5 min read

Oruro Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Oruro, Bolivia in 2024?

Planning a trip to Bolivia? Oruro, known for its global Carnival, may intrigue you. Concerned about safety? Here's what you need to ensure a secure, enjoyable visit.

Tobi Miles
March 29, 2024
Oruro Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Oruro, Bolivia in 2024?

Safety concerns can vary widely from one place to another, and Oruro is no exception. Understanding the local dynamics, from petty crime rates to areas best avoided after dark, is crucial. We're here to provide you with the insights you need, so you can focus on experiencing the vibrant culture and breathtaking sights Oruro has to offer, without unnecessary worry.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Local Crime Rates: Oruro is relatively safer compared to larger Bolivian cities, with lower rates of violent crimes but a moderate risk of petty theft, especially in tourist-centric events like the Carnival.
  • Stay Vigilant in Crowded Places: Keeping belongings secure and being cautious in crowded areas, such as markets and during festivals, significantly reduces the risk of becoming a target for petty crimes.
  • Adopt Night-Time Safety Measures: Limit exploration to well-lit, populated areas at night and avoid solo excursions in less-frequented neighborhoods to enhance safety.
  • Use Safe Transportation Options: Opt for official taxis or reputable ride-sharing apps, and verify their authenticity to prevent transportation-related scams and ensure a safer travel experience.
  • Be Informed and Prepared: Staying informed about local areas, securing belongings, avoiding flashy displays of wealth, and leveraging local knowledge and technology can considerably improve your safety and enjoyment in Oruro.

Safety Overview of Oruro

When planning your visit to Oruro, you're likely curious about the safety of the city, especially if you're aiming to experience its world-renowned Carnival. It's crucial to note that, like any popular tourist destination, Oruro has its share of safety concerns, but with informed precautions, your trip can be both memorable and secure.

Petty Crime Rates: It's no secret that tourist-heavy areas are often targets for petty crimes such as pickpocketing or bag snatching. While Oruro is relatively safer compared to larger Bolivian cities, staying vigilant is key. Recent data indicates that tourists who keep their belongings secure and are cautious in crowded places significantly reduce their risk of being targeted.

Night-Time Safety: Exploring Oruro after dark requires additional caution. Certain neighborhoods, particularly those less frequented by tourists, can pose higher risks after sunset. It's advisable to stick to well-lit, busy streets and avoid solo excursions at night.

Crime Type


Petty Theft

Moderately Low

Violent Crime


Tourist Targetted Crime

Low to Moderate

Local Law Enforcement: The Bolivian police are responsive, and in Oruro, there's a noticeable effort to safeguard tourists, especially during festivity periods. Nonetheless, it's prudent to have the contact information of your country's embassy or consulate at hand.

Health and Environmental Concerns: Besides personal safety, it's essential to consider health and environmental factors. Oruro's high altitude can catch visitors off-guard. Acclimating to the altitude and staying hydrated are crucial steps to ensure your physical well-being does not detract from your experience.

By arming yourself with this knowledge and staying alert, you'll be better equipped to navigate Oruro safely. Your adventure in exploring the rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking landscapes of Oruro awaits, with safety considerations securely in check.

Crime Rates in Oruro

When contemplating a visit to Oruro, especially during its world-renowned Carnival, understanding the local crime rates is crucial. Here, you'll get an insightful look into what to expect and how to prepare for a safer experience.

Oruro, like many bustling cultural hubs, experiences its share of petty crime. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the most common issues, particularly in crowded areas such as markets, festivals, and public transportation venues. However, violent crimes are significantly less common, making Oruro a relatively safer choice for tourists seeking the vibrant cultural experiences Bolivia has to offer.

To put it into perspective, recent data highlights the differences in crime rates between Oruro and larger cities in Bolivia:

Crime Type


La Paz

Santa Cruz

Petty Theft



Very High





Violent Crimes








These statistics underscore Oruro's relatively safer environment, especially when it comes to serious crimes. Nevertheless, it's important to stay vigilant, especially during large gatherings like the Carnival, where opportunities for petty crimes increase.

Safety tips to keep in mind include:

  • Always keep your belongings secure and within sight.
  • Avoid displaying expensive gadgets or jewelry in crowded places.
  • Stay in well-lit and populated areas during the night.
  • Utilize safe transportation options, especially when returning from night-time festivities.

Being informed about the local crime rates and taking the necessary precautions can significantly enhance your safety in Oruro. With these measures in place, you can focus more on enjoying the cultural splendors and less on worrying about potential security issues.

Tips for Staying Safe in Oruro

Safety in Oruro, like in any travel destination, is vital for ensuring an enjoyable visit. By adopting smart travel habits, you can significantly mitigate risks and focus on absorbing the vibrant culture and festivities. Here are practical tips curated from data and seasoned travelers’ advice:

Stay Informed About Local Areas
Firstly, familiarize yourself with the areas you plan to visit. Some neighborhoods have higher safety ratings than others. According to the Oruro Safety Index, the central areas, especially those frequented by tourists, maintain a higher level of security compared to outskirts. Leverage local knowledge by asking hotel staff or local guides about places to avoid, especially after dark.

Secure Your Belongings
Petty crime like pickpocketing is the most common risk, particularly in crowded settings like the Carnival. Consider using money belts or anti-theft backpacks. Always be mindful of your personal belongings in public spaces.

Avoid Flashy Displays of Wealth
Displaying expensive jewelry, gadgets, or large amounts of cash can attract unwanted attention. Keep valuables to a minimum and use discretion when in public areas.

Use Only Safe Transportation
Opt for reputable transportation services. Official taxis are safer than random street taxis. If possible, have your hotel call a cab for you or use a well-known ride-sharing app. When using public transportation, stay alert and keep your belongings secure.

Method of Transportation

Safety Tip

Official Taxis

Always verify the taxi number and driver ID.

Public Transportation

Avoid rush hours to reduce the risk of pickpocketing.


Stay in well-lit, populated areas at night.

Travel with a Buddy
There’s safety in numbers. Whenever possible, explore Oruro with a friend or in a group, especially during the evening or when attending large public events.

By adhering to these guidelines, you’re setting yourself up for a safer and more enjoyable visit to Oruro. Stay vigilant, but don't forget to immerse yourself in the incredible experiences Oruro has to offer.

Areas to Avoid in Oruro

When you're planning your visit to Oruro, certain areas demand extra caution or are best avoided altogether. Knowing where these spots are can make your trip safer and more enjoyable.

Central Market and Bus Terminal: These bustling hubs are magnets for pickpockets and petty thieves. The Central Market, while a kaleidoscope of local culture, sees a higher incidence of theft due to its crowded nature. Similarly, the bus terminal, especially at night, can be risky due to reduced security and lower visibility. Staying vigilant and keeping your belongings secure are must-do practices in these areas.

Outskirts and Poorly Lit Areas: Like many cities, Oruro's outskirts or any poorly lit streets should be traversed with caution. These areas are less frequented by tourists and thus, may not be as well-patrolled by local law enforcement. Avoid walking alone at night and always opt for safer, well-lit routes.

During Large Festivals: Oruro is famous for its Carnival, a spectacular event that attracts visitors worldwide. However, the sheer volume of people can lead to increased opportunities for theft and scams. Stay in groups, be wary of unsolicited help, and keep your belongings close.

To give you a clearer picture, here's a brief overview of areas based on safety concerns:


Safety Concerns

Central Market

High risk of pickpocketing

Bus Terminal

Increased theft at night


Lower police presence

Poorly Lit Areas

Higher risk of petty crime

During Large Festivals

Spikes in theft and scams

Armed with this knowledge, you're better prepared to navigate Oruro safely. Keep these tips in mind, stay aware of your surroundings, and you'll have a much more secure and enjoyable experience.

Enjoying Oruro Safely

Oruro, a city with a vibrant culture and rich history, attracts visitors from around the globe, especially during the famous Carnival. However, like any travel destination, it's crucial to stay informed about safety precautions to fully enjoy what Oruro has to offer without unnecessary risks.

First and foremost, timing is everything. The Carnival period, while spectacular, sees a spike in visitor numbers and, unfortunately, petty crimes. Planning your visit outside this peak time can offer a quieter, potentially safer experience. Yet, if the Carnival is on your bucket list, enhancing your personal security measures—like using money belts and keeping valuables out of sight—can make all the difference.

Understanding the geography of Oruro is key to navigating it safely. The city is divided into zones, some safer than others. Research and local advice can guide you towards the more secure neighborhoods. Additionally, always opt for recommended transportation options. Reliable taxi services or transportation apps are your safest bet, especially at night.

Local scams are another aspect to be wary of. Tourists can sometimes be easy targets for various scams. Being cautious with your belongings and staying alert in crowded places will help mitigate these risks. It's also wise to familiarize yourself with common scams beforehand to recognize and avoid them.

Culturally, Oruro is welcoming, but respecting local customs and dress codes can also play a part in your safety. Blending in rather than standing out can prevent unwanted attention. Furthermore, staying informed about local news and safety advisories is vital. Changes in the political and social landscape can affect safety conditions.

Lastly, leveraging technology can enhance your security. Apps that allow you to share your location with friends or family and access local emergency numbers can be incredibly beneficial. Remember, preparation and vigilance are your best tools for a secure and enjoyable visit to Oruro.


Oruro offers a vibrant cultural experience that's truly enriching. By staying alert, following local advice, and using smart travel strategies, you'll navigate the city with confidence. Remember, safety in Oruro, as in any travel destination, largely depends on your preparations and actions. Embrace the adventure that awaits in Oruro with these safety tips in mind, and you're sure to have an unforgettable journey. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Oruro to ensure safety?

Visiting Oruro outside of peak times, like during the Carnival, can help reduce the risk of encountering petty crimes. Opt for less crowded times to enjoy the city's offerings more securely.

How can visitors navigate Oruro safely?

Familiarizing yourself with the city's geography and opting for recommended transportation services are key. Utilizing maps and technology can also aid in safer navigation through Oruro.

Are there specific security measures visitors should take in Oruro?

Yes, visitors are advised to use personal security measures such as securing their belongings, staying in well-lit areas at night, and being cautious of their surroundings to mitigate risks.

What should visitors be aware of to avoid local scams in Oruro?

Awareness and caution are crucial. Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers and stay informed about common local scams to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities.

How important is it to respect local customs and dress codes in Oruro?

Respecting local customs and dress codes is very important in Oruro. It helps visitors blend in and reduces the likelihood of drawing unwanted attention or offending local sensibilities.

Why is staying informed about safety advisories important in Oruro?

Staying informed about safety advisories ensures that visitors are up-to-date with the latest safety information and guidelines, helping them make informed decisions about their travel and activities in Oruro.

How can technology enhance safety for visitors in Oruro?

Technology can greatly enhance safety by providing access to local maps, emergency services, and real-time safety advisories. Apps and mobile services can also facilitate easier communication and navigation throughout the city.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 29, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes

You may also like...


Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes