Bolivia Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Bolivia? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Bolivia
For an introduction to shooting in Bolivia see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Bolivia Film Locations
Bolivia offers a vast array of film locations including the Andes Mountains, Atacama Desert, Amazon rainforest, national parks, salt flats, otherworldly rocky landscapes, bustling cities, Spanish colonial architecture, Jesuit missions, and pre-Columbian ruins.
Agricultural locations of note include coffee and sugarcane plantations, corn, cotton and wheat fields, quinoa farms, as well as a wide range of vegetable and fruit cultivation. Bolivia mines lithium, gold, silver, zinc, and natural gas. Energy locations include thermal power plants, and hydroelectric dams.
Bolivia has hosted films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), Salt and Fire (2016), Che (2008), and The Amazing Race 13 (2008).
Film locations can be divided into the following regions:
This western region includes the departments of La Paz, Oruro, and Potosí.
La Paz. La Paz is the highest capital city in the world at an elevation of 3,640 m (11,942 ft), located against the backdrop of Mt Illimani.
The city’s dramatic skyline is best filmed from Mirador Killi Killi, Parque Laikacota, Mirador Monticulo, Condor Samana, and Mi Teleférico cable car system.
Government buildings include Legislative Palace of Bolivia, Casa Grande del Pueblo, and Palace of Justice.
Plaza Murillo is the central plaza.
Religious buildings include Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, and Basilica of San Francisco.
Calle Jaen is a beautiful colonial street.
Markets of note include Witches’ Market, Mercado Lanza, and Mercado Negro.
La Paz Bus Station was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Sport venues include Hernando Siles Stadium, and Estadio Libertador Simón Bolívar.
San Pedro Prison is renowned for being a society within itself.
Outside of La Paz, other film locations in Altiplano include:
El Alto is the second largest city in Bolivia. It is located adjacent to La Paz and is home to El Alto International Airport.
Valle de la Luna is known for its moonlike landscape of dunes, rugged mountains, and rock formations.
Valle de las Animas is a canyon known for its towering rocks.
North Yungas Road “Death Road” is an extreme 60km cycling route.
Chacaltaya is the world’s highest ski area.
Huayna Potosí is a popular easy mountain for climbers, close to La Paz.
Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real.
Madidi National Park includes an incredible range of ecosystems, from high altitude grasslands to clouds forests, lowland tropical forests to pristine lowland savannas. Jungle (2017) filmed in park in Madidi National Park.
Lake Titikaka is the world’s highest navigable lake.
Cerro Calvario in an interesting eerie location in Copacabana. The location is a rocky lookout lined with large crosses with Lake Titikaka as the backdrop.
Tiwanaku is a pre-Columbian ruin.
Oruro. Sajama National Park in the Andes Mountains is home to Nevado Sajama, Bolivia’s highest point.
Potosí. The high-altitude city of Potosí is known for its silver mining history. Plaza 10 de Noviembre is a square lined with ornate colonial buildings. Of note is the Potosí Cathedral and the San Francisco of Potosi Convent and Temple which offers beautiful city views from its rooftop. The National Mint of Bolivia is an impressive film location. Cerro Rico is a mountain and working silver mine south of the city.
Uyuni is the gateway city to locations including the salt plain Salar de Uyuni and the Great Train Graveyard.
The otherworldly salt lake landscape of Laguna Colorada offers orange-red waters, and Laguna Verde offers green waters.
The Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve is know for volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, lakes, mountains and flamingos. Inside the reserve the Salvador Dalí Desert is a film location that resembles a Salvador Dalí painting.
Sol de Mañana is known for its geothermal fields.
Laguna Hedionda is a salt lake known for its flamingos.
This central and southern region includes the departments of Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and Tarija.
Cochabamba. The city of Cochabamba is located in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is known for its year-round spring-like conditions. Cristo de la Concordia is located just outside of Cochabamba. Carrasco National Park is home to thousands of plant and animal species. Misicuni Dam is located in this department.
Chuquisaca. The city of Sucre is known for Casa de la Libertad, Sucre Cathedral, Monastery de La Recoleta, Templo de San Felipe Neri, and Museo del Convento de Santa.
Tarija. Tariquía Flora and Fauna National Reserve is located in this department.
Tarija is also a well known wine growing region.
This north and eastern region includes the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando.
Santa Cruz. The city of Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia. Film locations include Casa del Pueblo, Municipal City Hall, Cathedral Basilica of St Lawrence, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra Botanical Garden.
El Pantanals, the world’s largest wetland, crosses over into Bolivia.
Amboró National Park has incredible biodiversity owing to its ecosystems including Amazon Rainforests, Chaco Forests, Cloud Forests, and Bolivan Montane dry forests.
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is one of South America’s largest national parks.
Lomas de Arena Regional Park is known for its sand dunes.
The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos are another interesting film location.
Beni. The Aquicuana Reserve is located in this department.
Pando. Manuripi Wildlife Reserve is located in this department.
Bolivia Film Location Permits
The general film permit required for filming around Bolivia and clearing equipment through customs takes about 2 weeks to process. The fee charged depends on the type of shoot (documentary, TVC, TV show, feature film), as well as the amount of time spent in Bolivia. Additional fees for national parks apply. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
The climate varies greatly throughout Bolivia’s diverse regions. In general there are two seasons: The warm, wet summer months are from November to March, and the cold, dry winter months are from April to October. The highlands are cold and snowy in the winter, whereas winter in the south is temperate. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Bolivia is home to a wide variety of colourful events including:
• Alasitas Festival in January.
• Virgen de la Candelaria in Copacabana in February.
• Carnival de Oruro in February / March.
• Pujllay Festival in Tarabuco in March.
• Semana Santa in March / April.
• Tinku in May.
• Fiesta del Gran Poder in La Paz in May / June.
• Aymara New Year in June.
• San Juan Festival in June.
• Cholita Wrestling takes place throughout the year.
Christianity is the main religion, so those holidays are widely observed.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Bolivia.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Local costs such as talent, supporting crew and locations are some of the most competitive in South America. Our Bolivian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Filming infrastructure is limited so some key crew and equipment may need to be brought in from abroad.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Bolivia.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Bolivia has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. For larger productions, key crew should be brought in from abroad. Smaller productions can be handled by Bolivian crews.
Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Bolivia.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Some dedicated casting facilities exist and in some cases street casting may also be required.
Spanish is widely spoken as are dozens of Amerindian languages including Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani.
Bolivia has the largest percentage of indigenous peoples in the Americas. Most citizens are of Amerindian (mainly Quechuas, Aymaras, and Guarani) and Mestizo descent. There is also a small Caucasian, Arab and Asian population if required for background roles. English speaking talent may need to be brought in from abroad. Aymara people have doubled as Tibetans as seen in Seven Years in Tibet (1997).
Bolivia Film Equipment
Equipment. Basic camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally. All else needs to be brought in from abroad, especially camera equipment.
Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.
Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.
For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department teams are talented with plenty of costumes and props for local and period looks available. Set construction crews are inexpensive.
Studios and backlots. No purpose-built film studios exist at present.
Post Production. Post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Most Western passport holders can enter Bolivia visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Crew travelling on US passports are required to apply for tourist visas in the US or can obtain a visa on arrival at additional cost. Contact your local Bolivian embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are in a fair condition. Rural roads are slower going and in a poor condition. Our Bolivian service producer / fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport. Several international airlines service flights to Bolivia.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in La Paz include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Traditional dishes of note include pique macho, salteña, fricasé, fritanga de cerdo, chicharrón de cerdo, chorizo chuquisaqueño, saice, pampaku, anticucho, api con pastel, sopa de maní, jankaquipa, mondongo, multivitaminico, and k’ala phurka.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Bolivia, please see below:
Hire Bolivia Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Bolivia, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Bolivia, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
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