Here is an extensive list of all the frequently asked questions we typically get asked by our Hopsters. If there is something that you want to know and we have not covered it below, then feel free to contact us and we will get back to you!
General Questions about Bolivia Hop:
Bolivia Hop is the first hop-on/hop-off bus service in Bolivia. Our service connects both Peru and Bolivia, taking you to world famous stops such as Cusco (gateway to Machu Picchu), Puno (Lake Titicaca – highest navigable lake in the world), Copacabana and La Paz. However, the best thing about Bolivia Hop is that not only do we cover all of these world famous destinations, but we make stops between the stops to see places that tourists normally don’t get to see.
Imagine we are like the open-top red, city tour buses you see throughout the world where you go to maybe 20 places on a tour to see the whole city in just one day. The buses run every 15 minutes and you can hop-off, take a look around and then get back on another bus (hop-on) and continue to the next destination. This is the concept we follow. We have a recommended amount of time at each destination based on our expertise, but if you fall in love with a place or a local Latino, then hop-off and get on the next bus (hop-on) whenever he breaks your heart! All our passes are valid for 1 year in 1 direction, so you can literally take as long as you want at each place or follow our recommended schedule!
We usually recommend 1 night in Puno and 1 night in Copacabana. However, remember that our bus passes are incredibly flexible, so you can take as long as you want at each stop, or you can skip some stops to move faster…simply check our timetables and you can see how quickly you can see and do everything if you are short on time.
The amazing thing about Bolivia Hop is that everything can be booked on our bus. You can book your accommodation and extra tours with your Bolivia Hop on-board guide. However, please note that if you want a private room, we do recommend you book in advance as these can be quite limited. Dorm beds are usually freely available, except during holiday weekends.
Don’t forget that with your Bolivia Hop ticket, you can get exclusive discounts on dorms, private rooms and hotels…simply check our discounts page for more information!
It is really easy to hop-on and hop-off. Basically, when you arrive at a destination, your guide will tell you when the next bus is leaving. If you would like to continue with the recommended schedule, get back on the bus at said time.
If you have decided you want to stay a little bit longer, you can! Just ask your guide to book you on to the next bus tomorrow or even the next week. If you are not exactly sure what date you want to take the next bus, then you can simply login to our booking system using your unique booking code. There you can book a seat on any of the next buses…it is that easy.
All hostels and hotels have wifi for you to access the booking system, and in the worst case scenario, you can call our office from reception…don’t worry we have never lost anybody along the way…yet!!
That is no issue whatsoever, around 70% of passengers follow our recommended plan. If you plan to follow the recommended itinerary, you do not need to do anything…just sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip! On the other hand, if you want to adapt your own itinerary that isn’t an issue either. Once you book your ticket, login to the booking system and change the dates of all the buses to match your itinerary…it’s that simple!
We have had passengers as young as 2 years old to passengers as old as 86, and they have all loved travelling with Bolivia Hop. Please read our section “Who travels with us” where we clearly explain why Bolivia Hop is perfect for every single type of tourist. Bolivia Hop is available to everyone!
The best option is to all book together on our website. Our booking system is very similar to airline flights so think along those lines.
Our buses are operated to the absolute highest of safety standards. We are quickly becoming famous across Peru and Bolivia for our dedication to safety and security. All buses also have our Bolivia Hop guide on board who is constantly monitoring the drivers and their velocity. We are very proud to say that, touch wood, we have not been involved in any accidents since our first trip in July 2014. We are owned by 2 Irishmen, so we really do put extra emphasis and try to bring European standards of safety to our buses.
You will receive a confirmation email within 2 hours of confirming your purchase. As a part of this you will receive your booking voucher, which needs to be printed off and handed to your guide as you board the bus. You can also show this voucher on your smartphone if you have one. Once you do this, you will be handed your Bolivia Hop wristband by your guide which acts as your ticket.
For boat trips to Isla Del Sol there are three ways to book:
- If you want to pay with credit card, you can do it via our online booking system by adding them to your ticket
- On the bus with your guide
- At our office in La Paz or in Cusco before you begin your trip
For other tours on our longer passes in Peru we recommend to book a couple of days in advance using the link on the tours section page of the Peru Hop website for each operator.
SPECIAL DEAL FOR HOP PASSENGERS: tours booked with these selected operators via FindLocalTrips.com allow date changes right up until the day before your tour begins at no extra cost.
All our guides are proud Bolivians (fluent in both English and Spanish) who know their country better than anyone ever could. They know all the hidden gems, all the best (and cheapest) places to eat and drink, and they will teach you things about Bolivia that you simply cannot read about in any guidebook or website. Our guides are great, friendly people who are really proud to have the opportunity to show tourists around their country, so we are very confident you will like your on-board guide, no matter which one is on your bus!
At each destination we usually have deals with 2 or 3 restaurants that we think are the best value; Although, you are free to eat wherever you want…remember Bolivia Hop is not a tour so you are free to go where you want and do whatever you want. Our guides will simply give you their recommendations, but we do NOT earn commission from any restaurant, unlike other tour agencies…we just ask the restaurants to give us discounts for our passengers as an extra benefit of travelling with Bolivia Hop compared to travelling with other companies.
We would recommend taking out personal travel insurance before you come to Bolivia. Losses of property, sickness or accidents can occur no matter where you are in the world and are not the responsibility of Bolivia Hop.
Planning in advance:
Spanish is the national language of Bolivia. English is spoken by hostel receptionists and service staff in touristy areas, but most taxi drivers do NOT speak English.
The Boliviano is the national currency, although US dollars are generally accepted in most places up to a certain amount.
We recommend bringing some Bolivianos and some US Dollars with you, maybe a total 500 Bolivianos and $200. This will be enough to last you 7 or 8 days before you need to withdraw from your ATM.
Hostels average $7 a night and private rooms start at $20 per room. Prices will depend on the quality of the hostel or hotel. 3 meals (breakfast / lunch / dinner) will average around $8-15 a day. Large beers generally cost $2 and water around $0.50. Tours are obviously an additional cost.
In general using the ATM’s here are fine; however, we DO NOT recommended using them at night for obvious reasons. We recommend using ATM’s at the bigger banks in Bolivia and not the small ATM’s in petrol stations or elsewhere because they tend to have higher charges.
A small backpack for day trips/treks is essential, towel, sun screen, sunglasses, camera, comfortable trainers, clothes for summer and winter weather (sun and rain!), etc…you know the drill!
Yes. Passport ID is required by Bolivia Hop and by every hostel in Bolivia. It is also required at the airport so don’t be a silly Hopster and forget it!! We recommend bringing a couple of photocopies of your passport, too. You can use these instead of taking your passport with you everywhere you go.
It is recommended to give yourself a day or two to acclimatise before doing any treks at altitude. Travelling by bus is definitely better than getting on a plane, because the change in altitude is much more gradual. It is also recommended to take some altitude sickness pills and eat coco leaves/drink coco tea…our guides will assist you with any issues.
Safety and Security:
Like all countries in the world, there are parts that are safe and parts that are dangerous. It is all about being aware of your surroundings and not taking your safety for granted. Some people see tourists as easy targets for money, laptops, cameras, etc., so always be aware of pickpockets. We are tourists who have lived here for over a year and have never been robbed or attacked. Just like we said, it is all about being vigilant and aware. Listen to the advice of our guides, hostel receptionists and the locals. For example, never use an ATM at night if possible, never walk alone at night, and try to always stay in a group. Basic things like this can sometimes be forgotten and this is when the tourists get targeted.
All our buses are regularly checked for faults and have to pass rigorous monthly inspections before they are deemed fit for the road. They are of the highest quality and no risks are ever taken.
Please see the section called OUR BUSES for more information about this.
Each of our drivers are licensed by the Bolivian Government to operate our buses. We conduct regular reviews and inspections of all drivers to ensure they are adhering to all of our safety procedures. We also encourage Hopsters to review their drivers, how safe they felt on board, etc. We use these reviews to determine which drivers are good enough to operate our buses.
All our buses are monitored by GPS 24 hrs a day to ensure no unplanned stops are taken, the correct route is being followed, and the maximum speed is being followed at all times. Seat belts are of course provided for all Hopsters.
Your large bags will be stored in our luggage sections of the bus, while you keep your personal belongings on you. In hostels and hotels, lockers are provided for all valuables. Remember to bring a lock!
Buses are generally safe but we would highly recommend using taxis. Taxis are generally safer and quite cheap. Bargain and agree the price BEFORE you get in…taxi’s here don’t have meters. Make sure you always agree on the price in Bolivianos.
Purchasing Bolivia Hop passes:
You will receive a confirmation email within 2 hrs of confirming your purchase. As a part of this, you will receive your booking voucher. This needs to be printed off and handed to your guide as you board the bus. You can also show this voucher on your smartphone, if you have one. Once you do this, your guide will hand you your Bolivia Hop wristband which then acts as your ticket.
When booking your pass, you will always be asked for your chosen pick-up location. If you are not sure when you book, just email us 3 days before your trip is due to begin to let us know where we can collect you from.
CUSCO DEPARTURES: It is illegal for our large buses to enter the historical centre of Cusco; therefore, we ask all our passengers to come to our private terminal located just 5 minutes from the plaza de armas. The exact address will be on your booking confirmation.
Oops, please check your spam/junk mail, it may have gone there. If not, email us at email@example.com and we will fix this for you asap. Please remember Bolivia is 5 hrs behind Europe/UK and 14 hours behind Australia/NZ so sometimes we might not reply to you instantly but we have a reputation of being fast to reply.
Yes, all passes purchased can be cancelled, but unfortunately we cannot give full refunds as we need to cover our own costs involved in refunding, including the fees involved. As a result, the following are the percentage refunds that we offer to customers who need to cancel their trip for whatever reason:
- 80% refund of the ticket price on any trips cancelled 7 days before departure
- 60% refund of the ticket price on trips cancelled within 7 days of departure
- 40% refund of the ticket price on trips cancelled within 3 days of deparure
Please note that any cancellations made within 2 days of travel are non-refundable. This is simply because it doesn’t give us enough time to then try to sell that seat on the bus.
Remember, the great thing about Bolivia Hop is our flexibility, so whilst you may need to cancel your trip now, you are able to change the date of travel, since you have up to 1 year to use your ticket. The other option is to try to transfer your ticket to a friend or somebody else you know.
Your credit card details are stored with our payment processing company who are certified by Visa and Mastercard here in Bolivia. They are audited every year and have to meet the most stringent of controls regarding credit card data.
They are SSL certified and need to adhere to the strictest guidelines in order to maintain this certification, so your details will always be safe with us. As fellow tourists, we know the dangers and worries involved when purchasing anything online in foreign countries. We have have made sure we have teamed up with the best and most trustworthy company here in Bolivia.