Bolivia is sometimes compared to Tibet. Indeed, these two countries, located on two different continents, are very similar. Bolivia is a real treasury of ancient knowledge – the culture of civilizations of the pre-Columbian era has been preserved almost intact there. It is in this country that Titicaca is located – the highest freshwater lake in the world. It seems that time has no power over the ruins of Indian buildings, ancient Bolivian cities, fortresses and churches…
Geography of Bolivia
Bolivia is located in the central part of South America. Bolivia borders Brazil to the north and east, Argentina and Paraguay to the south, Peru to the west, and Chile to the southwest. This country has no access to the sea. Total area – 1,098,581 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 6,743 km.
The territory of Bolivia can be divided into three physiographic regions: the Andean region in the southwest of the country (it occupies 28% of the territory), located at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, the Sub-Andean region in the center and in the south with a temperate climate (13% of the territory ), as well as the Llanos region (59% of the territory) in the northeast, from the foothills of the Andes to the Paraguay River. The highest local peak is the extinct volcano Nevado Sajama, whose height reaches 6,542 meters.
The longest river in Bolivia is the Mamore (almost 2,000 km). Other large Bolivian rivers Beni (1113 km) and Madeira are tributaries of the Amazon.
On the border with Peru in the Andes is the freshwater lake Titicaca, whose maximum depth reaches more than 300 meters.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Sucre is the capital of Bolivia. More than 300 thousand people now live in this city. Sucre was founded by the Spaniards in 1538.
Bolivia has 37 official languages - all of the indigenous languages plus Spanish.
About 78% of the population are Catholics, while 19% identify themselves as Protestants.
State structure of Bolivia
According to diseaseslearning.com, Bolivia is a presidential republic, headed by a President elected for 5 years. Executive power is vested in the President, Vice President and 20 ministers.
The bicameral local parliament is called the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, it consists of the Chamber of Senators (36 members) and the Chamber of Deputies (130 members).
The main political parties are the Movement for Socialism, the National Unity Front, the Progressive Movement and the Social Alliance.
Administratively, the country is divided into 9 departments, which in turn are divided into 112 provinces.
Climate and weather
The climate in Bolivia is varied, from tropical in the lowlands to polar on the tops of the Andes. The air temperature depends on the height above sea level, and is not strongly subject to seasonal fluctuations. In the southwest, the weather is dry and cold, especially during the winter months, while in the north and east, the weather is humid and warm. The rainy season lasts from November to March.
The best time to visit Bolivia is from April to October.
Rivers and lakes
The rivers Mamore, Beni, Madeira, Paraguay and Pilcomayo are important waterways that connect all regions of the country. Navigation is possible on a total of 14,000 kilometers of rivers.
In the west of the country, near the border with Peru, in the Andes, there is a freshwater lake Titicaca, whose area is 8,300 square meters. km., and the maximum depth reaches more than 300 meters.
Culture of Bolivia
The culture of Bolivia is rich in rituals and traditions. It is not surprising, because civilization only “with the tip of its fingers” touched this high-mountainous mysterious country, in which the heritage of civilizations of the pre-Columbian era is strong. Of course, the Spaniards also greatly influenced the Bolivian culture.
Bolivian culture is reflected in the holidays, which are overwhelmingly religious or pagan (which, however, can also be considered a religion) in nature. The inhabitants of this country did not think long, and merged Catholicism and pagan beliefs together. Each village has a holiday in honor of its saint – “Chicus Mass”.
Before Lent, carnivals and celebrations are held every year in Bolivian cities and towns. The most popular such carnival is held in the city of Oruro. Its main decoration is the “devil’s dance”.
During most Bolivian festivals, local traditional alcoholic drinks can be tasted. Only at festivals held in the Chaco region, the serving of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
The main foods of the Bolivians are potatoes, corn, pasta, rice, meat (mainly pork, chicken and beef). Bolivian cuisine does not actually always use pepper, only some regional dishes can be compared with Mexican food in this component.
Tourists are advised to try the Andean soup “Chairo” (potato, meat and vegetables), pork “Fricase”, fried pork in small pieces “Chicharron” (served with boiled corn), “Charquekan” (boiled or fried llama meat), “Majadito ” (rice with beef), “Sonso” (baked or fried yucca with cheese), meat pie “Saltena”, chicken soup “Changa” (made with potatoes, onions and peppers), and “Lechón al horno” (fried pig with potatoes).
Traditional soft drinks are Mocochinche, which is made from peaches, and Api, a hot drink made from purple and white corn.
Traditional alcoholic drinks – “singani” (grape brandy), “chicha” (sour-milk strong alcoholic drink with corn), wine.
Bolivia can safely be called one of the highest and most remote countries in the world. It has preserved many historical monuments of the mysterious civilizations of the pre-Columbian era. Therefore, tourists in this country have something to see.
Noteworthy is the Dinosaur Mark valley, located near Sucre. Once upon a time, dinosaurs lived in this valley, whose traces have been preserved there to this day.
About 120 kilometers from the ancient city of Santa Cruz is the Spanish medieval fortress of El Fuerte de Samaipata, which has survived to this day in good condition.
One of the main tourist attractions of Bolivia can be considered the ancient city of Tiwanaku – an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian era. It is in this place that the famous Gate of the Sun is located. Once upon a time, up to 30,000 inhabitants lived in Tiwanaku. So far, archaeologists have unearthed only a small part of this most interesting historical monument.
Bolivian parks and reserves are of great interest to tourists, the best of them are the Caa Lla del Gran Chaco National Park near Santa Cruz, the Isiboro Secure National Park, as well as the Del Beni, Eva Eva and Cabo Juan.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Santa Cruz, El Alto, La Paz, Cochabamba and Sucre.
Since Bolivia is a highland country, it is clear that there are ski resorts there (although very few). The largest and most famous of them is Chacaltaya, located at an altitude of more than 5.4 thousand meters near the city of La Paz. Now there are 10 slopes of different difficulty levels and 8 lifts. For South America, the infrastructure of Chacaltai is well developed. Skiing in the resort of Chacaltaya began in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Now skiing at this resort is very limited (at low altitude) due to the melting of the glacier on which it is located.
In Bolivia, tourists buy handicrafts, wide-brimmed Andean hats, clothes, traditional folk musical instruments, leather goods (bags, wallets, belts, etc.), food.
Mon-Fri: 09:00-16:00 (some banks may be open until 18:00)
Most banks are open on Saturdays until 12:00
Shops, shopping centers and markets are open every day from 09:00.
Ukrainians need a visa to visit Bolivia.
Currency of Bolivia
Boliviano is the official currency in Bolivia. Its international designation is BOB. One bolivano = 100 centavos. Some stores accept US dollars. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
Foreign and local currency can be imported and exported without restrictions, but a declaration is required. However, no more foreign currency can be taken out of the country than was imported.
It is forbidden to import drugs, pornographic materials, slot machines, counterfeit money and goods, food products that contain harmful substances. When importing pets, you need a certificate stating that they are not sick with anything. If you want to import vegetable and meat products, you will also need a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate.
The export of pre-Columbian artifacts and other antiques, as well as paintings, requires permission from local authorities.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Bolivia in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Bolivia in Russia:
Address: Moscow, st. Serpukhov val, 8/135
954-06-30 mail: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Bolivia are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Brazil:
SHIS, QІ-06, Conjunto-04
Casa-02, LAGO SUL, CEP 71615-040 Brasilia-DF BRASIL
T: (8 10 5561) 3365
1457 mail: [email protected]
110 – Police
118 – Fire brigade
119 – Ambulance
Behind Kyiv for 6 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Sucre – 07:00.
Bolivian restaurants never add a service charge to the bill – diners are expected to tip 10-15% of the bill. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips.
Doctors recommend getting vaccinated against yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A before traveling to Bolivia.
Bolivia used to have a reputation as one of the safest countries in South America for travelers. But in recent years, the situation has begun to change, and more and more crimes against foreigners are being recorded in the country. True, most often foreigners become victims of pickpockets. Therefore, we recommend that you be careful with your belongings, especially in tourist areas and during festivals.
It should also be taken into account that Bolivia is the third country in the world in terms of the amount of cocaine production, because. drug crime is at a high level there.
We advise you to follow the standard security measures, and then your holiday in Bolivia will not be overshadowed by anything.
It should be noted that the inhabitants of Bolivia seem not very welcoming and not very friendly to tourists. However, in reality this is not entirely true. The inhabitants of this country are quite hospitable people, they just do not like it when someone is imposed on them.