Is Bolivia Safe?

by Grace
(US)

I saw a House Hunters episode and couldn't believe how clean and nice Bolivia looked. The apartment they rented was enormous for only $250 a month! I've talked to friends planning on moving to Ecuador and they tell me that Bolivia is a lot more dangerous and has a lot of political unrest. They said it's not as developed, nor does it have as much entertainment or options for things to do.


What is your take on it? What brought you to Bolivia? Do you enjoy it? Is it dangerous? Would you recommend moving to Bolivia?

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Jun 09, 2016
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Tarija is safe for sure
by: Anonymous

Lived in Tarija 3 years. Its by far the safest city in the country, in fact, it and Potosi are rated among the safest cities in South America. A lot of fear is all hype and culture, latinamerica locks all their doors and always fear thieves, because that is true. House breakins and pickpocketing are more common in bigger cities, but violent crime in this part of the country is nearly unheard of. I have heard of a couple wallets taken, but I dont hear of home invasions here. I do hear of these happening in Cocha and its usually a guard of a gated neighborhood that sets it up. good luck, and dont be scared! anywhere in the country is safer than the US

Dec 29, 2014
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crime Santa cruz
by: Anonymous

Hi, we live in Argentina and will be traviling to stay in Santa cruz for a few week can some share some things to watch out for?

Oct 25, 2013
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Safety in Cochabamba
by: Anonymous

I have lived in Cochabamba for four years. I will not be posting my name for obvious reasons. This is my experiences in Cochabamba only. I have been robbed three different times. First was my wallet in the Concha Pampas, second was my camera out of a luggage on the bus from La Paz (or it could have been a one time maid I'm not sure), and the third my cellphone on the "J" bus on America. I have been targeted for robbery at least four times and I have been the target of possible kidnapping twice. I never felt physically threatened and I never had a real fear and I still don't. However the facts speak for themselves. I walk all over Cochabamba including places known to be somewhat risky, but I'm a big boy and understand the risks and don't fear without reason. I came to Bolivia from Florida and the risk of robbery, assault and death are thousands of times greater there. Most of the criminals in Bolivia are not Bolivians but Bolivia is a naïve country and wily criminals come here to take advantage of the population and foreign visitors. Where ever you are it is a personable responsibility to look out for your own safety. What is shocking is all the posters at the police station and at the bus terminals of missing children especially young girls. There is crime here especially in the major cities but ultimately our safety is our own responsibility.

Oct 25, 2013
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Is Bolivia Safe?
by: Steve Baker

Tom, Santa Cruz is a colony of the Imperialist Power in the region--La Paz. Hence, an impovrishment of police, roads, services, etc., etc. La Paz has always had it all, but they gave Santa Cruz nothing, now a little more. They still completely control the polics, almost all of whom are NOT even from Santa Cruz, so what do they care about us?

I still feel a lot safer here than I do in any comparable American or even South American city--including La Paz! But notice I didn't include Canada or Australia.

Oct 25, 2013
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safety
by: Tom

I disagree. Santa Cruz is NOT safe. It has increase in crime in the city and state of santa cruz is the worst in the country. Just ask any bolivian. Crime is rampant. I was personally held up at gun point by three teenagers in the middle of sunny afternoon in santa cruz in a residential neighborhood between the first and second rings of the city. There are no police to be seen patrolling the neighborhoods. Moreover, a filing a police report is a joke.

On the other hand, you did see police patrolling he city of La Paz. Yes, there a lot of strikes in La Paz but the presence of army, military and police in the city make me feel more comfortable.

Oct 25, 2013
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safety
by: Tom

I disagree. Santa Cruz is NOT safe. It has increase in crime in the city and state of santa cruz is the worst in the country. Just ask any bolivian. Crime is rampant. I was personally held up at gun point by three teenagers in the middle of sunny afternoon in santa cruz in a residential neighborhood between the first and second rings of the city. There are no police to be seen patrolling the neighborhoods. Moreover, a filing a police report is a joke.

On the other hand, you did see police patrolling he city of La Paz. Yes, there a lot of strikes in La Paz but the presence of army, military and police in the city make me feel more comfortable.

Oct 15, 2013
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Is Bolivia safe
by: Glenda

Most of the time it is safe.
La Paz is where most of the conflicts are so Santa Cruz and Sucre and Cochabamba are fine.
G

Oct 12, 2013
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Visiting
by: Grace

Of COURSE I wouldn't just move there without visiting first. That goes without saying- or should. I'm just considering whether it's even on the map for me at this point.

Oct 12, 2013
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Bolivia vs. Ecuador
by: Uncle Darrell

Before considering to move to a foreign country I would ask myself why. There are many reasons but most people to chose to live overseas because they have become familiar with their adopted country and love it. Have you visited Bolivia or Ecuador? Do you have friends or family in either country? Are you bringing your family? Don't move anywhere permanently unless you know what your getting into. There is crime in Bolivia and some cities are safer than others but nothing compared to cities in the US. Remember Bolivia is a land locked country and if you enjoy fresh abundant seafood and beaches you will not find that here in Bolivia. Before you make any decisions you should spend at least one month in each country and even that may not be enough. Bolivia is inexpensive in some areas and very expensive others. Bolivia is for adventurous expatriates who are willing to sacrifice some of the luxury of US living. You need to do your research and make your decision on your needs. There is no easy answer and it will ultimately be your own. Contact the Consulates of both Bolivia and Ecuador and inquire about Visa and residency requirements they may be different. Never forget proper documentation will make life much easier. You need residence and a Carnet (national identity card) for almost every official transaction including opening a bank account and obtaining a drivers license. One last thing, some people circumvent the residency requirements by overstaying their tourist visas. A few days is n big deal but the fine for overstay is 20 Bolivianos a day that's one thousand dollars a year for each person. In Immigration I met a family whose nephew was Canadian and overstayed his visa three years and now wants to return to Canada. He has a three thousand dollar fine waiting for him at the border.

Oct 12, 2013
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Is Bolivia Safe?
by: Steve Baker

I've lived in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia for about half of the last nine years. I believe our city of over 2 million to be safer than any equivalent size US city. I believe the government to be very stable though, like Ecuador, left-leaning, only more so, but that's not all bad, like when it comes to health care and public transportation, maybe. Ecuador has its advantages, but perhaps Bolivia does too. It's such an individual matter.

You ask about important things. Moving to any foreign land is a pretty big step in anybody's life. Are you really going to believe some "person" typing to you online whom you don't know from Adam and who doesn't know you? I hope not.

So, you must visit places and decide for yourself. Only you can evaluate FOR YOU the kinds of things you ask about.


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