Bolivia Fast Facts

Bolivia Fast Facts

Bolivia is located in South America, bordering Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The country is one of the poorest countries in South America and is particularly interesting because of its landscape. The impressive Andes, the world’s largest salt lake, Lake Titicaca, beautiful, colorful lagoons – there are so many beautiful and impressive landscapes to discover here. See andyeducation for education in Bolivia.

Capital City Sucre
Size 1,098,581 km²
Resident 10,600,000
Official Language Spanish, Aymara, Quechua
Currency Boliviano
Time Zone UTC-4
Telephone Area Code +591

Fast facts to know

  • 60% of the inhabitants are indigenous, descendants of the original population.
  • 90 percent of Bolivians profess to be Roman Catholic.
  • Traditional rites or offerings widespread.
  • More than 30 indigenous languages, which are also recognized as official languages.
  • In Bolivia, you only get a little ahead with English.
  • One of the poorest countries in South America.
  • Bolivia lives in a typical two-class society.
  • No visa required for up to 3 months, but passport must still be valid for at least 6 months.
  • Passport must always be carried!
  • International certificate of yellow fever vaccination mandatory, vaccination must be given no later than ten days before entry.
  • Consultation of a tropical doctor is recommended before starting the journey.
  • 200 different varieties of potatoes are cultivated.
  • The country’s bus network is well developed, and the roads are often in poor condition.

Exciting cities in Bolivia

  • La Paz, highest city in the world.
  • Potosí, the silver city.
  • Sucre, the white city.
  • Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
  • Copacabana on Lake Titicaca.
  • Tiahuanaco.

History of Bolivia

  • Populated by different cultures, the most important: Tiahuanaco.
  • Part of the Inca Empire in the 15th century.
  • Conquered by Spain in the 16th century and subsequently exploited mainly for the silver.
  • Part of the Viceroyalty of Peru and later part of the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata.
  • 1809 beginning struggle for independence.
  • 1825 Independence from Spain.
  • Many wars, among others, against Chile, Argentina, Paraguay with subsequent economic decline.
  • Place of refuge for many Jews during World War II.
  • Revolutions and military coups until 1980.
  • Incipient democratization.
  • A constitution adopted by the people since 2009.

Climate & travel weather in Bolivia

  • Climate depends on altitude through the Andes.
  • Rainy season: November – April.
  • Dry season: May – October.
  • Andes: high mountain climate, in lowlands: tropical climate.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • June – September.
    • Better to avoid the rainy season.

Note: 2016 was one of the hottest years in Bolivia in the last 100 years. A state of emergency has just been declared due to the heat, drought and water shortages! More about this here.

Ideas for trips in Bolivia

  • Mountaineering and Hiking in Bolivia.
  • Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca.
  • Death Road of Yungas.
  • Madidi National Park.
  • Tiahuanaco ruins.
  • Pre-Columbian fortress of Samaipata.

Eating & drinking in Bolivia

  • Rich but rather simple cuisine.
  • Regionally adapted to the variety of own agricultural products and ingredients.
  • Dishes very spicy, especially at higher altitudes also very spicy.
  • Potatoes are the most important ingredient (but corn, quinoa and rice are often served as well).
  • Many dishes consist of beef and fresh vegetables.
  • Likes to process chicken, beef, llama and rabbit meat.
  • Popular drinks: coffee, maté de coca, corn tea, local beers.
  • Clear brandy Singani as a basis for cocktails, the most popular high-proof brandy Chicha Cochabambina (distilled from corn).
  • Typical dishes:
    • Majao (also majadito, rice and beef).
    • Locro (chicken soup with rice and banana).
    • Empanadas (meat or vegetable dumplings).
    • Peanut butter soup with corn, beans and melted cheese.
    • Grilled Cuy (guinea pig).
    • Trout from the crystal clear mountain rivers or Lake Titicaca.
    • Silpancho (meat with rice and potatoes).
    • Pacumutu (Rice dish with grilled beef, fried yucca and cheese).
    • llajhua (spicy condiment, mixture with finely chopped herbs, onions in hot as hell peppercorn juice).

Particularly scenic

  • Lake Titicaca.
  • Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world.
  • Laguna Verde, Laguna Roja, Laguna Colorada, Laguna Blanca.
  • Andean landscape.
  • Sol de Mañana geyser field.
  • Stone tree Arbol de Piedra.
  • Noel Kempff Mercado National Park.

Bolivia Fast Facts