43 Interesting Facts About Bolivia

Bolivia is located in the west-central part of South America and is the continent’s fifth-largest country, covering an area roughly twice the size of Spain. The country has some of the most diverse cultures and breathtaking scenery in South America. Bolivia is gaining popularity because of its beautiful landscapes and the rich cultural heritage of its indigenous peoples. So let’s dive into these 44 interesting facts about Bolivia that will leave you with an astonishing experience.

  1. Bolivia is one of the only two countries of South America which are landlocked. It lies in the west of central South America, and the country is bordered by Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay.
  2. There were about 191 coops in Bolivia since it became a sovereign country in 1825.
  3. The name bolivia was taken from a person named Simon Bolivar. He was a very important leader in the Spanish-American wars for independence.
  4. Llama is considered the national animal of the country.
    Bolivia National Animal Llama
  5. Soccer is the national sport of bolivia and is widely popular among the citizens of the country.
  6. During the Spanish colonial era, the country was called upper Peru.
  7. The average woman in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Indonesia are short enough to be considered a Dwarf (4’10 or under).
  8. Sixteen animals are native to Bolivia. Some of them are the alpaca, the maned wolf, the giant otter, Andean flamingo, capybara, and the anaconda snake.
  9. There are about 300 species of mammals in bolivia. Out of which seven are endangered, seventeen of them fall under the category of vulnerable species, and twelve are counted as threatened species.
  10. Over 41 percent of the population is aged under 15. While the projections of 2017 from the national statistics institute indicate that this percentage is increased to 48 percent.
    Pedrosz via Flickr (Kids and culture)
  11. Bolivians celebrate a festival called tinku, meaning “meeting encounter” in the Quechua language. During this festival, people gather from different communities and have a fight with each other and even dance together.
  12. The country citizens are very fond of radio and even it is popular in the rural areas. There are over 900 radio stations in the country.
  13. The country gives the right to vote at 18 only if you are married. Otherwise, you are not allowed to vote until you reach the age of 21.
  14. There is a silver mine in the country which has taken the lives of over 8 million people. About 2 billion ounces were extracted from the mountain during the Spanish colonial era.
  15. The second biggest lake in the country is lake poopo which is not even a freshwater lake and is about 84 km. However, the biggest lake is known as lake Titicaca and is about 190 Km wide.
    Anthony Lacoste via Wikimedia Commons (Titicaca Lake Of Bolivia)
  16. The Kantuta and Patujú are the floral emblems and national plants of Bolivia.
  17. Bolivia was called the Republic of Bolivia, but after the constitution was changed in 2009, the country’s official name was changed to the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
  18. Military service in Bolivia is a mandate for all men citizens who are between the age of 18 to 22. Men and women can volunteer in the army from the age of 16.
  19. There are over 37 official languages registered in the Bolivian constitution.
  20. Salar de Uyuni is the world’s biggest mirror on the planet, stretching over 6,575 Km(4,086 miles). It is a salt flat and which becomes reflective when covered with water.
    Salar de Uyuni
  21. The two main cities of the country are settled on the highest altitude. La Paz is the second most capital of the country and holds the tag to be the highest capital on the planet as it is settled at an altitude of 11,942ft(3639 meters). While the constitutional capital Sucre is too settled on a high altitude of 9,214 ft( 2,810 meters).
  22. Bolivia is the biggest exporter of Brazilian nut on the planet. In 2015 about twenty thousand tons of these nuts were exported, contributing about 192 million dollars to the nation’s economy.
  23. Andean condor is the national bird of bolivia.
  24. The ten main exports that contributed to the economy are
    • Petroleum Gas ($3.1 billion)
    • Zinc ore (2.3 billion)
    • Gems and precious metals ($1.4 billion )
    • Food industry waste and animal fodder ($544.1 million)
    • Tin ($318.2 million)
    • Animal/vegetable fats, oils and waxes ($294.3 million)
    • Fruits and nuts ($255 million)
    • Cereals ($89.7 million)
    • Oilseeds ($77.6 million)
    • Fertilizers ($67.8 million)
  25. The ten main imports of the country are Machinery including
    • Computers (US$1.9 billion)
    • Mineral fuels ($1.4 billion)
    • Vehicles ($1 billion)
    • Electrical Machinery and other equipment’s ($790.7 million)
    • Plastics and other plastic articles($490.6 million)
    • Iron and steel ($477.9 million)
    • Other chemical goods ($368.8 million)
    • Articles of iron or steel($331.5 million)
    • Pharmaceuticals($203.7 million)
    • Other food preparations ($173.3 million).
  26. The dolphins in the Amazon region of bolivia are pink in color. They are the largest freshwater dolphins in the world.
    Jorge Andrade via Wikimedia Commons (Pink Dolphin Amazon)
  27. You will not be able to find a McDonald in the country. Bolivia becomes the first Latin American nation to ban McDonald’s and other fast-food chains.
  28. San Pedro prison in Bolivia is one of the most bizarre prisons in the world. About 1500 most hardened criminals live there. The prison is a society in itself as the prison contains shops, restaurants, women, and children living with imprisoned members and even some of the busiest drug labs are also there.
  29. There is a hotel in Potosi in southwest Bolivia that is entirely made up of salt. The name of the hotel is salar de uyuni. The hotel comprises more than 48000 square feet, consisting of about nine suits and twenty-one standard rooms.
  30. About two-fifth of the total population of bolivia is indulged in agriculture.
    Ciat via Wikimedia Commons
  31. It is legal to grow coco leaf in the country. Recently country’s president, Evo Morales signs a bill to double the size of coca plant cultivation.
  32. Bolivia hosts a part of the amazon rainforest. It contributes about 6 percent of the total land of the amazon rainforest.
  33. There is a 1.5 km wide and 100-meter high limestone slab located 5km from downtown sucre, which has around 5055 footprints of dinosaurs.
  34. Bolivia is a country with cultural and vast geographical diversity. About 60 percent of the people of bolivia are of indigenous origin.
  35. There is a road in bolivia known as north yungas road, also called the death road. In the 1990s, it was declared as the most dangerous road in the world.
    Yungas Road
  36. Before the 19th century, the country was not fully landlocked and used to touch the shores of the pacific oceans. During a war, they lose this territory to chile.
  37. The building of bolivars legislative assembly in plaza Murillo has a clock on its entrance which runs anti-clockwise.
  38. Bolivia’s unemployment rate in 2018 was 3.26 % which is low as compared to many other countries.
  39. Lapaz became the first city in South America to get a public electricity supply. The electricity supply was powered by llama dung.
  40. Inspired by American WWE, there is a wrestling of women called cholita wrestling that happens in the La Paz region of the country. In this wrestling, women athletes wear colorful costumes and fight with each other just like conventional wrestling.
    Joel Alvarez (Joels86) via Wikimedia Commons
  41. Bolivia is the second poorest country in South America, just after Veninizula.
  42. Education, health, and welfare are mainly free for children of 6 to 13 years. Education for this age group is also compulsory.
  43. The Guembe Biocenter, located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is home to the world’s biggest butterfly sanctuaries on the planet.

  • POPULATION: 1.14 crores
  • LARGEST CITY: Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Quechuan and Aymara
  • GDP NOMINAL: $10.6 Billion
  • GDP RANK: 90th
  • CURRENCY: Boliviano
  • FOUNDED: 6 August 1825
  • FATHER OF THE NATION: George Cadle Price
  • TOTAL AREA: 1,098,581 km2
  • AREA RANK: 28th worldwide
  • CONTINENT: South America
  • ARMY STRENGTH: 55,500 personnel
  • ARMY RANK: 67th
  • LITERACY RATE: 92.46%
  • PER CAPITA INCOME: 8,930 PPP dollars


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