www.practicingforretirement.com Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
June 1st, 2017 Minimarket Harry (indian supermarket)

Get you curry here! run by indian guys. Fill up before you start because, for us, it was impossible to find this stuff anywhere else in S.A.

May 31st, 2017 PRT and TUVRheinland

This point is a bit more 'niche', since it doesn't apply to many overlanders... But I think it's helpful.

We had out Revision Technica for our Chilean car done here - when we couldn't get our converted 4runner passed at other stations (it wasn't 'car' enough because of the bed in the back?) we were able to 'pay for a pass' here (ask the mechanics before you go through and make a deal).

There were several large signs for TUV Rhineland and, although we don't have a German rig, maybe you could get your required inspections here? Worth giving it a go if you fall into that category. Good luck!

May 30th, 2017 Parque Metropolitano Providencia

An urban camping classic! We emailed, got confirmation in a few hours and were welcomed in with open arms by the guards. We tipped 1,500sol per day. We didn't hunt out close toilets, but the mall is only 5 minutes walk away so we went there.

The guy that lives in the bus in the corner is great fun to chat to - he has an exercise bike and a library in there!

May 29th, 2017 YPF San Juan

Definitely a solid option for the night. Not too noisy (not popular with trucks) and we parked up the back where we were not disturbed. Only hassle is that staff have to buzz you into the toilets, so you have to ask at the counter everytime. But they were sparkly clean! Cafe is a good place to hang out, and WiFi is actually pretty good. Password provided below is still current.

May 29th, 2017 Trucker Stop, Los Andes

Agree this is more of an emergency option. We came by late after a long border crossing. The place is perfectly functional (just ask the chainsmoking owner for permission to stay), but it's definitely not pretty. The showers are of the 'post-apocalyptic wasteland' style... but they are surprisingly hot! (a fact the owner took great pride in :))

The dogs onsite look tough but are, in reality, very timid. We made friends with a Brazilian trucker (I've missed that accent!) and we were told lots of fascinating stories about South American trade. So what the place lacks in atmosphere can be redeemed through the friendly people.

We paid 4,000pesos for two people and a 4runner.

May 28th, 2017 ATM Banco de la Nacion

Wouldn't work at all with Australian visa and mastercards. Only one fuel station in town could pay with card (the Refinor, and they only took visa). The YPF only takes cash.

You come into Argentina after being in Bolivia and Peru and so many things are refreshingly modern and easy... But getting gas and cash ain't one of those things! Lol.

May 28th, 2017 Miranda Town

This point is slightly off (we saw it as we drove past). It's right by the main road, about 1km East. You should spot it easily.

May 27th, 2017 Cool, curvy, narrow road

This place is in wrong location - it is located at -30.14337, -68.54553

May 27th, 2017 La Casa De Las Empanadas

14 Empanandas were plenty for two of us. Very tasty and worth a stop.

May 27th, 2017 Ruinas de los Quilmes

It would be nice if there was signage or a pamphlet to know what we were looking at. Guides are available, but only in Spanish. But it's a nice spot for a short stroll and the cacti are impressive :) 50p pp.

May 27th, 2017 Aguas Termales Nacimientos

We were picturing a 7m long rig trying to drive up here as we approached... To attempt such a thing would be insanity! But no, you don't need 4x4. We were parked up here with a Nissan micra. We passed through a small river on the road to get here (it's been raining the last few days).

I would think even reaching the municipal camping would be somewhat challenging for bigger rigs - the entrance and obstacles inside the camping would present a challenge. But hey, it's your rig :)

The hot springs are actually really nice. Not quite hot enough for our liking, but you can drain and fill the tubs yourself so you can make sure the water is fresh. The tubs were very clean. We liked it.

Free, quiet, lovely.

May 26th, 2017 Scenic drive for small vehicles only

Very fun road for smaller rigs. The narrowest part is those tight turns you can see on your navigation north of this point. Paved, very windy and so narrow - it is a little like driving your car on a bicycle path :) popular with the city folk on a weekend drive, so expect slow people you can't pass.

May 26th, 2017 Alemania

Drive down the dirt road towards the river. Big open space suitable for any rig. No facilities, but tranquil. Free.

May 25th, 2017 Plaza San Martin / Plaza de Arma

This place is in wrong location - it is located at -23.20622, -65.34759

May 25th, 2017 Plaza San Martin / Plaza de Arma

This place is in wrong location - it is located at -23.20646, -65.34743

May 25th, 2017 Control policial CORRUPTO/ CORRUPT police station

Toll is 11bob to Tupiza. Don't say anything to the cop - just hand over your drivers license. All Bolivians provide their identity card at these checkpoints and overlanders are expected to do the same. Don't look vulnerable or clueless and you won't get bribed.

May 25th, 2017 Road conditions

We couldnt find much info about this road between Tupiza and Potosi, so thought we would share. This is a great paved road. Not busy, and generally flat. Considering the condition of the road direct between Tupiza and Uyuni it would be very reasonable to drive this road (via Potosi) to stay on the pavement the entire way.

May 25th, 2017 borders

iOverlander is not a personal space for you to complain about your bad day. There is an existing pin where you can share relevant border crossing information, which is helpful to others.

May 25th, 2017 Villazon, Bolivia to La Quiaca, Argentina

Bolivia to Argentina. Thursday 2pm. We got lucky it seems - no lines and done in an hour. All immigration is on the Argentinian side of the bridge. Coming from Bolivia, park on the bridge - don't drive all the way over (they will tell you to go back).

Bolivia to Argentina is processed on the west side of the building. To go the opposite direction is on the eastern side.

1. Stamp out of Bolivia at first window on the right as you leave Bolivia. Then move along from window to window doing the rest. The slowest part is getting your TIP for Argentina, because they were inspecting every item that people had bought in Bolivia (argentina still fiercely controls what their citizens bring into the country).

Before leaving the area we had to have the aduana look inside our vehicle, but it was too difficult for us to take everything out, so they made us drive through a massive portable scanner instead. Took 10 minutes and then they waved us through.

We left Potosi at 8am and were through customs by 3pm - so all in all a positive experience.

May 25th, 2017 Plaza San Martin / Plaza de Arma

Quiet at night. We arrived after dark. Toilets available at the bus station and the ACA petrol station, both half a block away. Police asked that we do not park directly at their station as parking is restricted there.

May 25th, 2017 Great food with some wifi

80 bol for a large pizza. wifi pw torre145. street parking out the front.

May 24th, 2017 Caracollo Estacion

Wouldn't sell us fuel at the pump, but a shop onsite had 10L her cans pre-filled and sold us these for 50B each (5bob a litre). No identification required.

May 24th, 2017 Socinbol

Just for reference - the previous poster is wrong. The fuel in bolivia is not subsidized, it's simply sold at the price of production as it is locally produced. (it's not bought from Saudi Arabia and then discounted for locals). It's Bolivian-produced. So you are not 'costing Bolivian taxpayers money' by getting a discount.

I challenge any overlander to get through Bolivia using the official system and getting 'official' reciepts (not just a regular factura). It simply isn't possible, because most stations don't have the facilities or knowledge to do so.

So stop making a fuss, get your fuel however you can and spend your money in local businesses.

May 24th, 2017 Police Check Point

They made us stop and go into the office with all our documents. We parked directly in the middle of the road just to block things up a bit - with helped us avoid paying anything.

May 24th, 2017 Speeding Trap With Cameras

This warning marker is ridiculous. A 'speed trap'? If you mean a fixed, permanent camera (unmanned) then yes - you can speed on through and not worry about a ticket because they have no mailing address for you. But a handheld radar (manned) that you are pulled over for? Of course you can be fined. And if you were breaking the law then you should take the ticket and attempt to pay it (or take it as a souvenir if you feel like it, I'm sure it wouldn't follow you to the border). Obviously don't pay the policeman directly, as this is a bribe and contributes to the corruption problem in Bolivia.

In this particular location the OP was obviously referring to a handheld radar, since no permanent camera exists here. But since police can (and do) move around there is no reason to mark this spot as a permanent warning marker for other overlanders.

May 24th, 2017 Residencial Tarija Camping

Our second visit. Still 60bob for 2 people and our 4runner. You don't get much for your money, but it's safe and close to town. And a consistently piping hot shower after our 2day marathon drive from Peru? Priceless :)

May 24th, 2017 Koala Cafe & Tour Agency

We have a strict no Wifi passwords policy, and are going through places added and have to manually remove these passwords. Would you be so kind as to not share that info on the app? We, the Team and the owners of these establishments will greatly appreciate it.

average but pleasant place. burgers 22 sol lemonada 8

May 23rd, 2017 Police Checkpoint

We were friendly gringos, and shook hands with the cop. We said we spoke no Spanish. He outright asked for money - we said we didn't have any, and he let us go. He seemed nice but corrupt as hell.

May 23rd, 2017 Border Control Peru/Bolivia

We've done this border twice now (both directions), in our Chilean 4runner. It sometimes requires patience, but if you get lucky - like we did today - you might fly through in under an hour!

In Bolivia the migration is on the side of the building directly before the bridge. Take a form from the guy standing out front, fill it in and go get stamped.

The Bolivian aduana is the two little windows covered in bars at the very end of the building that face outwards to the bridge. Turn your back to the bridge and you should be standing right in front of it. There is little signage, but there are some things pasted in the windows that identify it. Peer inside and someone should come over and open the window. If entering Bolivia you need a photocopy of your passport, entry stamp and padron/title - there is a photocopy place in the shop by the bridge.

Bolivia parking is totally hectic. Best option is right by the bridge - preferably past the barricade where fewer shops are set up.

In Peru the migration is the building on the eastern side, closest to the bridge. The aduana is next door, accessed via the barred gate. If it isn't open peer inside and security should show you through. You just need your regular documents and some patience.

Parking in Peru is best on the street directly outside the migration. Both times we parked here a local watched over our car for a few soles tip.

Moneychangers are everywhere, and we got a great rate when we changed our sols to bolivianos.

Driving through the market can be daunting, but if you take the most direct/straight road leading to the bridge on the Bolivian side you should be fine. On the Peruvian side take the road that runs parallel to the lake/waterfront. Go slow and the people will move out of the way. We saw double-decker busses full of tourists coming through the same way.

Good luck, and I hope you don't get too many slow queues! :)

Oh also, if you are going into Peru - we collectively spent over 4 months in Peru and -
1) did not use reflective strips (peruvian law says only commercial vehicles need them);
2) always used headlights - it's law on the highways, but it's easier to just turn them on everywhere; and
3)never paid a bribe, or was even asked. The Peruvian police were some of the friendliest of our travels. Maybe we got lucky, but with a bright smile and friendly hello we always passed by without incident.

May 23rd, 2017 Road conditions

Just a note if you plan to avoid El Alto/La Paz by taking this diagonal road (via Viacha). The road looks promising on OSM/maps.me, but is rutted dirt with a lot of roads/trails forking off it that makes it difficult to follow. If it's been raining it get boggy really quick - we had several slides in the mud coming through.

If it's been dry then don't hesitate to choose this way - it's a bit bumpy but can save a lot of time by avoiding the El alto traffic.


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