Even if it’s really nice to log off from the world during a trip, one has to admit it’s sometimes really useful to check emails, look up for deal or activities or hotel in a new city or simply to have a local number to be reached at.
In a lot of countries, the easiest way to cope with this problem is buy a prepaid SIM card. Unfortunatly in Bolivia it’s not that simple because new numbers must be registered by the buyer. A bolivian citizen can do that over the phone (if you have a bolivian friend to help you with that, it’s better!) but for a foreigner it’s a bit more complex.
First you have to buy the SIM card and then go to the official agency of the phone operator with copies of your passport and ask to register your number. If you don’t register it, they’ll cut the line after a week or so.
The good news is that even with a simple prepaid card you can easily access internet (if you’re tolerant about speed and data transfert). I would recommand a Tigo prepaid card (10 Bs) because they it’s the best solution for prepaid internet, they offer a 2 Bs pack which give you 55mo for a day. Obviously it’s useless to watch youtube but quite enough to check your mail or logon to TripAdvisor to look for an hotel (or an activity, Valle de los condores is now first activity on TripAdvisor, yey! 😉 ). You just buy this pack the day you need it.
One last thing : bolivian frequencies for cellphone are the sames as american ones. This means that some european or asian cellphones can’t catch 3G here and get stuck in edge. Most of the Sony’s have this issue, better check if yours is compatible.