Bolivia is a beautiful, geographically diverse, multiethnic, and democratic country in the heart of South America. It is surrounded by Brazil to the northeast, Peru to the northwest, Chile to the southwest, Argentina and Paraguay to the south. It shares with Peru control of Lake Titicaca (Lago Titicaca), the world’s highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805m).
The country has many different landscapes. There are the highlands with rough and icy mountainous areas and volcanoes and then there are dense rainforests in the Amazon basin. Thus the climate is also very diverse. Western Bolivia is generally colder due its high altitude – similar to the Andes highlands. The mean elevation is 1,192 m/ 3910 ft. Bolivia’s climate varies drastically with altitude and from one climatic zone to another. It ranges from humid and tropical to cold and semiarid. In most parts of the country winters are dry and summers are somewhat wet. Despite its tropical latitude, the altitude of cities like La Paz keeps things cool, and warm clothing is advised year-round. The summer months in Bolivia are November through March.
About half of all Bolivians work either in the service sector of the cities. About a quarter of the people each work in the mines or in the agricultural sector. Typical Bolivian food consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, meat such as beef, pork and chicken is also part of the traditional dishes.
What don’t you know:
- A flight to La Paz takes about 17 hours from London, and about 12.5 hours from New York.
- Bolivia is the sixth most diverse country in regards to bird species.
- The national animals of Bolivia are the Andean condor and the llama.
- There are also 36 indigenous languages recognized in Bolivia but the four languages Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Guarani.
- The world’s highest flat salt pan is called Salar de Uyuni and is located at 3,656 m/ 11,995 ft.
Must see places:
- Amboró National Park: This national park in central Bolivia to the west of the city of Santa Cruz is famous for its flora and fauna.
- Altiplano: This is the largest high plateau in the world after Tibet.
- La Paz: Bolivia’s largest city has a scenic location in the Andes mountains and offers many attractions such as the Old Town and Murillo Square
- Sucre: The beautiful historic city is the official national capital. Here the independence from Spain was proclaimed.