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  #1  
Old 5 Apr 2012
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Bolivian Petrol Stations

Ay up folks,
Seeing as a few of us have been having trouble buying petrol in Bolivia, I thought it would be a good idea to list stations that will sell it.
I'll get the ball rolling.

Tarija
Ruta 1 about 10km south of town.
S 21 34'01.0"
W 64 40'12.5"

Anyone got any more? I'm heading to Potosi next and then on to Uyuni. I'd particularly like to hear of petrol on the way.

Dunc.
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  #2  
Old 6 Apr 2012
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Hi all,

I just want to clarify the petrol situation in Bolivia to help those of you who may be struggling to understand it. It is not a case, as some believe, of corruption or ripping off the rich foreigner.
There is another post on this topic elsewhere in the Hubb so i'll try not to repeat things.

The government in Bolivia heavily subsidises the cost of gasoline. Rightly or wrongly (and for the sake of tourism, i believe wrongly) the government has determined not to extend that subsidy to foreign registered vehicles (note i did not say foreigners). Therefore locals pay bs3.74 per litre while foreign registered vehicles pay bs9.18 per litre.
That is the law. The guy you meet at the fuel station is not making it up, he is simply doing what he is told. Furthermore, most stations now have cameras installed, specifically focused on numberplates, so he must report his sales correctly.
A further complication is that when they sell fuel to a vehicle with foreign plates they must issue two receipts. Here is how it works:
You buy 20 litres of fuel. You will get a receipt on the fuel station's letterhead for bs3.74 x 20litres = bs74.8. You will then get a receipt on the national fuel supplier's (YPFB) letterhead for bs5.44 x 20litres = bs108.8. Add the two together and you have 20 litres x bs9.18 = bs183.6. One receipt forms part of the fuel stations sales tax calucation, the other goes directly to the government to record sales to foreign registered vehicles.

Unfortunately not all fuel stations have the required foreign sales receipt book, or as i have discovered, the person assigned to managing that receipt book is not always there so the fuel station cannot sell you fuel at all!!

So what can you do? Well, standing there loudly proving your ignorance while dressed in over $1000 worth of clothing, standing next to your $5000+ plus bike with thousands of dollars worth of accessories is probably not going to win you any friends - and may even involve the police as Tobi pointed out.
Remember that the fuel station attendant probably earns in a month what you will spend in food and lodging for the day.

Try one of these:
1 Fill up on the black market along the highways. You'll pay between bs5-7 but at least it is less than bs9.18!!!
2 find a vehicle with local plates and offer to pay 1bs more per litre if the driver will allow you to syphon from his gas tank.
3 park your bike around the corner and walk in, or send a local in, with fuel canisters.
4 offer the fuel station attendant some extra money if he fills you up at the local price.

I don't recommend option 4 but it is possible. Options 2 & 3 are logistically a nightmare and could turn filling up into a tireesome process. But that is the way it is i'm afraid.

I hope that clears the situation up for you. And i hope our confused fuel situation doesn't affect your enjoyment of Bolivia.
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  #3  
Old 7 Apr 2012
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the gasolineria on the exit south out of Uyuni sells without a problem, but please give them a tip. As you only pay the Bolivian price, you save enought to give them a buck or two!

Do agree with some here, that we shouldn't go crazy on the guys at the petrol stations. They are just doing their job, and plenty of stations (privately owned, and thus not allowed to sell to us) are closed for months after the government found out they did. Can't blame them for being strict then!

It is the government to blame, and thus did we only fill up 'illegaly' at the side of the road, or in the local tienda in a small village. WIll cost you 5-7Bs per liter, but at least it is hard working people making money, not the government who makes up these shitty rules.
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  #4  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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take a bicycle

in chile and argentina the gasoline is something like 1,7$. in bolivia 1,3$ (tourist price, not subsidized from a poor country).
if you can´t afford the fuel, why not take a bike, tacano?
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  #5  
Old 13 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikodemus View Post
in chile and argentina the gasoline is something like 1,7$. in bolivia 1,3$ (tourist price, not subsidized from a poor country).
if you can´t afford the fuel, why not take a bike, tacano?
Oh, I don't mind paying the tourist price but I do need petrol.
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  #6  
Old 15 Apr 2012
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Ruta 1 just south of Camargo. Local prices and a smile from the nice lady on the pump.
S20 39'01.4" W65 12'46.2"
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  #7  
Old 20 Apr 2012
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Uyuni: No problem buying fuel at local prices at any of the three places in town.
Going from Uyuni to Calama (Chile), no petrol along the way. However, the nice lady at the Atahualpha Hostal sold me a few litres from a jerry can.
S21 13'26.7"
W68 15'13.1"
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  #8  
Old 30 Apr 2012
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Gas

In SAN CRISTOBAL, south from Uyuni via Villa Alota and Lagunas, usually they have with no problems.

Cory's recommendations are practical. Always carry your bin or extra-bottles, just in case, and fill them up always that you may

Good luck, Santiago
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  #9  
Old 17 May 2012
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I entered Bolivia on the 26th March 2012 from La Quiaca, Argentina to Villazon, Bolivia. I exited Bolivia on the 6th April 2012 at Desaguadero Bolivia into Peru. Fuel is no problem. During the whole duration in Bolivia I only paid twice international rate for fuel on my KLR 650, the rest of fuelling I paid same as local rate. I usually looked for some lonely and outskirt fuel stations as they likely do not bothered with your internationalisation character. My advise is; be humble and look out for small station rather than the more popular or branded fuel station.
Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 25 May 2012
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I filled up in Bolivia with no problems although i did pay the international rate. It doesn't bother me and i tip the guys, hopefully so the next biker through gets looked after.

Delb
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  #11  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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BOLIVIAN OR INTERNATIONAL PRICES?? - mini update

We entered Bolivia from Calama - Ollague to Uyuni, 500km (more or less) with no fuel stops. Fortunately, the bikes manage a range of 400km with their own 17 litres, the extra 10 we carry takes us comfortably past 500km. There is only 1 grade of 'Gasoline' in Bolivia and it has been coming each time from the official YPFB (like Argentina YPF) so quality has been perfectly adequate.

We refueled in Uyuni, Potosi and Sucre and are now in Cochabamba which has plenty fuel.

A little advice on the Gringo Tax. In Uyuni we were charged the typical 3 Bolivianos (45p) per litre, no questions asked, ciao! But in Potosi and Sucre the attendants advised us it is 9 bolivianos (85p), its stilll relatively cheap and we have no problem paying it but you 'must' ask for a receipt ("Necesito una factura") Otherwise the attendant will pocket the difference.

What we have found (as described above) the problem is, the till / computer system (or the attendant for that matter) does not know how to or is incapable of giving receipts at the Gringo Rate! Note, the receipt should include your name, passport number, bike reg and total value of fuel purchase, dont accept less. If he cant give you a receipt, smile, crack a joke (if your Spanish can go that far) and sit it out until they give you the correct receipt, THEN PAY!

However, should you end up buying from a man at the side of the road who happens to have a spare 40 gallon drum of fuel lying around then sadly the price he charges is fare game!

Ps . . we took the road between Sucre and Cochabambe, NOTE: if you dont like cobbles, its not very pleasant! 150km of them killed my rear suspension! New shock on its way soon from . . . somewhere soon ! Doh!

Over and Out
Chris & Chloe
BUENOS AIRES to VANCOUVER | Chris, Chloe & two motorbikes across South, Central & North America
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  #12  
Old 23 Jun 2012
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I was able to get gas everywhere in Bolivia EXCEPT out of Tupiza. Too close to the border, they don't want to sell under any circumstances. Fortunatly I had just enough to make it to the next gas station in argentina. So make sure you have enough gas to hit the next one in the next country.

Oh and one more thing about bolivian gas, it's poor quality. My bike was having problems at high altitude running on that fuel.
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  #13  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guillaume View Post
I was able to get gas everywhere in Bolivia EXCEPT out of Tupiza. Too close to the border, they don't want to sell under any circumstances. Fortunatly I had just enough to make it to the next gas station in argentina. So make sure you have enough gas to hit the next one in the next country.

Oh and one more thing about bolivian gas, it's poor quality. My bike was having problems at high altitude running on that fuel.
Some people have problems running on it, and others don't. It may depend on the bike, or you may be unlucky with the fuel. We ran 2 Aprilia Pegasos happily with no issues while in Bolivia.

I'll be going back with a F650 Funduro, so that may behave differently. And it will be interesting to see how they handle Chiliean plates.

Back in 2011 the only place we were charged more was just before the border crossing into Chile on Ruta 4
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  #14  
Old 7 Aug 2012
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we were going for a month on a klr 650 with chilenian plates. on busy petrolstations in town or at the main highways they usually charge you the international price. at remoter places it was normally easy to get some for local price + some tip...
ask politly, if not, pay normal price. it´s still a bargain!
have fun !
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  #15  
Old 13 Dec 2012
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Biggest problem we have had so far has been Oruro. No one would sell us petrol.

We went to 1 garage just by the old north station with a can and they filled it. The next day they refused to fill the motorbike. However when I asked if the would fill a can, they did so and only charged the local rate.

Morale of the tale. If no one will fill you up, empty your spare can into the bike and ask to have that filled. I'm sure they will do it a number of times.

Also , 40k later on the road to Cochabamba just past the toll booth/military point we got a top up. 6Bs/litre we will visit him on the way back up :-)
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