The official languages of the conference are English and Spanish. Simultaneous English-Spanish interpretation will be available only for plenary sessions
The city of La Paz, officially Our Lady of La Paz, is the seat of the government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the capital of the homonymous department. It has an estimated population of 789 541 inhabitants as of 2015. La Paz is the third most populated city of Bolivia (behind Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto). It is is located in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu river and is surrounded by the high mountainous of the high plateau, among them the imposing snowy Illimani, whose silhouette has been the most important emblem of the city since its foundation. At an average height of 3650 meters about the sea level, La Paz is the highest capital in the world as well as one of the highest cities in the world. La Paz has a subtropical high altitude climate, with rainy summers and dry winters. The air temperature does not change much between the different seasons of the year; it has a temperate climate (with an average of 13º C).
El Alto –LPB (IATA) International Airport is located 14.5 km from the city center of La Paz, and has an altitude of 4008 meters about the sea leve. It is one of the highest commercial airports on the planet,.
There are four modes of public transportation within cities. There are minibuses (which only have space for 11 people), trufis (which are shared taxis for 5 people) and micros (which are big buses). The latter are completely different from those found in Europe. The last one is the Puma Xataru Bus System, which is the official mass transit system in La Paz.
Transportation by Cable Cars is the most recent system that consists of the implementation of a mass urban transport system by cable (single cable), distributed in 3 lines (Red, Yellow and Green) It connects the cities of La Paz and El Alto. It is estimated that it can move up to 17,000 passengers per hour with departures every 12 seconds, for 17 hours a day. Tickets cost BOB 3 for the general public, with a BOB 1.5 fee for students and senior citizens.
In Bolivia there are 3 telephone and internet service operators (Tigo, Viva and Entel. There will be Wi-Fi service in the event venue for attendees and PCs exhibitors. The country voltage is 220 volts. In case of medical emergencies near the venue of the event there are private clinics, national hospitals and health care centers that can be used by the participants according to their preference.
Frequently asked questions
What is the US dollar exchange rate in Bolivia?
The only currency allowed in the country is the Bolivian – BOB, however the exchange of US dollars is allowed, no other currency is handled.
The exchange rate of US dollars- USD in Bolivia, in the official market, is approximately 6.96 BOB per USD.
In the parallel market it is approximately 6.87 BOB, with variations by location.
It is recommended that you exchange currency in the Exchange Houses, and also at banks that accept this type of transaction.
What is the weather like in the city of La Paz?
La Paz, because it is located at 3,650 meters about the sea level, has a mild climate in the day to something cold at night and dawn, so we recommend that you bring a coat. The minimum temperature for the time of the event (April 2017) is 12º C and the maximum temperature is around 20º C. The venue is two hundred meters below the center of the city, which raises the temperature by a couple of degrees.
Is the city of La Paz safe? Usually the city is safe, except in place very crowded by tourists, who are sometimes robbed, so it is recommended that you only carry what is necessary and keep personal belongings guarded, and not exhibit objects of value, such as bulky cameras, cell phones or expensive tablets. It is not advisable to leave belongings (backpack, camera, laptops or other valuables objects) at the conference venue, since the organization is not responsible for losses or theft.
What is the cost of living in the city of La Paz?
In the city of La Paz, and in Bolivia in general, the cost of living is quite cheap, you can get a lunch (meal) from 45 BB. (About $ 7 USD).
Public transport from the center to the south, where the event will take place, is BOB. 2.80 (like $0.40 USD), taxis and radiotaxis charge between $2 and $5 USD. Depending on the distances, and from International Airport, the accredited taxis charge approximately $10 USD), you can also take a shared taxi where this price is divided; although there is also the service of small shared busses (vans) that charge $ 0.55 USD, but only during the day.
Hotels and accommodation
As well as the official conference hotels, there are other options in the area.
The cheapest hostels range from $8 USD per night (in the downtown area) to $30 USD, and hotels depending on services offered start at $40 USD.
The area where the event will take place is Bajo Seguencoma, located at south of La Paz in Calocoto and/or Cota Cota, 25 minutes from the center by taxi or 45 minutes by bus, micro or Puma katari.
Altitude sickness can be quite serious, so please take steps to avoid it. Basically: move slowly! Wakl slowly, avoid stairs or hills, rest at the hotel once you arrive in the city, do not immediately go on walks, eat slowly, breathe deeply and use public transport to move from one point to another (taxis, buses, or minibuses). Eat moderately, and drink a lot of water and coca tea. In all hotels you will find coca tea, or you can simply chew coca leaves, as Bolivians do. These help, I assure you. In Bolivia SOROJCHI PILLS is the name of the medication used for the treatment and prevention of symptoms caused by altitude sickness. You can also get medication ahead of time in your home country if you are concerned. See http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Altitude-Sickness
Symptoms of altitude sickness
The symptoms are variable according to the person. In some individuals the symptoms do not manifest, in others they take a few days, but they can also manifest only a few hours after ascending. Symptoms include:
- Physical exhaustion
- Sleep disorder
- Digestive disorder
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pulmonary edema
- Cerebral edema
It is extremely important to be alert to these symptoms, if the days pass and these symptoms do not disappear or you begin to feel that they are getting worse, it is necessary to start descending as soon as possible and consult a doctor, as it can cause serious health problems, and in very extreme case death.
A very popular advice given to travelers who venture to altitude is ‘drink before you are thirsty, eat before you are hungry, take shelter before being cold and rest before exhaustion.’
One myth that is widely heard is about physical preparation. The reality is that however prepared you are physically, when exceeding 2500 meters about the sea level it ceases to make a difference. Altitude sickness affects everyone equally regardless of their physical condition.
The variables that should be considered are: how quickly one has gained altitude, one’s age, how many days one remains at high altitude, and how much physical activity is done while there.
Important information about visas for entering Bolivia
People with passports from a great many countries can enter without a visa. See the list here:
If you do need a visa the form is here:
Here is more information about getting a visa to enter Bolivia:
During the event
The official languages of the conference will be English and Spanish. Papers can be presented in either language. There will be limited simultaneous interpretation, at plenary sessions only. Everyone is asked to speak more slowly, and to avoid idiomatic expressions that those who are listening in their second, third or fourth language would be unlikely to understand. The speakers who present in Spanish are asked to complement their talks with power point presentations in English and vice versa to facilitate understanding and conversations. All presentations are to be from 12 to 15 minutes maximum. The facilitator of the session is entitled to interrupt so as to not delay the schedule of speakers.