i would really like to go to bolvia but i have heard some horror stories about the country. for instance at the boarder people travelling alone sometimes get their passports stolen and taken for alot of money. also all the muggings and kidnappings.
im thinking of going to copacabana then a bus to the salt flats then to chile. purposely avoiding la paz.
anyone have any advise or do you think i should just avoid bolivia completely?
I don't think you should avoid Bolivia altogether. Thousands travel there everyday without trouble. I was there last month and didn't feel unsafe at all. LaPaz is also a great city and should not be avoided.
But take all the precautions that you can. From what I know, the kidnappings are happinging coming from Copacabana on small private vans that are offered on the street in Copacabana for dirt cheap. Don't take them. Instead take a tourist bus bought at a reliable travel agent. If you are paying less than 20 Bols then be a little suspicious. The bus we took was full of nothing but foriegn travellers and it dropped us off in the center of La Paz instead of the bus station. The center of LaPaz is plenty safe. Make sure your bus will do this. If there are no other travellers on the bus, consider getting another one.
Once in LaPaz it is perfectly safe as long as you pay attention. Be careful with cabs and don't take the shared ones where other people can get in. We walked around lots after dark and didn't find it unsafe but use common sense and stick to main busy roads, watch your stuff, and pay attention to who is around you. That goes for anywhere in South America really.
sweet thanks for the tip. im headed to arequipa tonight from cusco and then over to puno and to copacabana hopefull everything will turn out alright.
I was in La Paz, copacabana, Puno , Cuzco and then head south to Chile and had no problem.
For sure you need to be very carfully but there is no reason to avoid it.