From the moment you touch down at El Alto International Airport just outside of La Paz, the Republic of Bolivia becomes an incredible travel experience. For those seeking cultural enrichment, beautiful Andean countryside, colourful and breathtaking natural scenery, Bolivia has it all.
Bolivia is a Republic in central South America; it is bounded on the north and east by Brazil, on the south-east by Paraguay, on the south by Argentina, and on the west by Chile and Peru. The only landlocked countries in South America are Bolivia and Paraguay.
Bolivia, also known as the "Tibet of the Americas", the highest, most isolated and most Indian country in South America, is a place of extraordinary Andean landscapes, colourful present-day cultures and ancient archaeological sites. Bolivia is known for its highest capital city, La Paz (population 1 million), highest navigable lake, highest ski run, hotel and airport.
With a very high percentage of native language speakers, Bolivia is one of the few countries left in South America where this occurs. While you are there you'll hear Quecha and Aymara as often as you'll hear Spanish and from speakers like this who retain a great deal of their traditional culture.
To get to Bolivia isn't as easy as in other countries as many areas are accessible only by air. But if you persevere you'll be rewarded with spectacular landscapes as well as colourful wildlife. Bolivia borders Brazil and Ecuador along the northern lowlands with a vast Amazonian tropical rain forest.
The best time to travel to Bolivia is winter. It's cold in the altiplano, but winter, May to October, is the dry season. During the summer months of November to April, travel is difficult due to possible washed out roads, heat, insects and rain.
Bolivia has two Capital's Sucre, the legal capital and seat of Judiciary and La Paz the seat of Government.
Sucre is in southern Bolivia, and is legally the national capital, more than 2,591 m (8,500 ft) above sea level. Sucre is south-east of La Paz the national administrative centre, and its mountain setting, whitewashed buildings, and well-preserved architecture make it one of the most beautiful cities in Bolivia. You will find many of the buildings around the main plaza still retain Spanish colonial features in their archways, balconies, and porticos. There are more than a dozen colonial churches in Sucre that grace the city's streets.
La Paz is a city on the La Paz River in Western Bolivia; it is the capital of La Paz department and administrative capital of Bolivia. La Paz is situated in the Andes about 3625 m above sea level, it is the highest city in the world that is linked by roads and railways to cities in Peru and Argentina, and to Arica in Chile which is the nearest port on the Pacific Ocean. La Paz also has an international airport. You will find Bolivia is rich in silver, copper, and lead, La Paz is not heavily industrialized because of limited power resources.
Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz has been the actual centre of government since 1898. With the exception of the national Supreme Court, all government functions are centred in La Paz. It is also the site of the presidential and legislative palaces, museums, theatres, art galleries, and a cathedral (completed in 1933)
Things to see and do
One of the best sights to visit in Bolivia is Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. You will find it lying at 3,810m above sea level and containing more than 30 islands. Shared by Peru and Bolivia, it was the most sacred body of water in the Inca Empire and still shows traces of its rich Indian past.
Salt Flats is a must. Salt Flat has a hotel that is made almost entirely of salt bricks, a must to see. The beautiful and busy little cities, redolent with Spanish influences, are quite remarkable.
The colonial Town of Postosi
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|Bolivia (Country Guide)|
author: Kate Armstrong,Vesna Maric,Andy Symington
ASIN or ISBN-10: 1741045576