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Border Crossing from Peru to Bolivia

by Palmer

I am thinking about taking the bus from Puno across the border to Bolivia.

What should I expect at the border crossing? Do I need to pay anything on leaving Peru or on entering Bolivia?

Is there another place to cross on land into Bolivia from Peru? Which is better and why?

I will be traveling at the beginning of summer unless I change my plans.

How much should a bus ticket cost from Puno to La Paz? Which bus line do you recommend?

Thank you so much in advance :)

Information on Crossing from Peru To Bolivia

~ by: Michelle Dinos


I have crossed over from Puno to Bolivia twice within the last few months and would love to share some information with you.

There are two crossings that I know of when traveling between Peru and Bolivia.
  • One is the Copacabana crossing, which is near the Bolivian city of Copacabana, and
  • the other crossing is called the Desaguadero.
I have not heard that one crossing is better than the other, but from my personal experience, I prefer the Copacabana crossing.

I felt that the immigration process went smoother here and the immigration officers were more patient than those at the Desaguadero.

Where you cross will also depend on what bus company you choose.

I personally prefer the Panamericano company, which has services from Puno to Copacabana or Puno to La Paz. As you near the border, they explain everything that you are going to do and make it a lot easier for you!

If you decide to take the Panamericano bus, you can expect to pay approximately 30 to 35 soles ($12-$14)for a one way ticket from Puno to La Paz.

However, please keep in mind that the prices will vary based on the time of year (e.g. prices will rise during the tourist season).

At the Copacabana border crossing, you can expect to pass through three different offices. Two of them will be on the Peru side.
  • At these two offices, you will need to present your passport and your Andean Migration Card, which is a small slip of paper that was given to you upon entering Peru.
  • This card lists the number of days that you were permitted to be in Peru (e.g. 60, 90, 180).
  • If you have overstayed the number of days authorized to you, you will need to pay a fine: $1 per day that you overstayed.
  • If neccessary, you can pay this fine at one of the offices at the border crossing. Since I did not overstay my visit, I did not pay anything to leave Peru.
After you go through the first two offices, you will walk into the Bolivia side, where you will need to enter another office.

As a U.S. citizen, I had to pay for a visa at this office ($135), but I believe citizens from the UK do not need a visa to enter Bolivia (please double check this).
  • At this office you will present an immigration form (which should have been given to you on the bus) and your passport.
  • In addition, the first time I entered Bolivia I had to present a copy of my passport and two passport photos.Again, I am not sure if this is because I am a U.S. citizen, but it might be good to have a copy of your passport and passport photos, just in case.
    • (NOTE FOR U.S. CITIZENS: You will also need to fill out an additional immigration form at this third office).

You will then get a stamp on your passport as well as a Bolivian Migration Card (please do not lose this card as you will need it to leave Bolivia).

Once you finish at this office, you are officially in Bolivia! Your bus should have already crossed over to the Bolivia side, so you should be set to go!

I hope this information was helpful and I wish you a great trip!!

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