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Introduction

Tarija is the capital and largest city of the Tarija Department of Bolivia, with a population of some 235,000.

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Sights and Activities

The main plaza is picturesque and pleasant. The plaza is surrounded by restaurants of various cuisines, local handicraft shops, and internet cafés. The public market, a university campus and a number of sights are nearby. These areas are easily walkable.

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Weather

In the central valley of the district, at 1,800–2,000 metres, the climate in Tarija is mild and semi-arid, in contrast to the harsh Altiplano and the humid heat of the Amazon Basin. Average daily highs are 27-30 °C year round, while average nightly lows vary 8-17 °C depending on season. Freezing temperatures in winter are not uncommon. The winters (May–Aug) are dry, while summers are more rainy.

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Getting There

By Plane

Aerocon operates daily flights between Tarija and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

By Bus

There are direct connections from most cities including Villazon, La Paz (18 hours, 100 Bs) and Santa Cruz (14 hours, 90 Bs.)

From Argentina, it is possible to take a bus or hire a colectivo (shared taxi) at the bus station from the Bolivian border town of Bermejo. If you have crossed by small ferry from Aguas Blancas and there is no Bolivian immigration officer to stamp you in on the Bolivian side of the river or at the bus station, take a taxi or instruct the colectivo driver to take you to the immigration office at the bridge.

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Getting Around

Hop-on micros, many lines, ask the locals or watch the windscreen for routes & destinations; ride within city limits Bs 1.50. Some go further afield (e.g. San Lorenzo, San Jacinto). Trufis and colectivos go to El Valle de la Concepción from the stand at Calle Corrado (btwn. Trigo & Campero) - Bs 10 per person. Short rides in taxis cost Bs 3.50 per person.

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Eat

  • Gattopardo, Plaza Luis de Fuentes (main plaza). Smart restaurant, very popular with local middle class, parillada, good pizzas, salads, salteñas, good selection of local wines; try the fillet steak finished rare or "a la Inglés" (Bs 40 or US$5.5) - heaven!
  • Pastelería Yenny, Av. 15 de Abril (btwn. main plaza & D. Campos). Great cakes and real coffee, welcoming staff; definitely try "torta de tres leches y nuez".
  • Cafe Show, Sucre (corner Del Carpio). Simple, reliable budget option. Set lunch (starter, soup, main course and dessert) for 10Bs, limonada to drink. Also sells cakes and empanadas. Just don't expect coffee here.
  • El Molino, Calla la Madrid O-0803, near Ramon Rojas. Vegetarian 'comedor' for lunch until 14:00. Set menu includes soup, main course and salad bar for 15 bolivianos. Come around 12:00 to eat with the locals. (March 26th 2012 - seems to be operating at a different location nearby on Ingavi O-550).
  • Nature Center. Vegetarian food set menu for 14 bs, on the block of Gral Trigo 800, upstairs at the sign. Lunch only.

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Drink

  • Cafe Mokka, Plaza Sucre (Ave 15 de Abril). Great coffee and cakes, also fairly good speed free WiFi.
  • Nougat (General Trigo @ 15 de Abril). 9 am - 11 pm. Pretty cafe, nice decor, like most of S America, the milkshakes are mostly milk.Slow wifi, waitress unwilling to fix order when she got it wrong.
  • XOXO (Sucre @ 15 de Abril). Americana-decorated diner-esque bar with a solid burger (29 Bs.) as well. Marilyn Monroe & Elvis Presley plaster the walls. One TV for watching sports. Split level seating. Quick wifi.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Gran Londres, Campos 1072 (Campos 1072), ☎ +591 4 664-2369. Check-out: 12 noon. Brilliant hotel in a decent, medium rise building that stays warm in winter. Nice rooms, some with TVs and some with balconies with excellent views over the town and surrounding area. Some en suite rooms. Very friendly staff, lovely people. Brilliant location, right in the middle of town. All in all, a great hotel, the best place to stay in town at a very reasonable price. 30-40 Bolivianos.
  • Hostal Bolivar, Bolivar (on Bolivar and Sulpacha). Check-in: -, check-out: 12 noon. Great budget hostel, very clean with friendly staff, simple breakfast included. 100-120 Bs.
  • Hostal Miraflores, Sucre N-920. Close to the plaza and mercado central. Double bedrooms with private badroom and television 130 Bs. Breakfast included.
  • Residencial Guadalquivir (left of terminal de autobuses (on Ángel Calavi)). Check-out: 12:00. Cheapest hostel I could find, a little noisy due to the bus terminal across the street, but acceptable and clean. 20 minute walk from main plaza. No wifi. 1 bed in 2 bed room - 40 Bs.
  • Hostal Estrella (Sucre @ 15 de Abril). Nice pace in an old building shared with Club Social de Tarija. Comfortable beds, creaky floorboards, and a nice outdoor balcony overlooking the main plaza. 2 br room = 180 Bs.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are internet cafés practically everywhere, they typically cost about 3Bs/hour, or about $0.50 per hour. Wifi is not as common as in many other Latin American countries, but more and more places offer it now, either free (sometimes for a limited amount of time) or at a cost. Avoid using your cellphone (with your home SIM card) when there is no wifi, as that's extremely expensive.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Bolivia is: 591. To make an international call from Bolivia, the code is: 0010. Emergency numbers include 110 (police), 118 (ambulance) and 119 (fire). Note that 911 forwards to the police (110).

Bolivia has three cellphone companies, Entel, Tigo, and Viva. If you are staying for a while, consider buying SIM cards for your cellphone. They are quite cheap and you get good network coverage in all main cities and towns. Entel sells good-priced international call possibilities for their SIMs. For example, you can buy 10 minutes for Bs20 (to be used in one day, disconnects automatically after expiration). You will need to register the SIM card at a local office of the telecom. You will need a photocopy of your passport and the mobile phone that you will use.

Practically every single town in Bolivia has an Entel office (almost always located in the main plaza). From here, you can make local, long-distance, and international calls. It's actually much more economical to make your international calls from an Entel office than to use an international calling card. To make local calls from a public phone, you need a phone card. You can buy them at any Entel office or any kiosk on the street. The average local call costs about Bs2 for 3 minutes.

Post

Correos Bolivia is the national postal service of the country. It offers a wide range of services at very reasonable prices. Services, speed and reliability are not up to the level it should be though and it can take several weeks for a simple card to arrive in Europe or North America. Most post offices in Bolivia are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 8:00pm, Saturday from 8:30am to 6:00pm, and Sunday from 9:00am to noon. It costs Bs5 to mail a letter to the United States, Bs7 to Australia, and Bs6 to Europe. From time to time, you can buy stamps at kiosks and newspaper stands. There are no public mailboxes, so you'll have to mail your letter from the post office. If you want to send packages overseas it's best to use an international courier company like DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS, as they offer fast and reliable services at competitive prices.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:49 on Mar 5, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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