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Bolivia Travel Warnings & Safety Tips
"How to stay safe and the latest Bolivia Travel Warnings."
Bolivia is a friendly place and although it is one of the poorest countries in South America, it is generally one of the safest countries in Latin America to travel. Violent crimes in Bolivia are rare compared to other neighboring countries. However, every country has its thieves.
Petty theft: the big risk
The big risk a tourist faces in Bolivia is petty theft, or, more precisely, small robbery. If you don't keep a close eye on your things, the chances of them being stolen is high. Watch out for pickpockets and take extra caution in crowded areas such as bus stations, festivals or markets.
Do not allow worries about robbery to interfere with your travel. Just be vigilant and street smart, particularly in big cities. Here are some basic precautions and safety tips.
Basic precautions and Bolivia safety tips
Latest Crimes & Scams in BoliviaCrimes and scams on tourists are continuously being developed in South America and some of these scams have been reported in Bolivia. Always try to stay updated on the new scams by talking to other travelers or ask a tour agency. This information is provided to help you be a safer travel, don't let these scams discourage you from traveling Bolivia.
The South American Tourist and The Fake Police
There are also other variations to this scheme, including demanding you to get in a vehicle or a taxi with them to go to the police station. During the ride they may steal from you or bring you to another location to rob you. This scam is common in La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro.
Best things to remember in this situation is policemen in Bolivia will rarely ever approach you for no apparent reason and they are dressed in green uniforms, never in street clothes. So, be wary of someone in street clothes asking for your passport. Simply walk away from them and go to the nearest store or hotel to call the police. Or tell them they can follow you on foot to the nearest uniformed police officer or police station if they won't leave you alone. Never get into a vehicle or a taxi with a stranger. Never let anyone go through your bag or wallet.
Lost or Dropped Money Scam
Spilled Substance Scam
There are also other variations of these kidnappings, such as where fake police and armed men are involved. The best thing to remember if coming from Copacabana is try to arrive during daylight hours, verify the final destination, and buy tickets directly at the Copacabana bus terminal rather than from third parties.
Many victims to date report that once the thieves withdrew funds using the ATM cards they were then released without further harm. However, a few of those kidnappings have resulted in murder. Such as the instance in 2006 of a young Austrian couple who were kidnapped and murdered. For more detailed information on their story and warnings on crimes and scams in Bolivia visit www.katharinaandpeter.info or visit US Department of State for further resources on safe travel in Bolivia.
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