Diatom, geochemical and isotopic data provide a record of environmental change in Laguna La Gaiba, lowland Bolivia (17°45′S, 57°35′W), over the last ca. 25 000 years. High-resolution diatom analysis around the Last Glacial–Interglacial Transition provides new insights into this period of change. The full and late glacial lake was generally quite shallow, but with evidence of periodic flooding. At about 13 100 cal a BP, just before the start of the Younger Dryas chronozone, the diatoms indicate shallower water conditions, but there is a marked change at about 12 200 cal a BP indicating the onset of a period of high variability, with rising water levels punctuated by periodic drying. From ca. 11 800 to 10 000 cal a BP, stable, deeper water conditions persisted. There is evidence for drying in the early to middle Holocene, but not as pronounced as that reported from elsewhere in the southern hemisphere tropics of South America. This was followed by the onset of wetter conditions in the late Holocene consistent with insolation forcing. Conditions very similar to present were established about 2100 cal a BP. A complex response to both insolation forcing and millennial-scale events originating in the North Atlantic is noted.