As a place so rich in culture, diversity, natural wonders and history, it will seem as if Bolivia has been untouched by time. It is a very remote country in South America, but very rich nonetheless. The Great Amazon Forest, the extensive Andes Mountains, and Lake Titicaca, where the Incan empire is rumored to have started, all run through Bolivia. You will not run out of wonders to see, especially with the amazing Salar De Uyuni, a 4,000 square mile flatland of salt that was created by a prehistoric lake. Discover nature and discover South American culture and diversity by visiting Bolivia.
Important and Interesting Facts about Bolivia
- Chacaltaya was the “highest commercial ski area” in the world although very little sking takes place nowadays and it is mainly visited to witness the stunning views of the Cordillera Real mountain range from Chacaltaya’s 5300 meter peak.
- The highest navigable lake in the world is found in Bolivia at 3810 meters abovesea level (that’s 12,382.5 feet above sea level.) It takes six hours to cross Lake Titicaca on a fast hydrofoil. It’s also one of the deepest lakes in the world.
- The largest deposit of salt on the planet is also found in Bolivia. The Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt beds or salt flats) contain over 64 million tons of salt. When it rains the water forms a thin layer on top that reflects the entire sky!
- Bolivia is also home to the Cerro Mutún, located in the Department of Santa Cruz. It is the world’s largest iron ore mine.
- Bolivia is located within one of the wettest zones on the planet. Over 8000 millimeters (8 meters!) of rainfall per year.
- Bolivia contains 40% of ALL animal and plant life in the world (called biodiversity).Tropical rainforests and Pantanal Wetlands are some of the most biologically abundant ecosystems in the world.
- Bolivia is among the top “mega-diverse” countries on our planet. Together, the mega-diverse countries contain over 70% of all species known to humankind. In plant species Bolivia is the 11th country in the world (over 20,000 plant species). In vertebrate species it is 10th in the world. In bird species it is 7th in the world and in butterfly species it is 4th in the world.See more photos and facts about Bolivian wildlife
- The world’s largest butterfly sanctuary is located right here, in Santa Cruz Bolivia.
- Bolivia is theNUMBER ONE country on Earth for certified tropical forests. Bolivia is among the top 5 exporters of certified tropical wood in the world.
- Bolivia is one of Earth’s top 12 countries with the greatest amount of organic agricultural surface in the world. Exports of organic products could reach an estimated worth450 million dollars by 2016.
- Bolivia is among the top 3 exporters of organicBrazil nuts in the world. Bolivia is among the top 10 exporters of organic coffee and cacao in the world.
- Bolivia is home to the two highest cities in the world. Potosí is the highest, and La Paz is the second highest. In the 1570’s Potosí was also the most populated city in the world!
- The “Valley of the Moon” is landscape of eroded rock and pinnacles with a lunar like appearance. It can make for interesting photographs and a pleasant walk to view the different formations. Several species of cactus can also be seen.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Bolivia
- In the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, many live at over 10,000 feet in the air (as high as some planes fly). Clouds go through their living rooms.
- Most people don’t know this but Bolivia has 2 capitals. One of them is Sucre, which is the offical capital of Bolivia. The other capital is La Paz.
- Bolivia is a huge country, relatively speaking. It is about the size of California and Texas put together. It also has a small population, about 10 million people as of 2011.
- It has one of the purest Amazon rainforest environments and the majority of its population represents the true blood of South America: Quechua, Aymara and Guarani.
- The wettest period in Bolivia is summer (November to March).
- The largest deposit of lithium in the world is found under all that salt! That’s right. It’s buried under all that salt! Major battery manufacturers are now interested in Bolivia because they want toextract the lithium to make long-lasting batteries for cars, cellular phones and more.
- There are more wetland regions and more bird species than the Pantanal in Bolivia’s northern Department of Beni. All rivers that cross through Beni are tributaries of the Amazon River and there are hundreds of lakes and lagoons in Beni, all filled with Bolivia’s abundant wildlife! The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, you can still dip fresh water out of the ocean!
- Bolivia is home to the world’s one and only known “bolivianita mine”. Bolivianita (ametrine) is a precious stone or gem that is partially yellow and partially purple. It’s produced when citrine and amethyst combine.
- In Bolivia guinea pig is more than a childhood pet…it is dinner … a local delicacy that’s unique to the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. They also eat armadillo.
- Bolivia’s flamingos are almost extinct. Flamingos are not born pink.Flamingos are grey. They get their pink and orange tones from the shrimp and plankton they eat.There is a flock of pink flamingos high on the altiplano (15,000 feet above sea level).
- What is the slowest animal on Earth doing in Bolivia?Hanging upside down from tree branches, mostly. Sloths are the slowest animal, so slow in fact, that in tropical areas like Santa Cruz mold often grows on their fur. There are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Bolivia
- Bolivia was the land of the Aymaras before the Incas arrived to conquer them(1430) . The first example of development of this culture is the Tiahuanaco society, which existed before the Incas (2000 BC).
- It was originally called Alto Peru during the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire and colonial era. Alto Peru was first part of the Vicerroyalty of Peru and later part of the Vicerroyalty of Rio de la Plata.
- The Mollos inhabited an area North of present-day La Paz, while at about the same time, the Moxos were present in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia. Both societies were agriculturally advanced and disappeared around the 13th century, at roughly the same time as the Tiahuanaco Empire vanished from the historical timeline.
- In 1545 silver is found in the Cerro Rico Mountains near Potosi, Bolivia.
- Bolivia is thought to be the origin of many types of foods including varieties of peppers, chili peppers, the peanut, the common bean, the yucca, and hosts more than 4,000 species of potato.
- Bolivian Humintas – Tamales. You can make them spicy or sweet. They start off with crushed corn. They think the sweet ones are way better. You can bake it or stem it in the corn husks. Always use fresh corn non fresh corn will to be mushy.
- Textiles in Bolivia are still created by spinning and weaving.
- Soccer is the most popular sport in Bolivia.
- Religion tends to be a female dominated activity in terms of attending church and the like. Catholicism to some extent has been “localized” as it became intertwined with local folklore and customs in its early years of taking root in the country.
- Roles within the family are very traditional – “Machismo” is very much alive. The machismo mentality often translates into a feeling of male superiority and a strong sense of honor which means maintaining face/dignity at all cost.The wife is generally responsible for domestic duties whereas the husband with be the bread winner.
- When a woman gets married she usually adds her husband’s first surname to her first surname with the connector “de”, so if Jennifer Maria Lopez marries Manuel Sebastien Costa, she would be called Jennifer Maria de Costa.