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How To: Peru to Bolivia Border Crossing via Puno

By 12/04/2017July 7th, 2018One Comment

Puno to Yunguyo or DesaguaderoPuno to Yunguyo or Desaguadero Yunguyo to The Bolivian BorderYunguyo to The Bolivian Border ImmigrationImmigration Bolivian Border To CopacabanaBolivian Border To Copacabana

Crossing the border from Peru into Bolivia, you are most likely going to do this from Puno. A city that sits on the edge of the world famous Lake Titicaca.

If you have yet to arrive, check out our blog on how to make the most of Puno, while avoiding the fake tourist show, the Uros Islands, also known as the floating reed islands. We found a better, genuine and more authentic alternative. Click here for more.

In the meantime, here is a quick and cost effective guide on how to cross from Puno in Peru to either Copacabana or La Paz in Bolivia

 

From Puno to Yunguyo or Desaguadero:

First things first, set your clock an hour ahead and start living in Bolivian time.

Crossing from Peru into Bolivia, whether your destination is La Paz or Copacabana, you need to take one of the many, many collectivos leaving Terminal Zonal de Puno.

It should only take about 20 minutes to walk from the Plaza de Armas, or you can grab a taxi for no more than 5sol (€1.30).

Collectivos leave when full, but don’t be surprised to find a small queue of locals and a quick turnover of vehicles. You won’t need to wait long.

Puno to Copacabana:

For those travelling to Copacabana, you need to take the collectivos heading towards Yunguyo, leaving from Gate #4. It costs 8sol (€2.10) and takes around 2.5hrs.

Puno to La Paz:

Those shooting straight onto La Paz, jump a minivan towards Desaguadero from Gate #3. Should be similar prices and duration to the above.

 

From Yunguyo to The Bolivian Border:

We were on our way to Copacabana, which meant a collectivo to Peru’s border town, Yunguyo.

It is possible to walk from Yuguyo’s plaza (from where the collectivo drops you off) to the border. The walk through town is, although somewhat eerie, quite intriguing. Ask locals to point you in the direction of the “fronterra” but know that as you approach the Rita Nacional 2 highway, this long walk can take 30 minutes and is slightly up hill.

It was here we flagged a tuc tuc for only 3sol (€0.80) to arrive at the border in less than 5 minutes.

We exchanged our soles for bolivianos here and got a really good rate in the blue money exchange office, next to the public toilets. They only take notes.

 

Immigration:

At the fronterra, head towards the white and blue building “Control Migratorio – Kasani – Peru” and get your exit stamp.

Note: You need to present the visa slip you were given upon entry to Peru.

Walk out of the emigration and take a left. Follow the road towards the arch. After the arch, near the public toilets on the left hand side is the Bolivia immigration office.

It was quiet when we arrived, but out of nowhere two large tourist busses pulled up and a herd of tourists flocked to the desk. Beat the queues by beating the busses.

Fill out the immigration form, be sure to write down ’30 days’ under ‘duration’ and get your stamp and 30 day visa.

Note:
1. You are only given 30 days but can extend in La Paz or Sucre for free.
2. If you are European, there is no official entry fee.
3. Americans must pay $120, and Israelis pay $30 to enter Bolivia. We think there is also a cost for Australians so you will need to triple check this.

 

From the Bolivian Border to Copacabana:

Once stamped and officially in Bolivia, there should be a number of collectivos waiting a little further down the road all heading to Copacabana, a 30 minute drive away.

Collectivos in the form of the usual white minivans cost 3B (€0.40), the ‘car’ collectivos cost 4B (€0.50) but fill up faster due to less seats. We were waiting 20 minutes.

Be warned, when we approached the collectivos, they originally quoted us 20B (€2.50) for the two of us. Yeah, welcome to Bolivia!

Another “mammy” reminder, don’t forget to put your clock an hour forward!

This time, with a less sarcastic tone, welcome to Bolivia!

Katie

Author Katie

I’m a self-diagnosed wanderlust sufferer who fell victim to the travel bug. As someone who has yearned for the freedom to travel for as long as I can remember in 2017, I decided to quit my dream job, run away from the "marriage and baby" queries and trade the societal life for a life on the road. Now, I spend my days wandering through the unknown, being nosy as hell while sharing stories, building websites, helping others plan their backpacking adventures, writing, filming, snapping and reminding myself to shut up and stop talking every now and again.

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