Bolivia

Foreign currencyIt can be difficult to change money other than euros and US dollars, even currency from neighbouring countries! You might find more flexible exchange offices at airports, but be prepared for service fees and poor exchange rates. USD bills smaller than $100 can also be hard to break without accepting a lesser exchange rate.

CAUTION: As of May 2015, it is almost impossible to change US dollars that have the slightest tear or marking, even at the airport. Banks supposedly have to accept them, but locals advise that some banks take 20% discount for such bills. Make sure your dollar bills are crisp and new. USDs are NOT widely accepted in hotels, tourist shops, and for large purchases, anymore.

The national currency is the boliviano BOB. As of January 2010, the exchange rate is generally USD1 = BOB6.97 or €1 = BOB10. Banknotes come in denominations of BOB200, BOB100, BOB50, BOB20, and BOB10; coins are in BOB5, BOB2, and BOB1 and BOB0.50, BOB0.20, and you will find sometimes BOB0.10 ten centavos or one-tenth of a boliviano. Bills larger than BOB50 can be hard to split, but a quick phone call or internet session at an Internet Café see #Contact, below will usually get you change.

If you take a bank card with you, make sure your bank card can be used abroad ask your bank if you are not sure. You don't need a credit card - debit cards work too. If you find your card doesn't work and you are running out of cash, think of your relatives wiring you some money via, eg, Western Union.

Currency can be exchanged for US dollars and most South American currencies at Casa De Cambio agencies or street vendors. Expect to negotiate for a favourable exchange rate, as most vendors will try to make money off a tourist.

Banco de Credito BCP is a good bank to take cash from. Banco Union should be avoided if possible as it charges a 5% surcharge as of May 2012, although they do not make any mention of this. Banco Fie doesn't charge any extra fee on atm withdrawals but it lets you take only up to BOB2000 at time March 2014, it has branches in all bigger cities.

Traditional music
BOB1.5-5
Markets and street kiosks in El Alto, La Paz and other cities and towns

Bolivian music is very lively and colourful. The CDs are very cheap.