We were thankful to arrive in Copacabana, Bolivia after having a mix-up at immigration on the border of Peru and Bolivia. When we got off the bus at border control we thought everything was in order with our documents, but on the Peruvian side, they would not let us leave the country. We asked them why and they said I had overstayed my visa. I didn’t quite understand so I asked them how that could be and they informed me to look at my passport and see that when I entered the country the border patrol agent had stamped my passport and wrote in “60” days next to the stamp. I couldn’t even tell it said “60” and I thought it was the border patrol agent’s signature. They wanted me to pay a fine because I had overstayed my visa and I told them they hadn’t even asked me when I entered Peru how long of a visa I would need, typically it was 90 days, but the agents didn’t want to help me out so I had to pay a large fine which ate into a good chunk of my travel money so I was very upset.
Always remember when entering any country, make sure the border patrol agent grants you the full amount of time that country will allow you to stay within that country. If it’s for 90 days make sure that is what is written in your passport and not 60 days! It was taking us twice as long to get through the border crossing as everyone else on our bus so even though we were having issues with our exit from Peru and our entrance into Bolivia, our bus wouldn’t wait for us and they left without us while we were still in line on the Bolivian side of the border! My friend Joni and I were in disbelief that our bus had just left us there and what was worse was that our backpacks were on the bus continuing onto Copacabana and we were still being held at the border!
While waiting in Bolivia trying to get stamped into the country along with making sure we got a visa for a long enough stay, all I could think about was how my luggage was on a bus that I was not and I might have just lost everything because my luggage might be stolen since I wasn’t there. Once we completed everything at the Bolivian border crossing and got stamped into the country along with a long enough visa, we had to take a taxi to Copacabana. Luckily, Copacabana is just across the border of Peru and Bolivia so the ride was short and by pure luck, the bus was still at the bus terminal! We were able to collect our bags and then slowly calm down and relax after the frustration that we felt at the border as I had so much adrenaline pumping through my body!
Even though you can’t always plan for everything or something might happen when you least expect it, the only thing you can do in certain situations is to relax and go with the flow! When you travel, anything can happen that you haven’t planned for so you just have to keep an open mind and know, that even though you might be feeling frustrated at that moment you are currently experiencing, but it really is just one of the treasures of traveling you will look back on in the future and reminisce about that time you were stopped at a border crossing and had to pay a fine because you overstayed your visa!
View the Google Map below and see where this Border Crossing is located at.