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  • Writer's pictureAussieEspañol

How a Foreigner Became a Tuk-Tuk Owner in Bolivia


Embarking on a thrilling adventure in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, I set out to meet a person I had been in contact with for the past three weeks. The plan was to potentially purchase his tuk-tuk and become a proud owner, ready to explore the wonders of Latin America for the next seven years.

Exploring the Streets of Santa Cruz

Before meeting the seller, I decided to indulge in a delicious lunch. Santa Cruz, known for its affordability, amazed me with the incredible meal I enjoyed, priced at a mere four dollars. As I savored the flavors, I couldn't help but consider the waterproofing of my future tuk-tuk, given Bolivia's notorious rainfall. Despite the occasional flood and lack of irrigation, the vibrant flowers and charming atmosphere of Santa Cruz captivated me.

Journey to the Suburbs

Eager to test drive the tuk-tuk, I made my way south of Santa Cruz on a 20-minute bus ride. Traveling through the suburbs proved to be an adventure in itself, with unexpected sights such as a chicken farm and glimpses of a local lifestyle. The locals were welcoming, adding to the allure of the neighborhood. However, I couldn't help but notice the slippery tiles on the streets, reminding me to tread carefully.

Arriving at the Destination

Navigating through the unfamiliar terrain, I reached a store near my destination. Unfortunately, being without cellular service, I couldn't inform the seller of my arrival. Despite this communication hurdle, the rain had subsided, providing the perfect opportunity for a test drive. Excitement and anticipation filled the air as I finally laid eyes on the tuk-tuk, its beauty shining through.


As I embarked on this remarkable journey in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, my determination to become a tuk-tuk owner and explore Latin America grew stronger. Overcoming challenges such as unpredictable weather and communication barriers, I found myself captivated by the vibrant surroundings and the genuine hospitality of the locals. With the tuk-tuk ready for a test drive, my dreams of adventuring through Latin America were on the verge of becoming a reality.

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