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Old 15 Feb 2012
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We`re in northern Argentina now and will be heading to Bolivia in the next day or so. Very excited but good to know all this. Cheers.

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Old 15 Feb 2012
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Good to know they might like European plates and drivers who love to haggle :-)
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Old 16 Feb 2012
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I'm living here, a 5 boliviano tip can get you the local price.
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Old 16 Feb 2012
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When I was there, 2009, exchange rate was 7B to 1 USD. If that is still the case fuel is cheap, pay the rate and smile. You could be in Malawi where the black market is 30 to 50 Rand per L. 8R = 1USD.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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we just drove 2000kms with our two bikes, and had to pay the 9Bs price only once. For the rest, we bought it in jerrycans on the side of the road.
In Uyuni, the gasstation on the south, sells for normal price to foreign plates; please tip the guys a bit!

I enjoyed boycotting the government, so just bought fuel at local shops so Bolivians can make some money...
Just drive to a super small village and ask in a tienda; mostly they will sell you for 6,5-7Bs/liter. They will be a bit shocked when you ask for 40 liters though...
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Old 11 Mar 2012
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Last comment was 3 weeks ago, has anyone been thru more recently. i intend to head up there in a bout 1 month (do i need to buy a jerry can?)

Are there still blockades in some parts of the country?


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Old 12 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by teevee View Post
simple answer is, boycott bolivia. it's not like many people NEED to go there...
Heh I think Bolivia is the most amazing country in South America....

The reason for the price increase is because Bolivian fuel is subsidised by the government so it's not exactly unfair.

Originally Posted by Delbert View Post
Are there still blockades in some parts of the country?

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Old 12 Mar 2012
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we were there a month ago, and didn't run out while we drove 2000 km's through this amazing country.

- No blockades
- Yes, buying fuel sucks. In big cities you can buy legaly, but for 3x as much and it is bloody hard to find that one gasstation which is allowed to sell you any because they need some special documents. We only bought like this once for 9 Bs/liter
- In smaller villages ,go to the local 'tienda', where they sell bread and Coca Cola. They will have jerrycans with gasoline, and you pay about 2 times as much as the bolivianos at the pump. (6-7 Bs/liter)
- On the side of some roads (e.g. also the Road of Death) you wil lsee signs of people selling fuel from jerrycans. We did this also a lot, prices between 5-7 Bs/Liter.
- Two times we could buy like being Boliviano, the gasstation on the southern entrance of Uyuni simply sells you some, and in some other village we got away with it. 3,7Bs/liter.
- Don't think you can walk up to any gasstation with your jerrycan, without your bike. They will not sell it, as it is also illegal!

I had a 20 liter jerrycan on the back, but never needed it.

Go to Bolivia, it is amazing.
What pissed me off more, is the price increase to enter the park down south... from 35Bs to 150Bs. That is about 20 USD each, and you do not even get a map!
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Old 13 Mar 2012
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No brutal price increase recenty so no blockades.

If you are travelling, you ll pay the gringo/gaucho price at gas stations. If you stay for a while in an area, you ll get friends to fill up gas in jerrycans at the local price.

The best option for you is still stopping in small villages and pay 5 to 7 bolos a liter.

Oh, and Bolivia is not only great for travelling, it s also great for customizing your bike for cheap. Since it s difficulut to find original parts, bolivians developped an incredible gift for crafting all kind of parts out of metal, plastic or any kind of raw material.

If your bike needs repairs or customisation, stop by in Tarija, there are brilliant handcrafters!
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Old 21 Mar 2012
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Be warned from now on that selling gasolina in Bolivia in jerrycans is prohibited. You wont be able to find cheaper gas in small villages anymore.
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Old 24 Mar 2012
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How to get gas in Bolivia...

I was travelling in Bolivia some weeks ago and the first time I needed gas was in La Paz. It was terrible, I probably showed up in about 8 different Gas stations to hear "no hay" or "no gas for foreign plates". That was really annoying. I saw that some gas station hang out a paper that says that it is prohibited to fill gas into cans, vehihuls without plates and with foreign plates.
After thinking about this rule I found that it makes sence, if they are really short of gas. There are so few foreign travellers with there own vehicules on their way in Bolivia, so that I think that these rules are not made for us, but for Peruvians, Argentiniens etc. who cross the boarder just to get gas, or for foreign companies who make a lot of money in the country but profit from cheap gas prices.
Finally I did not want to pay for their mismanagement and logistical problems and invented the following storry which I always told when they didn´t want to give me gas:

"At the boarder I was told, that tourists are an important economical factor for Bolivia and the gas distribution rules are not made for them. So, the officials told me, in case of problems to get gas I should show my vehicle permit and say that this officially allows to sell gas to me even if I have a foreign plate. In case that this wouldn´t work we should call the police and insist on them to make a report about the incident in written and sent to duane and ministry of tourism..."

It was never necessary to call the police, we always got gas without any further discussions. But even if the story I told them was invented, I would have called the police and let them write a report. I am shure that information flow in this country doesn´t really work and with an official paper in your hands and a convincing story a lot of thinks become possible...
Another solution would be: if you see that they fill up a car without plates or if they fill up cans, just take a photo. If they don´t want to give you gas, show them the photo and say it´s obviously possible to work arround this rule, otherwise you would instantly call the police and ask why they brake the law for someone else and not for you... they will give you gas, sure :-)

And: don´t pay any tourist price, never pay more than the indicated price!!!

To be honest, I don´t believe that the Bolivians want to hinder tourists in travelling, they just didn´t think about all side effects when they released that gas distribution rules... so I found it acceptable to work arround the described way :-)

So, enjoy Bolivia

Best regards

Last edited by chessing; 24 Mar 2012 at 22:52.
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Old 25 Jun 2012
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I'm in Bolivia at the moment. I haven't had a serious problem with not being able to get petrol, although I have been asked to pay the 'international' price. If you smile and chat, that price can come down.

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Old 9 Jul 2012
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I'm in Bolivia now and have traveled through Tupiza, Potosi, Sucre, Samaipata, Santa Cruz and the Jesuit Mission circuit. I've only paid the international price once. When I pull up I say "full, por favor" or "lleno, por favor" and "no necessito una factura, en effectivo" ... That's I don't need a receipt I'm paying in cash. I often round up the payment a few pesos as a propina/tip.

The first gas station I pulled up to said that it would be easier for them and me to sell me gas at the local rate in my jerry can. No worries, they fill jerry cans.

Some stations do run out of gas, so I started carrying 10 liters extra all the time. My suggestion is that if you ride into a town where you will be staying, try to fill up before you go to your hotel if gas is available. They may run out by the next morning.

Bolivia is definitely worth a visit and the gas issues hasn't slowed me down that much.

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Old 10 Jul 2012
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Did a bit the same route. Never had problems up untill trinidad. Santa anna was more difficult. But now in Rurre the only way to go is black market. But I was told before that the north of the country was most difficult to get gasoline. Still only pay about 6Bs per liter so it´s still cheap. I feel more sorry for the locals who have to go trough this 365days a year.
Starting up to La paz tomorow. Hope the roads will be a bit do-able. Its been raining like hell the last week. And there´s the issue of will the road be closed for the works during the day. Guess we´ll see tomorow.
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Old 16 Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by Vorteks View Post
Be warned from now on that selling gasolina in Bolivia in jerrycans is prohibited. You wont be able to find cheaper gas in small villages anymore.
Apparently that has changed, providing the petrol station has a computerised till they will fill it for you (at local rate), even if it is attached to your bike. All they need is a form of ID (passport etc).

This appears to apply to locals as well.

We have also read in the papers that from Jan 2013 all cars will have to have a "sticker" with an RFID chip to buy petrol (we think it means to buy petrol in drums etc). This may be only near border towns. We are going to try and get more details.

Oh, and our experience now shows that YPFB always have the paper work. Some towns (Oruro) are sticklers for the rules so hunt out the YPFB just north of the old north railway station (Major junction).

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