Amigos de Sucre

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Archive for the ‘Hotels’ Category

Where to stay when the roads are blocked

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

When I visited Bolivia I was lucky for two reasons:

1. The trip had been organised by people who had been there before

2. I had friends there who helped me with any difficult situations

This was important, as part of the trip had to be brought forward by a day due to a possible strike or road-block.

Quite what the reason was I don’t remember, but I was lucky because using our connections we were able to re-arrange travel to and accommodation in Potosí at short notice.

But what do you do if you’re travelling on your own and don’t know who to ask for help? What happens if, as often happens in some parts of Bolivia, there is a sudden strike and the roads get blocked? What happens if your flight gets cancelled and you have to stay in a town like Santa Cruz or La Paz for another night when all your friends live in Sucre?

Bolivia is not exactly a mainstream tourist country, so many online booking sites do not give much coverage to it. One that does, however, is called Hotels Combined.

Hotels Combined is a site that allows you to search for hotels in a particular city, although you do not actually book the hotel through them. They are collating the information from different booking systems to give you a one-stop search system – and this gives them the advantage of being able to give more comprehensive cover for Bolivia.

I wondered what would happen if I was stuck in Sucre this evening and looking for a room for tonight. Not only did they find me one – at a hotel called “Cruz de Popayán” – but it would only cost me $17!

Of course, I could have used the official Sucre website – but this only gives a list of hotels with telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and some websites. No prices, and no availability. Oh, and it’s all in Spanish too – which doesn’t worry me too much, but I’m sure not every visitor to Bolivia can speak it.

So Hotels Combined would have saved me both time and money (and is available in 12 languages)! Now I’d just have to find my way to the hotel, check-in and sit down for the evening with the local newspaper to see how long those road-blocks are likely to last…


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