Top tip: Short paces in the altitude sun
Bolivia is a landlocked country sharing frontiers with Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile. There are three distinct types of landscape. The first is the high plateau known as the ‘Altiplano’, a predominantly barren area about 4000m above sea level. It comprises 10% of the country’s territory and 70% of the population, nearly one-third of which are urban dwellers. The second is a fertile valley situated 1800m above sea level. The third area comprises the lowland tropics which stretch down to the borders with Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
Bolivia has a temperate climate but the temperature varies wildly between day and night. The rainiest period is from November to March, which, in extreme circumstances, may induce landslides in mountainous areas, and make roads impassable. The northeast slopes of the Andes are semi-tropical. Visitors often find La Paz uncomfortable due to its high altitude. Mountainous regions can be extremely cold at night.
Facts and Figures
|Area||1,098,581 sq km (424,164 sq miles).|
|Capital||Legal: Sucre – population 223,436 (2000). Administrative: La Paz. Population: 877,363 (2008)|
|Language||The official languages are Spanish, Quechua, Aymará and Tupi Guaraní. English is also spoken by a small number of officials and businesspeople in commercial centres.|
|Religion||Roman Catholic with a Protestant minority.|
|Time||GMT – 4|
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