Street stalls or local markets are the most fun place to eat in Bolivia – and as long as its made fresh and cooked through, you shouldn’t have any major health worries. Nourishing soups come laden with vegetables, herbs and quinoa – an Andean grain that’s become a health shop favourite in the developed world. In some remote areas, cheese and bread may be the only food on offer.


Apart from beef or lamb, llama meat is sometimes eaten, as well as guinea pig – but it’s more of a tourist novelty than a regular feature on Bolivian menus.


Salteñas are moreish little pasties, filled with meat, cheese or something sweet.


Trout is the main item on the menu up near Lake Titicaca, usually served grilled or stuffed with herbs.


Maté de coca

The standard highland drink is maté de coca is tea made from the coca leaf – you might get it in a refined teabag in a La Paz café, but elsewhere, it’ll just be a few leaves thrust in cup of hot water. It’s not unpleasant, and Bolivianos swear by its medicinal qualities, especially for those suffering from altitude sickness.


Chicha, a fermented corn beer is popular in the highlands, as is Api, a sweet, deep purple drink made from corn; it’s served hot or cold and is surprisingly refreshing.