A blog to record our motorbike adventure through the Americas

Argentina > Bolivia

La Quiaca – Villazon Border

January 2013

As you approach the border, it is possible to park directly outside immigration if you are on a bike as long as it is out the way of vehicles passing through.

By the way, this was probably the most disorganized border we have ever had to use.

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It took 5 hours to get through – the majority of that time was spent waiting inline for our exit stamp with no more than 15 people queuing in front of us. Pedestrians walk around the other side of the building with little of no waiting. Not sure what the difference was as all they did was stamp our passports. The immigration guy will then provide you with a piece of paper with a number on it.

The next window along is the Aduana office who are supposed to call your number when you are next up. It appeared that this system didn’t work. There was no queuing and nobody seemed to know when an Aduana official would be available to assist the next person. After more waiting around and asking questions, I waved my temporary permit to an Aduana official who was sat at a desk playing with his cell phone and said “All I want to do is leave Argentina – here is my ******* permit” he took the permit and just waved us on. That wasn’t so hard was it?

The Bolivian side of things was much easier. The next window along to the left was Immigration. Just fill in a form and get a stamp.

Bolivian Aduana is to the left of Immigration. You have to queue outside an door and they will call the next person into the office to organize the new temporary permit. No copies were required and it took about 20 minutes.

If you using this border to go the other way Bolivia > Argentina, then you will need to queue up at Immigration on the other side of the road.  The good news is that there is a separate usually smaller queue for vehicle owners – the bad news is that you have to come and queue up on this side for Aduana to get your permit.

There were some bikers coming from Bolivia into Argentina and after getting their entry stamps on the other side of the road they were directed over to our side and they queued with us at the 1st window as directed.  But when they got to the front were told they didn’t need to as this window was solely immigration.  They then went to the Aduana window where they were told they actually needed to get a ‘number’ from the immigration window first….but when they asked them, they said no they couldn’t have a number and told them they didn’t need one….after much confusion the Aduana office let them jump to the front and sorted their vehicle entry permits.

It was almost as if it was everyone’s first day on the job here….everyone gave conflicting information and the process they have in place seemed backwards.  Avoid if possible and use the nicer, quieter border south of Tarija!!

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