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Bolivia

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, and bustling cities. 

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. Industrial locations of note include lithium, gold, silver and zinc mines, as well as natural gas facilities.

Bolivia has hosted films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), Che (2008), and Salt and Fire (2016).

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Altiplano

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). Locations of interest include Plaza Murillo, San Francisco Church has an impressive courtyard, National Congress, Presidential Palace, Calle Jaen, Witches’ Market, La Paz bus station, and San Pedro Prison (renowned for being a society within itself). The city’s dramatic location is best filmed from Mirador Killi Killi, Parque Laikacota, Mirador Monticulo, Condor Samana, and Mi Teleférico (the aerial cable car system).

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 often requested extreme sports location.

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.

Sub-Andean Bolivia

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.

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.

Tropical Lowlands

This north and eastern region includes the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando.

Santa Cruz. The city of Santa Cruz is known for the Cathedral Basilica of St. Lawrence.

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 (January)
• Virgen de la Candelaria in Copacabana (February 2nd)
• Carnival de Oruro (February / March)
• Pujllay Festival in Tarabuco (March 12th)
• Semana Santa (March / April)
• Tinku (May)
• Fiesta del Gran Poder in La Paz (May / June)
• Aymara New Year (June 21)
• San Juan Festival (June 24)
• Cholita Wrestling takes place throughout the year

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. Most citizens are of Amerindian (mainly Aymaras, Quechuas, and Guarani) and Mestizo descent. There is also a small Caucasian, Arab and Asian population if required for background roles. English speaking talent needs to be brought in from abroad. Aymara people can be adapted to play Tibetans as seen in Seven Years in Tibet (1997). Some dedicated casting facilities exist and in some cases street casting may also be required.

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:

Casa Grande
Camino Real
Hotel Europa

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Visit Salar de Uyuni.

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.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.