If you’re heading off to study the spectacular local wildlife of South America, or to learn how the locals survive in the Andes, boost your local knowledge with these interesting facts about Bolivia before you go!
1. Bolivia doesn’t have a coastline.
Bolivia is a vast, landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Peru to the northwest, Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south and Chile to the southwest.
2. It’s pretty easy to find.
Fancy heading off to explore the glorious dense jungle or the dizzying heights of the Andes? Head for the coordinates 16.7120° S, 64.6660° W to find yourself in Bolivia!
3. It’s a hilly, jungle-filled country.
4. Bolivia is seriously sizable.
The total land area of Bolivia is 424,164 square miles (1,098,581 square kilometres) – that’s more than 4 times the size of the UK.
5. However, it’s not got a dense population.
Bolivia’s population was 11.51 million in 2019 – that’s around 1/6th of the UK population!
6. What’s the capital of Bolivia?
Bolivia has two capital cities, Sucre (the constitutional capital) and La Paz (the administrative capital). Sucre had a population of 372,000 in 2015, whilst La Paz had a population of 1.8 million in 2015.
7. The climate in Bolivia actually varies a lot.
The climate in Bolivia varies with altitude, from humid and tropical in the lowlands to cold and semiarid in the highlands.
8. There’s a record-breaking lake out here.
Standing at 12,507 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest lake!
9. Cities break records here, too.
La Paz also happens to be the highest capital city in the world, at an incredible 11,913 feet above sea level!
10. Drive carefully in Bolivia!
Bolivia is home to one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The North Yungas Road, otherwise known as ‘The Road of Death’, claims the lives of around 200-300 individuals each year.
11. Paved roads are rare here.
Only around 30% of the roads in Bolivia are ‘paved’!
12. Bolivia is the salt flat capital of the world.
13. What do people speak in Bolivia?
The official languages of Bolivia are Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, although there are around 33 other indigenous languages spoken here too!
14. Time to change up the currency!
Bolivian Boliviano is the official currency of this wonderful country.
15. Bolivia has an important name.
Bolivia apparently gained its name in commemoration to Simon Bolivar who played a vital part in gaining independence from Spain.
16. Most people in Bolivia live long, healthy lives.
The average life span here is 71.24 years (2018).
17. We get all kinds of things from Bolivia.
Bolivia grows coffee, soybeans, coca and cotton; they also produce timber here. Its industry consists of mining, smelting, food, beverages, tourism and petroleum.
Bolivia also exports natural gas, soybeans, gold, zinc and wood.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bolivia
Is it safe to live in Bolivia?
Bolivia has a relatively low violent crime rate, though some regions are known for being unsafe to travel through - it is known for trafficking.
Do people speak English in Bolivia?
It is rare that people will speak English in Bolivia, unless they work in tourism, or are non-Bolivian at birth.
What food is Bolivia famous for?
Bolivians enjoy a wide variety of tasty dishes, with their veal tongue and noodles - with a spicy chilli kick - being particularly popular.
Do you know any fun facts about Bolivia? Share them in the comments below!