Normal Business Hours in Bolivia
What are the normal business days and business hours in Bolivia?
In Bolivia businesses normally work from about 8-12:30 am and from about 2:30 to 6:30 or 7 p.m. because it's a tradition to take the 2-hour siesta and lunch hour at midday. Most people who work this schedule go home for lunch and it's nice to have lunch with your family.
However, many businesses are switching to what they are now calling the "horario continuo" (continuous schedule) wherein businesses are open during the lunch hour. Their work hours are usually about 8-6 with a 1 hour lunch break for employees who take turns having lunch so the business doesn't actually close. People who work this schedule usually eat out (or if they live nearby will go home). However, it is highly unusual for Bolivians to take a sack lunch to work and eat at their desks and most companies do NOT have cafeterias or employees break rooms. (There are a tiny few exceptions and most are foreign companies).
In addition, some public offices are opening at about 7 and closing at 4 p.m. Employees still have a 1 hour lunch break in this case.
In most cases, regardless of which schedule they choose, businesses are open Monday through Friday and half day (from about 8-1 pm) on Saturdays. Then the city just sort of shuts down. Exceptions to this are most banks, and public offices which no longer work on Saturdays since they adopted the "horario continuo".
Hardly any businesses (except for grocery stores and restaurants and some open markets) are open on Sunday. You won't find hardly any stores open at all! Downtown is a quiet ghost town on Sundays.
Sundays in Bolivia are family day and people take it seriously. Foreigners or tourists often find Sundays a little boring!
Not to worry! There are still tons of places you can go for fun on Sunday. See my list of The top 40 things to do in Santa Cruz (not that you asked LOL).
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