Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America. It has a rich culture complemented with great geographical landmarks and features. It is home to the largest cities in the World. It is a land of languages with over 30 official languages. Biologically, it is on the list of the most diverse nations in the World. To learn what makes Bolivia interesting, below are some facts about Bolivia that will blow your mind.
1. Amazon’s Pink Dolphins
The Dolphins in the Amazon River are pink. However, the reason for the unique coloration is yet to be founded. Some of the possible reasons are blood vessels’ presence near the skin’s surface, The age of the Dolphin, Chemical disposition in the water, and the water temperature. Pink Dolphins are also known as Inia Geoffrensis. They are listed among the most intelligent freshwater world species. Their brain capacity is 40% larger than that of humans. Thanks to their infused vertebrae in the neck, pink dolphins can bend their head 90 degrees. This allows navigating grassland and shallow waters easily.
2. Bolivia’s biodiversity
40 % of the Earth’s animal and plant life is in Bolivia. Its location in the tropics and favorable climate support a large range of ecosystems. In Madidi National Park, 12000 plants thrive, 50 species of snake, 90 bat species, and 300 fish all thrive. More than 17% of Bolivia’s land is designated as protected areas.
3. Wet and Wild Weather
Bolivia makes it one of the wettest countries on this planet with an annual rainfall officer of 5 meters. Its rainy season is from November to April, which is Bolivia’s summer. Depending on the altitude, its climate ranges from humid to Cold and from tropical to semi-arid.
4. Land of languages
Bolivia is a diverse country with over 30 official languages. The most prominent indigenous languages spoken are Quechua and Aymara. However, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the country. Languages are spoken also depend on location, with the Andes region mainly speaking Spanish and Quechua. On the other hand, in Altiplano, especially around Lake Titicaca, the main spoken language is Aymara.
5. Largest Navigable Lake
Half of Lake Titicaca, the largest navigable lake on the planet, is in Bolivia. Lake Titicaca is located in Bolivia’s Western part and extends to the South-Eastern part of Peru. The lake sits at 3,810 meters that is 12,383 ft. above sea level. In South America, it is the largest freshwater lake. Its great depth of 280 meters (920 ft.) makes it’s one of the deepest lakes across the globe.
Catholicism is the main religion in Bolivia, with nearly 80% of the population practicing it. Spiritual traditions and pre-Christian beliefs are still maintained by the indigenous population. However, these practices are done parallel to the catholic religion teachings. A very small Bolivia population is protestant.
7. Largest Salt desert
Salary De Uyuni, the World’s largest salt desert, is located in Bolivia. This is a popular tourist attraction and measures approximately 10,582 km². Salar de Uyuni has the largest salt deposit in the World, with over 64 million tons. When it rains, it becomes the World’s largest natural mirror. This is because the water from a thin layer on the salt flat creates a reflective surface.
8. Land locked
South America has only two landlocked countries. Bolivia is one of the two. However, it is important to note that was not always the case. Bolivia used to extend to a large section of the pacific coast in South America. However, its defeat in the Pacific War of 1879 to 1893 saw this territory fall into Chilean hands. In South America, Bolivia is the most isolated country.
9. City Heights
Two of the World’s highest cities are in Bolivia, namely Potosi and El Alto. Potosi sits at an altitude of 13,420 ft. and is known for its silver mines and economic importance. El Alto, on the other hand, is the World’s highest administrative city with an altitude of 13,615 ft.
10. Home to precious Gems
Bolivia is privileged to be one of the few countries where Anetrine can be mined. Ametrine is also referred to as Bolivianite, Golden Amethyst, or Trystine. It is formed when citrine and amethyst combine. Ametrine is usually hexagonal and is yellow and purple. The Gem’s natural combination is so unique that no two crystals are ever alike.
11. Guinea pigs delicacy
In Bolivia, guinea pigs are served as a delicacy. The locals refer to them as Cuy. It can be served as either fried, roasted, or boiled. The meat is protein-rich and has low fat and cholesterol. With regards to taste, it has been compared with rabbit and chicken meat.
12. Two capital cities
Bolivian’s prefer La Paz as their capital city because it is the countries financial center and the government’s seat. However, their official capital is Sucre.
13. Cocoa is a superfood.
Altitude sickness is common in the highlands. In order to fight the effects of the sickness, Bolivians eat Cocoa. This causes the evident bulge in the cheeks of most Bolivians.
14. Belief that dead animals bring luck
Dead animals are used by the citizens as Mother Nature offerings. The dead animal trade includes then dried Illama fetuses. Traditionally the people used to offer them to ‘Pachamama’ as a Thanksgiving for the blessings they receive.
15. The popular sport is soccer.
Soccer is Bolivia’s national sport. The sport started gaining international recognition in 1997. At the time, Bolivia’s national team had participated in the South American Championship, where they ranked 2nd.
16. Wild parties
Oruro is an important celebration in Bolivia. The festival celebrations date back to more than 2000 years. Oruro comes before lent and is held during the carnival holidays. At the festival different musical and dance groups compete. The festival also boasts of a grand display of costumes and decorations.
17. Most dangerous road
The Camino de las Yungas Road is also commonly known as the Road of Fate or the Death Road. Around 200 to 300 people die each year from that road. The road, which is 56 km long, has a very steep ledge. Tourists visit the road to bike and are a popular tourist attraction. Spots, where vehicles have car accidents are marked.
18. San Pedro Prison
The San Pedro prison was a famous tourist attraction. However, due to violence committed by the inmates against visitors, they had to close their doors. It is a unique prison because it allows the inmates to live inside the premises with their families. The prison gives the inmates a sense of community.
19. Dinosaurs footprints
The footprints are found in Cal Orko from 8 different species of dinosaurs. Cal Orko features approximately 5,055 footprints. This is one of the popular tourist attractions measuring 1.5 km long and 80m high. The monumental limestone is imprinted on a vertical wall. The fossils marks can be dated back to at least 68 million years.
20. Amazon forest
Madidi National Park covers part of the Amazon Forest. The park, which is 18,958 sq. km, is one of the Worlds largest protected areas. According to scientists’ estimation, around 9000-11000 species reside in the area. However, some of the species are still undiscovered.
21. Largest butterfly sanctuary
Bolivia is home to the planet’s largest butterfly sanctuary. The sanctuary is one of popular Bolivia’s geographical landmarks. It is a 24-hectare sanctuary that is located 20 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz. The sanctuary is always open all year round. The sanctuary has more than 1000 butterfly types.
22. Second-largest natural gas reserves
In South America, Bolivia ranks second in the largest natural gas stores. Countries that rank higher than Bolivia include The United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iran.
23. Backward Clock
The clock on the House of Congress runs backward. The significance of running backward is to remind people of their pre-colonial roots. It is also meant to pay homage to the indigenous heritage of Bolivians.
24. Bolivian cuisine
Bolivian cuisine relies heavily on potatoes. Historically, South American people rely on root crops. The root crops include corn and potatoes. A typical Bolivian diet has rice, potatoes, fruits, soup, and milk products.
25. Colorful clothing
In Bolivia, their traditional clothing consists of two things polleras and colorful shawls. The polleras are multi-layered skirts that are borrowed from Andean culture. The shawls are multi-purpose and are used to hold goods or as extra clothing. The pollera skirts used to be a dress worn by the Spanish people after being forced by the Spanish officials.
26. Inca Empire
Bolivia lasted from the 15th century to the early 16th century as part of the Inca empire. It used to be the ancient Tiwanaku or Tiahuanaco empire center.
27. The legal voting age
This is one of the most interesting facts about Bolivia. A person’s marital status dictates your voting age. People who are married can vote at 18 years, while single people’s legal voting age is 21.
28. Zebras direct traffic
Zebras control the traffic in Bolivia. People dress in zebra costumes, and they help children to cross the road carefully. They also teach children about road safety. To tourists, this is one of the fascinating facts about Bolivia.
29. Home to some famous scientists and literature professionals.
Some of the notable scientists from Bolivia include Noel Kempff Mercado, Martín Cárdenas, Jose Steinbach and Iván Guzmán de Rojas. Famous literature writers that hail from Bolivia include Giovanna Rivero, Edmundo Paz Soldán and Adolfo Costa du Rels.
30. High Plateau
The High Plateau or the Altiplano is a part of the Andes. It lies between the Oriental and the Occidental of the Cordillera. This flat-floored depression is 800 km long and 130 km wide. Most of the High plateaus are located in Bolivia, but it stretches its northern parts to Peru and the southern part to Chile, reaching Argentina.
31. Andes Mountains occupancy
Bolivia is traditionally regarded as a highland. The majority of Bolivia’s population occupies the Andes Mountains. This is because it attracts numerous investments in the business and mining industries. It is an important portion of the Commercial side of Bolivia.
32. Full of flamingos
Three of the world Flamingos’ six species are found in Bolivia. They include The Chilean, Andean, and the James Flamingo. The Andean and James flamingo are rare species. The James flamingo was assumed to be extinct until 1957 when a small breeding colony was discovered in the Andes.
33. Indigenous People population
The largest number of indigenous people in Latin America live in Bolivia. When trying to learn about local culture, history, and customs Bolivia is an interesting place to visit. Of Bolivia’s population, 55% of the people are indigenous. About 5 million people identify with their heritage that has over 30 indigenous cultures.
La Paz is famous for its Witches market. This makes La Paz a famous tourist attraction with the saying there is ‘something for everyone. The witches perform spells for revenge, money, love, among other things.
Cholita wrestling is famous in Bolivia. It is fascinating as ladies dress in conventional and vivid clothing and fight men. Wrestling was started as a type of battle conducted in ceremonies.
36. Origin of the Name Bolivia
During the Spanish rule, Bolivia was called upper Peru. After gaining independence in 1825 August 6th, it changed to the Republic of Bolivar. On October 3rd, 1825, the name changed from Bolivar to Bolivia. The name originated from Simon Bolivar. He was a revolutionary general that led the Spanish-American wars. Bolivia is derived from his name Bolivar.
Bolivia has a rich culture and boasts of great geographical Landmarks. It is a wonderful tourist attraction with its endowed beautiful natural features that make it unique and give the Bolivians a personality. Practices such as Zebra controlling the traffic and a butterfly sanctuary only add to the fascinating facts about Bolivia. The above facts are evidence that it is a top tourist attraction in South America with its richly diverse culture and population.