Bolivia has not exactly been the beer lover’s retreat, probably because there are only a few national brands. But one good thing about getting further south on the continent is that the wine is starting to get cheaper, better, and more available.
Depending on which region you are in, the beer popularity changes. There is one major brand in Bolivia, but they make two beers, Paceña, which seems to be popular in North/Eastern Bolivia, and Huari which is more popular in Southern Bolivia.
Each of these beers are nearly the same, but some people claim that the Huari is the better of the two. Either way it is yet another beer you would want to drink cold on a hot day.
While in the Amazon, they had the most interesting way of serving the beers to ensure that they stayed cold.
It was so hot and muggy in the Amazon that the beers would literally sweat just as much as we did and lose all their coolness rapidly. We found that the only way to combat this was to drink them quickly (and order another). But keep in mind that this was all done in the quest to keep the beers at the proper temperature.
Now being budget travelers, and generally cheap, we would also spring for the cheapest wine on the rack, usually around $2-$3 bucks a bottle of Bolivian wine. Now there are some outstanding wines from Chile and Argentina, but we were won over by the much lower price point of the Bolivian wine. OK, so it wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but it did offer a nice relief from the beer.
What Bolivia might lack in interesting and cool beverages, they made up for with tasty street snacks and desserts. While Teresa was visiting, it was not too uncommon to share a bottle of wine and a few slices of cake. It was the perfect answer to the lunch call.
Don’t worry Tee! We carried on this tradition after you left.
Bolivia had an amazing selection of cakes at almost every corner store. Now that we are reflecting on all the treats that we consumed over the last two months, I have decided to only included one more picture to avoid feeling too bad about ourselves.
There also is no shortage of fresh juice joints to get your vitamins, but don’t worry, you can add a sugary treat to counter balance all that nutritional goodness.
If you ever find yourself craving a tasty snack, and you are in Bolivia, just head to the closest local market and you will be guaranteed to find something amazing. I can count how many times we were blown away with the quality and quantity of food you can get for just a few bucks. The chorizo is my favorite, and it would come in a small sandwich with fresh toppings, and cost less than a buck.
Bolivia has a national cheapy brand, similar to Costco’s Kirkland, Safeway’s store brand, and it is called KRIS. Kris was more than excited that her name was well represented, as normally it is only Joe who finds his name everywhere. There was even a whole KRIS store, and they even had her favorite, KRIS ketchup.
Now for my biggest drink mistake in Bolivia. Originally, I thought I was buying a premixed rum and cola (who wouldn’t love that?), but this drink turned out to be coke colored rubbing alcohol and the bottle was mislabeled. Crazy Bolivia.
This small bottle was hard to stomach, it’s hard to imagine that they sell two liter bottles of it. If you find yourself with this product in your procession, I would suggest not drinking it, but you could pour it on any open wound, and you will be guaranteed to be free of infections.
What Bolivia lacks in beer, it more than makes up for with cheap wine, good snacks, incredible desserts, and entertaining people. Bolivia has been one of our favorite stops on our adventure around South America, just don’t expect any of the beer (or “Cuba Libres”) to knock your socks off.
Your assessment seems pretty accurate. I don’t remember you liking one beer pretty much the entire time I was in Bolivia with you guys, but that wine… cheap and delicious. But really, who needs beer when you have fresh orange juice at every turn?
Oh, and I still hate you both. Possibly now more than ever. I await your lovely post on the bike race this weekend.