Bolivia

Country Profile

Bolivia is an incredibly diverse landlocked country that has an amazing vibe which has to be experienced by those in search of a real adventure. The country mostly lives at high altitudes so be prepared to take your time adapting to this place.


Time Zone > Bolivia Time

Main Languages > Spanish, Quechua & Aymara

Calling Code > +591

Vaccinations > Yellow Fever,  Tetanus & Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A (Advised)


simon-bolivar
Simon Bolivar

 What’s in a name?

Bolivia’s name comes from the revolutionary political & military leader Simon Bolivar who helped to win independence for the country in 1825.



Map



Money

Bolivia’s currency is called the Boliviano.

boliviano-monedas
The coins are in nominations of 10, 20 & 50 Centavos and 1, 2 & 5 Bolivianos

image source

700_boliviano
The notes come in nominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 & 200 Bolivianos

image source



Plug Type

As with most of South America, plug type C is widely used.

c_plug
Type C Plug



People

pachamama

Bolivian society is made up of four main ethnic groups. Quechuas and Aymaras make up the biggest portion with over half of the population, with Chiquitano and Guaraní making up the remainder of Bolivia.



Customs

coca-tea
The Cure to Altitude Sickness
Coca Tea

Due to most of the country being at high altitude, coca tea is consumed to cope with altitude sickness. Coca leaves are added to hot water and once the leaves absorb the water and sink to the bottom, it’s ready to drink. Say goodbye to altitude sickness!


llama-fetus
Llama Fetuses sold at a stall
Llama Fetuses

At many stalls and markets throughout Bolivia, dried llama fetuses are sold. The fetuses are burned & their ashes buried under houses as an offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth) for protection.



Cities

la-paz
La Paz with Illimani in the background
La Paz

It’s the country’s capital and also the highest capital city in the world at 3,650m above sea level. The city is surrounded by high mountain peaks such as Illimani aka. ‘the Guardian of La Paz’ which stands at 6,438m.


cristo-cochabamba
Christ statue in Cochabamba
Cochabamba

The central city of Cochabamba is famous for having the largest statue of Christ in the world.


sucre
Central Sucre
Sucre

The city of Sucre in the south, is where the country’s declaration of independence was signed. It’s also known as ‘the White City’ & ‘the Silver’.


santa-cruz
View of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

In the east is Santa Cruz. It’s one of the fastest growing cities & the main commercial hub of the country.



 Within Bolivia

salar-de-uyuni2
The spellbounding Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni

The Salar de Uyuni is a mind blowing salt flat which stunning to behold. It’s one of the most visited places in the country. Currently, it’s a hot topic for debate as it holds a very large deposit of lithium which is used to make mobile phone batteries.


lake-titicaca
In between two countries
Lake Titicaca

This beautiful lake separates Bolivia from Peru & at 3,812m above sea level. It is the highest navigable lake on Earth. It’s also the largest lake in the whole continent of South America. Incas consider the lake to be very sacred as it’s where they believe the world was created from.


yungas-road
A very dangerous road
Yungas Road

For those of us who are brave enough to travel it, Yungas Road is considered to be the world’s most dangerous road. With steep drops, a poor surface, heavy traffic, bad weather & a lack of safety barriers it’s easy to see why.


potosi-mine
Silver mine in Potosi
Potosi Mines

Here the Spanish Empire made it’s wealth by mining silver inside the mines of Potosi. Countless lives have been lost mining this precious metal at an altitude of over 4,000m above sea level.


san-pedro-prison
The notorious San Pedro
San Pedro Prison

In the centre of the capital La Paz lies San Pedro Prison. A prison made famous by a book ‘Marching Powder’ and with a working economy inside where prisoners must pay their way within it’s walls.


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2 thoughts on “Bolivia

  1. I enjoyed that alot. Obviously, it is in a ‘nut shell’ but I like that overall view before heading out there myself. Thanks globe stepper

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