Here are the top fun and interesting facts about Bolivia:
#1 It is a landlocked country in South America, bordering Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. With an area of 424,164 sq miles (1,098,581 sq kilometers), it is the 5th largest country in South America and the world’s twenty-eight largest country.
#2 The name of this country comes from Simon Bolivar, a leader in the Spanish American wars of independence, becoming official in 1825.
#3 Since independence, this country has endured periods of economic and political instability, as well as the loss of a few peripheral territories to its neighbors, including – a small part of Acre Province (which was rich in rubber) – it was ceded to Brazil, and its lands to the Pacific were taken by Chile after the War of the Pacific.
#4 It has its constitutionally recognized capital in Sucre. In 1539, this city was founded by the conquistador Pedro de Anzúrez on the site of a Charcas Indian village. Sucre lies in a mountain valley on the eastern slope of the Andes at an altitude of 2,590 m (8,500 ft) which makes it one of the best places in this country for dealing with the higher elevation.
#5 Due to its well-preserved downtown with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, Sucre attracts thousands of tourists every year.
#6 La Paz (Nuestra Señora de La Paz) that literally translates as “Our Lady Peace,” sits at an elevation of 11,975 feet. La Paz is the administrative capital of this country and is situated 68 km (42 miles) southeast of Lake Titicaca.
#7 On October 20, 1548, La Paz was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza – a Spanish conquistador, at the site of the Inca settlement of Laja. La Paz is linked to Mexicali and Tijuana by highway, and to Los Mochis and Mazatlán by ferry.
#8 El Alto city (Spanish for ”The Heights”) is not only the highest major metropolis in the world, but is the largest town in Latin America inhabited by indigenous Americans, with an average elevation of 13,615 ft (4,150 m).
#9 This country has 37 official languages, including Quechua, Spanish, and Aymará. About 95 percent of locals are Roman Catholic. Also, there is a small, but prevalent Protestant movement. The population of this country is more than 11,052,864 in 2017. It has tripled in the last five decades.
#10 Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake at 3,812 meters (12,507 feet) above sea level. It is acknowledged to be the birthplace of Manco Capac – the Inca civilization’s first king, the sun god’s son.
#11 Lake Titicaca sits at the northern end of the Altiplano Basin in the Andes Mountains. There are 25 rivers which deposit their water in this lake, with the Ramis River being the most significant contributor, followed by Ilave, Coata, Suchez, and Huancane.
#12 The 2nd-largest lake in this country is called Lake Poopo. It is located in a shallow depression high in the Altiplano Mountains. However, Lake Poopo has shrunk to just 2% of its former size, that was about 1,000 square kilometers (380 square miles).
#13 Interestingly, this is not the 1st time that this lake has evaporated. For instance, in 1994, Poopo dried up in and needed a few years for water to return.
#14 This country is home to the Cerro Mutún, the world’s largest iron ore mine.
#15 It also has the world’s largest salt flat – Salar de Uyuni, that is located 3,656 meters above sea level and covers approximately 4,086 sq miles (10,582 square kilometers).
#16 This is a location that should be visited at least once in a lifetime since when it rains a layer of water is formed on the salt flat creating a reflective surface. Also, here you can find Salt Moon Hotel (Hotel Luna Salada).
#17 The largest deposit of lithium (used in a variety of metallurgical applications) in the world is found under all this salt. Some companies want to extract it, but the Bolivian government is not very keen to this since the extraction can destroy this area that brings many visitors every year.
#18 San Pedro prison, the largest prison in La Paz, is different from the majority of penitentiaries due to the fact that is a self-organized community (no guards) with its own restaurants, market stalls, hotel, and hairdressers. The Bolivian government only funds basic food for the inmates of this unique penitentiary; more than that, the ”prisoners” have to earn money to survive.
#19 Witches Market, better know as Mercado de las Brujas or Mercado de Hechiceria, is covering 2 streets in the old quarter of La Paz. There, you can purchase potions, medicine for high altitude, dried frogs, aphrodisiac formulas, or dried llama fetuses for Aymara rituals.
#20 Christ of Peace (Cristo de la Concordia) is a statue of Jesus Christ located atop San Pedro Hill. This statue has 33 meters high and surpasses its Brazilian counterpart by just a few centimeters.
#21 The city of Tiwanaku (also spelled Tiahuanaco), located close to the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, was the capital of the pre-Inca civilization which dominated the Andean region.
#22 The North Yungas Road, also referred as ”The Road of Death,” has a reputation for being the world’s most dangerous road. Approximately 250 fatalities occur here every year on a stretch of road less than 50 miles long.
#23 This country is one of the world’s largest producers of coca, the raw material for cocaine. Here, you can also visit the Coca Museum (Museo de la Coca) which was created by Dr. Jorge Hurtado and Dra. Roxana Miranda. At Museo de la Coca, you can learn about the history of coca and its role in Bolivian culture.
#24 Animal species peculiar to these lands include – jaguars, llamas, caimans, Andean condors, piranhas, sloths, and the emperor tamarin.
#25 Cal Orcko, a paleontological site situated near the capital, has a steep wall with 462 distinct dinosaur tracks from at least 8 species, totaling 5,055 individual dinosaur footprints.