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Bolivia – its weather, seasons and best time to visit

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Bolivia - 2 clients trekking in Condoriri

Planning a trip to Bolivia?

Make sure you have read our guide on when to go and what weather to expect from the Andes to the Amazon.

Bolivia’s climate, as varied as its geography, is affected by latitude and, especially, by altitude.

The best time to travel is the winter (dry season) between May and October when weather systems over the Andes are typically stable.  Most of the rain falls from December to March.

 

Seasons in Bolivia

Winter (dry season): April to October

Summer (wet season): November to April

Bolivia’s climate can be divided into Andes and the Altiplano and the Lowlands and Yungas.

 

Andes and the Altiplano

Popular destinations: La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Sucre, Salar de Uyuni

When to go:  The best months to travel are from April through to October.

However, some travellers choose to  travel to the Uyuni Salt Flats when rains are heaviest, Dec to Feb, to see the Salar water-filled, with a magical mirror effect.

Climate:  From April to November there is relatively little precipitation on the Altiplano,– most rainfall is from Dec to March.

 

Bolivia trekking trip with lakes

Trekking in the Andes of Bolivia

 

Temperature-wise, the Andes and Altiplano experience significant fluctuations over a single day. At 4,000m, the pre-dawn temperature can drop to -15ºC, while noon temperatures at the same location can reach 20ºC.

The further south and west you go on the Altiplano, the drier are the conditions; around Uyuni, semiarid conditions prevail.  Southerly cold winds mean the southern Altiplano  is not only drier, but also noticeably colder and windier than the north (pre-dawn temperatures at Uyuni in July regularly drop to -20ºC).

Mountain weather is fickle and localized, and precepitation is not unusual in the dry season.

June and July tend to be the coldest months, November and December the warmest.

 

Minimum and maximum temperatures in dry and wet season:

La Paz (winter/dry season):     1-17 °C / 34-63°F

La Paz (summer/wet season):   6-19 °C / 43-66°F

 

Tropical Lowlands and Yungas

Popular destinations: Amazon & Madidi, Santa Cruz and surroundings

When to go:  The best months to travel are from May through to October.

Climate:  Year-round, weather conditions in the Amazon basin and the Yungas are hot and humid, although the lowland rainforests lie far enough south of the equator to provide a ‘cooler’, drier winter season between May and October.  We can’t really speak of a dry season as such however, as rains always occur – almost daily in the summer/ wet season and once every few days in the winter/ “dry” season.

On rare occasions, between May and September, cold fronts from Argentina – surazos – can sweep into southwest Amazonia and push temperatures down to 9°C. They usually last between 1 and 3 days.

 

local guide chalalan Amazon bolivia

Canoe ride in Bolivia’s Amazon region

 

Minimum and maximum temperatures in dry and wet season:

Yungas (winter/dry season):   16-24°C / 61-75°F

Yungas (summer/wet season):  22-30°C / 72-86°F

Year round night temperatures:    14-20°C / 57-68°F

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