Few things are more quintessentially Bolivian (definitely not touristy at all) than the classic alpaca outfit, preferably with a plethora of llamas sewn into the design.
Where to buy: Any tourist market in the country or this online store.
A Mamani Mamani masterpiece
As the country’s most renowned artist, Mamani Mamani’s brightly colored works are instantly recognizable to anyone in Bolivia. Don’t have thousands to spare for an original piece? Plenty of prints and posters are available to purchase as well
Is that special someone missing the subtle yet prolonged energy boost that only a mouthful of coca leaves can afford? Then grab them a bag of the good stuff so they can happily chew that lethargy away. Of course, coca leaves are prohibited throughout most of the world so don’t try taking them out of the country.
Where to buy: The Witches Market in La Paz and most other markets in the country.
A folkloric CD
Granted, all the big Bolivian folkloric hits are available for free on YouTube these days. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have a physical CD with the associated artwork as well.
A folkloric outfit
Why settle just for music when you can buy the whole kit and kaboodle in the form of funky folkloric attire. From Caporales to Morenada, there are countless traditional outfits to choose from. Just be prepared to spend big because these do not come cheap.
Where to buy: Calle Los Andes in La Paz sells a dazzling array of folkloric costumes.
A bowler hat and pollera
A full-blown technicolored folkloric costume might be a bit excessive, so consider opting for a more refined cholita outfit instead. Although countless accessories are required to complete the look, the classic pollera (frilly dress), blouse, and bowler hat will suffice.
Where to buy: Plaza Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz in La Paz is akin to an outdoor cholita fashion megastore.
Following the story of a convicted drug smuggler inside La Paz’ most notorious prison, Marching Powder became a best-seller upon its release in 2002 and brought underground prison tours into the mainstream. To be honest, chances are the recipient has already read it so why not try the equally enthralling Bolivian Times instead?
A zebra onesie
Anyone who has been to Bolivia will remember those adorable traffic controlling zebras who courageously risk their lives to ensure children can travel safely through the manic city streets. And anyone who has watched these gallant African mammals in action has secretly wanted to be one. Here’s their chance.
Where to buy: Although it’s not quite the same as the getup they don in Bolivia, this onesie is the next best thing.
This Evo Morales Toy
Love him or hate him, this outrageous headbanging Evo Morales toy is the ultimate Bolivian novelty gift.
Where to buy: This little guy was last seen in the gift shop at the El Alto airport.
Evo Morales | Courtesy of Christoph Bakenecker
A trip to Bolivia
What better gift for someone who loves Bolivia than a trip to Bolivia? Of course, international airfares are rather pricey so try to keep an eye out for off-peak specials.
Where to buy: Skyscanner