Criminal activity is most common in urbanized areas within Bolivia, especially Santa Cruz, La Paz, El Alto, and Cochabamba, as well as along the Argentinian, Paraguayan, Brazilian, and Peruvian borders. Crime is usually considered low level but travelers should be aware of opportunistic attacks involving muggings and pickpocketing.
Bolivia has a low violent crime level in comparison to other South American countries and foreign visitors are rarely targeted. However, crimes of violence do occur with carjacking and assaults quite common in Santa Cruz and the La Paz metropolitan area. Border regions have the potential for drug-trafficking operations, which increases the threat level. Foreign visitors have become victims of express kidnappings in the past when traveling through these areas. Criminals will target those who appear unfamiliar with their environment and reduced levels of personal security.
Social conflict is common in Bolivia and blockades may occur along the main roads. Public transport can be disrupted at very short notice and strikes may result in widespread road blockades, including on roads to and from airports.
Travel by road in Bolivia is high risk. The standard of driving is poor with the majority of drivers uninsured and unqualified. Road traffic laws are not enforced; drivers lack discipline and awareness. The roads are inadequately marked and in poor condition, especially in rural areas where visibility is reduced. Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) can occur and are a result of poor road conditions and unsafe driving standards.