At 3,900m (just under 13,000 ft.), La Paz's El Alto Airport (airport code LPB; tel. 0102/2810-122) is one of the highest commercial airports in the world. Large planes, such as 747s, cannot land at such a high altitude; even smaller planes have to make sure that they have a light load before touching down. For this reason, very few international flights fly directly into La Paz and instead land in Santa Cruz. All international passengers leaving by air from Bolivia must pay a Bs170 departure tax.
From North America -- American Airlines (tel. 800/100-229, 0102/2372010; www.aa.com) offers nonstop flights from the United States (via Miami) to La Paz. Aerosur (tel. 0102/2817-281; www.aerosur.com) offers nonstop flights from Miami to Santa Cruz, with connecting flights to La Paz. Taca (tel. 800/535-8780; www.taca.com) offers flights from New York to La Paz, but you have to change planes both in San José, Costa Rica, and Lima, Peru. Currently, there are no direct flights from Canada to Bolivia. Canadian travelers must catch a connecting flight in Miami. LAN (tel. 866/435-9526; www.lan.com) offers flights to Miami and New York from Santa Cruz and La Paz, connecting in Lima.
From the U.K. -- There are no direct flights from the United Kingdom to Bolivia. One good option is to connect with Aerosur (tel. 0102/2817-881; www.aerosur.com) in Madrid and fly directly to Santa Cruz. You can fly American Airlines (tel. 020/8572-5555 in London, or 0102/2872-010 in La Paz; www.aa.com) direct from London to Miami, and then from Miami nonstop to La Paz. LAN (tel. 866/435-9526; www.lan.com) flies from Madrid to Lima, with connecting flights to La Paz or Santa Cruz. Alternatively, Gol Linhas Aeréas (tel. 01080/0102-131; www.voegol.com.br) offers direct flights from London to São Paulo, Brazil; from there, Gol offers a daily flight to Santa Cruz.
From Australia -- Get ready for a long flight. The easiest way to get to Bolivia from Australia is to hop on an Aerolíneas Argentinas (tel. 800/222-215; www.aerolineas.com.ar) flight from Sydney to Buenos Aires. From there, Aerolíneas Argentinas offers daily flights to Santa Cruz. LAN (tel. 866/435-9526; www.lan.com) has a similar route from Sydney with stops in Santiago and Lima. Another route includes flying from Australia to Los Angeles to Miami and then on to La Paz. Qantas (tel. 13-13-13; www.qantas.com.au) offers flights from Australia to Los Angeles -- but from there, you must switch to American Airlines to Miami and then Bolivia.
It is possible to travel by bus to Bolivia from Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. Usually, the bus routes end at the border, and you'll have to cross on your own and pick up another bus once you arrive in Bolivia. The most popular international route is from Puno, Peru, to Copacabana or La Paz. Nuevo Continente, Calle Sagárnaga 340 (between Illampu and Linares), La Paz (tel. 0102/2373-423), can arrange trips from both La Paz and Copacabana to Puno and beyond.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.