Some Interesting Bolivia Facts
There are lots of fascinating Bolivia facts so I have taken the liberty of listing a few of the most important points that you should know before travelling through Bolivia.
1. The constitutional capital of Bolivia is Sucre
A little known Bolivia fact is that the official constitutional capital of the country is not La Paz as many assume but Sucre. La Paz is often referred to as the “administrative” capital because it seats two arms of the Bolivian government but Sucre is widely accepted to be the official one.
2. Santa Cruz is Bolivia’s largest city
Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia and because it lies only 400 metres above sea level, has a much more tropical climate. This is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world and many areas of the economy are booming, especially construction.
3. Spanish is Bolivia’s first language but is home to over 30 languages in all
Whilst Spanish is the primary language of Bolivia the multiple indigenous cultures that are present within the country means that as many as 30 different languages are in fact spoken. The two most widely spoken are Quechua which is spoken in a number of countries when you travel South America and Aymara which is the language of the Bolivian President Evo Morales.
4. Potosi is the world’s highest city
Bolivia is the site of the world’s highest city. Lying at a staggering 4090 metres Potosi was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 in recognition of its rich colonial history. The city was a rich source of silver during the new world Spanish empire and was one of the richest countries in South America prior to the Bolivian wars of independence in the 19th Century.
5. Bolivia has the world’s largest salt flats
Salar de Uyuni is just one of many geographical wonders of Bolivia that have to be experienced and is the site of the world’s largest salt flats. It also contains the largest salt deposit in the world and has around 60% of the Earth’s lithium supplies. The 4 day tour we did starting from Tupiza culminates in this vast landscape of remoteness and truly is a sight to behold. It is also a fantastic place to take some really quirky photos.
6. Bolivia has the highest navigable lake in the world
Sitting at 3,800 metres above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake. This is a Bolivia fact that needs to be experienced so if you decide to visit the lake the two most popular places to stay are Puno on the Peruvian side or Isla Del Sol on the Bolivian side. The floating islands which are made out of the totora reed are a natural wonder and are really worth the effort to see. Walking on the surface you remain convince you are about to fall straight through into the freezing lake but they always stay strong!
7. The site of the world’s most dangerous road
One fascinating Bolivia fact is that the country is widely reputed to have the world’s most dangerous road. The Yungas road which first rises up from La Paz to around 4,650 metres is then most well known for its dramatic descent from the clouds at La Cumbra Pass to the jungle town of Coroico at 1200 metres. It is a truly terrifying experience but also an adrenaline rush like no other! Make sure you cover yourself in deet before you descend because once you reach the jungle the mosquitos are there in droves!