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Nevado de Sajama, Bolivia. Author Michel Lagarde. No Copyright
Nevado de Sajama, Bolivia. Author Michel Lagarde

Bolivia climate: when to go to Bolivia

Bolivia climate varies dramatically between different regions of the country, although the whole Bolivian falls entirely in the tropical area, climate is affected greatly by differences in height and in precipitation. For example, the average annual temperature in La Paz, situated at 3,697 m, is about 8°C, while in the city of Trinidad in the Bolivian lowlands is about 26°C.

In Bolivia the hot and humid season is summer, between November and March. While the winter months between April and October are dry and cold. Bolivia may be visited throughout the year, but the best season for travel is the fresh and dry period between April and October.

Bolivia Highland region – the High Andes climate

The Highland region (Altiplano) is the highest area of the country, is located between 3,100 meters and 4,500 meters high, it includes the western part of Bolivia including La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Oruro, the Salar de Uyuni. The climate of this area is cold semi-arid with cold winds that blow throughout the year. Temperatures during the year vary between 22°C and 15°C during the day, while overnight temperatures often reach below freezing.

Meseta, Bolivia. Author and Copyright Nello and Nadia Lubrina

Meseta, Bolivia. Author Nello and Nadia Lubrina

The rainy season is during the months between November and March, while the winter months between April and October are dry, sunny and cold, with bright and clear skies. The capital La Paz, for example, has an average annual rainfall ranging between 500 mm and 600 mm. This area of the country can be visited throughout the year, but the best months are between April and October with sunny and calm skies.

The climate of La Paz.

La Paz, 3697 masl

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rain (mm)

108

86

68

26

11

5

4

9

31

30

48

80

Min Temp (°C)

6

6

6

4

3

1

1

2

3

4

6

6

Max Temp (°C)

17

17

18

18

18

17

17

17

18

19

19

18

Bolivia Cordillera Central climate

Towards the east of the plateau (Altiplano) region are the valleys of the Central Highlands, the area where there are the cities of Cochabamba, Sucre, Tarija and Potosi, this is the area of Bolivia with the best climate, it is a type of climate similar to the Mediterranean. Temperatures are mild during the day and vary between 17°C and 27°C, the nights are cool. The period of rain are summer months between November and March, while the other months are the dry season. The average annual rainfall in the city of Potosi, located at 4,067 m, is 420 mm, while in Sucre lying 2,750 meters high, the average annual rainfall is 735 mm. The snow makes its appearance every year especially in Potosi which is 4,000 meters high.

Potosi, 4067 masl

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rain (mm)

102

99

56

13

3

1

1

2

12

19

44

59

Min Temp (°C)

10

10

10

9

7

5

4

6

7

9

10

10

Max Temp (°C)

20

20

20

20

20

20

19

20

21

22

21

21

Sucre, 2750 masl

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rain (mm)

161

118

116

39

5

2

1

10

27

55

69

126

Min Temp (°C)

10

10

10

9

7

5

4

6

7

9

10

10

Max Temp (°C)

20

20

20

20

20

20

19

20

21

22

21

21

Yungas valley climate

The area of the Yungas valley, which occupies the eastern slopes of the Andes with an average height between 3,500 and 1,000 meters, has a semi-tropical climate, which is becoming increasingly hot as you descend height towards the eastern tropical low lands. The rainy season is during the months between November and March, with an annual average of 1,500 mm of rain. In the north-east, the rains are especially intense between March and April, while moving into the southern plains of the climate becomes drier. The best time to visit this area is the dry season between April and October.

Bolivia Tropical Lowlands climate

The climate in the eastern tropical low lands of Bolivia is hot and humid, the area of the country spans more than half of Bolivian territory. The climate of the area north-east of the Andes, in the regions of Beni and Pando, is hot and humid with heavy rains especially between October and May, Trinidad for example, has an annual average of 1,800 mm of rainfall, the maximum daytime temperature averages are around 30°C throughout the year. Further south in the region of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the climate is slightly less humid, with two seasons, the hot and humid season between October and May, with intense rains and the dry months between June and September. The average annual rainfall for Santa Cruz de la Sierra is 1,300 mm.

The climate of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Trinidad, 130 masl

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rain (mm)

305

253

217

125

103

49

44

41

89

134

194

242

Min Temp (°C)

23

23

23

22

20

17

16

18

19

21

22

23

Max Temp (°C)

31

31

31

30

29

28

29

31

31

32

31

31

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 416 masl

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rain (mm)

186

136

125

101

89

75

59

42

68

100

130

175

Min Temp (°C)

22

22

22

20

18

16

16

18

19

21

22

22

Max Temp (°C)

30

30

30

28

26

24

24

27

29

30

30

30

Gran Chaco climate

The extreme south-eastern region of Bolivia, the Gran Chaco, the area which borders with Paraguay, Argentina and partly with Brazil, has a semi-arid climate, the rains fall only in the months between December and March, while during the rest of the year the climate is dry with an average rainfall ranging between 500 and 900 mm annually. The temperatures are very hot during the day between 30°C and 40°C, while during the night can even get below zero.

WHEN TO GO TO BOLIVIA

For the visit of the highlands the best time is the Bolivian winter, that is, the months between May and October, at this time it is cold, but the sky is clear, and it never rains. The months between May and September are good for a visit to the eastern lowlands of Bolivia, because here is the least rainy and cooler period.

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