest months there are from June to September. However, even during the wettest months from December to May, it rarely rains for more than a few hours at a time. Along the arid coastal strip, the hot months are from December through March. Some parts of the coastal strip see rain rarely, if at all. From April to November, Lima and other areas by the Pacific Ocean are enclosed in garúa (coastal fog, mist or drizzle) as warmer air masses off the desert drift over the ocean where the cold Humboldt Current hits.

Altitude: To be in top form in high altitude, it is necessary to acclimatize well. Many visitors complain of headaches, fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite because of the altitude – others remain completely unaffected! In any case, it is advisable to plan for an extra few days to get used to the altitude. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before arriving and avoid physical strain upon arrival.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.

Chile is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It stretches over 4,300km/2,672mi north to south, but only 350km/217mi at its widest point east to west and is the longest north-south country in the world. This encompasses a remarkable variety of landscapes. The northern Atacama Desert contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands and the Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border.

Time zone: The time zone is UTC/GMT -4 hours and UTC/GMT -6 hours.

International calling code: +56

Currency: In Chile the local currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP). The Chilean Peso is not easily found outside Chile therefore it is better to bring U$D or €uro which can be changed easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash.

Security: In terms of crime Chile is in the Latin American average. However, like anywhere, wherever there are tourists there are pickpockets. Stay alert and do not let your bags and valuables unattended.

Shopping: Chile has plenty to offer; beautiful handicrafts, jewellery made of silver and Lapislazuli, wooden crafts, woven blankets, scarves and ceramics.
Important: It is not allowed to import the famous Palos de Agua (rain sticks) as the cactus from which they are made is a protected material.  

Gastronomy: We recommend dishes, such as Empanadas, Cazuela (a strong stew), Humitas (maize porridge cooked in corn leaves and eaten sweet or salty), etc.

Climate: The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalisations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the north, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and south east, humid subtropical in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. There are four seasons in most of the country: summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November).

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic located in south-eastern South America. Covering most of the Southern Cone, it is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Chile to the west and the waters of the Drake Passage to the south.

With a mainland area of 2,780,400km2/1.073.500sqmi, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world and claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Time zone: The time zone is UTC/GMT -3 hours.

International calling code: +54

Currency: In Argentina the local currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). The Argentine Peso is not easily found outside Argentina therefore it is better to bring €uro which can be changed easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash. Attention: there are some difficulties with the USD in Argentina therefore better to withdraw Argentine Peso directly in an ATM.

Security: The crime rate in Buenos Aires is significantly higher than in the rest of the country. In recent years, since the economic crisis, a sharp increase in the crime rate has been recorded, with increasing brutality. Tourists are recommended to be very cautious handling valuables. Pick pocketing is common, particularly on public transport (to and from the airport), bus stations, in crowded places, shopping streets and within stores. Poorer areas should be avoided at all times and the slums (villas) are of course absolute no-go areas! At night it is advisable to take a taxi instead of getting around on foot.

Shopping: Especially popular with foreigners are the unique Argentine leather products, which are much cheaper than in Europe. Accessories as well as traditional “mate” cups, ponchos, traditional musical instruments but also jewellery is popular. Souvenirs are often significantly cheaper is small local markets than in souvenir shops in the town centres.

 

Gastronomy: Typical of the Argentine food culture is beef!! - cooked traditionally as Asado or BBQ’ed on a wood or charcoal grill. Furthermore, the Locro, a cornstew with many ingredients, and the empanadas.

Climate: The generally temperate climate ranges from subtropical in the north to sub polar in the far south. The north is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (western Argentina produces some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions. The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Zonda, a hot dry wind, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 m (19,685 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fuelling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June–November), snowstorms and blizzard (viento blanco) conditions usually affect higher elevations. The Sudestada ("southeasterlies") could be considered similar to the Nor'easter, though snowfall is rare but not unprecedented. Both are associated with a deep winter low pressure system. The Sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary. The southern regions, particularly the far south, experience long periods of daylight from November to February (up to nineteen hours) and extended nights from May to August.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.

Ecuador, officially the Republic of is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1000km/620mi west of the mainland.

Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic centre in Latin America. Ecuador is also home to a great variety of species, many of them endemic, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. This species diversity makes Ecuador one of the seventeen mega diverse countries in the world.

Time zone: The time zone is UTC/GMT -5 hours.

International calling code: +593

Currency: In Ecuador the local currency is the US Dollar (USD). The US Dollar is easily found outside Ecuador otherwise the €uro can be changed fairly easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash. 

Security: In terms of crime Ecuador is in the Latin American average. However, like anywhere, wherever there are tourists there are pickpockets. Stay alert and do not let your bags and valuables unattended.

Shopping: Almost everything is cheaper in Ecuador. You can often find good deals on art, fabrics, clothes, leather, musical instruments etc. Let the seller give you a first offer and then you can start negotiating.

Gastronomy: We recommend dishes like Cuy Asado (roasted guinea pig), Ceviche (raw fish or seafood, marinated in lemon juice, onion and perhaps coriander), Yaguarlocro (a type of blood sausage stew), Aji (not a dish but rather a hot sauce used for seasoning), empanadas, Humitas etc.

Climate: There is great variety in the climate, largely determined by altitude. It is mild year-round in the mountain valleys; Humid Subtropical Climate in coastal and Rain Forests in lowlands. The Pacific coastal area has a tropical climate, with a severe rainy season. The climate in the Andean highlands is temperate and relatively dry; and the Amazon basin on the eastern side of the mountains shares the climate of other rain forest zones. Because of its location at the equator, Ecuador experiences little variation in daylight hours during the course of a year. Both sunrise and sunset occur each day at the two six o'clock hours.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7491km/4.655mi. It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas region of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay. Brazil is one of 17 mega diverse countries, home to a variety of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.

Time zone: The time zones are UTC/GMT -2 hours, -3 hours, -4 hours and -5 hours.

International calling code: +55

Currency: In Brazil the local currency is the Brazilian Real (BRL). The Brazilian Real is fairly easily found outside Brazil but both U$D or €uro can be changed easily (be careful not to bring bills that are in some way damaged) or use your credit card to withdraw cash.

Security: Brazil has a reputation of having a high crime rate but with common sense you should not have any problems. Like anywhere, wherever there are tourists there are pickpockets. Stay alert and do not let your bags and valuables unattended. Make copies of your documents (passports, insurance information etc.) before you leave and keep them apart from the originals. Keep important documents in the hotel safes (where available) and only carry small amounts of cash (local currency) with you on tours.

Shopping: Brazil is a shopping paradise - especially swim suit fashion! Shoes, casual wear and jewellery are usually also cheaper. Apart from that Brazil offers a great variety of arts and handicrafts of different materials – each region with their own specialities.

Gastronomy: Because of the size of the country it is difficult to define the Brazilian cuisine but there is definitely a Portuguese influence. The national dish is known as Feijoada, a black bean stew with different kinds of meat. Feijoada is usually served with rice, farofa and orange slices.

Climate: The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. According to the Köppen system, Brazil hosts five major climatic subtypes: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, temperate, and subtropical. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil. Many regions have starkly different microclimates. An equatorial climate characterizes much of northern Brazil. There is no real dry season, but there are some variations in the period of the year when most rain falls. Temperatures average 25°C/77°F, with more significant temperature variation between night and day than between seasons. Over central Brazil rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savannah climate. This region is as extensive as the Amazon basin but has a very different climate as it lies farther south at a higher altitude. In the interior northeast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme. The semiarid climatic region generally receives less than 800 millimetres (31.5 in) of rain, most of which generally falls in a period of three to five months of the year and occasionally less than this, creating long periods of drought. Brazil's 1877–78 Grande Seca (Great Drought), the most severe ever recorded in Brazil, caused approximately half a million deaths. South of Bahia, near São Paulo, the distribution of rainfall changes, with rain falling throughout the year. The south enjoys temperate conditions, with cool winters and average annual temperatures not exceeding 18°C/64.4°F; winter frosts are quite common, with occasional snowfall in the higher areas.

Last but not least...: The unforeseen happens – and nowhere more than in South America - your flight might be late or the bus brakes down! Remember that life works at a different pace here, and people do not have the same sense of timekeeping as at home - people do not expect you to be on time! Try to accept this as part of the charm of travelling in a relaxed country. We always include extra time to allow for these things, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough; in both cases we try to ensure that you have a great trip.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRAVELLING IN SOUTH AMERICA

Formalities:
Citizens many European countries don’t need visa to enter Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador or Brazil.
Citizens of Canada don’t need visa to enter Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina or Ecuador but will need a visa to enter Brazil.
Citizens of the US don’t need visa to enter Peru, Chile, Argentina or Ecuador but will need visa to enter Brazil or Bolivia.
Citizens of Australia don’t need visa to enter Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina or Ecuador but will need visa to enter Brazil.
Citizens of New Zealand don’t need visa to enter Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador or Brazil.

For the countries where you don’t need visa entry is granted on presentation of a passport valid for more than six months, a return air/bus ticket and proof of funds to support yourself for the duration of the stay. For the latest information on your specific visa requirements you should contact the local Embassy or Consulate of the country you will be travelling to well in advance of your planned date of travel.

Attention if you travel through the USA:
All Visa Waiver Program travellers must present a machine-readable passport at the U.S. port of entry to enter the U.S. without a visa; otherwise a U.S. visa is required. See important information the Visa Waiver Program here: Visa Waiver Each traveller is responsible for having the correct travel documentation.

Health:
You should always contract your attending physician before departure to enquire about which vaccinations are required in the country or countries you will be travelling to. It is recommended to be updated with the universal vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, hepatitis B). Traditional vaccines against yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A are recommended. The vaccine against yellow fever is required for entry to most Latin American countries. Vaccination against typhoid is recommended for extended stays and hepatitis A for those who are not naturally immune. Vaccination against rabies is recommended for long stays (especially expatriates).

Support Team:
Depending on your chosen option: 

  1. Spanish speaking guides: private or group tours with different local Spanish speaking guides (no tour leader)
  2. English speaking guides: private or group tours with different local English speaking guides (no tour leader)  
  3. French, German, Italian or Russian speaking guides: private or group tours with local guides in chosen language (no tour leader)  
  4. English, Spanish or French speaking tour leader: Private tours with tour leader in chosen language
  5. German, Italian or Russian speaking tour leader: Private tours with tour leader in chosen language

Tour leader: His role is to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the tour and that each individual and the group as a whole are safe. In case of problems or dangers he is the only decision maker.

Local guides: Local guides in chosen language and all transfers and transport between towns, bus or train stations, airports and hotels are of course undertaken by a member of our team (in Spanish) as indicated in your program.

Transport:
Transfers and transport are undertaken in bus, 4x4 vehicles, minibus, plane or boat. The vehicles used will depend on the size of the group and the nature of the expeditions. Arrival and departure times by bus, plane, boat, train or car are subject to changes and under no circumstances can Lipiko Tours be held responsible for any delays.

Accommodation:
Accommodation is either in hotel, hostal, shelter, home stay or camping depending on your program. When sleeping in a hotel or hostel you will always have a private room (double room could be shared, otherwise you will need to reserve a single room which has an added cost), private bathroom and in some cases heating. However when sleeping in shelters there is very little comfort; shelters have dorms (6 people in one room), shared toilet and bathroom and no heating. In winter there is usually no water (frozen) to take a shower so it’s a good idea to bring wet wipes. The beds will have sheets and blankets but it’s always best to bring a sleeping bag especially during winter. Attention: We will only provide you with a list of hotels approx. 3 weeks before departure as depending on the departure date hotels might change.

Heating and hot water:
In large cities heating and hot water is usually not a problem and is readily available. Eco Lodges in the countryside are often equipped with solar panels to heat water but of course it’s possible that they are not working and the heating neither. For nights in shelters or home stays there is neither hot water nor heating. Very remote hotels (i.e. South Lipez and Salar de Uyuni) the supply of hot water and heating is not always regular. In case of problems or failure of this type of service (heating and hot water) Lipiko Tours cannot be held responsible and we recommend you to contact the reception in the hotel to make sure that water and/or heating is either turned on or repaired in case it’s not working.

Meals:
For lunch (where included) it will either be a lunch box or a hot meal and for dinner (where included) you will be served a hot meal. Drinks are not included and as a precaution you should never drink tap water – only bottled. During the discovery tours it’s usually easy to purchase bottled drinks.

Porterage:
Your luggage will be transported either by plane, car, boat, and bus or carried by mules/porters (during the treks). It is important that you limit your luggage to 20kg/44lb during the discovery tours and to 8kg/18lb during treks and mountain climbing tours. In some cases for national flights the baggage limit is 15kg/33lb. In case you have more than the allowed limit you will have to pay the surcharge directly upon check-in.

Special trek: If the luggage limit advised by Lipiko Tours is not respected the customer is responsible for any extra charges i.e. payment of extra porters and/or mules and any other expenses that occur because of this (mule driver, food and accommodation of mule drivers and/or porters). The payment for extra mules and/or porters will have to be paid upfront directly to the person in charge of the tour.

Electricity:

Bolivia 220/230V* 50 Hz A & C * La Paz & Viacha 115V
Chile 220V 50 Hz C & L
Peru 220V* 60 Hz* A & C * Talara 110/220V; Arequipa 50 Hz
Argentina 220V 50 Hz C & I
Brazil 110/220V 60 Hz A, B, C, D, & G
Ecuador 120-127V* 60 Hz A, B, C, D *120/240V in certain rural areas

List of plug and socket types

Photos/Videos: Make sure you bring extra memory cards and batteries. It is not always easy to get batteries charged so try to limit the use of functions that consume a lot of energy.

Remember that we are always available to answer any unanswered questions you might have about your tour to South America. Don’t hesitate to contact us if in doubt and we wish you a great tour with Lipiko Tours.



 

Clothing:
Which clothes to pack obviously depends on the country and area you will be visiting as well as the type of travel you will be undertaken. Below we have prepared a list which includes travel to both cold and hot areas.

When packing your bags remember that your clothes should be breathable and offer both isolation and protection.

Here a non-exhaustive list:

    - 3 T-shirts (breathable)
    - 5 pairs of underwear (warm and breathable)
    - 1-2 long sleeved casual shirts (i.e. fleece)
    - 2 trekking trousers – the ones you can zip off at the legs are perfect and can be used as shorts.
    - 1 fleece jacket
    - 1 thick jacket
    - 1 waterproof jacket
    - Warm hat, scarf and gloves
    - Warm, long underwear
    - Sunhat
    - 5-7 pairs of socks (warm and comfortable)
    - 1 bathing suit
    - 1 lightweight, fast drying towel

Footwear:

    - Trekking boots or shoes; the most important is that you are comfortable in your shoes – avoid buying new boots/shoes that you will be wearing for the first time during the trip. They should be waterproof, light with a nonslip sole and should provide good ankle support.
    - 1 pair of sandals

Miscellaneous:

    - A small toilet bag (avoid shampoo and liquid soap that don’t handle pressure changes well)
    - A good pair of sunglasses (protection 3 is recommended as a minimum and 4 for treks above 4000m/13.120ft)
    - Sunscreen (high protection) and special lip protection
    - Insect repellent
    - Head torch (don’t forget extra batteries)
    - Water flask
    - Walking cane (for trekking)
    - Toilet paper
    - Extra pair of shoelaces
    - Travel sewing kit
    - A small Swiss knife (don’t forget to put this in your checked luggage during air travel)
    - Wet wipes
    - Handkerchiefs
    - Survival blanket
    - A big plastic bag to cover your bag for rain protection
    - A lighter (to burn toilet paper – with caution)
    - A copy of your passport and other important documents
    - Sleeping bag – choose a good sleeping bag that goes to -15°C/5°F and don’t forget a liner
    - Personal first aid kit (a group first aid kit will be provided but should only be used in case of emergency)

NB: You might not need all of the above mentioned material and you should adjust the list to your particular tour.

Luggage:
You should divide our belongings into 2 bags; a backpack in which you will carry the things you need during the day and a second bigger bag which you will have access to in the evenings and mornings. During the tour your luggage can be transported by car, bus, mules etc. and should be adapted to these transport conditions. Lipiko Tours cannot be held responsible in case of wear and tear.

Unfortunately dishonest people can be found everywhere so you should always take care of your luggage and personal documents. Where available we suggest you use the safety boxes in the hotels. Lipiko Tours cannot be held responsible in case of any loss of property.

Lipiko tours your travel agency in Bolivia for all your travel in Bolivia

Travelling in Bolivia with Lipiko Tours the travel agency in Bolivia and tour operator in Bolivia for all your tours in Bolivia but as well for your tours in Peru, Chile and Argentina. As a travel agent in Bolivia Lipiko Tours organises group tours, escorted tours, guided tours and tailor made tours like Kayak Lake Titicaca, scuba diving Lake Titicaca, trek in Bolivia and hikes in the Royal Cordillera, mountaineering courses in the highest mountains in Bolivia, adventure 4x4 tour in Bolivia Uyuni Salt Flats tour the white desert and South Lipez, the Bolivian Amazon tours with Bolivian jungle trek and Pampas tour. Discover the tourism in Bolivia with amazing trips for your holidays in Bolivia.
Lipiko Tours® 2007-2014©