Electricity and Voltage in Bolivia

by BoliviaBella.com
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)


Flat pin plug (usually for 110V)
Round pin plug (usually for 220V)
3-pin plug (220V) Some 110V plugs also have 3 pins

Bolivia has two electrical systems and therefore, you will most likely need to bring a set of plug adapters and/or voltage converters for the electric and electronic items with which you travel. Almost the entire country has 220V voltage; however, La Paz is the exception for some reason and voltage there is 110V.


The difference between an adapter and a coverter

A voltage converter transforms electricity of one voltage into another (from 110V to 220V or vice versa). Devices that sustain only one voltage (for example only 110V) cannot be plugged it into a higher voltage (220V) because they may overheat, melt, or burn out. A converter is what you need in this case.

A plug adapter does not convert one voltage to another. It simply allows you to plug a flat pin plug into a round pin outlet or vice versa. 110V electric outlets usually have flat holes for flat plug pins, while in the areas where the electricity is 220V, the plug pins and outlets are round. In addition, the plugs on some devices have 3 pins and many wall outlets don't have 3 holes.

Some newer devices such as laptop computers, shavers, curling irons, and others do adjust to voltages between 110 and 240V automatically. These are usually called "dual voltage" devices. If your devices are dual voltage, you don't need a converter. You may need only a plug adapter. Check the packaging to see if your device is dual voltage or not.

Other devices may not be dual voltage. If they aren't, then you will need both a converter and a plug adapter.

Does all of this sound confusing? The best solution for travelers is probably something that does both: an international voltage/wattage converter/adapter. There are plenty for sale online. Some even have USB ports built into them. There are literally hundreds of brands, but you can see some adapters, converters, and travel accessories here.


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