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):


Towns served by rail

Light Rail

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

Cable Car

La Paz' Mi Teleferico, finished in 2014. Mi Teleferico - Linea Naranja.jpg
La Paz' Mi Teleférico, finished in 2014.

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 RN4 Bolivia Oruro 03 2019.jpg
Ruta nacional 4 (RN4) entering Oruro Department

The Interoceanic Highway is an important highway that connects the Amazonian tripoint border region of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia to the Pacific Ocean. Bolivia's northernmost capital, Cobija, headquarters a free economic zone that uses the Interoceanic Highway to import and export most of its products. [2] [3]


10,000 km of commercially navigable waterways (2007)

Ports and harbors


Lake Titicaca

Amazon basin

Paraguay River (international waterway)

Merchant marine

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

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The history of rail transport in Bolivia began in the 1870s after almost three decades of failed efforts to build railroads to integrate the country, mining was the driving force for the construction of railways. The need to transport saltpeter to the coast triggered the first railway lines in Bolivia. It was the silver mining, however, that drove the construction of a railway from the Pacific coast to the high plateau during the nineteenth century. Later, at the beginning of the twentieth century, tin mining gave a new impetus to railway building, forming what is now known as the Andean or Western network. The eastern network, on the other hand, developed between the years 1940 and 1960 and is financed in exchange for oil through agreements with Argentina and Brazil. Bolivia being a landlocked country, the railways played a fundamental role and the history of its railroads is the history of the country's efforts to reach first ports on the Pacific coast and then the Atlantic.


  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.