Packing list for Bolivia

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This list has been compiled and reviewed by Volunteers serving in Bolivia and it reflects their experience and needs. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. For example, if you are a business sector Volunteer, your attire is probably more formal than if you are an agricultural or water sanitation Volunteer. Plan and pack accordingly. You can always have things sent to you later. Many items of clothing and other items can be purchased in Bolivia. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Clothes should be sturdy and practical (i.e., easily washable and without need of ironing).

General Clothing[edit]

  • A few pairs of pants (khakis, dockers) for work and casual wear
  • A few pairs of jeans
  • A few pairs of shorts
  • Casual skirts and dresses for women
  • Shirts or blouses
  • One or two dressier outfits (jacket and tie for men; skirts and blouses or dresses for women); note that many Volunteers report that except for swearing in and few social events, dressier clothes were the least useful things they packed)
  • Bathing suit
  • 12 pairs of good-quality cotton underwear
  • Enough socks to get you started (available in Bolivia)
  • Jacket or poncho for rain and cool winter days
  • Heavier jacket
  • One or two sweaters (available inexpensively in Bolivia)
  • One or two sweatshirts
  • Gloves and a wool hat and/or sweatshirts with hoods for cold mornings
  • Sweatpants
  • Baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat (the Bolivian sun is fierce!) Shoes
  • One pair semi-dress shoes (loafers or something similar) for dressy and professional settings (no high heels needed for women)
  • One pair of tennis shoes
  • Two pairs of running shoes, if you run (quality sneakers are available in Bolivia)
  • Hiking boots
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Flip-flops or shower sandals

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

  • Good-quality sunglasses (polarized; with UV protection)
  • Start-up supply of soap, shampoo, shaving cream, sunblock, etc.
  • Tampons (Peace Corps provides some but if you prefer your own brand bring them.(Many brands are available locally, but are expensive)
  • Lip balm with UV protection (more provided in you medical kit)
  • Any particular brands of over-the-counter medicine you prefer including vitamins (Peace Corps issues medicine for most everything but usually has only one brand of each type) and a three-month supply of any prescription drugs
  • Towels (available in Bolivia)
  • Contact lens solutions, if you wear contacts (locally available, too)
  • Disposable razors (available locally)


  • A good Spanish-English dictionary (Note that a 3,000word-and-phrase dictionary is provided in training)
  • Sturdy backpack or duffel bag for short trips
  • Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool (be sure this is NOT in your carry-on luggage!)
  • Fanny pack
  • Money belt or other hidden passport/money carrier
  • Photos of family and friends
  • Light, stuffable, and warm sleeping bag (preferably waterproof)
  • Camping equipment
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Money for your first day or two in-country and for vacation travel
  • Books to read and exchange
  • Diary or journal (notebook or bound paper) to maintain a two-year site diary.
  • Cassettes or CDs to listen to and exchange
  • Travel water bottle (Nalgene)
  • Solar shower
  • Laptop computer and 220-volt adapter
  • Alarm clock (battery powered)
  • AM/FM radio

Note: Among the items you do not necessarily need to bring (because they are available locally or provided by Peace Corps) are: sheets, pots and pans, dishes and utensils, cassette/CD player, blank CDs, batteries, kerosene burner, mosquito net and mosquito travel tent, water filter, and standard first-aid and medical supplies.