The yellow fever vaccination is obligatory to enter Bolivia. This vaccination has to be administered 10 days prior to your arrival. You will be required to submit the vaccination certificate. Hepatitis, typhoid fever, tetanus and polio vaccinations must be up-to-date. If you are traveling to the tropical area, we recommend you take malaria tablets. Mosquito nets and repellents help prevent many tropical diseases. Bolivia has special vaccination centers. Vaccines within the country are free. For international vaccines, a vaccination card has to be purchased.
All tourists arriving in La Paz (3,600 masl) must treat the altitude with respect, especially if you fly in from sea level. Few people have serious problems because of the altitude, though everyone is advised to rest for at least 24 hours and drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration in the dry climate of La Paz. We also recommend keeping alcohol consumption to a moderate level. The most common effect of the altitude is a persistent headache the first couple of days. Altitude sickness or “sorojchi” can be combated with coca leaf tea or sorojchi pills. We recommend avoiding physical effort, especially the first couple of days. People with heart problems or breast pain should consult their doctor before traveling to La Paz.
Do not drink tap water, only bottled mineral water. Avoid salads and uncooked vegetables, and food sold on the streets or markets. The most frequent tourist diseases are hepatitis, paratyphoid fever and diarrhea.
We recommend visitors to take out proper medical and accident insurance while visiting Bolivia. Medical costs, particularly including hospitalization, are high and the bill has to be paid before the patient is allowed to leave private hospitals.