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Location:Central South America, southwest of Brazil
Area:1,098,581 sq km
Population:11,758,869 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, foreign languages 2.4%, none 0.1%; note - Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including a few that are extinct (2001 est.)
Religion:Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 14.5%, Adventist 2.5%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.2%, agnostic 0.3%, atheist 0.8%, other 3.5%, none 6.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2018 est.)
Things to Do
1. Exploring Salar de Uyuni
Visit the largest salt flat in the world and marvel at the otherworldly landscape.
2. Hiking in the Cordillera Real
Embark on a challenging trek through the stunning mountain range.
3. Discovering the Witches' Market in La Paz
Explore the market filled with traditional herbs, potions, and amulets.
4. Visiting Tiwanaku Archaeological Site
Uncover the ancient ruins and learn about the history of the Tiwanaku civilization.
5. Taking a Boat Ride on Lake Titicaca
Sail through the highest navigable lake in the world and visit the floating islands.
6. Mountain Biking on the Death Road
Experience an adrenaline-pumping ride along the infamous Yungas Road.
7. Birdwatching in Madidi National Park
Spot a diverse range of bird species in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.
8. Exploring the Silver Mines of Potosi
Take a guided tour into the depths of the mines and learn about the history of silver mining.
9. Attending the Oruro Carnival
Witness the vibrant traditional dances and colorful costumes during the annual carnival.
10. Climbing Huayna Potosi
Conquer the stunning ice-capped peak of Huayna Potosi, one of Bolivia's tallest mountains.
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Bolivia has a diverse climate due to its varying topography. The western highlands, which include the cities of La Paz and Cochabamba, have a cool and temperate climate with temperatures averaging around 10-15 degrees Celsius. The eastern lowlands, which include the cities of Santa Cruz and Trinidad, have a hot and humid climate with temperatures averaging around 27-32 degrees Celsius. The rainy season in the western highlands is typically from November to March, while the rainy season in the eastern lowlands is typically from April to November.
The temperature in Bolivia varies depending on the region and time of year. In the western highlands, temperatures average around 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and can drop to below freezing at night. In the eastern lowlands, temperatures average around 27-32 degrees Celsius (80-90 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and can be quite humid. It is important to note that temperatures can vary greatly depending on the altitude and location, so it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Bolivia depends on your travel plans and what you want to see and do. The months of May to October are considered the best time to visit the western highlands, as the weather is dry and mild, making it the perfect season for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and sightseeing. The months of November to April are considered the best time to visit the eastern lowlands, as the weather is hot and humid, making it the perfect season for activities such as wildlife spotting, bird watching, and river rafting.
Bolivia offers a wide range of accommodation options, including luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, and budget-friendly hotels. Luxury hotels are typically found in major cities such as La Paz and Santa Cruz and offer amenities such as spas, swimming pools, and restaurants. Mid-range hotels are also widely available in major cities and offer comfortable accommodations at a more affordable price. Budget-friendly hotels are also widely available, especially in major cities and tourist destinations, and offer basic accommodations at a lower price point.
Hostels are a popular accommodation option for backpackers and budget travelers. They offer shared dormitory-style rooms at a lower price point and often have communal areas and kitchens. Hostels can be found in major cities and tourist destinations throughout Bolivia.
Guesthouses are another budget-friendly accommodation option and can be found in many towns and villages throughout Bolivia. They typically offer private rooms and may have shared bathrooms or a shared kitchen. Guesthouses are a great option for travelers looking for a more authentic and local experience.
Camping is a popular option for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers. There are several campgrounds and RV parks in Bolivia, many of which are located in national parks and protected areas. Some campgrounds have basic amenities such as toilets and showers, while others are more primitive. It's important to check the availability and services before heading out for camping.
Homestays are a unique accommodation option that allows travelers to stay with a local family and experience the culture and lifestyle of a particular region. Homestays can be found in many rural and remote areas of Bolivia and are a great option for travelers looking for an authentic and immersive experience.
Air travel is the most convenient and efficient way to travel within Bolivia, with many domestic airlines offering flights between major cities such as La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, and Sucre. Some of the major airports in Bolivia include El Alto International Airport in La Paz, Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, and Jorge Wilstermann International Airport in Cochabamba.
Bus travel is a popular and affordable option for getting around Bolivia. Long-distance bus services connect major cities and towns, and there are also local bus services within cities. Bus travel can be a bit more time-consuming than air travel, but it is a great way to see the country and experience the culture.
Train travel is limited in Bolivia, with only one main line running between the cities of Oruro and Villazón. The train ride is considered a tourist attraction for its spectacular views and should be booked in advance.
Car rental is an option for travelers who want more flexibility and independence during their trip. Rental car companies are available in major cities and tourist destinations, and it is important to note that the roads and infrastructure outside of major cities can be challenging. Also, a valid International Driving Permit is required.
Taxis are widely available in major cities and tourist destinations. They are a convenient and safe way to get around, but it's important to agree on the fare before starting the trip and be aware of the local taxi regulations.
Bicycle rental is a popular option for travelers looking to explore smaller towns and rural areas. Bicycle rental shops can be found in many towns and cities, and they are a great way to experience the local culture and see the country at a slower pace.
- The currency of Bolivia is the Bolivian Boliviano (BOB).
- The currency is available in both paper notes and coins.
- The currency symbol is Bs.
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations for daily expenses.
- Credit and debit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
- Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
- ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas.
- It is advisable to use ATMs located inside banks or secure places.
- Some ATMs may have withdrawal limits.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Bolivia.
- However, it is customary to leave a small tip for good service.
- A tip of 5-10% of the total bill is appropriate in restaurants.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Bolivia is relatively low.
- Accommodation and food are affordable.
- Public transportation is inexpensive.
- Be cautious of pickpockets, especially in crowded tourist areas.
- Avoid displaying expensive belongings in public.
- Be wary of taxi drivers overcharging tourists.