Bolivia is the world's 28th-largest country in terms of geographic area. It is a democratic republic located in central South America and equal in size to California and Texas combined. Bolivia has an enormous diversity of ecological zones (23 major eco-regions) starting with the western highlands of the Andes Mountains extending through the Bolivian Altiplano (literally high plain) to the eastern lowlands of the Amazon Basin which include large sections of Amazonian rainforests.
Bolivia’s constitutional capital is Sucre, and its administrative capital is La Paz. The population is estimated at 10 million, and it is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone (GMT – 4).
Interesting Facts about Bolivia
- Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable salt water lake (elevation 12,500 ft), and it is also the largest lake in South America by volume of water. It is located in the Altiplano basin high in the Andes of Bolivia.
- Nevado Sajama is the highest peak in Bolivia and South America's second highest mountain at 21,463 feet. In August 2001, two teams of Sajama villagers and Bolivian mountain guides played a soccer match on top of the mountain in an effort to show that altitude itself is not a limitation to physical strain.
- Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at 4,085 square miles, with the biggest deposit of salt on the planet - over 64 million tons of salt.
- What's underneath the largest salt bed in the world? The largest deposit of lithium in the world estimated by the United States Geological Survey to be 50%-70% of the world's supply at 5.4 million tons. The light metal, used to make high-capacity batteries for electric cars could cause Bolivia to become the "Saudi Arabia of the Green World".
- Bolivian natural gas reserves are the second-largest in South America, after Venezuela.
- Cerro Rico is a Bolivian mountain in the Andes, famous from the Spanish Colonial era when it had the world’s most important silver mines. Most of the silver shipped through the Spanish Main came from Potosí, the Bolivian city and department where the Cerro Rico is located. According to official records, 45,000 tons of pure silver were extracted from Cerro Rico from 1556 to 1783.
- Tiwanaku is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia. It is one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire.
- Bolivia has many hidden paradises, such as Rurrenabaque, that are popular international tourism destinations visited by stars such as Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Madonna, and many others.
- Bolivia is located within one of the wettest zones on the planet. We get over 315 inches (26 feet!) of rainfall per year in the lowlands east of the Andes.
- Bolivia contains 40% of all animal and plant life in the world. Our tropical forests and wetlands are among the most biologically abundant ecosystems in the world. The worldwide scientific community has declared Eastern Bolivia one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth. More new species are discovered here each year than almost anywhere else.
Spanish is the official language of Bolivia. However, English is common as a second language among the IT workforce as all technical text books and professional exams are written in English. None are available in Spanish.
The new Bolivian constitution approved during the last decade, made Bolivia a secular state that does not recognize an official religion. Four Christian holy days are still observed as national holidays: Good Friday, Corpus Christi, All Saints' Day, and Christmas. The majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic (78%), although Protestant (19%) and other Christian denominations (3%) are expanding rapidly. There is also a small Jewish community.
- Bolivia lives the passion of football every day: "Vivirla pasión del deporte" is a familiar phrase in our country. Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in the country.
- Estadio Hernando Siles Zuazo is a FIFA-sanctioned sports stadium in La Paz, Bolivia. It is the country's largest sports complex with a capacity of 42,000 seated spectators.
- Tennis, bicycle and automobile racing are also popular. NASCAR races are broadcast via cable television feeds from the US.
Bolivian music varies greatly between regions because Bolivia is a multi-ethnic country. Throughout Bolivia you can hear festive and seductive dance music such as the Salsa, Cumbia and Tango, operas and foreign rock music as well as music that reflects its rich ethnic traditions. Bolivia has its own rock groups, many of which have become quite well-known worldwide.