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Entering Bolivia without return flight.. pls help!

Entering Bolivia without return flight.. pls help!

Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 07:27 AM
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Entering Bolivia without return flight.. pls help!

Hi travellers,

I am doing a 6 month trip of S America starting in Bolivia.. however as I want to keep it as flexible as possible, I haven't bought a return flight or any ongoing flights. I know that many countries require proof on ongoing transport out of the country in order to let you in. My question is... would a bus ticket to Peru suffice, as I don't want to have to buy a flight? A bus ticket is much cheaper, so we can easily buy another one for another date if needed.

On that note does anyone know any good bus companies for border hopping to Peru?

Sorry to come to you guys.. I've looked all over the internet and can't find advice anywhere!

Thanks
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 07:49 AM
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If you were to be asked for proof of onward travel on entering, all you need is just that, so a bus ticket would suffice. However, in 50 years traveling I've never been asked. I have to assume that in some places the letter of the law is that you have it, but I've yet to have the experience of anyone checking. I suspect the reason for that is that I look relatively clean & respectable on arrival. The paperwork usually asks for an address, so be sure to have an address to give, a hotel for instance, and look tidy. No guarantees but you should be fine.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 08:03 AM
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We have done two six month trips to South America and have never been asked for proof of onward travel. We entered Bolivia overland from Peru and weren't asked for any proof nor were we asked for the required yellow fever certificate ( although we did have them).

I checked with the U.K. Foreign Office site which doesn't mention any requirements for proof of onward travel for Bolivia and that is usually pretty accurate and up to date.

A bus ticket would almost certainly suffice but getting one may prove problematic as bus companies in Bolivia tend towards the small and regional and it is normal to buy bus tickets on the day rather than online and way in advance ( may be possible though). Another option may be to get a fully refundable fare out of Bolivia and then get a refund once there. The initial outlay may be expensive but you would get the cash back.

FWIW we are returning in May and won't be bothering with a ticket out of Bolivia.

As regards which bus companies, it largely depends on which border you are crossing. Panamericano between La Paz- Copacobana- Puno were very good.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 08:08 AM
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Reading my post just above, pay no attention. I looked online and found this:

http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/200...el-part-1.html

Some good advice and a specific experience in the posts below the blog, by Anonymous, "Argentina (by air) didn’t ask for it, nor did Chile (by land), Uruguay (by sea), nor did Bolivia (by land). The only country I encountered that required it was Paraguay."

I'd find a way to get the bus ticket and you won't need it. If you don't, they'll probably ask. Murphy's law.

Various takes, as you already mentioned, googling "entering bolivia proof of onward travel". As many things in travel, it appears to be a crapshoot.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 10:27 AM
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Are you a US citizen? If so, you may be asked to show some proof when you pay your reciprocity fee. In addition to the bus ticket you may want to printout a confirmation of a hotel booking in Peru.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 10:34 AM
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On my RTW trips, I've mostly traveled without onward travel booked but have had very detailed printed itineraries (dates, transport options, hotels) to show intended plans. You need not stick precisely to such an itinerary but having it may help when crossing borders, if you're asked.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 12:18 PM
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It is not a question of what you may be asked for crossing a border but what the airline you are taking for your international flight requires. It is there that you may be asked for proof of onward travel. They do not usually accept a bus reservation as proof. Call the airline and ask.

Many people choose the cheapest international fully refundable flight they can find and book it. They then get it refunded, paying a small booking fee, after they arrive. Do it directly with an airline website rather than a third party booking site to avoid complications.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 04:39 AM
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There is also some extra special red tape for US citizens!

When I went to get my permission to cross by land (Peru to Bolivia) the consulate actually looked at the documentation.

There are no great companies between Copacabana to Puno, where you switch buses from a Bolivian to Peruvian line.

I have nothing good to say re Tour Peru on tbe Peruvian end.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 05:49 AM
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I think Huentetu has hit the nail on the head. The true enforcement of this rule doesn’t come when you arrive in the country in question. It comes when you check in for your flight to that country. If the airline agent at the check-in counter interprets the onward-ticket requirement as you needing a plane ticket out of Bolivia, you’ll never board your flight to Bolivia at all.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 08:18 AM
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Reading the question, it sounds as if you've already bought a 1-way ticket. But, if not, you might compare the cheapest RT fare with the possible refund amount on the cheapest refundable and not use the return half. Frowned on by the airlines but done all the time.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 08:22 AM
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Thank you everyone for your help- even if the replies have been mixed!! I have emailed the airline that I booked my flight on (Condor.. although I leave from Heathrow with German company Lufthansa) but no reply as of yet.

I think I will definitely print out an itinerary on MmePerdu's advice. I am also hoping to book a flight from Cartagena, Colombia to Los Angeles a few months on, so hopefully that would suffice. For now I will wait for the Airline to reply, and if not I will just have to print that correspondence (or lack of) and hope for the best with a bus ticket! The idea of booking a fully refundable flight sounds a little complicated.

Also I am a UK citizen by the way- should have mentioned

Thanks again
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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The detailed itineraries I made for myself included flights that were booked and segments not yet booked, like on the last, trains and internal flights in China. No one asked but, if they had, I had booking confirmations for flights, hotels noted, even a segment by freighter further along. On my long trips there are always changes along the way. My point is, I think it would be good to have the flight to LA booked and showing on your printed itinerary with a confirmation number noted. Also all moves by whatever means & accommodations, even if they're hypothetical. Indicators of preparations & firm plans, even if they aren't really firm, will help any questions go your way. Don't let them see the fear!
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 10:55 AM
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Thanks so much MmePerdu.. I think I will book my flight to LA anyway as there are some OK deals at the moment. May also see if I can get a cheap border hop bus online, and then create an itinerary.

Cheers everyone... no doubt I will be scrolling through the forums for more S America advice daily!!

So far plan is... Bolivia-Peru-Ecuador-Colombia-LA
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 01:30 PM
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Have a wonderful time, I'm sure you will!
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