Transport in Bolivia

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Transport in Bolivia is mostly by road. The railways were historically important in Bolivia, but now play a relatively small part in the country's transport system. Because of the country's geography, aviation is also important.


Total: 3,504 km (single track)
Narrow gauge (metre gauge):

  • 3,504 km 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge; (2006)
  • The eastern and western networks are joined only via Argentina, due to slow progress on a direct link.
    • The map on page 522 of the 1969/1970 edition of JANE'S shows a link between Cuevos and Zudañez as being "under construction".

Rail links with adjacent countries[edit]


Towns served by rail[edit]

Light Rail[edit]

Bolivia’s first light rail network is under construction in Cochabamba, and is due to open in 2020.

Cable Car[edit]

Bolivia is home to Mi Teleférico, the world's first urban transit network to use cable cars as the primary mode of transportation. This system services the twin cities of El Alto and La Paz, and increased physical and social mobility within Bolivia.[1]


total: 62,479 km
paved: 3,749 km (including 27 km of expressways)
unpaved: 58,730 km (2004)

Road construction in Bolivia is difficult due to its geography and lack of resources to completely develop an advanced road network. However, it maintains a small network of 4-lane freeways which are the following:

The main national roads are:

Ruta nacional 4 (RN4) entering Oruro Department


10,000 km of commercially navigable waterways (2007)

Ports and harbors[edit]


  • In October 2010, Peru granted Bolivia port facilities and a free-trade zone as part of larger series of agreements strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. Bolivia was granted about 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of port facilities on a 99-year lease at the Port of Ilo on Peru's southern Pacific coast. A similar agreement, signed by then Bolivian president Jaime Paz Zamora in 1992, never materialized for a lack of investment in infrastructure. Bolivia has free port privileges in the maritime ports of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.

Lake Titicaca[edit]

Amazon basin[edit]

Paraguay River (international waterway)[edit]

Merchant marine[edit]

total: 23 ships (1,000 gross tonnage (GT) or over) totaling 116,373 GT/182,283 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
ships by type: (2008)


1,009 (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2008)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 993
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 58
914 to 1,523 m: 186
under 914 m: 744 (2008)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neuman, William (Aug 16, 2014). "With Subway in the Sky, Valley Meets Plateau". New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

This article was adapted from the CIA World Factbook 2009.

External links[edit]