Bolivia is a landlocked country bordered by Peru to the northwest, Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, and Chile to the west. Because of its unique location, in the true heart of South America, Bolivia offers a great range of geographical and cultural diversity to travellers. Because of the lack of modern communication systems and sparsely populated areas, much of the land has been able to thrive and preserve its natural and beautiful nature.
The Bolivian Amazon is situated North and East of the country in the departments of Pando, Beni, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and La Paz.The jungle is irrigated by many rivers that originate in the mountain ranges and eventually empty into the Amazon River. In the departments of Tarija and Santa Cruz, South and, south east of the country Savannahs and dry forests occupy the land and it is from here that the Rivers descend into the La Plata River and empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Altiplano is located west and South West in the departments of Oruro, Potosi, and La Paz. This area is a high plateau formed by the Andean Range. This plateau reaches and average of 4000 metres and house Lake Titicaca, Poopo Lake, The Salt flats of Uyuni and Coipasa, and the desrts of Sur Lipez. The Rain Forest (Yungas) are situated between the Altiplano and the Amazon in Cochabamba and La Paz.
1,098,579 sq km (424,162 sq miles)
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymari¡ (official)
La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Oruro, Sucre
Nevado Sajama (6,520 meters) (21,391 ft)
Roman Catholic (95%), Protestant 5%
Businesses are normally open daily 0800-1230 in the mornings and from 1430-1830/1900 in the afternoons, although many are now operating from 0800 -1800 with an hour off for lunch.
Bolivia has a temperate climate but temperatures can differ dramatically between day and night. The wettest period is November to March and in winter (May-October) it is cooler and drier than in the normally hot and humid eastern lowlands. The Andes are quite temperate in the foothills with frigid conditions at higher elevations.
ENTEL, Bolivia’s national telephone company has offices in most towns and cities where you can make national and international calls. Local calls are cheap while long-distance are relatively expensive. Roaming agreements exist with a limited number of international mobile phone companies.
Bolivia offers very diverse features including ice capped peaks, coloured lagoons, rugged lowlands, Amazonian rainforest, beautiful valleys and colonial cities. Bolivia is dominated by its varied geography, the soaring Andes and its distinctive culture and its mysterious exoticism remains the main attraction for travellers who dare to go off the beaten track. One day you can find yourself walking through a canyon of rock formations, the next volcanic geysers and endless stretches of white salt. La Paz mixes both traditional and modern culture, European restaurants and bars mix with witch markets and peaceful protests. The colonial cities of Sucre and Potosí are a chronicle of Bolivia’s past – white wash houses and historic plazas. Native religions, dialects, traditional dress, music, medicine and the sacred coca leaf all form part of the daily life on the street. The Boliviano is the currency used in Bolivia. You can change currency at banks, hotels airports, and casa de cambios. Credit cards such as Master card, VISA and America Express are acceptable in hotels, restaurants and some stores. The current in Bolivia is 110v/ 220v, 60Hz/50Hz. Plugs are two-pronged with round prongs (European) and flat-pronged pins (US).
There are two main air routes to Bolivia: the international airport of La Paz and Santa Cruz. Carriers such as Loyd Boliviano, Lan Chile, Aerolineas Argentinas, and few other Latin American companies service the connection between Bolivia and their respective hub cities. BY LAND: It is possible to come by land to Bolivia. From Chile via Arica-Tambo Quemado or via San Pedro de Atacama-Laguna Colorada-Uyuni. From Peru via Puno-Desaguadero-Copacobana. From Argentina via La Quiaca Villazon. From Brazil via Corumba. Taxis can usually be found anywhere and at anytime in Bolivia, and are the safest mode of transport. Biking is rare in Bolivia. In the lowlands moto-taxis are commonly used, while micros (small minibuses) are the main form of urban transport in big cities.