Bolivia, like many South American countries, is divided into several geographical zones, each of which has its own distinct climate. There is the high-altitude Andes in the west, with a climate similar to the Andean region of Peru, the lush hot and humid rainforest in the north, and the savanna region in the south and east, which is largely covered by the Gran Chaco and is predominantly semi-arid with little tree cover.
On a plateau in the foothills of the Andes, conditions in La Paz are a good indication of what the weather is like in the region in general. The city's high elevation means that days stay nice and cool for exploring, with maximum temperatures nudging 54°F (12°C). You'll need warm layers for sub-zero nights, with lows of around 28°F (-2°C). Days are often gloriously bright, with crisp light perfect for photography once the morning musts have lifted. The higher you venture into the Andes, the colder things can feel: on Lake Titicaca and Salar de Uyuni, temperatures can dip as low as 21°F (-6°C) at night.
On the border with Brazil in the north, Cobija is a solid reference point for the weather in the rainforest region. June is a fantastic time to visit the Amazon, with lots of dry weather (just four days of rain on average), making it far easier to spot wildlife than during the wetter months. The other bonus is the temperature: the heat is more bearable thanks to lower humidity and slightly lower temperatures. Expect highs of around 86°F (30°C) and lows of 63°F (17°C).
Santa Cruz is roughly representative of the savanna region as a whole. Come in June, and you'll enjoy predominantly bright and pleasantly warm temperatures suitable for exploring, with average highs hitting 73°F (23°C) and lows of 59°F (15°C). The sun shines for around seven hours per day, and there is less rain (about seven days) than during the summer months, though you should be prepared for the odd shower.
Crowds & Costs
June is arguably one of the best months to discover Bolivia, with reliable conditions for exploring and making the most of outdoor activities in the vast majority of the country. Things are picking up because of the dry, bright, warm weather, but the crowds of peak season (July and August) have yet to arrive, which means you might still be able to snag a deal for tours and accommodation. Bear in mind, however, that rooms are scarce, and prices skyrocket at festival times, especially the countrywide fiesta for San Juan (June 2).
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Where to Go
You couldn't pick a finer month to strike out into the Andes than June, with clear skies and lots of sunshine showing off these incredible mountains at their best. If you're using La Paz as your base, factor in a day or two to experience the city's burgeoning food scene, compelling museums and galleries, and colorful markets.
There's plenty of partying during the San Juan festivities (June 24). The first rays of the sun at the winter solstice bring fascinating indigenous celebrations to the Pre-Columbian ruins of Tiwanaku near Lake Titicaca. Now is also a great time to tour the dazzlingly white and surreally beautiful Salar de Uyuni, the world's most extensive salt flats. Make sure you pack layers for crisp, starry nights when temperatures regularly drop below zero.
You're here to see the wildlife. Well, June is a great month to do just that. With the rains easing up, the Amazon is now far more accessible. Slightly cooler (less sticky) weather and drier days make this an appealing time to plan a boat trip along the Río Beni or Río Mamoré. With the peak season just starting to click into gear, June doesn't see crowds in the same numbers as July and August either, so you might be able to get a good deal on your tour. Rurrenabaque is a laid-back gateway to the jungle, while colonial Trinidad has more big city appeal.
Largely dry, warm, sunny days prevail on the plains and lowlands of Bolivia in June. Santa Cruz is a characterful city for a culture fix, with its colonial heritage and bustling, music-filled street life. Northeast of here is Chiquitania and its Unesco World Heritage Jesuit missions. Moving south instead brings you to Valle de la Concepción, near the border with Argentina, where wine thrives in some of the world's highest vineyards. The hills in the vicinity also offer some excellent hiking to hidden Inca sites.
What to Do
June is hands-down one of the best months to visit the Bolivian Amazon. The dry weather is ramping up wildlife spotting opportunities, and marginally cooler temperatures take the sweat out of exploring. While visitor numbers are slowly increasing as the peak season approaches, you can still sidestep the crowds and take advantage of good deals on accommodation and tours.
The chilled-out town of Rurrenabaque is the gateway to the rainforest and pampas, with boat trips on the Río Beni (keep an eye out for macaws, capybaras, piranhas, and pink dolphins). It's a short hop west to the unmissable and extraordinarily biodiverse Madidi National Park—one of the world's most unique ecosystems, reaching from sultry rainforest to Andean peaks. Or you can access the rainforest from the tropical city of Trinidad, with its colonial architecture and colonnades.
Wide-open skies of blue and crisp, cool days are perfect for outdoor pursuits like hiking and mountain biking in the Andes in June. Before setting off for the heights, perhaps squeeze in a day or two in La Paz to take in some museums (Ethnography Museum and Plaza Museum of Contemporary Art), markets, and street life, and tap into the city's ever-evolving and increasingly exciting food scene.
You can test your nerve (and breaks!) downhill biking one of the world's most dangerous roads through the forest-cloaked mountains of the Yungas to Coroico if you dare. Lake Titicaca is glorious at this time of year—base yourself in Copacabana and day trip it to the pre-Hispanic ruins of Tiwanaku and enchanting Isla del Sol. The Salar de Uyuni's vast and magnificent salt flats are at their accessible best now the rains have dried up.
Santa Cruz is a delight if you're craving some culture, with its colonial architecture and colonnades, sacred and contemporary art museums, vibrant street life, and botanical gardens. From the relaxed little town of Vallegrande, you can hike in the Andean foothills and explore the trail of Che Guevara's last days. Stay in Tarija, and you can easily venture out into the high-altitude vineyards of Valle de la Concepción, pausing en route for tastings.
Events in June
Santísima Trinidad (Festival of the Holy Trinity), Trinidad. Held on a different date in June each year, the city of Trinidad parties hard at this huge fiesta, with flamboyantly costumed parades, bullfights, and much merrymaking.
Corpus Christi, Potosí. This Christian feast in mid-June is embraced with particular enthusiasm in the mining town of Potosí, with mass and street processions.
San Juan, nationwide. On June 24, one of the coldest days of the year, the whole country celebrates the feast day of St John with bonfires, fireworks, and much partying. The biggest fiesta is in Santa Cruz, while the nearby village of Porongo is famous for its firewalkers.
Winter equinox, Tiwanaku. On June 21, the winter solstice brings indigenous leaders to the ancient ruins of Tiwanaku on the shores of Lake Titicaca for the return of the new sun.
Traveling to Bolivia in June? Check out these great itineraries
Bolivia & Atacama, Chile - 12 Days. Get ready for some of Andean South America's ultimate extremes: the world's highest capital city, the surreal salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, and the otherworldly Atacama Desert: one of the driest places on the planet.
Tupiza to Uyuni: Off the Beaten Track Adventure - 7 Days. Start off in surreal canyon country, full of weirdly eroded rock formations, then visit the pink-tinged waters of Laguna Colorada and the salt desert of Salar de Uyuni.