Updated guide to the Main Bus Terminal or Terminal de Buses in Spanish
Address: Av. Perú and Uruguay street
The bus station in La Paz has no official website.
Watch a 360 degree walk-through video of the La Paz Bus Terminal here:
In Bolivia, each department's capital city has at least one bus station, called 'terminal de buses'. Most long distance connections to and from La Paz operate from the main bus station located in the city center.
Brief history and facts
The bus terminal in La Paz is a distinctive yellow building very hard to miss. Its metallic structure dates from the 19th century and was initially intended for the construction of the Railway Station Guaqui - La Paz, financed by the Bolivian Railway Company. At the end of the 1970s, the population growth and the importance of interdepartmental and international transportation services made it necessary to centralize the arrival and departure of passengers and cargo. Thus, what was meant to be a train station was adapted and in 1980 it began to function formally as a Bus Terminal. The design of the bus terminal was made by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the french architect best known for the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was actually built by the Catalan builder Miguel Nogué. It is a building with its own history and charm, a true architectural, historical and cultural heritage of La Paz city.
The terminal services all domestic destinations south and east of Paz, as well as the most important international destinations. Fares are quite uniform among the many bus companies. The terminal is located in the Challapampa Zone, between the avenues of Peru and Uruguay. The La Paz bus terminal's contact telephone numbers are: (591-4) 4234600, (591-2)2280551 and (591-2)2281065.
The most popular bus routes for tourists are:
- La Paz - Copacabana - Puno:
Titicaca bus, departs at 08:00 - 15:30 and 14:00 - 20:30. Ticket price: 16 USD.
- La Paz - Uyuni
Todo Turismo bus, departs at 21:00 - 07:00. Ticket price: 41 USD.
Panasur bus, departs at 19:00 - 06:30. Ticket price: 29 USD.
Destinations served by the bus station:
The Bus Terminal in La Paz serves as a departure and arrival point for most of the main bus routes in Bolivia, including:
- Oruro to La Paz and La Paz to Oruro
- Potosí to La Paz and La Paz to Potosí
- Sucre to La Paz and La Paz to Sucre
- Cochabamba to La Paz and La Paz to Cochabamba
- Santa Cruz to La Paz and La Paz to Santa Cruz
- Uyuni to La Paz and La Paz to Uyuni
- Tarija to La Paz and La Paz to Tarija
- Tupiza to La Paz and La Paz to Tupiza
- Villazon to La Paz and La Paz to Villazon
It also serves a series of international routes between La Paz and Chile, Argentina, and Peru:
- Arica to La Paz and La Paz to Arica
- Iquique to La Paz and La Paz to Iquique
- Cusco to La Paz and La Paz to Cusco
- Puno to La Paz and La Paz to Puno
- Lima to La Paz and La Paz to Lima
- Arequipa to La Paz and La Paz to Arequipa
- Buenos Aires to La Paz and La Paz to Buenos Aires
It is also here that buses leave from and arrive between La Paz and Copacabana, Uyuni, Oruro, Potosí, Sucre, Cochabamba, Tarija, and Santa Cruz. If you want to travel by bus from La Paz to Cusco, from La Paz to Copacabana, or from La Paz to Uyuni, for example, this is your starting point.
More about the Bus Terminal in La Paz:
The first thing you see when entering through the huge metal door is the Tourist Information office, on the left, and the consumer claims office of the government entity in charge, called the ATT. These offices are at your service to answer questions, provide guidance and process your claims.
The offices of the bus companies are arranged in a row along the terminal, to the right and to the left. The offices are numbered and the logo of each company is on the top. The offices closest to the entrance door are for domestic departures (e.g. to Oruro, Potosí, Sucre and Cochabamba).
The offices further behind are those that belong to international transport companies offering services to Argentina, Peru, Chile and Brazil. You will also find companies that depart to Copacabana and Uyuni.
In the sector you will find services such as photocopies, cafeteria and restaurants, and a pharmacy.
On both sides you will find exit doors to the lanes from where the buses depart. There are signs on black posters above each exit door.
Before boarding a bus you need to pay a terminal usage fee. The cost is 2,5 BOB per person, and you must present the receipt to the person who is at the door to your exit lane. The office to buy the terminal usage fee is at the center of the terminal. Look for a sign saying "boletas".
In the back, in front of the waiting area, you will find offices offering domestic and international phone services and internet.
At the center of the terminal you will find a waiting area with a large screen and seats. At peak hours, this sector is filled with waiting passengers.
At the end of the terminal, on the right, past the waiting area, you will find the buses that depart towards Villazón, Tarija, Tupiza, etc. In the back is the luggage storage office, and beyond are the bathrooms for men and women. The cost of using the bathroom is 1 BOB per person.
Where is the bus terminal in La Paz? How can I get to my hotel from there?
The bus station is about 15-20 minutes by foot from San Francisco square and Plaza Murillo, a short uphill walk north from the city center. It is centrally located close to several major hotels. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can walk or take one of the many taxis waiting around.
Can I reserve my bus ticket in advance? Can I pay with my credit card?
In Bolivia you usually can't reserve bus tickets very far in advance. There are dozens of bus companies and you can call in advance for pricing and route schedules (don't even think about trying to email them!), but you can't purchase a ticket over the phone or with a credit card at the bus station. Some companies graciously allow you to purchase tickets on the day before you travel.
Is the La Paz bus station safe?
Reasonably so, as long as you don't wander outside alone in the dark. Be careful with your belongings though, as it is a busy, crowded place.
Is bus travel in Bolivia safe?
Almost all bus companies in Bolivia have had an accident with fatalities. That said, there are more road accidents in the countries surrpounding Bolivia than here.
Are the buses comfortable?
Bed (cama) buses are quite comfortable, but don't forget to bring warm clothes and do not expect to have toilet on the bus.
Other bus terminals in Bolivia:
Oruro Bus Terminal
Bacobick St, no number btw. Villarroel and Aroma
Tel: (591-2) 527-9535 or 527-9554
Potosí Bus Terminal
Tel: (591-2) 624-3361
Cochabamba Bus Terminal
Av. Ayacucho. between Tarata and Punata
Tel: (591-4) 423-4600 or 425-2575
Chuquisaca Bus Terminal
Calle Ostria Gutierrez
Sucre, Chuquisaca, Bolivia
Tel: (591-4) 6441292
Km. 2 Av. 9 de Febrero
Cobija, Pando, Bolivia
Tel: (591-2) 842-3122
Beni Bus Terminal
Av. Beni corner of Aviador Pinto
Trinidad, Beni, Bolivia
Tel: (591-3) 462-4607
Santa Cruz Bimodal Bus & Train Station
Av. Interadial btw. 3 Pasos al Frente and Av. Brasil
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Tel: (591-3) 348-8482
Tarija Bus Terminal
Av. Las Américas btw. Av. La Paz and Alejandro Calavi
Tel: (591-4) 663-6508
Yacuiba Bus Terminal
Calle Martín Barroso
Tupiza Bus Terminal
Av. Serrano, corner of Suipacha Tupiza
Major bus companies:
- Trans Copacabana, 2282135
- Trans el Dorado, 2281672
- Flota Naser, 2280861
- Flota Cosmos, 2281938
- Flota Bolivar, 2281973
- Flota Litoral, 2281920
- Flota Copacabana, 2281596
- Flota Panamericana, 2285657
- Flota Minera, 2281685
- Expreso Tarija, 2289009
- Flota Total, 2216592
- Flota El Cisne, 2281937
- Flota Veloz del Norte, 2218279
- Ormeño Bolivia S.R.L. 2281141
- Expreso Internacional Ormeño S.A., 2280834