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Bolivia - Planning A Trip?  
User currently offlineThowman From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 363 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2567 times:

I am looking into going on an aviation related trip to Bolivia - for 727 reasons. Is there anyone one here from Bolivia who could provide me with some information?

I can see there is at least one member, 123, from Bolivia - but he has no email link so I hope he sees thread!

Anyone else on here been there and has pointers?

Saludos

A

[Edited 2004-11-25 00:03:19]

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3008 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2551 times:

I traveled to Bolivia in 2003. It's a beautiful and fascinating country, and LAB is a great airline. If you're looking for 727s, you're pretty much guaranteed to fly on one there.

123 is definitely much more knowledgeable about Bolivia than I am, as my Bolivia experience is limited to a few days in the La Paz/Lake Titicaca area, but I'd be happy to answer any questions from the perspective of a foreign visitor to Bolivia.



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineMiguel0881 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

I don't know exactly what kind of info. you want...I have lived in Bolivia and taken many 727 flights with both LB and Aerosur...(LIM-LPB, LPB-CBB, La Paz-Sucre) just to name a few, as well as a flight from CBB-TDD on the LB Fokker F-27, return to CBB on a 727...so, in short, if you fly somewhere in Bolivia (especially off the main LPB-VVI route), you'll almost certainly have a 727 flight...Buen viaje!

User currently offlineElAlto From Netherlands, joined Apr 2004, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

I travelled to Bolivia in 2002, and used LAB a lot! It's a great airline! If i can be of any help...please feel free to let me know

User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 747 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

Thowman! Please be welcome to Bolivia!

Tell me please, how can I be of assistance to you - Even if it is non-aviation related I think you can post the questions here, so our friends all over the world can also see interesting facts, figures and data!

123


User currently offlineThowman From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2357 times:

Hi 123

I want to visit Bolivia sometime in the next 3 to 4 months. I'm really looking for information about what can be done around La Paz and the airport. I already know that I can purchase a pass ticket that will allow me to travel to 5 other cities in Bolivia from La Paz. I really need more information about the local conditions, as I want to make the most of a week there.

I see there are very few photos on the database from Bolivia, and I was wondering what the conditions for taking photos are. Is it tolerated by the police? Is it safe to take photos and have expensive equipment without fear of being robbed? After my experience in Colombia - I always like to have un poco de conocimiento de la gente del sitio, sabes?

Are you in la Paz? What is it like for photograhy? Which route does the 727-100s fly from either AeroSur or LAB? Are there good hotels near the airport etc. 123, I have so many questions....

Also, there are some airlines in Bolivia that fly old piston engined freighters. Are there any C46s still flying? What else is.

Saludos

Andy



User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2345 times:

Andy I'd like to know what happened to you here in Colombia if it's not a problem...


I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
User currently offlineThowman From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2313 times:

757MDE

Me encanta Colombia, no mamo gallo - but I got robbed at gunpoint there a few years ago whilst staying with friends in Planeta Rica. I've always been a bit wary of looking to much like a tourist since then.

Saludos

Andy


User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 747 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2295 times:

Hello Thowman!

One good book you should buy, is the "Lonely Planet" for Bolivia. It´s the most complete - although not always accurate - collection of informations about Bolivia. I use it a lot because it gives you always some good ideas.

Safety: I would be careful with expensive photography equipment because pilferage has risen a lot in Bolivia. The "El Alto" area around the airport is basically safe, but if they see you loitering with nice equipment, you are an easy prey, and I would not really recommend hanging around alone with costly materials as you can be an easy prey. Since the El Alto area has a high crime rate (one of the highest in Bolivia), plus a low income rate, and last-not least, not very reliable police protection, you might steer clear from adventuring around alone.

Don´t be frightened. You will not get mugged first hand! It´s just like in all major cities. If you show off what you have and others don´t, you are a prey. That can be in Sao Paulo, Milano, London or El Alto.

I never heard of police prohibiting photography at the airports. If they do approach you, they will probably just be looking for some bribes.

Next: Hotels: In El Alto they have plenty of so-called Alojamientos. But I would steer clear from them and go down to the city (20-30 minutes of very interesting drive), and take any of the 2-3-4-5 star hotels they have there. It´s safer, more comfortable and specially at night, you can still walk around, which in El Alto, you cannot do.

Aviation: If you want to fly a perfect condition DC3, then you can take flights from LPB/CBB, to very, very interesting flight destinations like the Salar de Uyuni (enormous salt lake), or to Rurrenabaque (flight "between" the Andes towards the tropics). The aircraft is owned and flown by the Canedo family (Lineas Aereas Canedo = have nothing at all to do with Vasp), and have their base in Cochabamba. They are operated on behalf of Aero Sur http://www.aerosur.com/

You can contact and see informations of Lineas Aereas Canedo under http://www.lineasaereascanedo.com/. They used to have also Convairs in perfect conditions, they were sold however, to Rhodos Air in South Africa.

Their DC-3 is really in good conditions as I heard.

If you want some nice flights with 727's, take LPB to CBB or VVI, they take you very close to the Illimani, a breathtaking sight if you have good weather. Make sure you take day-flights  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

And if you fly into LPB from LIM with LB, chances you will get a 721 are quite good, and the flight is really great, overflying the Lake Titicaca on one side and the snow caped Andes on the other side.

The chances to catch 721's are quite good for inland flights, but I would not rely too much on infos of www.amadeus.net when they "offer" the 721, because LB / 5L switch quickly the aircraft according to demand. And this can be from one minute to the other.

I know, that there are C46's flying mainly out of LPB, but I really don´t know the actual operators, nor if the aircraft are safe enough to fly on.

If you want to fly some vintage F27's then you should take a TAM flight within Bolivia (has nothing to do with TAM Brazil). They are the military "civil" transport which reach remote areas of Bolvia.

For a more modern and highly demanded prop route, take http://www.emarketing.com.bo/amaszonas/

They fly Cessna Caravan to some nice destinations and target to foreign tourists.

For best spotting, I think VVI and SRZ give you the best options (VVI for international and national flights, mainly jets, SRZ for mainly regional flights and military flights, mainly props/vintage props).

As for cheap flights: Maybe you can think of a vibolpass of LAB (www.labairlines.com.bo), which takes you for USD 250.- up to four cities. It´s a good deal, and cannot be purchased in Bolivia.

And if you want to go to an airport terrace (protected by hexagonal mesh), then CBB is your destination.

SRE/TJA/TDD have such low traffic that they should not be of much interst, although as cities, they are lovely.

Any other questions?

Saludos,

123








User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2279 times:


Thowman,


My God what were you doing in Planeta Rica man? I know Colombia isn't half of what the international media says about us (in the cities you certainly do not have to be more careful than in other cities like New York, Mexico City or Caracas) but to the point of going into the open country as a tourist? Pretty risky if you ask me.

Planeta Rica, a small town located in beautiful lands, marvelous landscapes of the coast plains, but certainly a town when I - being Colombian - would not spend the night.


Anyway, I hope you have a great time in Bolivia.




SOUTHAMERICA


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2266 times:


Andy,

while I have not visited Bolivia, the following strategy used to yield good results in other Latin American countries: I walked into the airline´s administration office or ticket counter and specifically asked when and where this or that airplane was going next. Then bought the ticket and flew between ten minutes and two hours later.

I´m sure when you go to the airport and say "hello, I need to fly on your 40 year old 727-100 CP-1223/45 year old F27 CP-2013, pronto" you´ll succeed.

Daniel Smile


User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 747 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2263 times:

By the way, LB's F27 is beside the LB maintenance facility in CBB; Right now it is not being used.



User currently offlineThowman From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 2252 times:

123

Thanks so much for the information. It is very detailed and exactly what I was looking for. You just joined my repsected user list!

I just read an article in airline world about LAB that I didn't realise was out. Please could you send me an email so I can ask you questions directly? Click on my profile and you can email me directly from there. I'm going to go and find the lonely planet guide in London this weekend.

Southamerican
I was in Planeta Rica for love. I went out with a Planetera for a year or so and went to visit on Holiday. Also, one of my best friends is from Sagahun - so I have been there to - as well as Bogota and Cartegena. I love Colombia - but I'm not sure if I'd go back outside of the big cities - especially with all the kidnapping going on. I was stupid once... experience is a good teacher.


User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 22 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Watching with interest... I hope to go over that way next year.

Thowman - the book you want is called South America on a Shoestring, by Lonely Planet. It's about 1.5" thick with a bright pink cover and spine (9th edition anyway), and is a hefty £20. But then it is packed full of info. Most decent bookshops should have it, but the ISBN is 1-74104-163-5 if you need to order it.

In fact, Amazon has it for £13.99!

Geoff M.


User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 747 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 2205 times:

Well there is the South America on a Shoeshtring by Lonely Planet, but there is also the specific Lonely Planet for Bolivia, a bit cheaper and overall, specific for Bolivia.

It sure is worth it.



User currently offlineLatinAviation From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1279 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2119 times:

Thowman - I was in LPB about 2 years ago and didn't encounter any problems in the city itself. Trying to take a side tour to Lake Titicaca we were blocked by protesting farmers and the political situation was bad at the time, though I don't know if it's much better right now either. I stayed at the Radisson, my company put me there, but a very nice hotel. Not too far from the Embassies and it seemed many of the guests were American, Canadian or Europeans on business/holiday.

Prepare yourself for the altitude at El Alto... that was a killer.


User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3008 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 weeks ago) and read 2094 times:

The scheduling of LAB's 727-100s is indeed quite unpredictable, so you might try what others have suggested and check with the airline's office. I flew LIM-LPB, and then LPB-CUZ--both routes where I was told the 721 is often used--but unfortunately both were operated by 722s on the days I flew. Oh well, maybe next time. At least the views were great, and one of the 722s had winglets, which was kinda neat.  Smile

More generally speaking, the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia is quite helpful. And I would reiterate what others have said regarding accommodations--you're much better off staying in the city of La Paz than up in El Alto. In the city it is safe--and very interesting!--to walk around during the day, and taxis are easily found at night. Even upscale hotels and restaurants are very reasonably priced.

If you have time for (and interest in) non-aviation activities, I highly recommend excursions to Lake Titicaca and especially the fascinating archaeological site of Tiwanaku. The scenery of the Altiplano is awe-inspiring. Just don't try to do too much on the first day--the altitude is a kick in the pants! I tried taking Diamox (acetazolamide), a prescription drug that is supposed to prevent altitude sickness, but I found the side effects (mainly peeing a LOT) worse than the effects of the thin air. Instead, I recommend the local remedy of coca tea, which is actually quite tasty with a bit of sugar.



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

Hey Southamerica,

I know Colombia isn't half of what the international media says about us (in the cities you certainly do not have to be more careful than in other cities like New York, Mexico City or Caracas)...

This is a bit of a ridiculous statement; New York offers an INFINITELY safer environment for visitors compared to either Mexico City or Caracas, let alone Bogota. New York is a very safe city, the safest large city in the US in fact, and experienced precipitous drops in its violent and non-violent crime rates.

According to a study by Piquet 1999; Buvinic and Morrison 1999 from the Latin American & Iberian Institute at The University of New Mexico, the homocide rates in the following Latin American cities (per 100,000 inhabitants):

Medellin 248.0 (1995)
Cali 112.0 (1995)
Bogotá 49.2 (1997)
Mex.C. 19.6 (1995)
Caracas 76.0 (1995)

According to the disastercenter.com website, the homocide rate in New York was:

New York 5.0 (2000)
Source: FBI, Uniform Crime Reports

So, QUITE a huge difference in safety; New York is, as I mentioned, infinitely safer than either Mexico City, Caracas, let alone any major city in Colombia.

Interestingly enough, former NYC mayor Guiliani's consulting firm, Guiliani Partners LLC, was hired by a group of private business interests led by Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, to prepare a report outlining policies to reduce crime in Mexico City.

BTW, I used to live in La Paz, albeit back in the 1980's, and can attest to the city's safety...


User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2048 times:


Pdpsol,


Give it or take it, go ahead, erase New York from that list if your yapping for it, but the examples given still stand for the point I was trying to make, which is, at the end, my only interest.



SOUTHAMERICA


User currently offline123 From Bolivia, joined Nov 2003, 747 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

Thowman, I sent you an e-mail with my address, did you receive it?

Regarding the 721/722: Today I was scheduled to fly on a 721 and that was so till 1/2 hr prior to boarding when they switched to 722. That's what you can expect!



User currently offlineKomododx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2000 times:

Pdpsol,

I don't know if you're sofisticated enough, but if you happen to come across a magazine called The Economist, you'll see the crime rate in Medellin came down to 40ish per 100,000... that's the number for 2004. Issue is from either Oct16th- or Nov20th-... can't remember which one 'cause I was reading both on my flight FLL-TLH. I could not find the homicide rates of NYC for 2004, but at least you may want to have your numbers right.

KdX in TLH


User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1983 times:

KdX,

Oh dear, this commentary has really strayed from the topic at hand; travel in Bolivia. Nonetheless, I will be more than happy to respond to your post.

I honestly have never evaluated my "sofisticaton" (SIC), but can assure I have had a subscription to The Economist since 1992. Yes, I have been reading the 'newspaper' (as the magazine's editors quaintly refer to it) for over 12 years. The issue you are referring to is the September 30, 2004 special report on "Crime and policing in Latin America". In fact, I am viewing the contents of the issue right now on the economist.com website.

Your recollection of the report's data is rather inaccurate. Indeed, Medillin's homocide rate per 100,000 inhabitants is close to 140, Cali's over 100, Venezuela's over 40, Bogota's over 20, Mexico is close to 40.

The data sources are the United Nations, the Inter-American Development Bank, CIDAC (a think-tank foundation in Mexico) as well as Government agencies.

The only Latin American nations with homocide rates below 10 comparable to those found in developed countries are Chile, Argentina (and I suspect Uruguay and Costa Rica as well although they are not listed in the study).

The numbers listed in The Economist report are highly consistent with those I quoted in my earlier post from the Latin American & Iberian Institute at The University of New Mexico.

As I stated in my earlier post, New York City's homocide rate was 5.0 in 2000, according to the FBI and Uniform Crime Reports.

For the future, I recommend you rely on documentation rather than your memory when quoting data from publications you have read.

cheers,

PDPsol


User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

Pdpsol,


Wow, I must say I'm impressed with your ability in copying and pasting stats from the net, but the problem is, that the point Komododx was trying to make, and did, is that the crime situation, specifically in Medellin [he was clear enough on that] has considerably decreased and is nowhere near the 240+ you posted earlier, that's not exactly what I call consistent; whether or not he used documentation or simple memory, it's reality.

Oh, and sincere congratulations in your documentation and TheEconomist subscription, I hope next time they help you discover it's actually homIcide and not homOcide; I'm sure it's word that frequently appears on them.



SOUTHAMERICA


User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

Gee, Southamerica, well the point I was attempting to make and hope I did was that Medillin, Cali and most other large cities in Latin America are unbelievably crime-ridden when compared to New York. Comparing homicide rates in New York with those of any city in the region, except perhaps Santiago de Chile or Montevideo, is simply, well, an exercise in contrasts.

Medillin was listed in The Economist as possessing the region’s highest murder rate, with Cali and Guatemala City not too far behind. Medillin was also listed in the other study I quoted as having the region’s highest homicide rate. While there is a difference between 248 and 140, it may be explained by the fact both studies were not conducted in the same time period, 1999 vs. 2003. Maybe the city’s crime rate is falling; who knows? Who cares? What matters is that it is still outrageously high.

BTW, thanks for the spelling correction; I have been spending way too much time reading articles in The Advocate about the 'jesus-freak-inization' of the U.S. and cannot stop thinking how much I love my fellow homos.


User currently offlineKomododx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1956 times:

PDPsol,

I didn't mean to steer so far away from the topic of Bolivian tourism, but I did want to point out the most recent statistic, current of this year, coming directly from the government of Medellin. First, you must consider that this number of 40ish is an estimate since last time I checked, 2004 is not over. Nevertheless, as Southamerica pointed out, my point was just to give you a more accurate and more current figure for the homicide rate in Medellin. It was definitely not a post to start some silly argument, and I'm sorry if you took it that way, but I must say it pissed me off that you were using 1995 statistics.... sooo 9 years ago! :P

KdX in TLH


25 SOUTHAMERICA : Well the point I was attempting to make and hope I did was that Medillin, Cali and most other large cities in Latin America are unbelievably crime-ri
26 Thowman : 123 I have been checking my inbox for your email, but it doesn't seem to be there. I get about 500 or so emails a day - and use a spam filter that get
27 123 : Hello Thowman, Seems something is wrong with your e-mail. So please write to me, bol1235@hotmail.com, thanks! Regards, 123
28 123 : Thowman, Now, I am also connected to MSN Messenger with bol1235@hotmail.com, so you can get in touch with me. For those 721 lovers: The CP 861 has bee
29 Madepur : Hello Thowman, I live in Venezuela but I am married to a Bolivian girl and have been there many times, I have flown the 721 from LPB to CCS a few year
30 SOUTHAMERICA : Caracas is a relatively dangerous place, surprisingly most crimes here are and have always been done by Colombian immigrants, out of 24 million popula
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