South America Living

Travel, Dine, Live… Like A Local


Renting an Apartment or House in Bolivia

It is easy to rent (alquilar in Spanish) in Bolivia and depending on the location there are usually many options to choose from.

San Jorge Neighborhood in La Paz

In most cases you do not have to pay a hefty deposit or secure a guarantee like is required to rent in Argentina, Uruguay and other South American countries. You usually only have to pay the first and last months rent upfront.

As well, rent is cheap – with the city of Santa Cruz (high demand = overpriced rentals) and upscale areas of La Paz an exception. In the capital city Sucre you can find properties for under $150 USD per month. A two-bedroom apartment or house (decent location with private patio or yard) will run approximately $250 USD per month (year 2011).

For more information on living in Sucre read: Sucre, Bolivia – Cheap Place to Live in South America

Best Way to Find a Rental

When arriving in an area, get yourself situated for a few days or a week and then get busy; walk around the central area to get a feel for the place, ride a few busses to outlying areas (after asking a local where safe neighborhoods are), go to a newstand and find out what local paper has rental listings… then buy it!

Finding rentals isn’t much different from your home country. In larger areas real estate offices (Inmobiliarios in Spanish) can be invaluable as they usually have many listings available and can often get you situated in your new temporary home in a week or so. They are used to dealing with non-native Spanish speakers, much more so than someone receiving a phone call out of the blue from a tourist inquiring about their newspaper listing.

Note: When using the services of an Inmobiliario you will have to pay a fee, normally one months rent. If only needing short-term accomodation many hostals will give discounted long-term stays.

More Articles You May Like:
Travel Hot Spots in Bolivia
Canoa, Ecuador – Cheap Place to Live in South America
Travel Guide to Lima, Peru

37 to “Renting an Apartment or House in Bolivia”


  1. Vancouver says:

    Wow, I’m surprised rentals are that affordable in Bolivia… Do people just not know? Is it a secret in America?

    • Molly McHugh says:

      :) I’m thinking you’re being humourous. And don’t forget what was also mentioned… in Santa Cruz rents are high, higher than in Buenos Aires in many cases if you can believe it or not, and is attributed to – unfortunately – hoardes of drug money being funneled into the area (buy up properties with cash, prices go sky high). Bolivia is an interesting place to visit and to have an extended stay… the low cost in many areas just one factor. Molly

    • mario dauber says:

      Rent a wonderful private villa, fully equipped, in a natural environment to enjoy beautiful moments. Located in the second ring of Warnes, at 25 minutes form Santa Cruz city. A beautiful colonial house surrounded by gardens and a spacious gallery.
      A total area of 6600 square meters, ample space and opportunity for camping. This villa offers space for up to 18 people.
      Amenities :
      – fully furnished kitchen with dining room. ( Refrigerator , oven, etc )
      -2 air-conditioning
      - 2 bathrooms
      - Barbecue
      - pool ( low depth – ideal for children and adults refreshment )
      - soccer field
      - children’s playground.
      .Unit(s) Available : 3 bedroom (with 18 beds available )
      Day rental rate:
      – Adults is 100 Bs ( 15 Usd)
      - Children under 15 years 50 Bs (8 usd) – children under 3 years free of charge.
      * Camping :
      - Adults 40Bs (6 usd) – children under 15 years 20 Bs ( 3 Usd) – children under 3 years free of charge.
      Registration : check inn 10:00 AM, check out 13.00 clock .
      Contact information :
      * Contact: Mario Dauber
      * Email: mariodauber@hotmail.com
      * Phone: 721-00105 / 721-50098 / 3-347994 (office hours )

  2. azim says:

    I think this article is a bit out of date, I arrived to La Paz a year ago and am currently living in Bolivia and I dont think i would be too keen on renting a flat that is under 150 USD, thanks to sites like airbnb.com i believe the hotel industry and the current modus operandi of real estate is gradually going to collapse. On airbnb you can find furnished rooms/apartments for rent, even if its for a day, week or month. Paying like 25-30$ a day or 600$ for a month for an entire equipped apartment for a single person doesnt sound to bad at all.
    Salams

    • Molly McHugh says:

      I said La Paz was the higher rent area in Bolivia, same as Santa Cruz. Think you may have misread! We lived in Sucre for a few months, and you can definitely find cheap rents there, I have an apartment building listing with studios that is around that price on my Living in Sucre page: http://www.southamericaliving.com/sucre-bolivia-cheap-place-to-live-in-south-america/

      I would consider paying $600 USD in Argentina, Chile or Brazil, but think that is pretty high for Bolivia, unless you for some reason need an executive style suite. Ridiculous actually. Charging more for something – that is happening all over South America – yet not increasing the value of it, is simply price-gouging and over-charging… not something I would personally support. Best of luck, Molly

    • Molly McHugh says:

      I should add… using a site like Airbnb to rent in a country like Bolivia is going to be the MOST EXPENSIVE way to rent. Bolivia is not going to change drastically today, tomorrow, or five years from now… Inmobiliarios (real estate offices that have rental listings as well) are not going to go away – saying that is a bit preposterous (but Airbnb may be gone in five years, that could happen).

      Find an area you like, use the local paper and make friends with locals, visit the inmobilario office in town, etc. etc. THAT is how to find a low-cost rental and their are plenty of them outside of over-priced La Paz and Santa Cruz.

      Molly

  3. arthur says:

    Molly, looking to live in Bolivia. Looking for a 2 bedroom, not resort style…want to live like a local. Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Arthur

    • Molly McHugh says:

      Hi Arthur, where do you want to live? The best thing to do is to figure out the area first, then ask around for rentals, go to an inmobilario or two (real estate offices) and ask what is available, etc. It will be easy to rent, but you have to have a location first. There are not a ton of rentals in some areas (such as Tarija which is small), it is expensive in others (such as in Santa Cruz), there are a ton of hostals and a few apartments available in others (such as Copacabana) and then quite a few possibilities in the two largest cities: La Paz and Sucre.

      Sooooo, first decide where, then visit, then search around. Sent you a copy of our free eBook.

      best of luck and tell us how it goes, Molly

  4. Hi!,

    We are trying to find an apartment in Santa Cruz for 3-4 weeks. We arrive on Tuesday 11th June ’13. We’ve tried Airbnb and Terrasol and no luck. Any help much appreciated.

  5. Jerecosan says:

    Hi Molly,

    Im planning to stay for awhile in Bolivia and explore south america maybe late this year. Im not keen with whether the place is near or within the business district for as long as it is safe and all basic utilities are there (esp the internet). Can you recommend a good place maybe just a few minutes bus ride to the center. A place that that’s not too crowded and too isolated.

    Thanks

    • Molly McHugh says:

      Hi, so many options, depending on where you want to be and what you like to do! We loved Sucre for city living (tons of hostals that will give discounts on extended stays – check our travel guide for the best ones!), Copacabana for a chill, inexpensive month and trips to sacred Isla del Sol, Tupiza for another relaxed, cheap stay with horseback riding and trips to the Salar (lots travel that way to Uyuni from Tupiza) the highlights… sending you our free eBook, think it will help you research.

      Travel guides to all those locations and many more are listed here: http://www.southamericaliving.com/travel-hot-spots-in-bolivia/

      cheers, Molly

  6. shosho says:

    Hello –
    Could you please send me details of some local real estate agencies that have high level housing suitable for professional expats ( in la paz) – Thank you so much

  7. maria says:

    Hi Molly,

    as you seem have quite a knowledge about this, do you have an advice on the following problem? I study anthropology and will participate in a short-term research (upcoming september only) project in La Paz.
    We are three people only (our professor and two students) and until now, we found no other place to stay as a hotel, which is a pretty expensive solution (although slightly cheaper than airbnb ;) ). Our Problem is that we have no time to stroll around and see different places before choosing. Furthermore I dont know how likely it is to find fully furnished apartments with internet access on the normal housing market.
    What I am looking for is a searching engine for apartments and houses which is not specialised on the touristic housing market.
    We have several internet platforms here were people who go abroad to study or who are not permanently staying in their home out of other reasons can rent out their flat during their absence. A lot of people use this when they are looking for a place to stay during an internship in another city or stuff like this.
    Do you know of something like this or do you have another idea?
    Thank you very much,
    Maria

    • Molly McHugh says:

      Hi Maria, I have to say at the start, we transitted through La Paz (3 hours to Copacabana that we loved!) and did not stay there… so what I have to offer you is simply from looking online for options. My best advice is to reaseach the zillions of hostals in the areas for an extended stay, easily online, all have websites. Our travel guide to La Paz is here: http://www.southamericaliving.com/bolivia-living-abroad-guide-capital-city-la-paz/.

      The reason I say that as I think it will be very comfortable for you (we stayed in hostels for a month extended stay all over South America and were completely comfortable!) — but also the best option and… don’t forget, FUN!. I don’t mean ‘party fun’ as of course that is not what you want in this situation but is so nice to be in a place that has ammentities (WiFi, kitchen, etc.) AND someone who knows the area – that would take months living in a place to get on your own.

      And, the lowest cost most likely. There is a great thread on this exact topic on Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2213487

      Best of luck, Molly

  8. Jisela says:

    Hi, im from Cochabamba Bolivia (sorry for my bad english) and recently i independed of my family and i rent a departament in the heart of the city in 300$us with 3 rooms and i share it with two girls, i think i was lucky! but i search like two mounts ago and the prices are: in the heart of the Cochabmaba city minimum 250$us with two rroms and 300$ with 3 rooms, but you have to arrive here and search by the local journal, are more cheaper than the (inmobiliarias)they mostly have the best apartaments and the higest prices too. Well thats happens in Cochabamba and in La Paz (i lived ther une year) but i know that in Santa Cruz is very expensive.
    Well i hope i help you something for the people who are interested in coming here, you must contact first some friends local to help you!!!
    Jisela

    • Molly McHugh says:

      How incredibly nice of you to share this info! And it is great, so many folks need the ‘real scoop’ when it comes to apartments and costs, thanks so much. Plus, in English, I am HIGHLY impressed! I could never write anything similar in Spanish :)

      gracias amiga y tu tiene un dia buena, Molly

  9. Shiva says:

    Hi!

    I have lived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia over the past 23 years! So I can say I know pretty much about housing, living costs, safety, places to visit and every other daily living information :) I came to Boston last June for a couple of months but have decided to stay until Feb. 2014. I have a 2 bedroom apartment, all furnished – ready to get in with your suitcases – in the most strategic area in Santa Cruz, two blocks from El Cristo. Walking distance to Av. Monseñor Rivero which is known by its restaurants, coffee shops, banks, a Supermaket (there is a larger one just 3 min by taxi) and a 5 min to the Center of the town.

    I was not planning to rent my apartment but since my plans have changed I’am considering short rental housing – from a week to couple of months -. I have cut off my internet services but you can get a mobile device for internet from Tigo which you can use it wherever you go.

    My apartment is fully furnished. It has a living and dining room, two bathroom, laundry machine, fridge, oven toster, blender, etc.

    If you are interested contact me. I would be very happy to assist you in any way I can or answer any question yoi may have.

    greetings!
    shiva

  10. Shiva says:

    Hi Molly!

    Renting would be weekly or monthly. Even if they stay 4 or 5 days they would have to pay as a full week. The weekly price is $us.280.

    Anyway, I am also willing to respond to any question regarding life in SC, living costs, general information about places to eat, to visit, etc.

    cheers,
    S.

    • Molly McHugh says:

      Ok, what would the monthly price be? The weekly price would be high for most of the folks who visit this site, but I have heard how expensive Santa Cruz is.

  11. Shiva says:

    Considering the location, having two bedroom, pool, all furnished, almost all services included (electricity, water, security) and not having many choices in short term renting in SC – I would say – is not a high price at all. And you are right, Santa Cruz is and has been the most expensive city in Bolivia, though much cheaper that Europe, USA !

    Monthly would be $ 800 since it is furnished ! The same apartment at the same location – UNFURNISHED – is costing between US$ 550-$580 monthly – and I am not talking about short term renting but entering into an annual contract.

    Short term renting should not be compared with long term renting but with hotels (or guesthouses) due to its characteristics.

    Best,
    S.

    • Molly McHugh says:

      Pool? You neglected to mention the pool, I’m moving tomorrow! Just teasing! For some this sounds like a good option, but don’t think there aren’t cheaper places to live in the U.S. than what you are paying, there are many of them! I pay $400 USD per month right now, have access to tons of discount shopping – something Bolivia does not have which increases the cost of living for foreigners.

      What types of jobs do Bolivianos have to be able to afford to live in Santa Cruz? Have to be making a decent salary to afford $700 USD on up apartments.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Shiva,

      What are the dates that your place is available? I am going to be visiting Santa Cruz from 9/25-10/23.

      • Shiva says:

        Hi Christina
        The apartment is available on those dates! If you are interested just send me your email address so we can get into the details.

        Best!
        Shiva

  12. Kenneth says:

    If you want to rent a place I have a place available (house) room for rent 10 minutes from the city center of La Paz, you can email me cozyroomforyou@gmail.com or call 656-71-762 to view the room. Kitchen, private bathroom and living room available. Hope it helps.

  13. paul moya says:

    Hi everybody

    I live in Santa Cruz,Bolivia.
    It is true that living in here is more expensive.
    Before this president (Evo Morales), Live was cheap, real state was cheap.
    People in 2005 used to work for less than 3 U.S dollars per day. Now is about 15 U.S dollars per day of work.
    In 2009 I bought a land at a price of 7 U.S dollars per meter squared. Now it costs 70 U.S dollars !!. In less than 4 years i multiplied by 10 the price of my land.

    If i would have bought 70.000 U.S Dollars in land, Now i could sell it in 700.000 U.S Dollars.

    Well I am looking for partners to buy land while they are still cheap in some areas.
    There are some areas with cheap land, and a good future to resell it
    with high profits.

    I am a local that knows where to buy. But i need a partner with money.
    If you are interested send an email to paul.moya@hotmail.es

    • Molly McHugh says:

      I don’t want to get into political discussions here on this site but will say that increasing the wages of people living in dire poverty (as Morales has done from what you state above) to that of a subsistence form of poverty is a good thing in general, unless you happen to be someone who likes to take advantage of others and feel slavery is ok, that those who have more money somehow have the right to deprive others of basic human rights and dignity. I personally do not share that view.

  14. Katy says:

    Hi Molly,

    Are houses and apartments in La Paz typically rented fully furnished? If so what do they contain–i.e. just a fitted kitchen or also couches and beds.

    Thanks,
    Katy

  15. ilona says:

    I am looking at different areas to rent in coming years. for right now I am not in a position that I can relocate. this is a long term goal for me to find someplace to spend the winter months. thanks

  16. Veronica says:

    Hello everybody,

    my name is Veronica and my family will unfortunately sell the House and land where I grew up, if there is anaybody interested to live in a quite and nice área in the city near to the mountains please don´t hesitate in sending me an email the land is amazing over 4000 m2, offers sunny summers with no clouds few minuts away from undiscovered mountains and pure nature ideal for barbecues and a great view to the city, 15 minuts by car to the german school in La Paz public transportation from the door. If anypne is interested please let me a comment on here with the email adress so I can get in touch. I hope the land where I lived during 20 years its going to find a great new owner who loves nature.

    Regards,

    Veronica

    • Veronica — sorry to hear that you have to sell the family land. Is it developed? Is there a house on it? Sounds beautiful. Do you know Javier Palza? I think he may have property near your land. Good luck with the sale!


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