Bolivia can be a beautiful tourist destination, and more people are getting interested in visiting this country in South America. If you are wondering about the average monthly cost of living in Bolivia, we will break down everything you need to know.
Hopefully you’ll be able to create a plan and get a better understanding of what to expect once you arrive in the country.
Housing and Utilities
As with most countries, the majority of your money will go to housing and utilities. Naturally, the main question will be whether you have a property in Bolivia or not. For people with a house or apartment, they won’t need to pay monthly rents. But if you are a tourist, buying a property in another country is not an option.
So, if you are just visiting Bolivia, the main expense will be paying rent. One of the significant benefits is that you usually won’t need to pay the deposit. For those looking for an apartment, only the first and last rents are paid upfront.
When it comes to pricing, it is cheaper than in other countries, and renting can be as low as $150 a month in Sucre, which is the capital of Bolivia. But if you want to stay in La Paz or Santa Cruz, you will need to pay a bit more due to high demand.
A two-room apartment or a house on a decent location is usually between $250 and $300, but it can depend on the location and several other factors.
Utilities, on the other hand, are much cheaper, and the electricity bill is around $10, while water is $3 a month. If there is a gas, you will need to pay another $5.
Essential utilities like electricity, heating, water, cooling, and garbage for an 85 square meter apartment can be up to $80.
Finally, tourists often go to the hotel or hostel, and this can significantly affect your expenses. For a couple of days, hotels are a great option, but if you plan on staying for a month, it’s better to rent an apartment.
Food and Drink
The next thing you should consider is where and what to eat. On average, a person will spend around $350 on groceries, while dining out three nights per week with drinks will be an additional $250.
Eating in an inexpensive restaurant can cost you between 10 and 40 Boliviano with 20 Bs on average, which is around $3. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is $20 on average, but it can go up to $45.
If you order a cappuccino, you will pay between $1 and $5 based on the location. For a can of Coke or Pepsi, the price is usually under $2.
When it comes to groceries, regular milk is under a dollar, while rice and a loaf of bread are approximately $1.3. If you are a smoker, you will need at least $2.4 for a pack of Marlboro.
All prices can slightly vary based on the market you visit, and the number of people who are with you. But even if you decide to live carelessly, it still won’t cost you a fortune. At least compared to major cities in Europe and the U.S.
Once you are in Bolivia, you’ll probably be interested in entertainment as well. Based on your budget, there are many things you can try out. If you are willing to spend a bit more, you can always take a tour of Bolivian salt flats — Uyuni tours are exciting, and you’ll be able to experience the country in a new and unique way.
You can also pick different tickets for the tour, and it can cost you around $40 per person. But most of these tours will last three days and are about $100 to $200. The tickets will get you a 4×4 tour, and even a chance to try home-cooked meals.
However, if this is not something you are into, you can always stick to more traditional entertainment. For example, a cinema ticket for the international release will cost you between $5 and $10 per person.
Most museums and churches you can visit in the country won’t require you to pay for anything, but even if there is a ticket price, it’s often between $2 and $4.
One hour of tennis is $10 on average per hour, and the fitness fee is $40 for an entire month. Based on your interest, and types of activities you’re willing to participate, the monthly cost for entertainment is around $150 to $200.
There are several ways to get from one place to another in Bolivia, and it’s rather similar to how other countries work. The first and obvious choice is to use public transport. A one-way ticket on a bus is around thirty cents, while a monthly pass is around $35. Getting a ticket for the entire month might be the best idea if you are staying for a while.
The other option is to use taxi cabs. Taxi starts in Bolivia are $1.5 on average, and the same price is for every kilometer. Finally, you can always pay for gasoline if you already own a car.
One of the major factors is the location of your apartment. Based on that, you might need to spend more or less on transport. On average, you will need approximately $50 for one month if you plan on using some of the methods mentioned here.
Two main ways you can communicate with people in the country or your family is by using a phone or the internet. If you are staying in the city, finding an apartment with the internet won’t be a problem. Naturally, based on the internet plan you choose, the price can be as low as $35. There are, of course, more expensive packages. You might need to pay more if you are looking for a high-speed connection, of course.
You can find 60 Mbps and more, and even unlimited data plans. The highest price you’ll find for the internet is around $100.
The other option is to use the phone, and if you pick prepaid mobile tariffs without any discount or plans, you will pay around $0.10 per minute. If you are having a vacation in Bolivia, you probably won’t be interested in paying the best possible plan. You can save a lot of money going for the cheaper option.
In short, expect a $30 to $40 monthly internet fee. That should be enough to keep in touch with your family or see something online.
Many people enjoy shopping, and if you are one of them, you’d probably want to know more about prices in the country. For $50, you’ll be able to get a pair of jeans like Levis 501 or something similar. You can always visit stores like H&M or Zara, and the average price for the summer dress is around $40.
For anyone interested in buying shoes, you’ll get the same choices as in the United States. One of the examples is mid-ranged Nike running shoes, which are $70 on average. But you will have to pay the same price if you want to get yourself a pair of leather shoes.
The amount of shopping you’ll do will determine how much you’ll spend on clothing. Since you are not buying shoes or jackets every day, you can save a lot on these or go wild and use your savings to get yourself something pretty.
Cost of Living in Bolivia
All in all, the average cost of living in Bolivia is around $1,500. That covers everything you’ll probably want or need to do if you visit the country. Of course, the total expense can be significantly lower (or higher).
A single person could spend a month in the country for a sum between $600 and $800. For a couple, on the other hand, the price can be around $1,000. While this seems like you’ll be giving up on a lot of activities, that isn’t the case. People living in the country will have additional expenses, which will tip toward that $1,500 mark.
On the other hand, the price can be significantly lower for tourists, especially if they don’t stay in the capital where rent is a bit lower than that of cities like La Paz and Santa Cruz.
If you were wondering how to move to Bolivia, we hope we brought you one step closer to achieving your goals.